Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-05-14 - 7:13 a.m.

I met up with Nick who has just joined the firm from Toyota. We have a joint remit from the boss and we spent some time on it earlier in the week. Today we reviewed the picture that had emerged from the earlier meeting and dug deeper on some of the specifics which Nick thought needed more thought. We went into different pictures of the innovation process – especially the Massachusetts pattern,

When I got into the office I put together some info on the level of RnD spend in the three main global automotive centres – which suggested surprisingly that the spend in Europe was the highest of the three last year. If there is more trade in Europe and more RnD spend then this is a good recipe for success. This afternoon I found some data which qualified that rather. It came from the same place and attempted to quantify some RnD outputs – and this suggested that the Americas and Japan/Asia are more effective in transforming RnD budgets into innovation outputs. This quite dramatic but the conclusion depends a lot on the method used to assess the outputs,

I hear on R4 that someone has managed to record the sound of an individual cell There is some debate over how you can be sure which cell has been recorded..

I must get a haircut – this is one of a number of things that I can t quite get sorted. I need to get my repaired Yamaha studio amp.

I am in the process of collecting scenario material. Nick Scheele who is head of Ford ran an exercise two or so years ago which set out some very clear suggestions for how the manufacturing sector in the Uk should ensure that it is thriving in the year 2O2O. This represents an alternative to the pessimistic base case which Warwick university have developed. The Germans have also produced a vision of how they believe that manufacturing should develop – it has a much stronger technical emphasis whereas the Scheele vision is more about workforce development. I also remembered a report I got in Milan from the European machine tool industry which is pretty imaginative about the next 2O years.

Shifting domains – as I feel my way towards a new a configuration – I have started running pieces on the old Estcom PC – although it a very early Pentium machine it will run a sequencer . I like the soundcard and it will also run a classic Roland softsynth. I played an arrangement of one of Webern’s six Bagatelles in a loop on the old machine and and then juxtaposed various events against it. I need to leave the result for a bit – I understand from experience that it takes ages to work out what the next artistic step should be. I also played the last conventional piece I did which is rather Adams like through the Roland and began to think about how the new vocabulary could be deployed on it. I played that piece repeatedly to re enagage myself with it.

I came across a good paragraph about Deleuze and Shakespeare. Crudely speaking DL seeks to disrupt history – and he finds that Shakes has been there before him in the history plays. DL’s interpretation is that in his treatment of kingship Shakes interferes with the accepted idea of order and sequence in a monarchical system, making individual aspiration, chance and violence much more salient. This seems to be the general pattern that DL wants to see in art – to overstate the point – what Shakes did to the narrative of kingship, the Absex did to the narrative of abstraction or the Mins did to the narrative of the Absex.

I have been reading through the collected Totton poems – narrative disruption is a feature there too. But I am beginning to sense a world that they emanate from – its hard to describe this. In my imagination they are windows on some sort of culture – a way that people relate and develop their lives. I am just getting to the point where I can begin to ask questions about that world. When did I first become aware of it? Has my attitude to it changed over the years?

I do very much enjoy the poems where the sense is more remote and the construction more fragmentary. This is not because I am especially able to unlock the mystery of the poems in terms of sense. Its rather that I just savour the mystery.

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