Monthly Archives: May 2009

Now, what I want is, Facts

May 26, 2009

‘Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them . . . Stick to Facts, sir!’ Gradgrind, in Hard Times, by Charles Dickens. We have never had greater access to facts, yet according to Edelman’s Trust Barometer, only 34% of the worldwide public trust news media, a figure down from... More

What is ‘free’ about the web?

May 23, 2009

Perversely, Web 2.0 has become synonymous with an American mythology of freedom. But information technology works best in small well-organised political units with high levels of social protection. So there is every reason to believe that the net works best with another notion of freedom – the security of knowing that failure will not have catastrophic consequences. The risk-taking and entrepreneurial culture of the wild web frontier is more likely to occur where there is a social safety net to catch you if you fall. By Daniel Taghioff Watch Jeff... More

Hurrah! BBC licence fee increase preserves a bourgeois Pravda

May 22, 2009

But for how long? On 19 May, the Tory motion to freeze any increase in the BBC licence fee was defeated by 334 to 150 votes in the House of Commons. The compulsory tax of £11.62 per month on every household with a TV or radio, enforced by highly democratic ‘we know where you live’ threats to prosecute evaders, will increase to £11.88 per month. Hardly a sum to break the bank, and still good value, compared to a Sky subscription, we might say. The Tories had argued that in... More