Literary liturgy

People will no doubt be caught up with reading the entire Demos library, soon to be available free online but that's not the only literary entertainment in town.We've also decided to set up a Demos book club to recommend books to the Demos network. We'd like to start off with some hidden gems that aren't being reviewed in the New Statesman or Prospect but should be because they are breaking new ground or putting forward interesting and convincing arguments.Any recommendations...

Posted by on 29 Sep 2003
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Will Self-Organises

Following on from our debate in the Greenhouse, Will Davies of the Work Foundation has a piece in Sp!ked this week about self-organisation and politics. Worth a look.

Posted by Paul Miller on 26 Sep 2003
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ET and God

Here's a question for the Demos astronauts: Could earthly religions survive the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe? Paul Davies discusses in this month's Atlantic Monthly.

Posted by Paul Miller on 22 Sep 2003
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Digital democracy

Interesting paper on internet politics called Net Nomination which is framed as memo to Democrat candidates. Argues that they should make their website 'the hub of their entire campaign' by combining databases and developing a CRM function - that's constituent relationship management, folks.

Posted by on 19 Sep 2003
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Auto-identity

Earlier in the day, we were met by a different kind of organisation in a different kind of car. Andrew Blau of the Global Business Network cruised up to meet us in a vintage BMW coupe, and took us for a very enjoyable lunch with three of his GBN colleagues. We swapped notes on scenarios, chewed over consultancy and agreed we should definitely collaborate in future. GBN have a lot to teach us about how to create a thriving, international network of associates, and how to combine strategy and c...

Posted by on 17 Sep 2003
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Day 2 of the Singularity

His thesis is that as networks become more connected and the cost of transaction comes down, they tend to break up functions so that various parts of the network specialise. So when you put a computer network into a small office (like Demos) you find that very quickly you want a file server that �specialises� in storing and routing information and a separate mail server that specialises in dealing with email rather than each individual computer having to do it itself. Go up a le...

Posted by Paul Miller on 15 Sep 2003
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The Singularity is Near (ish)

James and I are at the Accelerating Change 2003 Conference being held at Stanford University in Palo Alto California. The topic is the future of science and technology and in particular the concept of �the singularity� � the point where exponential increases in the power of various technologies combine to create a period of such rapid technological change that, among other things, we'll be able to defrost cryogenically frozen heads and allow people to live forever. I ...

Posted by Paul Miller on 14 Sep 2003
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Texting to a higher plane

[from John Thackara's excellent Doors of Perception newsletter]"Connecting on a spiritual level with one's deity or deities of choice can be difficult and time-consuming. That is, unless you're a subscriber to BPL Mobile, in which case you can send an SMS puja (prayer) to your provider and have prayers recited for you at a popular Bombay temple during the annual Ganesh Chaturthi festival". Ashlee Vance of The Standard reports "that for just 51 rupees ($1.10) subscri...

Posted by Paul Miller on 09 Sep 2003
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Above The Law

Well, it's official: the USA is once again in breach of international law on Weapons of Mass Destruction. On Wednesday, it quietly admitted that it would not meet its requirement under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention to destroy 45 per cent of its stockpile by April next year. This stockpile includes 3.3 million (yes, million) bombs, rockets, shells and cartridges, as well as the surprisingly precise figure of 315,682 'binary munitions', which spray lethal gas in flight. Nice....

Posted by on 05 Sep 2003
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Community Magic

The US continues to lead the field when it comes to innovative initiatives by high profile celebrity philanthropists. I've just been reading about the business corporation that belongs to Magic Johnson, the well-known and HIV stricken basketball player, and in particular his efforts in under-served communities. It all started when he had the brainwave of starting a chain of cinemas in deprived African American neighbourhoods, believing that there was strong potential for developing a new ...

Posted by on 05 Sep 2003
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