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January 2012

Is there balm in Giliad?

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 24, 2012  · 

I've always argued that that Margaret Attwood's The Handmaid's Tale should be added to the cannon of key dystopian novels. Traditionally there are three: Brave New World, 1984 and Darkness at Noon. Of which I think the Koestler is the most powerful , although the least known. All of them really require knowledge of the period in which they were written to really understand them but they retain relevance with that knowledge.

In contrast Attwood's dark tale remains ever present in its topicality. It tells the story of a right wing...

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Rose tinting

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 23, 2012  · 

Today I met up with our current guest blogger Iwan Jenkins at the Anchor Inn and following a good lunch we both went to the final pool game of Heineken Cup in Cardiff. Multiple conversations took place and one came back to an old theme of mine, namely the importance of working in the present, rather than trying to map out a route to some ideal future. The context in which this came up was a recent gathering in Stoos, which attempted to replicate the famous Snowbird event that created Agile, but this time for management. I had an...

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Half way down the Thames

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 22, 2012  · 

We passed the half way mark today on our journey from the source to the mouth of the Thames. We won't know the exact half way point until we complete as there are northern and southerly options within London itself that effect the overall length. However somewhere between Pangbourne and Shiplake we reached that milestone - I set it at Tilehurst to give us a notional transition point. I must admit to some annoyance with the intransigence of local landowners which have resulted in several on-road diversions from the River itself. The...

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Beyond reasonable doubt

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 21, 2012  · 

It's not often that I agree with Richard Dawkins, but his article in today's New Statesman on "reasonable doubt" is interesting. He speculates that in a two jury system you would not get a coincidence of verdict and that in consequence the assumption of "beyond reasonable doubt" cannot be sustained in consequence. Now running a two jury experiment over a series of trials and seeing what happens would be an interesting experiment. He suggests that running a parallel experiment with two judges might produce a better correlation. The...

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Architecture not application: an opportunity

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 19, 2012  ·  Intranet Technologies, Knowledge Management, Innovation, News

Around two decades ago I was arguing that object orientation was not just a way of creating reusable code, but was a more profound shift to enabling architectures that could combine people and technology in evolving systems. The first part was generally accepted, the second more controversial. I then seemed, in the words of Mark 1:3 to be The voice of one crying in the wilderness. Mind you I have been there a few times before and plan frequent visits in the future.

Around a decade later having left IBM I sketched out a text based...

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Chronology