I’ve written often about the concerns I have with research techniques. This column was inspired by my attendance at a focus group. I was just asked to attend some focus groups and I was reminded of the dozen or so reasons I don’t like them. First, rich and busy people usually won’t […]
I have many concerns about the quality of research conducted in political campaigns, by those governing and by industrialists. I even see those in the not-for-profit sector spending precious money on unproductive research. “Original” research in universities is often only conducted at the doctoral level. Research that is done often involves relatively unproductive statistical […]
Competitive advantage can be achieved in a political campaign through the better use of a blackboard and chalk, more phone lines for the phone bank, more volunteerdrivers or better use of new technology. We’re never sure which technological wave will stick and which one will affect the outcome of a particular campaign. I speculated about such […]
We often assume the police, fire, EMS, mayor, and other first responders are fulfilling their duties to keep us safe. But according to my studies of plans from the top 100 English-speaking cities in the world, this isn’t always the case. Many of our cities are in danger from their own emergency plans […]
Every now and then the topic of earthquakes comes up in Vancouver. The most recent event was the 4.8 quake on 29 December, 2015. I have worked on the topic of earthquakes for federal authorities for some years and continue to follow the issue. Vancouver’s emergency planning documents put the risk of an earthquake […]
My witty high school teacher used to ask questions in class. How many here want a particular lesson—raise your hands. How many here will be attending the event Friday afternoon—raise your hands, and so on. Then came the wit. “If anyone is not here, please raise your hand.” Equally nutty is the use of devices […]
In 1967 Singer/Songwriter Scott MacKenzie (Philip Wallach Blondheim) gave some advice that may still hold. “If you’re going to San Francisco/Be sure to wear/Some flowers in your hair.” I did go, several times. I dined at the Cliff House, Fisherman’s Wharf, and put a quarter in the human jukebox. The human jukebox occupied a […]
Politics: Winston Churchill becomes British Prime Minister (1940). Politics: Ottawa sends its own ambassador to Washington (1920). Communications: The first telephone is installed in the White House (1877).
Politics: David Lewis is elected NDP leader (1971). Disaster: A tornado kills 143 people in the southern U.S. (1908). Communications: Victoria is connected to B.C. via cable and telegraph (1866).