Right. Today, as you know, everything is “innovation.” We have problems, and people are looking for fairy-tale solutions—innovation like manna from heaven falling on the Israelites and saving them from the desert. It’s like, “Let’s not reform the education system, the tax system. Let’s not improve our dysfunctional government. Just wait for this innovation manna from a little group of people in Silicon Valley, preferably of Indian origin.This Is the Man Bill Gates Thinks You Absolutely Should Be Reading - Wired Science
It will never be a perfect relationship between state and media, and nor should it. But here’s why I see grounds for optimism - because people are more media savvy, fed up with what they get served up, and that is driving change. - because there will eventually be a new and better system of regulation, serving the public not press or politics. - because the Murdoch-Dacre generation is fading out, and new media and a new generation are eroding their power and influence, democratising our media. - because the trends are all towards openness and transparency. - because however painfully, politics and journalism are adapting to the new age. - and because politicians can afford to be more strategic.Cambridge Lecture 2: Optimistic despite press lies re Leveson, new social media oligarchs, Snowden/Wikileaks (and why Merkel is best) | Alastair Campbell
This Klansman and I were riding around in my car and the topic of crime came up. He made the remark that all black people had a gene that makes us violent. I said ‘Gary, what are you talking about?’ He said ‘Who’s doing all the shootings?’ I said ‘let me tell you something, I am as black as anyone you’ve ever seen and I’ve never done a drive by or a shooting.’ After a time I said ‘you know, it’s a fact that all white people have within them a gene that makes them serial killers. Name me three black serial killers.’ He could not do it. I said ‘you have the gene. It’s just latent.’ He said ‘well that’s stupid’ I said ‘it’s just as stupid as what you said to me.’ He was very quiet after that and I know it was sinking in.KKK Member Walks up to Black Musician in Bar-but It’s Not a Joke, and What Happens Next Will Astound You
The widespread feeling of emancipation through information that many people still attribute to the 1990s was probably just a prolonged hallucination. Both capitalism and bureaucratic administration easily accommodated themselves to the new digital regime; both thrive on information flows, the more automated the better. Laws, markets, or technologies won’t stymie or redirect that demand for data, as all three play a role in sustaining capitalism and bureaucratic administration in the first place. Something else is needed: politics.Evgeny Morozov on Why Our Privacy Problem is a Democracy Problem in Disguise | MIT Technology Review
Tim Harford — Article — Betting against London is tempting but no sure thing
The most interesting question is the hardest to answer: is London’s innovative and cultural dynamo in danger of slowing down? Perhaps rich Russians and Saudis will live in Chelsea, their needs taken care of by armies of Poles commuting in from Bromley and Walthamstow, while French and American bankers will sleep four-hour nights in luxury flats in Canary Wharf and work flat-out the rest of the time. The entire mega-city, in this scenario, would contribute to the UK only in the way that an oilfield in the Thames Estuary would. The capital would be a plug-and-play, could-be-anywhere financial hub grafted on to a London experience theme park for visiting billionaires.
Perhaps. I am struck by how heavily this dystopian vision leans on the idea that foreigners are to blame – an idea that always seems to engender panic and shut down the critical faculties. “It’s foreign investment, buy-to-lets,” one estate agent recently told a worried Guardian columnist. But that does not mean Brits cannot live in London. They can – but often as tenants of a foreign landlord who may well have overpaid.
To give them credit, the readers are creative too, in a criminal mastermind type way. The comments section of the website really ought to have a direct line to the hate-crime unit at Scotland Yard. It is essentially a magnet to those for whom the milk of human kindness has long since soured and turned into a pro-vitriolic yoghurt. Avid Mail-watchers will reel in horror at the stuff that gets published in the ‘comments’ section. If you imagine the sort of statements that Julius Streicher may have considered a bit too extreme to feature in Der Stürmer, you’ll get a picture of what gets axed by the moderators.Guest blog from a poor soul working for Mailonline | Alastair Campbell
My favourite of the doge so far. (via @rikward)