The Economist reviews Macrowikinomics

Category: Business & Economics
Published on Sep 23, 2010

With just 5 days to go before the official book launch, media reviews are going to start flooding in. In the latest, The Economist calls Macrowikinomics a “Schumpeterian story of creative destruction” for the core institutions of modern society. Here’s a clip: How can organisations profit from the power of the web rather than being gobbled up by it? Messrs Tapscott and Williams endorse the familiar wiki-mantras about openness and “co-creation”. But they are less […]

1 Comments

UCLA scientist predicts Canada will become global power thanks to climate change

Category: Business & Economics
Published on Sep 16, 2010

A warmer climate, plentiful fresh water, an abundance of land for development, and access to rich deposits of  minerals and hydrocarbons currently frozen under Arctic sea ice. These are among the assets that could position Canada as a global power by 2050 as climate change transforms geopolitics says UCLA scientist Laurence Smith in his new book The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future. There’s a preview in the Vancouver Sun today, where Smith […]

0 Comments

Republican “Climate Zombies” poised to control US Senate?

Category: Environment & Sustainability
Published on Sep 14, 2010

The hopes of any meaningful action on climate change emanating from the US Government could be quashed if, as expected, Republican candidates fare well in the upcoming elections. According to the Wonk Room, a blog run by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, virtually all Republican candidates for the Senate, save one (Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware ), have pubicly expressed varying degrees of doubt about the science of climate change, calling it “a conspiracy” and claiming that policies to […]

0 Comments

Internet = democracy in China. Not really according to Chatham House

Category: NGOs & Government
Published on Sep 14, 2010

Conventional wisdom suggests that as China grows richer it will also become more liberal, following essentially the same path of development as today’s advanced democracies. The Internet is supposed to accelerate this process by equipping pro-democracy activists with the tools to find information, inform others and self-organize like never before. Unfortunately, the evidence doesn’t always stack up. On the contrary, China’s phenomenal growth has arguably emboldened its communist leaders. Over time they have grown increasingly […]

0 Comments

Cool open source Web tool for probing climate data

Category: Environment & Sustainability
Published on Sep 13, 2010

After posting about the efforts of climate scientists to build a global climate databank for predicting extreme weather events, I got a note from Dave Jarvis who recently built a cool open source tool for exploring weather trends across Canada since 1900. Just choose a location in Canada and within seconds you can pull up historical trends ranging from minimum, mean and maximum temperatures to average daily rain and snowfalls. Apart from the fact that it’s […]

0 Comments

Financial governance debate caught in old-school economic dichotomy

Category: Business & Economics
Published on Sep 09, 2010

Watching the lingering debate about how best to avoid a repeat of the global financial crisis has been fairly depressing for someone who saw the events of 2008 as an opportunity to inject some truly creative thinking into our outmoded institutions for financial governance. This FT article by Sebastian Mallaby (author of More Money Than God) is fairly typical in that it reinforces rather than challenges the prevailing economic assumptions and offers little in the […]

0 Comments

Mass collaboration to improve climate data — a new frontier in citizen science

Category: Environment & Sustainability
Published on Sep 06, 2010

Scientists meeting in the UK this week are crafting a revolutionary new project aimed at transforming their ability to predict meteorological disasters. The goal, as reported by the Guardian, “is to create an international databank that would generate forecasts of unprecedented precision.” To make that happen, the scientists behind the project are contemplating something even more radical: enlisting thousands of ordinary citizens around the world to gather, classify and even help analyze the meteorological data required to build […]

4 Comments

American universities: the Detroit of higher learning?

Category: Health, Science & Education
Published on Sep 02, 2010

Are we seeing the end of university as we know it? On the surface the claim sounds ludicrous. After all, university enrolment is at an all-time high and the competition to get into the most prestigious universities has never been fiercer. But scratch beneath the surface and the picture doesn’t seem so rosy. A little over a year ago Mark C. Taylor caused fury in academia with his pronouncement that graduate education today “is the […]

0 Comments

Does the green state of Denmark really show the way forward?

Category: Environment & Sustainability
Published on Sep 01, 2010

Denmark is renown for wind power and its impressive accomplishments in reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions at a time when those of most other countries are growing vociferously. Today, 20 per cent of the power generated in Denmark comes from wind. Green energy technology and services account for 12% of national exports. And while North American carbon emissions have risen by around 30 per cent since 1990, Denmark’s emissions are actually lower than they were […]

0 Comments