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I've been thinking about this topic a lot recently, and I think you've got a big insight here. Lots of people talk about making voluntary initiatives scalable, But if we want more. the challenge is not to scale, but to replicate. A while back, I heard an excellent Brian Eno talk on Hutterite communities. Whenever a Hutterite village reaches Dunbar's number, they divide into two villages, thus keeping the autonomous, democratic nature of their way of life. (It came wrapped inside an Aphex Twin track, in a bit of mashup serendipity) I think we need to look more closely at how to reproduce successful initiatives by replicating them. We can create a world of small, autonomous pieces, loosely joined, held together by shared resources (by platforms, in your word) rather than by a hierarchy.
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I read this post because I was looking for inspiration for something I'm writing, and now I feel really quite despondent! I hope people aren't giving up On Big Society. I thought one thing on which we could all agree was that Big Society is one of David Cameron's favourite things, and even though a lot of people don't trust the Conservatives (and a lot of Conservatives don't trust Cameron), the Prime Minister has put the ball i9n play, so to speak, and it's up to us to run after it, if we want to. I see it differently from Seamus Bennett. To me, it's less about power holders giving power away, than it is about government recognising that it doesn't have all the power it needs to deliver all the things that politicians promise in their speeches. whether it's obesity, or burglary, addiction recovery or care of the elderly, the government is only one part of a bigger social system. And I think it's to any politician's credit to have worked out that they can't create societal outcomes by setting targets and compelling people. There is, of course, a massive paradox in the PM announcing a top-down initiative for bottom-up reform. But it's about re-designing our institutions so that government can be more responsive to the citizens. Several people have given exasmples of both good projects, and face-palmingly bad flaws in government thinking. I believe that some of the people at the top do genuinely want to change the way government works. I can also see that Big Society is controversial all across the political spectrum. It's no good standing on the sidelines, grumbling that government hasn't made it's mind up what it wants. We need to get enthusiastic and make things happen and tell the government what we need from it. Then, something wonderful might happen.
Toggle Commented May 2, 2012 on Big Society: R.I.P.? at Thriving too
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Oh sure - somebody stole two billion from you. Wrong. They gave me a way to find out an album has only two good tracks on it before I wasted my money. Sorry, but your business model doesn't exploit me any more.
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The world is full of IT. Machines that are good at math are everywhere. I don't feel sad about that, and I don't know why you do. Some very important challenges have been solved, for the whole world, forever. The RoI of information technology is about using IT to solve real world problems and make new things that run better than the old things. You are not going to get anywhere by buying those shiny boxes and keeping them in the corner, than you would by buying a fleet of trucks and keeping them in a garage. You have to load them up and send them on a journey!
Toggle Commented May 25, 2011 on Does IT matter? at deal architect
@David Durant - Tom Steinberg wrote about PDC on the MySociety public mailing list. He makes the point that some government bodies (eg the bigger trading funds) may be reluctant to publish data voluntarily:
This seems a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. If we look at the efforts of councils to publish expenditure over £500, The Guardian say only 135 of 326 councils have managed it and the BBC quotes Stoke-on-Trent as an example of a council refusing to publish their data until they get the procedures right: Having the wheel invented 326 times is surely the worst of all worlds, and 326 partnerships with private companies won't help, either. The problem gets bigger when you consider the users of the data, who, one assumes, will want to compare and merge data from multiple government bodies. Some investment in standardisation and good practice is prudent.
This is an old argument, as old as capitalism itself. Adam Smith wrote about 'the division of labor in pin manufacture, and the enormous increase in work obtained' (I'm quoting from memory, but it's printed on every Bank of England twenty pound note.) The answer today is the same as it was two hundred and odd years ago. a machine that could make 10,000 pins in a day created an enormous amount of value, but it also made pins very cheap. Each successive wave of innovation makes a previously scarce resource 'too cheap to meter'. The economic and social value of Google and Facebook lies in the businessses that consume their outputs as inputs. Consider also, this 37 Signals blog on Facebook's valuation: Facebook's shares are trading at well above a 'market price' because only a fraction of them have ever been offered for sale. If you think
Blimey ... defense attorneys really oughta train their clients to show more dignity when they get sent down :-)
It's not that complicated, really. Just about everybody understands the concept of 'bestseller' and a 'Top Ten'. So how about a Top 100, Top 1,000, Top 10,000? That's the long tail. Why does the long tail matter? That's a big box of fireworks, and the answer varies from market to market. But now you know what a long tail is.
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I'd read about the 1660 Act before but I hadn't thought of the implications - banning the export of good means that foreign merchants will never bring any gold to England, and won't accept gold as payment for anything they sell. Behaviour economics! (Your post also got me thinking about liquidity and zits, which quite put me off my lunch.)
Toggle Commented Feb 5, 2010 on Vote for "Zits" at Digital Money
It's interesting that you should post this to Twitter only hours after @theplayethic linked to this excellent discussion on network science between a physicist and a political scientist. I'm inclined to say that networks are real; as Fowler says, the atomistic view of human beings is flawed. WE need research methodologies that can take into account the connections between things. Would be interested to know your opinion.
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It was an excellent event, and I'm sorry I didn't get to talk to you in person. I hope the project / community has 'legs'.
I've got some sympathy with the researchers; in their field there's no getting away from constructing dependent and independent variables. I checked out Ed Connor's home page, and his research field is object synthesis in the cortex, including the neural activity patterns evoked by art. I'd actually call that what the brain does WITH the subject, rather than what art does to the brain.
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Can I check your maths? You say that a million plays on Spotify earns Lady Gaga three times what she gets for having a tune played on Radio One. Radio One has seven million listeners. So Spotify is paying her 20 times as much as Radio One, (and that's before you move the decimal point.) Plus Radio One doesn't have a click to buy button. Spotify wins hands down, I say.
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So precious, so fragile, and such an utter wanker. Can we believe that Brûlé truly agonizes over how to ignore LinkedIn invitations? If so, am in awe at his status anxiety and lack of confidence. Alain de Botton should write a biography of him.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2009 on Tyler Brûlé Bristles At Twitter at /Message
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