Category Archives: Observance

Can the use of behavioural insights ever really be mainstream in public policy?

Tweet Update: 28/11/2012: The audio from Warren’s talk can now be heard here. Lord Krebs, incoming President of the British Science Association was reported last week as criticising government use of ‘nudges’. Yet this amounts to a reservation that they … Continue reading

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Banned List Google Chrome Extension

Tweet Just a quick one, from my friend Andrew Regan, developer behind Poblish (among other things): Here is a Google Chrome ‘Banned List highlighter’ extension – helps you identify pages that have words from John Rentoul’s ‘Banned List’ and even … Continue reading

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Has web-technology only brought one real innovation to politics?

Tweet The five ‘Translation Layer’ events that we’ve organised have attempted to break down the different kinds of innovative technologies that have changed politics in recent years. Four of the events cover the applications of technology. With apologies to the … Continue reading

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The problem with think-tanks: An alternative model

Tweet I’ve described so far a number of fundamental problems that I believe prevent think-tanks being as effective as they could be, to be blunt, that prevent them being useful (in the big picture sense). There’s always a risk when … Continue reading

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The problem with think-tanks: Transparency

Tweet Running alongside issues of quality and independence discussed already here is transparency. This comes in to play at a number of levels for the think-tank but, in a broad sense, is the outside world’s way of establishing the veracity … Continue reading

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The problem with think-tanks: Independence

Tweet I’ve talked about the quality of the work produced, I now want to focus on the question of how independent a think-tank is – or isn’t (either in reality or perception). I don’t just mean the blatant ideological instrument … Continue reading

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The problem with think-tanks: Quality

Tweet My earlier discussion on the value of and necessity for different types of research brings me to the first problem that the current think-tank situation creates; quality. In academia there is a considerable amount of valueless, low quality research … Continue reading

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The problem with think-tanks: Introduction

Tweet I wrote recently in The Guardian about what I perceive to be a crisis in the political think-tanks. This crisis is ostensibly brought on by two factors, the first is the inevitable (but slow) tidal drift of ideology and … Continue reading

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Sometimes a quote is so good it deserves a posting of its own…

Tweet “An administrator in a bureaucratic world is a man who can feel big by merging his non-entity in an abstraction. A real person in touch with real things inspires terror in him.” – Marshall McLuhan

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City Forward – using public data

Tweet I met IBM’s John Tolva at the Personal Democracy Forum in Barcelona recently – here’s a short vid about his ‘City Forward’ project: I’m putting it here mainly to bookmark it because I think it’s the sort of thing … Continue reading

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