Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-11-02 - 11:41 a.m.

I have joined the gold service on diary-land which means I get stats about whether anyone is reading anything here. The first thing the stats teach is that the way to get readers is to write about a very wide range of different subjects - including canals, lines from songs, harmony, loads of different artists etc. Despite that, the main thing to report since the last entry is even more on the Learning Grid - including the eruption of gender. I didnít really want to go there as the saying is, but once I started I could not stop and in fact there is a definite gender effect which tends to intensify some of the most interesting observations.

I also put that Havard article up plus the research strategy for something called the British Educational Communications Technology Agency who Capt P seems to have penetrated just recently. I stumbled into a big issue thereby about how ICT - which impacts on everything more and more - relates to other technologies. This is mostly chargeable time and so I mustnít grumble and indeed there is no one right answer. The two most profitable car firms - Toyota and BMW have completely different approaches.

Stephen sent through some stuff about the Manufacturing Skills Academy and as they say the plot thickened. In fact the thickening intensified with an invitation to Pembroke College Oxford for the next ESRC policy seminar in three weeks time - I know one of the two presenters quite well and I made a resolution to attend and not to misbehave. I have something of a reputation with her senior management to live down.

Last night I caught a glimpse of Mars as promised and I celebrated this with a Tesco Value Christmas Pudding. James mailed saying that he had regretfully let slip my involvement certain singer-songwriters while I was at the College and could I send some details for his fellow students - and I did. Clearly this is an embarrassment. I had sent him details of a R4 programme about National Servicemen learning Russian in Bodmin and having their lives changed as a result eg D H Thomas, M Frayn .

I am quite enjoying the conversation with Carsten. In fact the idea appeared about the transition from the flux of time as experience and the solidity of space-time as structure. At some point (a few of ) oneís memories may be fished out of the flux and get lodged in the solidity which of course changes them - and the way that one narrates them. Last yearís holiday is floating away downstream on the river of time. But under certain circs it could get frozen into a glacier of space-time.

Talking to Carsten is making me think about the practice of flute with guitar - that and the thing I did with Gilbert during my visit to Brussels. I had put the whole idea of that kind of playing at the back of my mind - let it get frozen in the glacier. There is quite a strong sense in which I donít like the sound of the flute - there is a good programme on BBC 6 at the weekend that trawls the odder sound archives of the 70s and 80s. I heard some French progressive flautist on Sunday and although he has a reputation of sorts I really dis-enjoyed the track - basically it sounded feeble. But perhaps this is not inevitable.

I looked up the next Les Cousins event - there are two on 6 and 7 December which clash with our strategic Euro-pitch in Derby. Iíll have to bunk off early on the 7th and get down to Oxford for one of the concerts. On the 4th Dave Douglas is being treated as the honored visiting composer by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Society which strikes me as another must-attend event. The week before that is the Pembroke prank plus three days later a stupendous SQ-fest in Wolverhampton involving Tippet no 4, Cage in 4 parts, Ligeti and Berio. Can I cope?

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