About Tom Watson

Tom Watson is a journalist, media critic, entrepreneur and consultant who has worked at the confluence of media technology and social change for more than a decade.

Public Notes


Recent Activity

  • Tom shared from Call for the Dead: A George Smiley Novel by John le Carre
    Give a man a car of his own and he leaves humility and common sense behind him in the garage.
    Note: Le Carre, right as rain.
  • Tom shared from Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis
    Finally, Adams was the supreme political realist of the revolutionary generation. His lifelong habit of mistrusting himself effectively immunized him against illusory solutions to the problem of political power provided by both the older classical and newer liberal traditions. The classical belief in virtue, while a noble ideal, struck him as a naive and at best short-lived hope, for it asked more of human nature than could possibly be sustained. Meanwhile the various liberal antidotes to the virus of political power—an enlightened people, a benign marketplace, the expansive borders of an enlarged...
    Note: John Adams as the political realist of the founding generation.
  • Tom shared from Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis
    When it changed course and “aims at power, it is Ambition.” It could also express itself in a variety of guises that received separate names, including “jealousy,” “envy,” and “vanity.” But the separate names only referred to the different targets of what was a single human passion. “It is a principal end of government to regulate this passion,” he argued, “which in turn becomes a principal means of government.
    Note: Originalsts and libertarians would reel at this John Adams quote on government's role in regulation.
  • Tom shared from Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis
    But if Madison is the master sociologist of American political theory, Adams is the master psychologist.
    Note: We must revisit John Adams, in these times.
  • Tom shared from Capital: A Novel by John Lanchester
    Smitty’s words and tone were gentle because his conclusions were final. What was going on here was something Smitty had seen before: a young person’s first real farewell to the world of school and college, where even if they are rebelling and faffing about and getting in trouble, the truth is that the whole experience is about them. They think that the whole world revolves around their needs, for the good reason that the institutions and authority figures in their world do, in fact, put them first. They’re not wrong to think they’re the centre of the universe. They’re just wrong to think...
    Note: The truth of it from Capital: A Novel