My greatest pet peeve is hypocrisy, I simply cannot stand a hypocrite. My greatest pet peeve in academia comes in two parts however. The first hatred burns for those who use numbers, charts, and general statistical methods, and then claim to have shown some great truth when in fact all they have shown is that they can move lines around on a page. A sure fire way to make an enemy of me for life however is much more insidious than playing with bar charts, it is in the construction of a straw man.
February has been a busy month, with the first week starting off with a letter in The Times from Universities UK (UUK) warning against Labour’s proposed policy of capping undergraduate tuition fees in England from £9,000 to £6,000. Then after a bit of a fracas on tax avoidance, and Boots boss bashing in the middle, we’ve now come back full circle to Labour’s tuition fees policy as Lord Mandelson cautioned Labour to wait until after the General Election before making a commitment on tuition fees. Continue reading
We often look at technology as either a solution to problems that we already have, or as offering us some extra enjoyment from direct interaction. When it comes to Energy Storage however we need to look at it as something else entirely. Energy storage devices have the most potential if they are used as a pre-emptive measure. Not only will their presence on the national grid allow for more efficient use of energy we currently have, but it will encourage the growth of renewable energy generation and forestall problems of the unpredictability inflicted on the grid by this growth. This is not technology solving problems we don’t want, this is technology pre-empting problems from other technologies which we do want.