Quangos Full print version, including charts and tables ( Since it was coined in the 1970s, ‘quango’ has become a highly emotive term. For many it is a byword for wasteful bureaucracy, patronage and lack of democratic accountability. It is no surprise that politicians from all sides have regularly called for reductions in their number, expenditure and influence. However, achieving this in practice has proved difficult. How many quangos are there? Swarm intelligence Swarm intelligence (SI) is the collective behavior of decentralized, self-organized systems, natural or artificial. The concept is employed in work on artificial intelligence. The expression was introduced by Gerardo Beni and Jing Wang in 1989, in the context of cellular robotic systems. The application of swarm principles to robots is called swarm robotics, while 'swarm intelligence' refers to the more general set of algorithms. 'Swarm prediction' has been used in the context of forecasting problems. Example algorithms
Donations and loans to political parties There are rules on who can make donations and loans to political parties and other campaigners. For instance, individuals can only donate if they are on an electoral register. Parties have to record the donations and loans they receive, check they are from a permissible source, and report larger donations and loans to us. Mean world syndrome "Mean world syndrome" is a term coined by George Gerbner to describe a phenomenon whereby violence-related content of mass media makes viewers believe that the world is more dangerous than it actually is. Mean world syndrome is one of the main conclusions of cultivation theory. Gerbner, a pioneer researcher on the effects of television on society, argued that people who watched a large amount of television tended to think of the world as an intimidating and unforgiving place. A direct correlation between the amount of television one watches and the amount of fear one harbors about the world has been proven. 
Fact checking The American Press Institute presents a roundup from the world of fact checking, debunking and truth telling — just in case you haven’t been paying as much attention as we do. Quote of the week “Apparently, the coach has never met everybody’s unimpeachable source, Mr. Twitter.” Home Secretary announces statutory inquiry into undercover policing Home Secretary Theresa May today established an inquiry into undercover policing and the operation of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). The inquiry will consider the deployment of police officers as covert human intelligence sources by the SDS, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit and by other police forces in England and Wales. It will also review undercover policing practices, identify lessons learned and make recommendations about the way undercover policing is conducted. The Home Secretary has appointed Lord Justice Pitchford to lead the inquiry, set up under the 2005 Inquiries Act, with the power to compel witnesses to give evidence.
Barbara Ehrenreich Barbara Ehrenreich (/ˈɛrɨnraɪk/; born August 26, 1941) is an American writer and political activist who describes herself as "a myth buster by trade", and has been called "a veteran muckraker" by The New Yorker. During the 1980s and early 1990s she was a prominent figure in the Democratic Socialists of America. She is a widely read and award-winning columnist and essayist, and author of 21 books. Ehrenreich is perhaps best known for her 2001 book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.
Did GCHQ Illegally Spy on You? Have you ever made a phone call, sent an email, or, you know, used the internet? Of course you have! Chances are, at some point, your communications were swept up by the U.S. The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything. You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments.
The electoral register and the 'open register' There are 2 versions of the electoral register - the ‘open register’ and the full version. Opting out of the ‘open register’ You can opt out of the ‘open register’ - the version of the register that’s available to anyone who wants to buy a copy. Opting out doesn’t affect your right to vote. The full version Everyone’s name and address goes on the full version of the electoral register. AUTOPOIESIS, CULTURE , AND SOCIETY Humberto Mariotti The concept of autopoiesis has long surpassed the realm of biology. It has been used in areas so diverse as sociology, psychotherapy, management, anthropology, organizational culture, and many others. This circumstance transformed it in a very important and useful instrument for the investigation of reality. Years ago, Chilean scientists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela proposed the following question: to what extent human social phenomenology could be seen as a biological phenomenology?
Why are boundary changes bad for Labour? If there is a place in Britain that embodies exclusivity and inaccessibility then London’s Savile Row might just be it. The 213-year old street is internationally recognised as the Mecca of tailoring, a place where some of the world’s most affluent people flock to get their clothes made. Earlier this year, however, the Row gained a new resident and, in the process, was dragged a fraction closer to the modern age.
Centaur Consciousness – Mythological Narratives and 21st Century Cultural Critique, a continuing conversation with Dr. Ted Friedman, Georgia State University “For the last few years, I’ve been preoccupied with a concept that hasn’t received much academic attention lately: myth. Specifically, the idea that popular culture narratives are forms of myth.” – from Myth, the Numinous and Cultural Studies In an age of near ubiquitous communications, the classic divisions of society still deeply affect our interactions. Economic League - Powerbase From the end of the First World War to the closing years of the twentieth century the Economic League conducted its radical rightwing “crusade for capitalism” on the streets and outside the factory gates of Britain. From the 1920’s onwards they were manipulating newspapers stories before the concept of “spin” and “spin doctor” had been invented. But they became best known for their employment blacklist, created in its earliest years. The League was dissolved in 1993 following a series of press exposes and a parliamentary investigation into its blacklist. But the League sold on its blacklist to the construction industry which set up a trade association - The Consulting Association - to continue into the twenty first century blacklisting trade unionists and health and safety activists from the largest construction projects in the country.