Friday Thread: Eradication of extreme poverty and the idea of momentum, inertia and jeopardy…

Bono talks data poverty eradication at TED and, crucially, eradication of corruption. For which he proposes a familar solution:

“The biggest disease of all is corruption. There is vaccine for that too. It’s called transparency. Open datasets.”

First he may have to convince first world countries. Well worth taking the time to watch it all. But I picked those three words out which he uses to great effect to demonstrate how great potential can be killed by failing to do the right things often by dampening down what are otherwise reasonable expectations of success.

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  • aquifer

    He is right. The first thing stupidly privileged people need when surrounded by poverty is secrecy.

    So civil servants get to sign the official secrets act, to be fit to distribute poverty in the midst of plenty.

  • Zig70

    Being completely transparent is difficult and costly to spend your time accounting for everything you do. Sometimes it’s better to trust someone to get on with it. Ofmdfm don’t want to look like bum’s staying at the local hostel but there is no trust from the public. Even more public distrust of the travelling civil servants.
    On a geek point, I wouldn’t apply a straight line to natural data, has to be exponential.

  • Mick Fealty


    It is, if you build your informational architecture around the axiomatic assumption that no one in their right mind is ever going to ask for it.

  • aquifer

    “Being completely transparent is difficult and costly to spend your time accounting for everything you do.”

    But many records are created in rule based environments anyhow, so should be fit for inspection without a need for translation.

    There are already systems to focus attention on ‘worst cases’, such as the Audit Office, ministers, advocacy services and groups. If these were strengthened while records were made more transparent, it would be fair to have those who make day to day decisions explaining less not more.

    What transparency does is to enable the most outrageously stupid or corrupt decisions to be highlighted, which is what we need, especially if money is short.