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Towards a better public conversation | New Public Thinking

Thinking Places: A Proposal

  |  May 17, 2011

Some ten or so years ago I moved to The Cut in the Waterloo area of London. I live on an estate, once owned by the Church Commissioners but now privatized, just behind the Young Vic Theatre, a centre for experimental theatre built in 1970 to counterpoint the more traditional Old Vic just down the [...]

Party Spirits: The Return of Midnight Movies

  |  May 9, 2011

Too much coffee, dodgy venues, even dodgier films. Midnight movies are the invisible thread connecting the radicalism of the sixties, the anarchy of ’77, to Britain’s renaissance of dissent in the eighties. It’s high time we resumed these nocturnal séances with the ghosts in the last machine, the cinema projector. Even smiling makes my face [...]

New Public How

  |  May 6, 2011

Dawn: A Mood 1 A child throws the toy, says Fort! Disappears. Reels it back, says Da! Not gone. 2 Thursday, April 28: Pub Think meet-up: not in attendance. NY is not London. Saturday, April 30: Lively discussion, according to reports rec’d. Friday, February 25: Skyped w/ Dougald. Notes on “plurality of genres,” “new institutional forms,” “new thinking [...]

Kick The Bastards Out: Comparing Collapsonomics Elections with Justin Pickard

  |  May 4, 2011

Here in the United Kingdom, we have a referendum tomorrow on whether to replace our First Past The Post voting system with the Alternative Vote. Over the past year, polls have shown a strong lead for voting reform slip back to roughly even pegging, then collapse over the past two months. At this stage, it’s [...]

New Public Thinking and how not to do it – the death of Osama Bin Laden

  |  May 2, 2011

Last Thursday we had our first New Public Thinking meet up. It was a great evening, with a diverse range of NPT contributors and potential contributors enjoying an animated, free-flowing discussion on what New Public Thinking is/could/ should be. Although the conversation was deliberately unstructured and wasn’t intended to come up with hard and fast [...]

New Public Thinking: Beyond the Individual, Beyond the Present

  |  April 8, 2011

“We make our buildings, and then our buildings make and shape us.” (Winston Churchill) I composed many of these thoughts while I was taking a very long walk through the forest last week, and I’ve left this post mostly as it was when I jotted it down on my return. I hope you think of [...]

It’s not how big your society is, it’s what you do with it

  |  March 30, 2011

As I was on the train yesterday morning, I tweeted, ‘On my way to Guildford to talk about what’s wrong with #bigsociety.’ I got a reply straight back from Mike Butcher – Editor of TechCrunch Europe, co-founder of TechHub, board member of the Coalition for a Digital Economy, and someone who has been at the [...]

What Could New Public Thinking Be? Three Reflections

  |  March 29, 2011

To the Reader: This is the first of a multi-part series devoted to the question: ‘What could new public thinking be’? We invite you to think with us about what it could mean to think in public today. Sincerely, Keith Kahn-Harris, Pat Kane, & Andrew Taggart 1 Keith Kahn-Harris writes: The eminent UK sociologist Anthony [...]

Agonising, Agonism and Nuclear Power

  |  March 21, 2011

‘A body of water: water’s body that seems to have a mind (and change it: isn’t that what makes a mind, its changing?)’ From Philip Gross, Betweenland 1, The Water Table It’s been a truly painful week for the people of Japan and all of us watching their tragedy unfold. Only a few hours after [...]

Radical Leftist Politics, What Have You Done for Us Lately?

  |  February 28, 2011

On Sunday, February 13, I received an email to this effect: "I enjoyed reading your recent essay [“In the Land of Bloombergia,” Counterpunch, 9 February 2011] critiquing the critique of your Mayor Bloomberg. I have much the same thoughts when I read a lot of left critiques of our cultural and political elites [...]