Author: Mike Ryder

About Mike Ryder

Writer, academic and digital communications professional. Lecturer in Marketing at Lancaster University.

San Francisco U-turn on ‘killer robots’: Are we any safer as a result?

In December 2022, San Francisco lawmakers voted to overturn a decision to allow police robots to wield deadly force.

In a controversial policy proposal, the 17 robots currently used by the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) could have been equipped with explosive charges to take out active shooters or suicide bombers in ‘emergency’ situations.

While the policy was initially approved by lawmakers, officials have since overturned the policy in response to pressure from civil rights groups.

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The biopolitics of the bird-flu pandemic

Bird flu pandemic: chickens in coop

There’s a pandemic on don’t you know.

Or maybe you don’t: that’s the problem. Across the globe now, millions of birds have died, and many more have been put to slaughter in order to try and curb the spread of the deadly strain of bird-flu that has ravaged its way through swathes of the global bird population.

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OODA loops and reflective practice

As a university lecturer, I spend a lot of my time thinking about the process of learning and how we can equip our students with the tools and techniques to reflect upon their individual journeys and so use critical self-reflection as a means to develop and grow.

In the workplace, this is often referred to as ‘reflective practice’ – the process by which we seek to reflect and learn from our experiences

While this process can be applied to any form of work, it will perhaps be most familiar to readers working in the healthcare professions, where reflective practice is a key part of professional development.

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Introducing Mental Capacity Ltd

It’s been a while since I last posted. As well as my ongoing teaching, research and consultancy work, I’ve also been quietly working away on a project that’s been close to my heart for quite some time now…

The idea first came to me when I visited my sister Nicky and saw for myself some of the issues she was facing in her work as Mental Capacity Assessor and Advocate. Quite simply, not enough care providers know enough about the Mental Capacity Act (2005), and many more don’t apply the act correctly. This has direct and often quite meaningful consequences for vulnerable people, who have their liberties taken away or limited based on poor training on the part of care professionals.

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