Bonding with Tony

Whatever his troubles at home, the Yanks can't get enough of Tony Blair. Here are Ray Boshara and Michael Sherraden praising the merits of "baby bonds", and calling for a similar version for US children.If it takes off, this would be quite an interesting case-study in the nature of policy transfer...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 23 Jul 2003
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The Karass and the Granfalloon

Just spotted this piece by Steven Johnson (author of Emergence) about software that you can use to develop social network maps of organisations. It basically uses email data to work out who emails who and how often. "In his classic novel Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut explains how the world is divided into two types of social organizations: the karass and the granfalloon..."Read on here.

Posted by Paul Miller on 21 Jul 2003
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Neuromancing

GBN founder Stewart Brand famously wrote that "information wants to be free." Now GBN member and author William Gibson offers this essay on connexity and Orwell's 1984, suggesting a future of informational transparency that will be "shot through with misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories and a quotidian degree of madness." He writies "We may be able to see what's going on more quickly, but that doesn't mean we'll agree about it any more r...

Posted by on 18 Jul 2003
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Are you looking at me?

A lot of people are getting hot under the collar about moves afoot in the US for 'total information awareness' but John Naughton (who will be speaking at a Demos event next week) points to a project taking place at MIT's Media lab that attempts to turn it on its head and create 'Government Information Awareness'He goes on to say: "We could do the same for the UK. Imagine a site that would automatically collate information about MPs' financial interests, voting beh...

Posted by Paul Miller on 17 Jul 2003
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Europe's still a wimp

Giscard's draft constitution has failed to give the EU the platform it needs to flex its muscles on the world stage, says Robert Lane Greene, and the US remains the world's only superpower. He may be right that the convention has been a largely inward-looking exercise, and that the constitution does not really address Europe's role in the world. But as both Robert Cooper and Theo Veenkamp et al have argued, Europe is unlikely to project its power and influence in conventional ways...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 17 Jul 2003
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Smart mobs and journalism

Howard Rheingold predicts that control of the new 'mediaspace' represented by the collision of next generation mobiles and blogging is up for grabs. This represents an opportunity to tip balance in favour of a democratised, peer-to-peer form of media. However, he reckons, the thing to watch is not the technology - which is already cheap and accessible - but whether the practice of journalism itself can become a distributed activity.OJR article: Moblogs Seen as a Crystal Ball for'...

Posted by on 11 Jul 2003
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Technophone corner

"THE BBC defence correspondent was carrying neither pen nor paper when he turned up at a London hotel for lunch with a source of long standing. Andrew Gilligan had not expected to get a story and his notes of the conversation were made on a PalmPilot, a gadget not often associated with ground-breaking journalism." Unless a tree dies, it must be lies. From Times Online

Posted by on 10 Jul 2003
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Food: when does an idea's time come?

I am struck by how rapidly food has become a major domestic political issue. When Demos published the Inconvenience Food report last summer and the collection of essays in Foodstuff last Christmas, it seemed pretty out of leftfield.But this year, the issue has continued to rise up the mainstream political agenda. In January, the Public Accounts Committee launched its report Tackling Obesity in England. Then in June the BMA echoed a call in Inconvenience Food for some kind of 'fat tax'...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 10 Jul 2003
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Model town?

Not sure whether it cuts the mustard under our definition but Bourneville in Birmingham is getting recognition as Britain's 'nicest place to live' today. According to researchers, "Bournville's success comes down to a seamless mix including quality homes, neighbours from different backgrounds, services and open space. Factors like these (and perhaps the sweet smells of a chocolate factory) encourage residents to more actively commit to an area's prosperity, creating ...

Posted by Paul Miller on 09 Jul 2003
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Introducing "Always On" People

Ever find yourself surfing the net on your WiFi-enabled laptop, watching digital TV, checking your schedule on your PDA, and texting someone from your mobile with your toes? Then maybe you're suffering from O.C.D. - online compulsion disorder."It's like a dopamine squirt to be connected," says Dr. John Ratey, a Harvard academic. "It takes the same pathway as our drugs of abuse and pleasure." Find out more here.

Posted by Paul Joseph on 07 Jul 2003
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