John Harris

Journalist & Author

Our phones and gadgets are now endangering the planet | John Harris

The energy used in our digital consumption is set to have a bigger impact on global warming than the entire aviation industry
It was just another moment in this long, increasingly strange summer. I was on a train home from Paddington station, and the carriage’s air-conditioning was just about fighting off the heat outside. Most people seemed to be staring at their phones – in many cases, they were trying to stream a World Cup…

The national calamity we don’t hear about – the death of local democracy | John Harris

Cuts and closures underline the flaws of a system dominated by Westminster’s power. From health to schools to housing, we need an urgent rethink
‘We cannot survive as we are beyond this next financial year. There is no money. I am not crying wolf. I never cry wolf.” So says the Conservative leader of Torbay council, in Devon: a local authority that delivers the full range of services but can no longer function…

Robots could solve the social care crisis – but at what price? | John Harris

It’s the next wave of automation beyond retail and financial services. Yet can artificial intelligence ever replicate altruism and empathy?
Pepper is a 4ft tall approximation of a human being developed in France, and now manufactured and marketed by the Japanese-owned corporate giant SoftBank Robotics. If you went to the recent Robots exhibitions at London’s Science Museum or the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, you will be aware of what he…

All Abba’s UK singles – ranked!

To mark the release of new film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, we rate the Swedish pop band’s greatest hits
Last place for the band’s last single, taken from recording sessions for a ninth album that never came to fruition. And maybe that’s for the best: the dissonance between the robotic verses and a bizarrely jaunty chorus about being at one’s wit’s end over a stalker is too jarring to work. LS
Related:

Where’s Jeremy Corbyn? Lost in a rose-tinted vision of Labour’s past | John Harris

Labour must stop talking in terms of 1945 and all that, and engage with today’s big issues – Brexit foremost among them
The best politicians inspire, but part of their job is also to orientate: to survey an often confounding set of national circumstances, and tell us not just where we all are, but also what our position means and where we need to go next. A year on from that remarkable general election result,…

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