Weeknotes: Security/safety/economics, accountability, empathy

Matthew Taylor on accountability , highlights mine: If accountability is based on multiple objectives, relating to quite different domains, things become more complex. Perhaps it is not surprising that organisations often duck that complexity. More and more businesses advertise their ESG framework, but in many of them employees find their day-to-day incentives are still overwhelmingly aligned with profit. A friend of mine who works on ethical leadership says that acknowledging the existence of genuine dilemmas is an essential first step to developing a practical ethical mindset but that most executives are loath to admit such conflicts exist. Unless accountability systems incorporate multiple measures and openly recognise potential trade-offs between objectives they are neither as powerful nor honest as they could be. ... Weak and mythical accountability is a big part of the erosion of trust and credibility in our politicians and political institutions. Ministers make promises they ca

Yearnotes: 2020

Looking back at my 2019 notes , it is tempting to say little has changed. My conclusion then feels prescient: So, this is my inspiration for 2020 (reposting from November): “Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation” is Scottish writer Alasdair Gray’s rephrasing of a line from beloved Canadian poet Dennis Lee (the original was "a better world"). “The Jackpot” comes from William Gibson's novel The Peripheral , and is a distributed, slow-motion apocalypse of climate change, crop failures and famine, pandemic, political collapse, etc. My resolution for 2020 has been going ok: Perhaps we can skip the 'unprecedented' or 'strange' comments, and simply feel lucky that the challenges of this year for a lot of 'us' were not that significant compared to the challenges of this or other years for so many in our own

Monthnotes: play, wisdom, AI collaboration, ephemerality, systems

I'm excited to have joined the board at Now Play This , now a community interest company, and continuing to be a festival of experimental game design. We just opened up our call for 2021 , which will focus around the climate crisis, games and play. In similar vein, check out New Rules - "A collection of essays, poems and other writing that explores the repetitive, revelatory, grim, comforting, stressful, nostalgic, familiar and strange ways that play and games have fit into our lives during the Covid-19 pandemic." From my Now Play This colleague Holly Gramazio. Drew Austin on the state of the worlds: Venkatesh Rao wrote a short blog post last year about the perennially circulating idea that the United States is gradually becoming a third-world country. Rao argues that third world status is both too optimistic and too pessimistic an assessment, and that instead “a patchwork of post-industrial first and fourth-world conditions is emerging against a second-world back