London

The First Robots

27 January 2021 They were planning to put on a play written by an artificial intelligence programme in Prague this month, to mark the invention of robots (or at least the idea of robots) in the same city exactly one hundred years ago. Covid-19 got in the way of that, and it will now only …

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Assange Hearing

The cost of being a whistle-blower is going up. When Daniel Ellberg stole and published the ‘Pentagon Papers’ in 1971, revealing the monstrous lies that the US government was telling the American public about the Vietnam war, he was arrested and tried, but the court set him free. When Edward Snowden released a vast trove …

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Coronavirus

In an emergency, the good thing about a dictatorship is that it can respond very fast. The bad thing is that it won’t respond at all until the dictator-in-chief says that it should. All the little dictators who flourish in this sort of system won’t risk their positions by passing bad news up the line …

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30 Minutes in Salisbury

Salisbury is a nice old English town with a fine cathedral, only an hour and a half from London by train, but it doesn’t see many Russian tourists in wintertime. It’s not as cold as Moscow, but Russians tend to prefer Mediterranean destinations for holiday breaks in early March – unless, of course, they are …

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