Archive for January, 2015

How the customer voice has been heard in the water sector (2)

January 24th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

This week, I spent a day in Birmingham attending a “Utility Week” conference on customer service in the water sector. I was the last speaker in a roster of 15. I began by explaining how the voice of the consumer in regulated industries has been institutionalised in three different ways and then set out how […]

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Why do so many more women than men believe in God and an afterlife?

January 24th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

“Professor David Voas seems wise indeed. The population studies expert has analysed responses to a survey of 9,000 British people and found a humongous gender gap in attitudes to God, religion and life after death. A chunky 54% of men say they are atheists or agnostics, while only 34% of women hold similar views. An […]

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How the customer voice has been heard in the water sector (1)

January 23rd, 2015 by Roger Darlington

The monthly magazine “The Water Report” has produced a very comprehensive and fair assessment of the role of Customer Challenge Groups in the last three years in the price review process conducted by the regulator Ofwat which has recently concluded. Four CCG chairs were interviewed for the feature including me as the Chair for the […]

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British general election (4): how a chocolate soldier has riden to the rescue of the Centre-Left

January 22nd, 2015 by Roger Darlington

“Britain stands on the edge of a cliff with the general election only 105 days away. Will we vote Tory or Ukip for Euro referendum chaos, lasting two years at least and putting thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and our long-term peace and security at risk? Or will Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green and all […]

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Why almost half of American children live in or near poverty

January 20th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

“Fifty years ago, when Lyndon Johnson declared a “war on poverty,” most of the poor didn’t work. They were too old or infirm, or they couldn’t find jobs. Today, most of America’s poor do work – “welfare reforms” starting in the 1990s have required them to work as a condition of receiving any benefits. But […]

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When China ruled the waves

January 19th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

Monday evenings now find me on a new course at London’s City Lit college. The course of six evening lectures by Dr Kevin Manton is entitled “China: Re-emergecne Of A Superpower”. The first lecture last week was on “The Ming dynasty and changes in East Asia”. In global terms, the most outstanding feature of the […]

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Why the modern world is bad for your brain

January 18th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

“Our brains are busier than ever before. We’re assaulted with facts, pseudo facts, jibber-jabber, and rumour, all posing as information. Trying to figure out what you need to know and what you can ignore is exhausting. At the same time, we are all doing more. Thirty years ago, travel agents made our airline and rail […]

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How do you quantify “information overload”?

January 18th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

“We really are living in an age of information overload. Google estimates that there are 300 exabytes (300 followed by 18 zeros) of human-made information in the world today. Only four years ago there were just 30 exabytes. We’ve created more information in the past few years than in all of human history before us. […]

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If multitasking is scrambling our brains, what is the solution to information overload and the attention problems that it causes?

January 18th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

“We need to blinker ourselves, to better monitor our attentional focus. Enforced periods of no email or internet to allow us to sustain concentration have been shown to be tremendously helpful. And breaks – even a 15-minute break every two or three hours – make us more productive in the long run. Also, prioritising tasks […]

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How can afternoon naps help our brains to work more efficiently?

January 18th, 2015 by Roger Darlington

“The brain has an attentional mode called the “mind wandering mode” that was only recently identified. This is when thoughts move seamlessly from one to another, often to unrelated thoughts, without you controlling where they go. This brain state acts as a neural reset button, allowing us to come back to our work with a […]

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