Some thoughts on Golf. The power struggles at Wentworth in Surrey, characterised as old English money coming up against the nostalgia-free dynamism of new Chinese money (more at MeFi), reminded us, inevitably, of one of the golf course’s earlier victims, the noble Greenside, a 1937 Modernist house by Connell, Ward and Lucas. Illegally demolished back in 2003. Greenside fell between the cracks of establishment antipathy and next generation revivalism. There was a public enquiry, which the owners lost. They were fined £15,000, which might not buy you a golf club membership but still doesn’t seem like very much. No-one seems to have followed up what happened to the site, and Google’s streetview cars haven’t made it down the little quasi-private enclaves of Chestnut Avenue and Lindale Close. An application was made for a house by Ascot Design, whose portfolio extends from the Wentworth Estate to St Georges Hill and Sunningdale all the way to a Moscow Dacha. The resulting plans (application RU.10/0959 at Runnymede District Council) seem to correspond with the satellite image. 15k must have been a drop in the ocean in the budget of this lavish pile, complete with multi-pedimented triple garage (Ferrari not included). In fact, the architecture goes way beyond Osbert Lancaster’s ‘Wimbledon Transitional‘ style that once characterised the area, leaning towards the new ‘Home Counties Hermitage‘ style. Paradoxically, just as Greenside took the ideals of socialist architecture and rebuilt it for the UK’s left-leaning intelligensia, the reactionary style that replaced it is rapidly being exported back to the East.
Other things. The Happy Somethings believe in nominative determinism / Death Is Not The End, ‘London Pirate Radio Adverts 1984-1993, Vol. 2’ / a riverside artist’s studio, for artists only (via Wowhaus) / see also, House for a Painter / Not the Onion: Philanthropist Offers $300M Prize for Not Hiring Frank Gehry / the greatest drum machines of all time / Semiotic Apocalypse, a tumblr (remember those?) / Playmobil x Volkswagen / a weblog round-up (remember those?) / Weird Walk magazine. Psychogeographic rambles / Hex Factor: Inside the Group Offering $250,000 for Proof of Superpowers: ‘It’s a curious quirk of human nature that when major change is afoot, be it technological, social, or cultural, the number of people who profess belief in the paranormal goes up as well’ (via tmn) / Imagine Your Flexible Office Work Future. Is the alternative working in VR? Let’s hope not.
This History of Google Algorithm Updates goes all the way back to 2003. We hate algorithms. Over the years there have been a couple of big, inexplicable dents in things mag’s traffic which can only be put down to the way search engines sift and rank the data they’re presented with. We’ve never been ones for things like tags, keywords and hashtags, and it’s a strong suspicion that ‘blind item’ linking – which has been a hallmark of this site’s playful approach to the web since day one – is both hopelessly antiquated and also very bad practice. Must do better.