Bookworms and Networks

[via IWire]Valdis Crebs has produced a new networked representation of the purchasing pattern of a selection of political books. Although personally unsure of what to make of this, it's got me thinking'The New York Times speculated last year about the possible political implications of a previous attempt, whilst Will Davies discusses the potential impact on literary criticism.An interesting exercise for the next away day?!

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 05 May 2004
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Tax Cheats and Tuition Fees

The Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) was introduced in Australia in 1989. It has been an influential model for other countries, and some of the features of the proposed UK system appear to have been borrowed from it.According to researchers at Australian National University in Canberra, however, the introduction of HECS has had a surprising and unwelcome effect on people's attitudes to the tax system.Like the UK the Australian tax system relies heavily on a regime of self-asses...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 05 May 2004
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New Cities for Old

Demos Associate Richard Florida was a contributor to a really interesting edition of BBC Radio 4's Analysis last week. The subject was the supposed 'urban renaissance' going on in Britain's cities. By the way, the programme was presented by Diane Coyle who has an essay in our latest collection Network Logic.To read a transcript of the programme click here.To read Richard Florida's recent report published by Demos click here.

Posted by Paul Miller on 03 May 2004
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Mind Wide Open

His trick as an author is to spend time with the people at the cutting edge of the science and then explain their work through his conversations and interactions with them. It works a treat. It makes the books so readable because you're with a guy having fun. I met up with Steven last week and got the feeling he was slightly bemused by the way people keep buying his books, reading his articles and treating him like a guru. He does it because he loves it and that playful curiosity comes t...

Posted by Paul Miller on 01 May 2004
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Climate of Fear - Reith lectures

Interesting Reith lectures this year from Nobel prize winning novelist Wole Soyinka on the subject 'Climate of Fear'. Wole Soyinka was imprisoned in Nigeria for his opposition to dictatorship. He is talking about fear - and the political, and cultural consequences of fear in society.

Posted by on 30 Apr 2004
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Republicans calling...

Cathedral and the Bazaar? Try Amway meets the Deaniacs. While Kerry's campaign has been busily integrating and cajoling the Meet Up brigade that wowed then bowed to pundits, Karl Rove has been busy minting his own model for political organisation in an effort to swing undecided states. Call it Pyramid Politics, a strategy that borrows its structure from those multilevel marketing schemes like Amway and Tupperware and less credibly, from every purveyor of Floridian swamp and specious debt ...

Posted by on 29 Apr 2004
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Lessig in London

Lawrence Lessig is speaking in London on 27 May at a theatrefest called LIFT

Posted by on 29 Apr 2004
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Personalisation vs. Innovation?

An article on business innovation in this week's Economist, cites Gillette's latest razor as symptomatic of the fact that big companies in particular are finding it increasingly difficult to innovate on anything more than an incremental scale. One factor which is used to explain this is the contemporary breakdown of stable mass markets such that nowadays "no innovation is an island". Is this a positive sign that markets are more mature than they used to be - offering highly ...

Posted by James Page on 27 Apr 2004
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women, 'emotional government' and the makeover takeover

If the discourse of much of political life is still conducted in a rather 'male', confrontational manner, then perhaps Paul Skidmores's notion of emotionally intelligent government offers a way out of this gender polarised situation. As Paul writes, government needs to be 'smarter about how it interacts with citizens, about how it interprets citizens wants and needs, and about how it understands its own strengths and weaknesses in creating change.'Looking at broader cultur...

Posted by on 27 Apr 2004
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League division

Before they start pinching themselves or popping champagne corks, teachers in England should note that the newspaper in question was The Australian not the TES, the ministers not Messrs Clarke and Miliband but representatives of Australia’s state governments.The right-wing Liberal government in Canberra has been trying to make the receipt of billions of dollars of federal funding conditional on schools’ achievement of national literacy and numeracy targets (sound familiar?)This mo...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 27 Apr 2004
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