This 1944 ‘CIA list for sabotaging your organisation’s productivity’ is doing the rounds again on the socials. And it’s great. (‘Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.’) But oh! the original declassified document it came from – The Simple Sabotage Field Manual – is well worth reading in full. It’s short (36 pages) and beautifully written: ‘The saboteur may have to reverse his thinking. Where he formerly thought of keeping his tools sharp, he should now let them grow dull…
I often think of the internet being vaguely ‘out there’ (waves hands towards the sky). The truth is that it’s all connected by stuff *down there* (waves hands towards the sea). All of this is running through a surprisingly few big fat cables laid along the seabed. Here’s a map of them all.
Next level: go to the Science Museum and check out the exhibit of an actual chunk of the very first ever transatlantic communications cable. Then boggle your mind by realising they laid the whole thing by sailing ship.
While we’re on take-downs: David Mitchell is brutally on point with this on BT’s announcement about its switch to digital-only voice: your phone will now need to be plugged into your broadband router. Which means if your electricity goes, you’ll need a ‘backup phone’ to make emergency calls. But as Mitchell points out… the landline is everyone’s backup phone.
That loud clicking sound is every copywriter saving that to share with a client next time they get a heart-sinking ‘sell the benefits of a change that actually makes things worse’ briefs. Nobody’s. Ever. Fooled.