John J Kelly

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Theresa May’s Tories pay £1.5 billion ransom to Loyalist extremists in return for fifteen minutes of infamy

June 26, 2017

Theresa May’s Zombie Tories have just paid a £1.5 billion ransom – £1 billion with £500 million on the side, if you believe the Tory media – to ensure the support of 10 Ulster DUP MPs. One reason the ‘deal’ took so long to finalise was that the Creationist, gay-hating, womens’ rights denying Clockwork Orangemen don’t work at the weekends on religious grounds. Their founder, the self-anointed ‘Rev. Dr.’ Ian Paisley made the preacher in ‘Night of the Hunter’ look positively benign before becoming Mr. Smiley after his mouth was... More

Sultan Erdogan sets new (low) standards of Authoritarianism

January 21, 2016

Turkey’s military has been escalating vicious attacks against the Kurdish population under the pretext of fighting ISIS. Last week, a petition of condemnation was circulated by 1,200 Turkish academics calling themselves “Academicians for Peace.” President Erdoğan then issued a tirade against intellectuals, adopting what Noam Chomsky referred to in an email to the undersigned as “the George W. Bush line: you’re with me or you’re with the terrorists."

More women need mobile phones in emerging economies

March 5, 2014

Julia Hobsbawm, a Professor of Networking no less, invited me to the Connected Women Summit, where I expected to find a bunch of high powered women discussing how to become even more so. There were plenty of those, but the conference had absolutely nothing to do with Londonistas and everything to do with helping women in the emerging world. Anyone who has travelled in India, Anatolia, Africa and South Asia knows that there is no lack of people with handsets glued to their ears, but there are 300 million fewer women with mobile... More

How to rescue your waterlogged iPhone

February 19, 2014

Last weekend I fell in the canal with my iPhone in the back pocket of my jeans. We'll cut quickly to the lessons learned. These are: 1. Don't try and rescue someone else who has slipped off the muddy towpath unless you are certain that you won't do the same. The old(er) guy who fell in trying to stop his Bill Sykes bull terrier from worrying the swans was deceptively heavy, panicky and I am not as strong or agile as I imagined. The river/canal bank is deceptively treacherous at... More

I wandered Lonely as a Cloud, too fat to see my feet

February 10, 2014

Copeland in West Cumbria is the fattest local authority area in England, according to government data. The borough has 75.9% of its population classed as overweight or obese. Overall, 63.8% of adults in England have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or over – a figure of between 18.5 and 24.9 is deemed healthy for an adult, as noted by AskTen. According to scientists at ThusMagazine, possible reasons include Kendal Mint Cake, Cumberland sausages, Cornettos and Vimto. Other causes may include day time television, Lidl, less fell running, fewer romantic... More

When Market Research Art meets Big Data Science

February 3, 2014

In the Dark Ages, before ‘click if you like,’ the intentions of a nation were predicted by nth samples of, say, 1014 correctly profiled individuals. Tiny focus groups would lend insights as to whether a purple wrapper would sell a chocolate bar better than a red one. Quite often the pollsters got it right. Now, with access to massive sample sets, Big Data miners argue we are drawing ever closer to the Age of Infallibility, at least as far as predicting what people are likely to want, think and do. A... More

Big Data, the Brave New World After Tim Berners-Lee

Karl Marx viewed the 1849 Gold Rush, which caused the largest land migration in America’s history, as important as the discovery of America itself. He was right, but in ways he could not have imagined. The vast majority of goldbugs found nothing except California, but gave the world Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Motion pictures and TV gave seeming substance to the American Way, rewrote history and sold the American Dream as an aspiration and fact to the US and to the rest. Later, Silicon Valley gave substance to the digital economy, which now gives its... More

Democracy, what democracy?

January 5, 2014

“A democracy cannot survive as a permanent form of government. It can last only until its citizens discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority (who vote) will vote for those candidates promising the greatest benefits from the public purse, with the result that a democracy will always collapse from loose fiscal policies, always followed by a dictatorship.” Lord Thomas MacCauley 1857 Whenever you hear politicians or pundits use the word ‘democracy’ you can be almost sure that they mean ‘representative... More