I’ve been a bit grumpy on Twitter lately [surely not? – ed.]. A focus of that grumpiness has been innovation or, as I seem to be casting it, “innovation”.

May I submit Exhibit A:

and Exhibit b:

It’s not innovation per se that’s the problem here: it’s more someone hitting upon something “innovative” that is actually no such thing – repetition masquerading as innovation, if you will.

A while ago, @georgejulian, @fergusbisset and me came up for a shorthand that enabled us to indicate when we thought this was happening. It is simply #slippers, and its provenance can be traced to the time Ali G met J.K. Galbraith:


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Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

3 thoughts on “#slippers”

  1. Or the third angle,possibly a subset of Exhibit A, which is when some wonks/bright young things with odd haircuts, which little practical or lived experience, working for a puzzlingly-well-funded think tank/bullshit factory produce a paper they pitch as ground-breaking. In which they possibly do a bit of analysis, coin some neologisms and snappy phrases and then describe what others have been doing for generations. And make out as if they’ve invented something, when they’re really just laying claim to and taking credit for what many have done before. Just because someone pushy and verbose insists something is innovative and original does not make it so, nor does it make them innovators.

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