Canada Calling

The Demos delegation to Canada reached Ottwa on Friday for a day trip to the administrative centre of this vast country. Most of our meetings were cancelled as a fair proportion of government employees had been sent home for the week to avoid a repeat of the blackouts. But we did have a great discussion with a couple of officials from the Justice Ministry who were very interested in what they could learn from the model of Networked Learning Communities.We also ran into an anti-same sex marria...

Posted by Paul Miller on 24 Aug 2003
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Catching a cold

Trying to track down a copy of Seth Godin's Unleashing the Ideavirus at short notice, I spent an unhappy half hour talking to Waterstone's braches all over London looking for a copy I could pick up on the way home (result: they have five copies in Brussels) , before realising that an author preaching the virtues of uncontrolled lateral communication might well practice what he preaches. Amazon.com trails the paperback version of the book as 'the most downloaded e-book in history&...

Posted by Tom Bentley on 18 Aug 2003
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Calling young Euro-philes

The EU Policy Network has been set up to provide young academics and practitioners with a platform for sharing their research and ideas about Europe and the EU. It will publish a quarterly journal online called the Journal for European Affairs. The first issue has just come out.Check out the website and their blog.

Posted by Paul Joseph on 15 Aug 2003
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DIY Diamonds

Wired magazine details two new processes for producing artificial (but cheap) diamonds - potentially revolutionary breakthroughs. In the future diamond will replace silicon in computer chips allowing much faster speeds. The question for now is whether consumers are happy to buy artifical diamond engagement rings - and break De Beers stranglehold on the market.Read the article - which comes complete with DIY instructions...

Posted by on 14 Aug 2003
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Six degrees of email

There's an article in Scientific American about Duncan Watts et al's Small World experiment where the team at Columbia tried to repeat Stanley Milgram's famous experiment from the 1960s but using email. Fascinating stuff. His book's not bad either.Read the article.

Posted by Paul Miller on 13 Aug 2003
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Nano-marketing

Apparently nano is not just a new technology, but also the latest buzz word for marketing all sorts of goods and services.One of these is the 'nano-bag' to put babies in (?!), but there has been an explosion of others too.Read more here

Posted by Gillian Thomas on 12 Aug 2003
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Hypochondriacs anonymous?

The New Yorker (via aldaily.com) has a story about the rising costs of hypochondria on the health system."Studies show that at least a quarter of all patients report symptoms that appear to have no physical basis, and that one in ten continues to believe that he has a terminal disease even after the doctor has found him to be healthy. Experts say that between three and six per cent of patients seen by primary-care physicians suffer from hypochondria, the irrational fear of illness."...

Posted by Paul Miller on 12 Aug 2003
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News Flash

London's first Flash Mob is going to take place on Thursday... find out more here.

Posted by Paul Miller on 05 Aug 2003
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How to be good

Can you teach people how to be good in one day of training? Boeing seem to think so. Following a high-profile scandal regarding government satellite launch contracts (where it became clear that Boeing's success in bidding was boosted by the hiring of two former staff from arch-rival Lockheed, who brought with them several suitcases full of sensitive documents) their entire defence division closed down for a day, with all its staff - from interns to division CEOs - attending a four hour co...

Posted by on 04 Aug 2003
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Being complex

This week I have mainly been doing complexity. Lots of it. I'm at a Complexity in Social Science summer school in Baeza, Spain with about 40 people from all around the world who work on exploring complex systems.I'll give everybody in the office a full update on Monday but I've learned absolutely loads, especially about the techniques that are emerging for social network analysis. As a case study, we've been studying the social network that has developed between the participan...

Posted by Paul Miller on 01 Aug 2003
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