Thursday, 2 December 2010
Håkan Dahlström got this delightful shot of one of San Francisco's steeper hills, turning his camera so that the road (and not the houses) were at level to convey the extent of the slope.
Crazy hills of San Francisco
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
Often I read the discussion but ignore the books, as the discussion is again a condensed narrative on the topic that is incredibly rich with ideas. Take this for example..
You mentioned the difficulty of obtaining a work permit. This is probably one area where globalisation is both most unjust and most inefficient. On the basis of efficiency – economic efficiency – the greatest unexplored frontier of economic globalisation is mobility of workers around the world. Trade is substantially free, finance and capital are substantially free – but try to leave Bangladesh and go to work in the US. It’s impossible. If you wanted to both increase the efficiency of resource utilisation in the world economy and at the same time do something for the world’s poorest, there is nothing we could do that would have as big an impact as allowing some of the Bangladeshi workers to take up jobs in the advanced countries of the world. Now I wouldn’t go so far as to say you should allow complete mobility of labour, because I do think it’s appropriate for rich societies to put some weight on the consequences for their own workers. But I think we’re so far in the other corner, that certainly a smallish relaxation of these visa restrictions to allow more workers from poor countries to come and work in the rich countries would definitely be a good idea.
Its a bit long I know, but it gave me a spark of an idea.
If there are strong doubts with the long term benefits of international aid (dependency etc.) why don't we have a look at what we can do to change it.
One aspect of immigration is that of the Indian, or Pakistani or whatever who comes over to the UK works and then sends back some of the money they earn in the UK (which is worth proportionately more in their original country). This in itself is a practice that is done all over the world, and can even be seen in the UK in how young people go to the cities to find their fortunes. So this natural process happens, and it works much in the same way as the international aid works - that is is directs cash from the rich country into the poor country - but instead of being supported by a mass bureaucracy, it is directed directly to where it could be used - the family of the individual working in the UK.
This in itself is a good idea, but to develop it further think of this. It will cost no more than what we spend on aid as we have it at the moment. But why don't we support the PEOPLE of a certain country and bring them over here for a fixed period of time. Train them up in certain skills or academic qualifications and allow them to work within the UK after this. Both improving their outlook on life and their financial situation. In doing so and on their return they will be much the richer as individuals but also as people within a state who can actually work in the long term to improve things for the country overall.
Ok, thinking of many problems to this isn't hard. But its an alternative vision of aid which reduces the blunt force of cash that is used in teh world. It potentially lowers the opportunities for corruption. It improves the lives of the few in the short term. And the many once that few re-enter their original countries society. The people are invested in, not the institutions.
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Five things the student unions didn’t protest against in the last 13 years…: "
1) That Labour cut the number of schools each year.
2) That pupils were shepherded into ever-larger schools.
3) That, although the budget trebled, class sizes hardly moved.
4) That the attainment gap between private and public schools grew to become the largest of any country except Brazil (Source: OECD )
5) And all at a time when the supposed funding per pupil was soaring…
Moral: cash doesn’t help schools. Reform does.
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Monday, 22 November 2010
Saturday, 20 November 2010
Friday, 19 November 2010
Guido Fawkes : HelloBeeboid : Hello just wondered if you had seen the Lord Young comments?GF : Yes, he’s right about interest rates being low, but that indicates economic weakness, not strength.BBC : So you support his view?GF : No, I think the previous generation had it better.BBC : We’re really looking for a right-winger who backs his line.GF : Sorry.BBC : OK, thanks anyway.GF : Bye.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Friday, 12 November 2010
Do you know the name of this extinguisher carrying individual? He seems to be a different yob from the one pictured in the wanted poster yesterday, carrying a different extinguisher, more likely to be the one that was tossed at the police.
Your information will treated as in confidence and you do not have to give your name…
Thursday, 11 November 2010
All photos taken by Jon Stone.
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Prince Harry attends the opening of Wootton Bassett field of remembrance in Lydiard Park, Wiltshire. The park is dedicated to the men and women killed in Afghanistan. Prince Harry (pictured) plants a cross for his friend, Lance Corporal Of Horse, Jonathan Woodgate, who was killed on foot patrol in Sangin, Helmand, on March 26, 2010.
Saturday, 23 October 2010
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Cider Making. Something my Family has partaken of for generations (4 years) making finely crafted (HA! Just look at the production process) and exceptionally refined (well try and drink 2 year old cider and then you KNOW what refined is) vintages from our orchards (5 twisted old trees).
Monday, 4 October 2010
Monday, 13 September 2010
Just idling thinking about structures earlier and I may have created an interesting one associated with management. It’s a tree. And it’s probably something that someone else has thought up in more erudite ways and with more eloquent language and to a greater extent than my idling mind can compete with... Either way, here goes.
One of the clear difficulties I see in business... I guess possibly a cultural matter within the UK... Is our inability to internalise the structures of management. That is old view of hierarchy but also of interpersonal relations and networks of power. That is there is a rejection of the first (“Stick it to the MAN!”), a achievement of extremitus with the second (various forms of favouritism or distaste, and other general forms of unprofessionalism) and a total lack of cultural knowledge of the third (we just don’t work together).
I may need to go into more detail of the three I suppose at some point. But to be honest it is only the second which is interesting in a wider way. The idea that our power; our potential achievements, our acceptance and support of another is vital in a management structure. Foucault looks into power as a network in the sense that even (to the greatest political extreme) a Sovereign and ‘Divine Right’ style of Monarchy is ultimately supported by individuals accepting the Monarch’s position in one way or other. The same can be said in business, and is vital in business. Because this opening up of an additional layer of understanding within work and the power processes that enact within work ultimately conceptualises things in a very satisfying and positive way.
One of the first things I am going to do is one thing that Foucault warns not to do... Which is commoditise power. This is lazy for me (I need to re-read Society Must Be Defended asap.) and a good illustrative short hand for people.
2+1 2+1 2+1 2+1
| | | |
11 11 11 11
As you can see, management levels and structures are supported and develop in themselves not so much through individuals at this levels adding to the overall commodity of work, but by the utilisation and development of the work done previously. In such an organisation, where the flow is clear and positive the Managers are able to resolve issues with a higher level of skill and support. It is a message for all individuals within a structure, that each bit of work, each individual, has a part to play for the positive accomplishment of the organisation, or indeed, otherwise.
Friday, 20 August 2010
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Monday, 25 January 2010
From an article on 'The future of NASA' but could work with far too many areas... Social Services, Education... even politics itself. Bah.