27th January 2011 Becoming a Ghost

Daniel Bell died this week. He was 91. He wrote (amongst other books) The com­ing of post-industrial soci­ety: a ven­ture in social fore­cast­ing [1] (1973), where he fore­saw a change to the social struc­ture of the US, and com­pa­ra­ble soci­eties. Indus­trial pro­duc­tion will mat­ter less than ser­vice and knowl­edge indus­tries; man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­duc­tion work will decline…

17th January 2011 Straight Lines

These days, when I travel from Brad­ford to Colch­ester, I change at Peter­bor­ough onto the slow National Express East Anglia ser­vice through Ely, Whit­tle­sea, March, Stow­mar­ket, Diss and Ipswich. It’s an alien land­scape to me; no moor­land, no dry stone walls, no curves, it has nei­ther the soft­ness nor the drama or the green of…

9th January 2011 Army Men: discipline and escape

New­cas­tle He left school at 16. Left before he was thrown out, that’s how it felt. Out, and straight to the dole office. Twenty years ear­lier and he’d have gone up to the ship­yards, with his Dad. Twenty years after and it’d be the call cen­tres, where his sis­ter is now. But it was 1992,…

3rd January 2011 Working in the Family Tradition

When I first came to the caffè as a child, I thought it was a fan­tas­tic place!’ Davide recounts. ‘There were sweet jars on the bar, like those ones in the cup­board now, and ice-cream just over there where that counter is…’ Forty years on, Davide is run­ning the place. He’s the third gen­er­a­tion of…