Sometimes, how a thing is presented, how it looks or how we name it, shapes how we think of it, even if the thing itself is unchanged. Think, for example, of how 'premium' and 'basic' products are packaged at the supermarket: glossy packaging, metallic embossing, and an emphasis on ingredients for 'premium' goods; primary colours, simple design, and a focus on price and value for 'basic' goods. Often, the gap between the two is not as great as the name or the package might suggest.
There is a concept in political science known as the Overton Window, after its creator, Joseph Overton. Overton argued that political policy is set within a window—ranging from 'more free' to 'less free'—of public perception of acceptable ideas. Over time, the limits of this window of acceptability change, and the policies politicians propose change with them.
This month, I've been taking a look back over our news coverage for 2018. There have been quite a few significant developments over the year.
Security expert Bruce Schneier has, for decades, warned of the overlooked risks associated with the computer age. Sometimes, politicians, regulators, and industry leaders have paid heed.
We have a surprising flurry of new crane launches this month. This includes a series of new tower cranes, new loader cranes, and a new rough terrain.
My first job on Cranes Today was reporting on one of our London conferences.
Ten years ago this year Ann Copeland and her two young daughters, Niamh and Ciara, were killed when her car skidded out of control after running over a patch of oil leaked from a poorly-maintained all terrain crane. Barry Copeland, who lost his entire family in the accident, pushed for owners of all terrain cranes to face the same requirement for roadworthiness testing as cars and heavy goods vehicles.
I've written previously about the good work being done by the European crane and special transport association, ESTA, and manufacturers' group, FEM, on wind safety.
In late May, US regulator OSHA published a much-anticipated new notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register. This further clarifies how the US federal government plans to set rules for operator certification.
I write this month's comment shortly after returning from Intermat in Paris. As I wrote in my pre-show comment six years—two Intermats—ago, the purpose of the French show is at times unclear. It is at once too big to be a tightly-focussed national lifting show, and too small (and overshadowed in the triennial trade show cycle) to be a global launch show.