Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Interactivity and it's enemies

A good while ago, I read a report on the impact of cars on the quality of life on some streets. Specifically, the impact that a busy road has on social capital. I can't remember where I read it now (I bet the estimable Kevin Harris would have a copy to hand - this work on cul-de-sacs steps on related issues), but it makes perfect sense.

Think about the number of connections that would exist on a quiet street and then sever them by introducing a busy thoroughfare. The mathematical impact is significant - it doesn't just halve the number of regular connections. You decimate them. And everyone is poorer.

A few weeks ago, I posted an outline of what I think could be a useful 'interactive manifesto'.

At 10am, as Jack of Kent reports, Dave Osler will find out if a libel action against him is to continue. JoK says everything that needs to be said there.

I hope Dave's case ends tomorrow. I hope someone reads that 'interactive manifesto' post. And, giving our new government a fair-ish wind, I hope that The Big Society narrative that Cameron spent some of the election campaign on (against the better judgment of a lot of his party) benefits in two ways from the Liberal tie-up:
  1. It's the sort of Tory initiative that's likely to appeal to Liberals and one that they can use to fill the vacuum caused by their mutual vetoes over lots of planned initiatives
  2. My own suspicion that it's a foil for a direct democracy lite invitation to the sharp-elbowed middle-class to wring out a greater share of tax spending for themselves may be ameliorated by the Liberals
One relatively cost-free thing that the Tories/Liberals could do would be to treat interactivity as a key public good. One that can help cut public expenditure, make for better government, better science, better innovation and service design.

A good early step would be to treat libel reform seriously. But it's a state of mind that would mean quite a lot of cultural change in the UK. But if 'interactivity' were to become anything like the watchword that the over-rated 'transparency' has become. It's an issue that doesn't really have that much partisan baggage either.

1 comment:

Johanna Kaschke said...

Please read my side of the story