Sensor networks and social policy bonds

Here's a little paper, that I've been meaning to hack out since I wrote the notes in April on the train from Ubon Ratchathani and the Buddhist economics conference.

I probably haven't finished with it. Citysense which is pretty proprietary and limited: is running in Boston. However, my feeling is for much less telemetry (less data) and more sensors.

It's all fairly Stafford Beery, but I'm a big admirer of systems over politics, far less posturing, things sort-of work or they don't.

THH motto: Always do the wrong thing

It's Sunday and someone (I suspect) from our horticultural 'contractor' (already overspent by £80K but hey, it's only our money) has come to fill our new planters with soil and flowers:

  • There's nothing urgent about this, except perhaps the overtime rates and thus revenue streams (add 10% tip for THH too! nice!) for the council and the contractor
  • Some of the plants are in flower and they look like annuals. Another nice little earner, they have to be replaced, preferably on a Sunday or at midnight

MPs done to a turn, now for the Civil Service?

Now that we're be reminded that many politicians are lazy, venial and marginally dishonest, perhaps it's time to look at the unproductive, overmanned (overpersonned, haha), wasteful, endemically failing national and local civil service.

They actually waste more in a couple of days, than the £93m odd that the MPs have managed to piss away or line their pockets with.

Hey let's start with those that are meant to oversee them:

Well, if there are problems there, what problems lurk in the 'real' civil service?

Tower Hamlets Homes: A Waste of Energy (and mass)

In the last few days, I've received (apart from the putrescent East End Lies 'Press Pass Porky Benefits Borough', haha):

  • Open Door: A pointless publication containing THH spin
  • Leasholder Focus: A pointless publication containing nothing
  • Repair Newsletter No2 (No 1 is missing collector's item?)
  • Invitation to a 'Residents Fair'
  • Another leaflet for the 'Residents Fair'
  • An Invitation to a 'Repair Day' (chance for EPS to do make-work and overcharge everyone)

Smart Meters, Dumb Politicians, Greedy Energy Companies

So, to distract us from expenses row, we are all to get smart meters, and life will become so much better. Hopefully, these smart meters will march on Westminster and Whitehall and conduct citizen's arrests of the confused, arrogant and lazy people that 'work' there.

Meanwhile, I asked Energywatch about this in 2004 and received a Sir Humphrey style letter (I'll put the scan up in a couple of days) saying that 'it was not cost effective for suppliers' (of course, the consumer is not in the equation at all, even at Energywatch indolence rules).

BBC 'Debates'

Here's something the BBC will not be discussing:

Are BBC executives and top 'talent' (by which we mean childish, obscene, foulmouthed, talentless. offensive and stupid people like Moyles and Ross) paid too much? Oh, sorry, we can't have a'debate' about that can we?

Oh goody: I feel free

"Clearly there are some very innovative and clever people and they know our tactics," Cdr Broadhurst said. "They want to stop the City on the Wednesday - that is their avowed intention."

Anarchists by definition won't come and see us Cdr Bob Broadhurst

He said it was his aim to "facilitate lawful protest" and he revealed plans for a special demonstration pen near the Excel Centre to accommodate a few hundred protesters.

Now, a few other voices are saying that they're heavy-handed:

Green Economy in the East End

I wrote this brief paper about two years ago. With the current upsurge of enthusiasm in Hackney (but not in Tower Hamlets, devoted only to spin, fried chicken and influence trafficking) I'm putting it back into view. This is the second version, I hope is it's gradually becoming easier to read and more detailed.

We need to get as far as possible from being grant-funded-puppets into true sustainability (capital S perhaps, people tend to only think in terms of energy rather than thinking in terms of sustainable human activity including a refactored economy).

LBTH: You [don't] decide

Tower Hamlets council, those masters of spin, have now reached new heights of cynicism, with their version of participatory budgeting: In short they have decided to throw £200K in used fivers (no comment on what these are left over from) to the proles who can 'decide' what they are to be spent on. Here's a few comments about this:

  • We haven't any control over the agenda, so this isn't really participatory. For example, I'd like the mayor to sack his friend:

UK Health Informatics: What a Waste/What an Opportunity

We're spending about £12bn on 'an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is' somewhere within the field of healthcare informatics. This particular project has been extensively criticised by many distinguished university computing departments and more-or-less, the whole industry outside dotgov.

Of course, Gordo (ex-TV journalist, weak at maths:, clown school dropout -sorry I made that last bit up-) and the Sir Humphries (studied classics, ego-size = budget-size-wasted x K | G ) plough on regardless.

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