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Ian Leslie is a writer, author of CURIOUS: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It, and writer/presenter of BBC R4's Before They Were Famous.
The B-side that sparked Elton John's rise to global fame uncovers the paradox at the heart of audience taste and the power of the "almost normal".
From how a zip works to Brexit, we often pretend we understand complex problems. But simplism has become a doctrine – and it is ruining our politics.
When we rely on machines, they resist us.
Perhaps there were relatively few hoarders in the past because not many could afford the space. These days, everyone with broadband is a potential hoarder.
The social network makes MPs do their jobs differently: they commit to views more hastily, burn relationships and shun nuance.
The problem is not “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)”, as Bruce Springsteen put it, but the opposite: there is too much on.
It’s only when thoughts are allowed to wander that they become interesting.
Since the washing machine and the dishwasher, engineers have had a hard time realising the perennial dream of a “smart home”
We knew her name, the number of times her services had been engaged, and of a few short testimonials, apparently from real people, though who knows?
The technology benefits everyone, which then erodes the advantage of controlled thinking – for instance, by the over-consumption of food.