Tag: policy

  • Indoor work relief for the middle classes
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    Indoor work relief for the middle classes

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    RolwandsonSelectVestry

    John Stuart Mill described the British Empire as “outdoor relief for the middle classes”. The phrase “indoor relief”, at the time, referred to the state-sponsored workhouse programme, which invented jobs for the poor to prevent them being idle. Mill was implying that the Empire was a gigantic job creation scheme.

    But in the 21st century the British Empire appears to be resurrecting itself in a very strange and interesting new way. In response to a FOIA request from Leo Hickman, … Read More

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  • Nature ISN’T fragile – nor a bossy mother-in-law

    Nature ISN’T fragile – nor a bossy mother-in-law

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    gaia-yarn

    The Green movement needs to rethink its philosophy from the ground-up. That’s according to Peter Kareiva, a leading conservation expert and chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy, the world’s biggest environmental group.

    It must abandon the idea that nature is “feminine” and in particular that it’s “fragile”, he said, because not only is this artificial, it’s wrong, and so many bad ideas follow.

    When people believe that a fragile “Mother Nature” is harmed by anything humans do, it’s actually the … Read More

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  • Cameron’s ‘Google Review’ sparked by killer quote that never was

    Cameron’s ‘Google Review’ sparked by killer quote that never was

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    cameron_zeitgeist

    Prime Minister David Cameron launched a sweeping review of UK intellectual property law based on an assertion – that the founders of Google believed they could "never have started their company in Britain" – he can’t support, from a source nobody can find. We know this because new information released by No 10 in response to FOIA requests has ruled out private conversations as the possible source.

    This is truly a strange story, and it starts in November 2010. … Read More

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  • We can ditch the laws when the Valley’s snotty web teens grow up

    We can ditch the laws when the Valley’s snotty web teens grow up

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    stop-sopa

    I am going to propose something that may sound radical, but really isn’t. Legislation like SOPA ideally isn’t necessary in an ideal world, and this idea comes about through voluntary agreement. The Stop Online Piracy Act was proposed because of a tragic impasse, a lack of agreement between two powerful and deeply entrenched sides. Although one side has moral force on its side, being ‘right’ doesn’t mean it’s going to ‘win’. Like a classic game theory tragedy, both sides are … Read More

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  • Oops: Public supports web-blocking in Google-funded poll

    Oops: Public supports web-blocking in Google-funded poll

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    Talk about an inconvenient fact. A survey into US attitudes to internet piracy shows strong public support for blocking access to websites guilty of serial copyright infringement. No fewer than 58 per cent support the idea of ISPs blocking the pirate sites, and 36 per cent disagree with this. Of the respondents, 61 per cent want sites like Facebook to take more action to screen for infringing material.

    This may not be what the corporate sponsor Google, which benefits from … Read More

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    “Who knows what a nontrepreneur is?” (My visit to the Conservative Party Fringe)

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    To Manchester, where I had been invited to liven up a Conservative Conference Fringe discussion on digital policy…… Read More

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