Archive for the Culture Category

Barack Obama – forging a legacy in stone

Posted in #worldview, Culture, Economics, Inspirational People, The Truth Is Out There on 19/04/2010 by nicka77

Not content with having forced through health reforms against extreme and vitriolic political obstinacy, Barack Obama is turning his attentions to the much-needed reform of the banking sector.

It is a much repeated phrase in America, that “Main Street must never again be so reliant on Wall Street”, and it is the hypocrisy and self-indulgent ideology of bankers that will now come under genuine, tangible scrutiny for the very first time since the global economy crashed almost 2 years ago, as a result of the fraud charges brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Goldman Sachs.

In a few days time, Barack Obama will debate his banking reforms with The Senate in another round of hand-wringing, shaking of heads and venomous attacks on this “Communist” by Republicans and, even, some Democrats. It is no surprise that the timing of the charge of fraud being brought by the US SEC against Goldman Sachs is so aptly timed, and it is for this reason that I state that this will be the first tangible scrutinisation of the industry since the crash.

Up until now, Governments the world over have quite rightly focused their minds on saving the banking sector, utilising public sector funds in which to do so, thereby ensuring ordinary tax payers are not left totally bereft due to the actions of a small number of self-centred imbeciles. Only now, given that the global economy has stabilised, and investigators have had time to build water-tight cases, is the time right to bring lawsuits against those who brought the crash to bear.

In my opinion, it would be the wrong thing to do if banks and bankers had demonstrated some sort of remorse or indeed willingness to change their worst practices. However, the fact that Goldman Sachs have a huge $20bn war chest to dish out in bonuses this year speaks absolute volumes. They haven’t changed. They will never change. Unless they are forced to change through structural, regulatory and litigious force.

And that’s why this legal action brought against Goldman Sachs, and all the subsequent legal actions that will be brought against a variety of the worst offenders, is a hugely unfortunate necessity if the global banking system is ever to be rebalanced in favour of the ordinary man on the street. It is hugely unfortunate that this is necessary, because I believe that this legal action will be the spark that ignites a double-dip recession.

With the threat of legal action against fraudulent collusive practices between and within the murky worlds of hedge funds, investment banks and market analysts, the banks will once again close up shop, strangling the liquidity necessary to stimulate and fuel business in every corner of the globe. This will lead to another bout of job cuts, misery, and bankruptcies, as well as create a catalyst for further lurches towards extremist and non-mainstream political parties.

However, it is a legal action that, despite the short- to medium-term pain, is absolutely necessary in the longer-term. Just as America will have to go through huge amounts of pain to restructure it’s health system, the World will have to suffer yet more pain while the global banking system finally gets the attention it has deserved ever since bringing the economy close to total collapse.

Barack Obama is making very tough choices, and shying away from not one single battle.

He is the President that America needs, and he is the American President that the World needs.

All power to him. I believe his legacy will be unparalleled.

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The Dogs of War

Posted in #worldview, Culture, Digital, Economics, Technology, The Truth Is Out There on 18/04/2010 by nicka77

This is a great visualisation by John Snow at Gizmodo of the huge battle going on for our digital souls…. Google, Apple & Microsoft are fighting the first true war of the 21st Century (if we ignore those pesky terrorists) in their attempts to create lifestyle cocoons around each and every one of us, developing a multi-verse of platforms which will ensure that, once we are snared, it will be almost impossible to disentangle ourselves. The implications for personal data and privacy are, as we all know, enormous….

Culture Clash

Posted in Culture, Music on 26/02/2010 by nicka77

And later the same night – on 17th Feb – hit the Roundhouse for a madcap bass soundclash featuring Metalheadz, Trojan, DMZ and Soul II Soul…

Had a slightly obscene ‘royale with cheese’ hangover the next day…. well worth it though – Goldie and the Metalheadz crew ran out fully deserved winners – top top notch.

Jay Electronica

Posted in Culture, Music on 26/02/2010 by nicka77

Lucky enough to see the fantastic Jay Electronica at his first ever London concert on 17th February at The Jazz Cafe.

Absolute quality.

Digital Strangelove

Posted in Advertising, Brand, Culture, Digital, Marketing on 28/10/2009 by nicka77

Great presentation attached below – from a chap called David Gillespie – entitled Digital Strangelove (or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Internet).

Some lovely, insightful thinking on Intention Planning, the nature of societal change, and the shift within advertising and marketing from a controlled silo-specific ‘all-for-one’ mentality, to a truly open-source ‘one-for-all’ philosophy that is based on the core principles of “data + meaning”.

Latest social networking stats

Posted in Culture, Digital, Social Media on 27/10/2009 by nicka77

Quick snapshot of current trends based on daily reach percentage – twitter is about to overtake myspace for the first time, while Facebook has passed YouTube and continues its inexorable march towards world domination…..

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Knowledge in the digital age

Posted in Culture, Digital, Innovation, Technology on 27/10/2009 by nicka77

We all know, as Thomas Friedman so rightly put it, that the world is getting flatter. As technology develops, and knowledge/skills become readily available from Bangalore to Burnley to Baha, the traditional models of corporate control and nepotistic elitism are becoming utterly obsolete.

Now there is a new and, frankly, fantastic service that utilises the flattening power of the internet to give people an even greater opportunity to learn, develop and improve than ever before. The might of iTunes & YouTube have created, in tendem with some of the best Universities around the world, a couple of platforms through which anyone and everyone can access the thoughts of the greatest minds on the planet.

Apple have brought us iTunes U, and Google have created YouTube EDU.

These two sites have reams and reams of lectures that are available free, as podcasts or streamed videos, on any subject from nano-technology to string theory to Darwinism to China’s role in a globalised economy. There are thousands upon thousands of talks and debates from Universities such as Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, LSE and many, many more.

The availability of this level of specialised knowledge, which has up to now only been available to the privileged elite, is a new dawn in the life of the internet from a ‘knowledge flattening’ perspective. Of course it is not a tangible revolution in how the internet is used (as consumer-generated content was, and location-based GPS-enabled intelligent content will be), but it is a demonstration of how the bigger internet brands are utilising their platforms for the greater good.

Check them out – absolutely brilliant.

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