A talk given for the Open University's Special Interest Group on Inclusivity You’ll learn a lot if you ask someone why a problem is important. The first thing you’ll learn if you ask the question to many different people is that it often feels like they’re answering completely different questions. Understanding why that happens is … Continue reading Closing the Gap: Financial Hardship and Poor Mental Health in Higher education
I am drawn to clickbait articles about self-improvement. Especially ones about being smart (their appeal is a suitable reminder to myself that I'm not, in case my head swells too much). This morning I was reading one such. It had all the classics of a genre which tends to be populated by smart-ish people trying … Continue reading “I don’t know”: Intellectual Humility and power imbalance when Dunning Kruger meets the Prisoner’s Dilemma
There's a line in Citizen Kane, "It's no trick to make a lot of money if all you want is to make a lot of money" that captures something fundamental about being human. Any goal is very much easier to achieve it's your only goal...But being human almost always means having more than one goal. … Continue reading One Thing Relentlessly: Why Humans Always Fail
Many of us have heard of the sunk cost fallacy. Many of those of us who have heard of it know that it describes something bad. So why do so many of us still talk as though we either haven't heard of it, or don't realise it's bad (hint: the answer is, itself, an example … Continue reading Art, Extreme Sports and the Sunk Cost Fallacy
Finding a niche is the key to maximising your impact in the world. But the fact it is a niche is also the biggest barrier to creating that impact. It may be that, as Peter Thiel says about start-ups in Zero to One, fields that would make the world better are not distributed in the … Continue reading You’ve Found a Niche: What Now?
Dominic Cummings has, you would think, got his wish at last. ARIA (Advanced Research and Invention Agency) is about to launch, with £10bn+ being pumped into it. Of course, things being as they are, this is everything (D)ARPA, which gave us TOR and the internet, is not. Even the person who named it couldn't help … Continue reading Butterfly’s ARIA
After thinking a little a couple of weeks ago about what shared work spaces after Covid might look like, I wanted to make some notes about what our individual work within organisations might be like. All of these thoughts ultimately feed my vision for Rogue Interrobang, and for my own work. But this is also … Continue reading How To Make Work Work
My day job is with the University of Oxford, working in the administration. Two recent developments have shone a light on what in retrospect, is a fundamental truth about organisations that should have been obvious to me long since: The excellence of an organisation is not dependent on the excellence of its parts. There are … Continue reading Misunderstanding Excellence: relating the parts to the whole
10 books everyone who wants to build a better world should read.