Highlights

From the geeks who took over poker to the nuclear safety experts who want to prevent the next banking meltdown, these are my favourite long-form articles.

Why big companies squander brilliant ideas

J F C Fuller did not invent the tank. That distinction should probably fall to E L de Mole, an Australian who approached the British war office in 1912 with a design that was — in the words of historians Kenneth Macksey and John Batchelor — “so convincingly similar to...

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What We Get Wrong About Technology

Blade Runner (1982) is a magnificent film, but there’s something odd about it. The heroine, Rachael, seems to be a beautiful young woman. In reality, she’s a piece of technology — an organic robot designed by the Tyrell Corporation. She has a lifelike mind, imbued...

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The Problem With Facts

  1. Just before Christmas 1953, the bosses of America’s leading tobacco companies met John Hill, the founder and chief executive of one of America’s leading public relations firms, Hill & Knowlton. Despite the impressive surroundings — the Plaza Hotel,...

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What makes the perfect office?

In 1923, the father of modern architecture, Le Corbusier, was commissioned by a French industrialist to design some homes for workers in his factory near Bordeaux. Le Corbusier duly delivered brightly-hued concrete blocks of pure modernism. The humble factory workers...

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How Politicians Poisoned Statistics

We have more data — and the tools to analyse and share them — than ever before. So why is the truth so hard to pin down? In January 2015, a few months before the British general election, a proud newspaper resigned itself to the view that little good could come from...

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