Category Archives: Business

On the Road (original scroll edition) by Jack Kerouac: paper versus oblivion

What was Kerouac trying to do by typing this early version of his classic novel on 120 feet of long strips of paper joined together with tape? How and why does this strange writing technique change what we feel about … Continue reading

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‘Brands, stock markets and traffic are the wilderness of today …’

‘Nature used to be an unpredictable place of mystery … Now, man-made cultural constructions are becoming increasingly autonomous and slipping out of our control. ‘Wild systems such as brands, stock markets and traffic are the wilderness of today. Nature has become culture and … Continue reading

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Science, publishing and writing style

Two examples of each today, and some ideas about outreach, power and sustainability: 1. Cambridge, UK,  home of Propagandum Towers and a university or two, every year hosts an excellent science festival. For two weeks thousands of people teaching and learning heavy-duty … Continue reading

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The mystery of the covered-up book cover …

Wandering into my local bookshop the other day, I was shocked to see this: W – as some people say in cyberspace – TF? What’s going on here? How can you buy a book if you can’t read what it … Continue reading

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‘Only superficial people do not judge by appearances’: type, design and the spirit of the age #2

What do commercial or designed things tell us about the age we live in? And how do they do this? Writers and artists have brilliantly created a reality distortion field where we expect them to give us the benefit of … Continue reading

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‘Only superficial people do not judge by appearances’: type, design and the spirit of the age #1

Wandering round Hereford Cathedral last week during a welcome few days away from Propagandum Towers, I found a display case of fine ancient books. They weren’t hidden in any way, but it wasn’t obvious what these books do for the … Continue reading

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Leonardo da Vinci: Philosopher and scientist? #1

Benvenuto Cellini was a virtuoso Renaissance goldsmith, sculptor and wildly indiscreet autobiographer. Yet he soberly recorded King François I of France as saying ‘there had never been born another man in the world who knew as much as Leonardo, not so … Continue reading

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Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist (exhibition review) #2

This excellent exhibition (in the Queen’s Gallery, London) has some fascinatingly different stories to tell of Leonardo’s extraordinary anatomical sketches. We can have our interpretations on the surface or we can dig for them, depending on whether we like our versions … Continue reading

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Tales from synaesthetic oceans: shampoo, Rimbaud and the cult of the LP sleeve

What do you think about this? [Product name] has fresh notes of bergamot and lime, a spicy sensual heart of poivre, beechwood and oakmoss, enhanced with base notes of sandalwood, amber and vetiver. It’s on a bottle of shampoo. For … Continue reading

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What is synaesthesia? Why is it important?

Crikey – the online Random House dictionary says synaesthesia (synesthesia in more search-friendly US English) ‘is a sensation produced in one modality when a stimulus is applied to another modality, as when the hearing of a certain sound induces the visualization … Continue reading

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