Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-05-30 - 7:39 a.m.

A day with the gilded youth in Oxford. Lincoln College is pretty much in the centre of town and was founded right at the end of the Middle Ages to combat emerging Protestant ideas. John Wesley and his brother went there, however, which just goes to show the power of original aims. We were shown round just before a really good lunch with the bursar. It has taken over an astonishing English baroque church as its library – an extraordinarily beautiful building which reminded me of the space at Greenwich where I heard Andrew’s Nekyia.

We spent the morning in a seminar room talking about the Skills Agreement which helped move my thinking on a notch especially on the gap analysis. I think I will major on the idea that at intermediate levels there is a low skills equilibrium. No one can recruit first line supervision with the skills that everyone agrees are needed to make the firm competitive – and smaller firms don’t have the ability to get training providers to deliver those skills to their workforce cost effectively. Training providers don’t have the incentive to develop their products partly because they are mainly focussed on state funding – and potential employees don’t understand which qualifications to go for to build their careers in the industry.

Mari Sako at the Said Business School in Oxford published a book last year are called Are Skills the Answer which comes to the same conclusion. I have written a first draft of my presentation for Wednesday but I need to sharpen it up. Then the questionnaire. I have done a walk through of the process with Steve and tightened that up. Getting it all the remaining design and development packed into Tuesday and some of Wednesday will be quite tight. Virtually everything else is on hold.

We watched the bumps in the latter part of the afternoon – from the roof of the Lincoln and Oriel boathouse. James sent a text saying that he was glad that I had at last seen the point of hanging out with the boaties - and I have to say it was pretty much a carnival atmosphere.

I listened on the MD to the 15 minutes of box music and thought maybe it was worth taking on another stage – maybe into the Dell and some editing to strengthen the form.

Ideas comparing the myths of ND and SP surface from time to time- the pitfall of reading the lives as a potential key to the deaths. The artful construction of the persona – also the pair as anticipations of the post-feminist cultural space with unconstrained feminine imagination approaching a dialectical reversal (the limitations of unlimited aspiration) and constrained masculine lyricism imploding to terse ugliness. There's the gilded youth bit too.

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