Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-11-24 - 10:15 a.m.

My exciting week. I wasn’t looking forward to the dinner at all - in the Park Lane Hilton - I would have happily have skipped it all and stayed warm in my flat. Ever since Saturday there has been a massive consumption of food and indeed drink. Can I complain about eating the Pembroke College high table fare one night and the guinea fowl at the Hilton the next etc etc. But I have no self discipline and indeed I have had to get a penguin suit several sizes bigger than the one I bought in 1998. (Someone last night said that they had never seen me so smartly dressed before.)

There is no doubt in my mind that Pembroke was the place to be on Monday rather than the House of Commons which I regretfully declined - several key documents have come my way as a result of the post seminar exchanges as the port circulated etc. I was first at the bar in the hotel to stiffen my resolve. That meant since we were hosts that I bought the drinks for the other early arrivals and made attempts at conversation. As luck would have it an idle query yielded some really very useful up-to-date insights which will keep me busy for the next few days pulling threads. I didn’t stay until the bitter end and was tucked up in bed by half past twelve.

We had a meeting at the main HQ today which is in a ridiculous house built very early in the 19th century as a fun palace. I had parked at Banbury and got the train down to Marylebone. On the way back I picked up a copy of the Wire which has a cover disc which is pretty good fun. The mag itself is sprinkled with odd echoes from the past - Vashti talking about her afternoon attempting to write songs with ND and her liking for his arranger, ex members of Henry Cow chasing down Siberian shaman for improvisational purposes, Nick Brown’s ex girl friend the avant garde vocalist etc. Good cover disc including a very interesting track from Ray Russell, the guitarist of similar vintage and inclinations to John Mac.

I have been wondering whether I need to understand Actor Network Theory better - ANT keeps cropping up - for example in Knowledge Management and in the theory of computer programmes and the theory of technology. Should I invest more effort in making sure I have a sound grasp?

Here s an example:

‘In technological design, design constituencies inscribe a vision of the world into their designs. Designs consequently embody a script: they harbor expectations about the characteristics of users, social relations, the use environment, and so forth, and stimulate or even demand conformity to this vision. Studying the process of inscription and the resulting script of an artifact enables the analyst to reveal how designs exclude certain social groups, or work against their interests in other ways.’

Tomorrow night its Cage, Tippet and Berio in Wolverhampton - is this worth risking a possible snowstorm for? Answer probably yes.

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