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Let’s be clear about this - as a nation we’ve seen the pound plummet, racism and hate crime increase, our elected leaders display a lack of...er...leadership which would shame a tinpot dictator and yet the one thing we choose to throw our toys out of the pram about is the fact that we let a dozen kids into the country. TAKE A FCUKING BOW, BRITAIN!!
Anyway, welcome once again to Web Curios, which this week is slightly shorter than usual what with my basically not having quite as much time to read all of the web as I usually do (you can ACTUALLY blame the BBC for this, should you want to). On the plus side, though, that does mean that you’re getting this about an hour earlier than usual on a Friday so, you know, BE GRATEFUL.
Follow me, then, Dantes to my Virgil (I think, on reflection, that’s almost certainly the most hubristic and pretentious opening gambit I’ve ever essayed, so WELL DONE ME!), as we sink ever lower into the Stygian underbelly of the web and mine for webspaff - THIS, AS EVER, IS WEB CURIOS!
Pray God the wheels are coming off. I mean, he can’t possibly come back from this, can he? Although the impossibility of The Donald does mean that we’re going to have to start focusing on our very own clusterfcuk of politico-legislative incompetence, which it’s been sort of nice to ignore for a few months while all this has been going on.
Anyhow, there is a LOT to get through this week (when is there ever not? Digital Sisyphus, me) so let’s CRACK ON. Roll up your sleeves, lube up to the elbow and prepare to help me clear this week’s infoblockage - you may want to stand to the side, as the effluvial spray’s likely to be a gusher. THIS, AS EVER, IS WEB CURIOS!
(Oh, and if you didn't do it last week, please take the 3 minutes required to fill in the Imperica Reader Survey as we struggle to determine what the future ought to look like. THANKS!)
2016 is turning into one of the most politically explosive years in living memory. It is also the year that, if some pundits are to be believed, we lost our ability to even briefly consider an opinion that clashes with our own. In the wake of Brexit and amid the ruckus of the presidential election, it seems we are cutting ourselves off from dissenting voices online, preferring the company of likeminded people and consuming news from outlets whose sensibilities mirror ours.
What are universities for in the 21st Century? Where once the university library or lab was the privileged and protected site of scientific and cultural knowledge, we now live in the age of increasingly open access. In principle, anyone with an internet connection will eventually be able to access most of the world’s research knowledge. The barriers of entry to knowledge production and dissemination are coming down everywhere. Understanding these changes and devising effective open innovation strategies to boost the UK’s rapidly growing creative economy is a significant challenge not only for the UK, but for all countries which have entered the post-industrial stage of economic development.
Isn’t Tory Party Conference a heartwarming thing? There’s nothing like seeing a bunch of socially awkward oddities indulging in their peculiar interpretation of ‘fun’ whilst simultaneously working out exactly how hard they can get away with fcuking the country over the course of the coming 5 years. Thanks, Theresa! Thanks, Amber! Thanks, Jeremy! Thanks, all of you!
Actually, in fairness to the Tories, all Party Conferences are a weird and hideous experience. I used to have a job which for a few years required me to go to all three of the damn things, by which point I was basically a jaundiced mess who hadn’t seen a vegetable for the best part of a month; I recall the moment where I decided that I absolutely had to leave the lobbying industry, which happened at Labour Conference in 2005ish, when I found myself at 2am drunk and angry and alone in a Young Labour disco (no, really) watching a bunch of MPs and activists actually holding lighters in the air and singing along to Brian Cox’s 1997 electoral anthem ‘Things Can Only Get Better’. THAT IS THE SORT OF THING THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS AT PARTY CONFERENCES. They are awful, and generally full of awful people.
Anyway, blanket-slagging of the political classes aside, HOW ARE YOU? Good? Good! I have a favour to ask - could you possibly take 2 minutes (really, it is that short) to fill in the Imperica Reader Questionnaire? If you ever wanted the opportunity to STOP WEB CURIOS and make me give this up for good, THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO TELL ME. Don’t let me down now.
Right, onto the webspaff, arrayed before you like the bloody leavings of a faithful pet who doesn’t seem to fully understand why you’re not leaping for joy at the assortment of bloody viscera it’s just deposited at your feet - WELCOME ONCE AGAIN TO WEB CURIOS!
Skater clothing brand Supreme has launched a brick. Causing a queue outside of the brand's London store and sold out online, it's a brick with the Supreme logotype on top, and... nothing else. So, what's all the kerfuffle about?
Hey! Hey YOU! Want a hot fix of web? Want to feel the warm glow of soma-like euphoria as this week’s infospaff courses through you like so much Fentonyl through a dying man? OF COURSE YOU DO, that’s why you’re here! This week’s Curios is a touch shorter than normal, because REASONS, but I hope that those of you who attempt to chew through this edition of what I’m increasingly of the opinion is the information equivalent of the power bar - noone actually likes it, it probably contains more than you need, but it does a job of sorts - find what you need.
Christ, even by my standards that was a pretty tortuous opener. Sorry. Anyway, kids, settle down for more of the usual mix of links-and-prose, delivered in a manner which I’m pretty sure is akin to an aggressive infoenema - THAT’S RIGHT IT’S WEB CURIOS!
News that Google's self-driving test car has been involved in another crash has been met with some concern by the press. However, when one compares the number of automated transport journeys already taking place, and the number of accidents caused by human-controlled vehicles, one wonders what the fuss is about.