Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Crap towns: British humour?

On my usual pre-travel preparations to somewhere that I’ve never been before, I thought I’d search the Toronto Public Library for some tour books on the UK. I was intrigued by the title Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places To Live In The UK, published by The Idler.

I’m scheduled to fly from Helsinki into Manchester on the morning of May 6. My friend Martin will be flying from Madrid to Manchester on the evening before, and will stay overnight in an airport hotel. The plan is for Martin to meeting me in the airport arrivals area, and we’ll take the train down to his, in Nottingham. I haven’t been anywhere in the UK except for London, so I asked Martin if there was anything worth seeing in Manchester. His reply was that he thought Manchester was “pretty grim”.

Without a frame of reference, I note that Manchester is listed on the Crap Towns list. Moreover, the comments on Hull aren’t too positive, either. In fact, the publication of the book was noted by the BBC in 2003, provoking some response from Hull as the place selected at the worst on the list. It’s possible that impressions on Hull are outdated — there seems to have been a lot of progress over the past 10 years — or else the development has been localized to the tourist areas. In either case, an update of the list in 2004 moved Hull from the position as worst to become the 19th. Manchester wasn’t on the 2003 list, but made position 40 on the 2004 list.

I take these ratings with a grain of salt, because it seems that only the British would write a book where they would publicize the worst. I assume that this has something to do with their sense of humour. Browsing the list some more, I did note one other place that both Diana and I have been: Slough. We used some frequent stay points, some years ago, for a week at the Slough/Windsor Marriott, which was the nearest hotel available to London when we tried to book. Most days, we would take the shuttle bus from the hotel to Heathrow, and catch the tube for an hour to ride into central London. We did go into Slough one day, to catch a train for a day at Oxford. It wasn’t a bad experience, probably just unremarkable.
I’m visiting the UK to visit at the University of Hull Business School, not primarily for tourism. The university appears to be away from the Hull, i.e. away from the harbour, which may mean something or nothing at all. As an urbanist, I’m interested in cities, both good and bad. Of course, I don’t have to live permanently in any of these places!

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on Coevolving

    • How do Systems Changes become natural practice?
      The fourth of four lectures for the Systemic Design course at OCADU SFI focused on (a) situated practice + history-making (reframing disclosing new worlds), and on (b) commitments and the language-action perspective (applying conversations for action).
    • Whom, when + where do Systems Changes situate?
      The third of four lectures for the Systemic Design course at OCADU covered value(s), the science of service systems, and the socio-technical systems perspective.
    • Why (Intervene in) Systems Changes?
      A lecture on ecological systems for the OCADU SFI master's program opened up opportunities to discuss wei and wuwei, and get beyond an anthropocentric perspective the Canadian beaver in its habitat.
    • Are Systems Changes Different from System + Change?
      The second session of the Systemic Design course in the OCADU SFI master's program was an opportunity to share the current state of knowledge on Systems Change, in light of recent interest in Systems Change and Theory of Change.
    • Ecology and Economy: Systems Changes Ahead?
      A workshop with David L. Hawk at the CANSEE meeting in May 2019 led to an invitation to publish an article, "Ecology and Economy: Systems Changes Ahead?" in WEI Magazine.
    • Open Learning Commons, with the Digital Life Collective
      Questions about governance of online social communities led to launching on the Open Learning Commons and the Digital Life Collective, while issues of content moderation on a Facebook Group has reignited.
  • RSS on Media Queue

  • RSS on Ing Brief

    • Plans as resources for action (Suchman, 1988)
      Two ways of thinking about practice put (i) “plans as determinants of action”, and (ii) “plans as resources for action”. The latter has become a convention, particularly through research into Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW). While the more durable explanation appears the Suchman (1987) book (specifically section “8.2 Plans as […]
    • The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago
      Does “the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago and the second best time is now” date back further than 1988? It is time to look long and hard at the value of the urban forest and create the broad-based efforts — in research, funding and citizen participation — needed to improve […]
    • 2019/11/05 13:15 “Barriers to Data Science Adoption: Why Existing Frameworks Aren’t Working”, Workshop at CASCON-Evoke, Markham, Ontario
      Workshop led by @RohanAlexander and @prof_lyons at #CASCONxEvoke on "Barriers to Data Science Adoption: Why Existing Frameworks Aren't Working". For discussion purposes the challenges are grouped within three themes: regulatory; investment; and workforce.
    • Own opinion, but not facts
      “You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts” by #DanielPatrickMoynihan is predated on @Freakonomics by #BernardMBaruch 1950 “Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts”. Source: “There Are Opinions, And Then There Are Facts” | Fred Shapiro […]
    • R programming is from S, influenced by APL
      History of data science tools has evolved to #rstats of the 1990s, from the S-Language at Bell Labs in the 1970s, and the
    • Bullshit, Politics, and the Democratic Power of Satire | Paul Babbitt | 2013
      Satire can be an antidote, says Prof. #PaulBabbitt @muleriders , to #bullshit (c.f. rhetoric; hypocrisy; crocodile tears; propaganda; intellectual dishonesty; politeness, etiquette and civility; commonsense and conventional wisdom; symbolic votes; platitudes and valence issues).
  • Meta

  • Translate

  • 
  • moments. daviding.com

    Random selections from the past year
  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal