Backscratching on Linked in – Craig Thomler and I lay it on with a trowel

A few people have sent me requests to recommend them on Linkedin but I’ve not really known what to say – recommend to whom? But perhaps the secret source was flattery, which as Disraeli once said should be laid on with a trowel. Whatever it was, I got this overgenerous recommendation from Craig Thomler on my half-heartedly kept Linked In profile. It wasn’t something I’d asked him to do. But I liked it nevertheless.

Nick is an amazing operator and has done more to legitimise Government 2.0 in Australia than any other individual.

Through his leadership of the Gov 2.0 Taskforce Nick became one of the key drivers in establishing a whole-of-government Gov 20 framework for Australia. The blueprint the Taskforce created through its recommendations and sponsored projects will shape and guide Australian government internet usage for twenty years.

Well that’s nice – even if I prefer Nicholas (but that horse bolted long ago and wasn’t helped by the brief ascendancy of Nick Greiner two decades ago.)  Anyway this moved me to my own encomium for Craig, which raises an idea which is beyond simple praise of Craig’s efforts.

The Galileo of Government 2.0!

OK that sounds hyperbolic, but there’s method in my madness. The rise of openness in science occurred when both the producers and consumers of science (the scientists and princes of 17th century Europe respectively) realised that their need for openness was greater than their need for secrecy. The producers of science needed to demonstrate their prowess to find patrons, and the patrons needed openness to ensure themselves that the science peddled at them was robust. Open science emerged from this situation, but not without some difficult moments for its pioneers. Galileo suffered for the emergence of modern science, but the movement of which he was such a pioneer triumphed to humanity’s immense good fortune.

Craig suffered for his convictions in the early years of open government, but one of the things I’m proudest of about my chairmanship of the Government 2.0 Taskforce was that it gave me a platform on which I could start turning the tables. All I really needed to do was make it a little harder to stifle Craig’s great initiative. Once that was done the fact that so many of his achievements, and the achievements of teams of which he was a part were there for all to see on the net meant that, others could see for themselves the value of what he was doing. Like Galileo peddling his inventions and publishing his doctrines.

And once private and social incentives are both pointing the same way – and both pointing towards a better world then, though there will be inevitable setbacks, there will be no stopping that new, better world from emerging.

Not a bad effort that – being a significant part of making the world a little better.

Congratulations Craig.

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Craig Thomler
13 years ago

Thanks Nick,

I’ve always followed the philosophy that it is almost always better to be the thumb than the finger – even if occasionally you get hit by a hammer.

if we didn’t have many, many people prepared to be the thumb at least some of the time we’d still be chipping flint knives.

I stand by my recommendation for you. Let’s see where we are in 2030 :)



derrida derider
derrida derider
13 years ago

But Disraeli, Nicholas, only said that flattery should be laid on with a trowl for royalty. Have you been promoted?