It’s easy to mock judges for being out of touch with society, and it is true that they live in a cocooned world and don’t tend to mix with much of society. But when a judge tells us that “modern technology is totally out of control” it’s clear that there’s more going on than the bench needing to be advised that the Rolling Stones are, m’lud, a modern beat combo. The assault on Twitter and its users by the appropriately named Lord Judge – Britain’s lord chief justice – is about the contract that we make as citizens with the law.
A quick service note to say that the next wave has started tweeting – light traffic, no more than one or two tweets a day, linking to articles or posts that seem to have something current to say on futures or trends. Visitors to the site may have noticed that the most recent tweets can be found among the site furniture to the right hand of the screen.
Alternatively, of course, you can follow the tweets at @nextwavefutures.
And while doing some blog tidying, I’ve also added a provision that lets you sign up to receive an email version of new posts.
A quick post to pick up the Observer’s piece on ten trends in sport over the next decade. Some are clearly fillers (‘boxing will fight back’? Who cares?) but among the more considered contributions, the two trends that they see as being on the up are about the domination of sport by television, and talent taking control of teams. There’s also an interesting note about sports in long-term decline: skiing, Formula One, and snooker.
I’m prepared to believe that television will increasingly dominate sport; I’m a lot less sure about talent taking control.
We often think of global media celebrity as a modern (late 20th century) invention. Not so, as I was reminded reading Gideon Haigh’s book of cricket articles, Inside Out. The combination of telegraphy and the mass circulation newspaper, together with the the rotary press and the roll film, created the phenomenon in the 1930s, as Daniel Boorstin observed in his book The Image.
It’s difficult to know at first sight whether Rupert Murdoch doesn’t understand the internet, or whether he is just going through contortions to to delay the likely loss of value it represents for his multi-billion dollar media business. The evidence for the former is that News Corp was late in engaging with the internet, despite his well-publicised splash on MySpace. The evidence for the latter is that News Corp’s businesses tend to be built around businesses where value can be defended through infrastructure, and his latest remarks are designed to defend this. There’s a third theory as well; that he’ll make deals wherever they make sense.
The question of what happens when recorded music becomes more or less valueless is a subject I have mentioned a couple of times before (Tony Wilson and others here, Bill Drummond here) . This is a short post to note that Brian Eno has offered some views on this in a recent edition of Prospect. The answers: live music becomes more valuable, as do the non-digital parts of the recorded music package. A couple of brief extracts below the fold.
The radical playwright David Edgar had a long article last week about the recent surge in theatre productions based closely on actual events – from Deep Cut to Guantanamo. He suggests that this latest cycle has filled a gap which has been left by the decline of journalism as a critical activity. And he also makes an interesting historical comparison with a similar movement in the early ’60s.
According to new figures from Ofcom, 4 out of 10 of British internet users now use social networking sites – and those that do spend more than 5 hours a month on social networking sites, and return 23 times a month. Usage is heavier than elsewhere in Europe, and above the USA, but behind Canada. The social networking data for the 2007 International Communications Report is from the summer, but more recent figures from Hitwise suggested that in November UK use of social networking sites overtook that of web-based email for the first time.