Friday, 10 July 2015

Global Stamp Collecting

When the history of the early twenty first century comes to be written, one creative form will be seen to have dominated this fledgling millennium above all others: the creation and curation of lists. 
Future generations, clothed entirely in technical fibre and accessorising implausible eyewear, will laugh in disbelief at our obsession with comparing and ranking one thing against another. 

They'll hold up crumbling back copies of the Independent and marvel at the way it advised, straight-faced, on the '11 best pouffes', the '17 best scented candles', and the '7 best Welsh interiors'. They'll access the TripAdvisor archive to giggle at the rank of 117 restaurants in Hounslow and the top-rated visitor attraction in Lowestoft (the East Anglia Transport Museum, since you ask).

But those bright young future people will save their loudest laugh for global league tables of universities. Whilst comparing pouffes, candles and Welsh interiors is relatively harmless, and the effect of crowning the East Anglia Transport Museum the best place to go in the wider Lowestoft region is somewhat localised, global league tables deliver a double whammy of being both corrosive and pointless.

Friday, 26 June 2015

RCUK Announces Major Breakthrough in 'Substance Free Strategy'

Groundbreaking 'tri-breast' logo.

RCUK, the umbrella organisation for the UK's Research Councils, announced a major breakthrough in substance-free strategic development today.

In a hastily convened press conference the Chair of RCUK, Prof Rick Rylance, explained the breakthrough.

'Researchers and policy makers have been working for decades, if not centuries, on this problem,' gushed Rylance. 'Is it possible to make policy announcements that are completely without any substance whatsoever? Last night our researchers identified that this was, indeed, the case.'