Odds and Ends of History

Odds and Ends of History critically examines current socio-political narratives, technological impacts, and policy decisions with a focus on debunking popular misconceptions. It explores themes like the misalignment between public image and policy impact, the necessity of pragmatic approaches to climate change, and the potential of emerging technologies to reshape societal norms.

Political Commentary Technology Impact and Safety Climate Change and Environmental Policy Media Literacy and Journalism Public Transportation Systems Urban Development and Policy Economic Policy and Innovation

The hottest Substack posts of Odds and Ends of History

And their main takeaways
2077 implied HN points β€’ 12 Feb 24
  1. AI technology, like the one used in TfL's Tube Station experiment, is rapidly changing and being implemented in various sectors.
  2. AI cameras at stations can have a wide range of uses, from enhancing security to improving passenger welfare and gathering statistical data.
  3. While AI technology offers numerous benefits, there are also concerns about privacy, surveillance, and potential misuse of the technology.
938 implied HN points β€’ 14 Feb 24
  1. The Postcode Address File (PAF) is a critical database of postal addresses in the UK, owned by Royal Mail and requires expensive licensing fees for access.
  2. An amendment proposed in the House of Lords aims to make UK address data freely available for public use, potentially liberating the PAF.
  3. Individuals are encouraged to reach out to House of Lords members to support the amendment, as it moves through the legislative process towards potential implementation.
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737 implied HN points β€’ 05 Feb 24
  1. Newsnight has faced a decline in viewers and budget cuts over the years.
  2. The show is undergoing changes with a reduced runtime and shift towards interviews and debates.
  3. Suggestions are made on how to improve Newsnight's situation and avoid irrelevance.
1541 implied HN points β€’ 19 Jan 24
  1. There's a built-in technology in cars for safer driving that's not being utilized properly.
  2. The eCall system can connect drivers to emergency services with just a press of a button, providing important data like location and car details.
  3. The potential of eCall data to optimize emergency response and improve road safety is hindered by lack of integration among different emergency service systems.
2010 implied HN points β€’ 22 Jun 23
  1. New Statesman Man is a character who is well-educated and politically engaged, but tends to focus more on image and status than actual ideas or beliefs.
  2. He is critical of capitalism and advocates for degrowth, but has a smug attitude and lacks concrete solutions for improving the lives of actual poor people.
  3. Despite claiming to be focused on materialism, New Statesman Man's actions and beliefs often betray a disconnect from the reality of poverty and inequality.
804 implied HN points β€’ 01 Aug 23
  1. The author is considering launching a paid tier on Substack to support their writing.
  2. They have calculated that converting a small percentage of their subscribers could make it financially viable.
  3. If the paid tier is launched, the author plans to alternate free and paid content and provide additional posts for subscribers.
670 implied HN points β€’ 04 Jul 23
  1. Labour should make the selfish case for foreign aid to appeal to people's self-interest and make it more politically viable.
  2. Talking about foreign aid in terms of soft power and global stability can help reframe its purpose and importance.
  3. Addressing corruption in foreign aid should focus on improving practices rather than using it as an argument against aid altogether.
1072 implied HN points β€’ 17 Apr 23
  1. E-scooters can help reduce car usage and congestion in cities due to their compact design and ability to take up less space.
  2. Legalizing e-scooters can lead to positive downstream consequences, such as reducing car dependence, reshaping urban geography, and creating a more sustainable environment.
  3. Regulating e-scooters through legalization can improve safety standards, encourage responsible riding behavior, and prompt the development of infrastructure to accommodate different modes of transportation.
938 implied HN points β€’ 27 Mar 23
  1. Activists should consider making fighting climate change a right-wing cause to widen the support base.
  2. Framing climate change without linking it to other political issues could make it easier to build broader support.
  3. Reaching out to right-wing individuals and groups by reframing climate change on terms they value could help in gaining more support for climate action.
603 implied HN points β€’ 30 May 23
  1. The writer disagrees with Twitter's transport experts about driverless buses and thinks they could revolutionize transport.
  2. Autonomous buses could lead to cheaper, more efficient public transportation and help reduce carbon emissions.
  3. The potential of autonomous buses lies in making public transport more convenient, increasing capacity, and reducing the need for private vehicles.