Thursday, 18 March 2010

When its easier to rebuild it from scratch

Via @Unpopular I found myself watching some Clay Shirky video the other day ( Whilst there are some wonderful concepts in it, such as the idea of using a 'wikipedia' as a unit of human effort (the equivalent of a weekend's tv viewing in the US), there was a wee throwaway remark from a Brazilian professor, Vasco Furtado, who was building a wiki crime map on google maps. The remark was that although the information exists out there with the government, it was "actually easier to try to rebuild it from scratch than to try and get it out of the authorities."

Sure, Freedom of Information has made things a little easier in the UK, but reading Tyler's Burning Our Money today, and the torturous calculations to figure out what unemployment in the UK actually is, it reminded me of the same thing, that its easier to build the information yourself than to try to get accurate information from the state.

There should be clear charts of this sort of thing on the government's homepage, not subterfuge and smoke and mirrors, trying to polish turds.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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