Category Archives: Information

The Pamela Paul Effect: Books betray us, yet still we cling to them

Many of us still venerate books. The evidence says they are not very good at what is supposed to be their primary job: putting new ideas in our heads. We are slowing developing new ways to achieve this old aim. … Continue reading

Posted in Information, Literature, Media, Methodology | 2 Comments

Hidden Unpersuaders: How we mistook the digital giants for all-powerful manipulators

The twin threats of “hidden persuasion” and artificial intelligence have now convinced most of us that Google and its ilk are almost uniquely powerful. These threats are overrated. The digital giants can do less than we fear – and we … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Information, IT and Internet, Media, regulation, Society | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Standards Part One (and now Parts Two and Three): Standards as windows on an alternative universe

I. Introduction  Some prefer iPhones. Others prefer Android. These are the two standards left standing for what only old guys call smartphones. ‘Standards wars’ like this have arisen throughout history. No doubt readers can provide examples back to the ancient … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Information, Intellectual Property, IT and Internet | 5 Comments

A World Anti-Hysteria Organisation?

The essential governance problem in March 2020 in Western countries was the overwhelming demand of the vast majority of the population to do something dramatic in response to their fear. There was a clamour to be ‘led to safety’ by … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Democracy, Health, Information, Innovation, IT and Internet, Metablogging, Politics - international, Science, Society, Terror | 27 Comments

Cracking the code: How to tell what News Corp really thinks about the price of links

News Corp is telling us what Google should really pay for linking to its sites. It’s telling us in code – HTML code. And the answer is … $0.00. What is an Internet link worth to the linker? For most … Continue reading

Posted in Bullshit, Business, Economics and public policy, Information, Intellectual Property, IT and Internet, Media, Politics - national, regulation, Web and Government 2.0 | 19 Comments

The iron law of business-as-usual: What is it and can we escape it?

Here’s a presentation to the annual Communities in Control conference run by the amazing outfit Our Community established in the 1990s by Denis Moriarty who had previously been a Deputy Secretary in the Victorian bureaucracy. (If you prefer audio, it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Information, Isegoria | 4 Comments

How others are organising the Covistance: ideas for those who want to help.

How are we going to escape the authoritarian nightmare and regain our liberties and zest for life? This long read is written for organisers of new Covistance initiatives, explaining the logic of what others have done and what could further … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Death and taxes, Democracy, Geeky Musings, Health, Information, IT and Internet, Journalism, Law, Libertarian Musings, Media, Parenting, Politics - international, Politics - national, Science | 17 Comments