04 January 2014

We need to talk about outcomes. Oh, and the future of this blog.

Discussing the 'intellectual viability' of TED talks, Benjamin Bratton concludes: 
At a societal level, the bottom line is if we invest in things that make us feel good but which don't work, and don't invest in things that don't make us feel good but which may solve problems, then our fate is that it will just get harder to feel good about not solving problems. We need to talk about TED, Benjamin Bratton, 'The Guardian', 30 December
Exactly. To put it another way: we need to talk about outcomes.... Rather than how advocates for particular policies perform, or institutional structures, or glamorous projects, or the short-term financial interests of private- and public-sector agencies. Unfortunately our entire political system, and the complexity of society, have allowed policymakers to get away with looking after the interests of corporations and other favoured bodies, rather than the ordinary people they are supposed to represent.

Social Policy Bonds would see policymaking start from first principles: what do we actually want to achieve?, and then reward people for actually achieving our goals, rather than merely for turning up to work for organizations whose names suggest they want to achieve these goals but are far more concerned with their own self-perpetuation.
Is there anyone actually out there? This blog has been going for nine years now, and recent months have seen zero comments posted. Viewer numbers according to Google rarely go into three figures and Social Policy Bonds, though they have had some media attention in recent years, aren't really advancing in ways that encourage me to continue with this blog. That said, perhaps there are readers via RSS or on mobile platforms whose views don't register with Google. If you have an opinion on the future of this blog one way or the other, I'd be grateful if you get in touch. You can email me directly and pseudonymously if you prefer, via the links on this page: http://socialgoals.com/blog-contact-me.html. Thanks.


Wendy Willbanks Wiesner said...

Hello Ronnie,

I am here and I very much appreciate this blog (just found it today). I also greatly appreciate your work and perspective. I am currently working on a set of posts for AllAnalytics which I would like to do in a factual, compelling and thoughtful manner. I think that the engagement of data analysts and professionals in this discussion will be very meaningful. Many times the quiet, diligent unsung heroes--data analysts can seize the political and policy-making day if objectivity and non-partisan attitudes prevail. I look forward to further discussion--Wendy Willbanks Wiesner

Ronnie Horesh said...

Many thanks Wendy, I'd be very keen to discuss the potential role of data analysts with you. Why not get in touch via direct email? I won't give my email address here because of spam, but there are links on this page of my website: http://www.socialgoals.com/blog-contact-me.html. I look forward to hearing from you. Regards, RH

Mike Linksvayer said...

I read every post, mostly in a feed reader. I hope you keep blogging -- or publishing in some public venue, if this blog isn't the right place.

Ronnie Horesh said...

Thanks Mike, much appreciated.

crasch said...

I'm an irregular reader, but I often check back, and I continue to pitch the idea to people in Silicon Valley.

Ronnie Horesh said...

Thank you crasch.