Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-05-06 - 7:10 a.m.

A document came through on the e-mail describing reactions to the latest spasm within my former employer. It seems that in the current climate of cutbacks within the Civil Sevice – prompted partly by Gordon Brown’s desire to outflank the Tories – the axe has fallen specially heavily on the DTI and within the department it has fallen especially heavily on the area that I used to work in. The bit I was forced to leave just under two years ago. My current boss commented to me that he expected I was glad to have a job with the firm rather than still trying make sense of the prolonged chaos back at the old place. Well yes – how true. It would be a bad idea to gloat and in quite a deep sense words fail me. When I first started working in the automotive area in the dept I thought the team was the most capable I had ever had. It really seems to be lions led by donkeys

I caught most of the final Reith lecture. I mailed Laurence about it. He phoned and I reminded him how much he has to do on GPR. He has been busy putting together pitches for awards for the first phase of the project at the MoD that he is on and he also has had to help start the second phase. We agreed to try and meet next week. Ben his son is about to pack up his Les Paul and fly off to meet the great US producer for the really big chance recording month.

I spent the first part of the day on some questions posed by kmbheartj. Whenever someone poses one of these questions I go off and start Googling and I always learn more than I bargained for. Today was no exception – and a provocative piece of research from the Leicester lot floated to the surface to blow the lid of the rhetoric of modern apprenticeships

Tonight its kippers balti with orange peppers and aubergine in cider with garlic. Sounds healthy doesn’t it!

I managed to blag myself a place on the next Manufuture gathering – hosted by the Fraunhofer Institute.Timing could be a bit awkward.

The big task today has been one I picked up on Friday – a reasoned set of premises to base some scenario work in support of Skills Agreement formulation. I started with the Mckinsey study of the difference between the French and the German auto industries in the second part of the 199Os which Teresa – my putative relative has lent me Its powerful stuff given that the French did so very well – but the German industry is so very big. The next step is the document I picked up in Yokohama three years ago which is the Japanese view to 2O25. Very worrying that the French and the Japanese have teamed up. I have tried to derive some propositions from this lot. Are they too abstract?

And I haven’t written the US segment of the piece yet – but I have some consequences – esp in terms of the flexibility required within Uk firms to operate within supply chains feeding French German Japanese and US vehicle makers – attempting to partner the world when all our partners are competing furiously with their own distinctive strategies.

This felt like hard work. This is not a complaint at all. It could be important and I am being well paid for it. I am certainly more likely to have an impact doing the work where I am than where I was – so there is no surprise in the observation that a bit of effort is required

R4 is clearly trying to destabilise the literate population. First the Reith lecture, then some reflections on Enlargement then a lengthy foray into cosmology and the alternative accounts of the antecedents of the big bang – esp the one from string theory where in 1O or 11 dimensions two close worlds brush against each other. Even the practitioners agree that its as much metaphysics as physics.

I have started airsynthing against the abstracted piece I created from Cathy Bells Musesong. The original piece had already had some beats and riffs added from a library – then it was put through Wavelab – now its on the Tascam 4MD being mixed against my emerging airsynth vocabulary. I was feretting for a MD to record the mix onto and I found one that only had 43 of the available 74 minutes recorded. So I recorded a take onto it – and I was very surprised that the preceding track was an earlier Tele driven foray against the same song .I am thinking about adding some pentatonic flute stuff All sorts of new assembly possibilities are emerging with the new connectivity.

Great to hear about Robin’s class esp the alumni ideas. Paul W and I were exchanging some thoughts on this point – indeed its an issue which is floating to the surface in the Auto Academy – what structures will support and extend the transfer and application of learning beyond the classroom?

My house-maids elbow may be set to return – certainly not from too much housework thank goodness.

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