Tag: data (page 1 of 5)

UK government survey into climate change and net zero

The UK government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy published a report today showing the results of a an online survey into public perceptions of climate change and net zero.

Broadly speaking, ‘net zero’ is supported, but most people think we’ll achieve that through energy efficiency.

GOV.UK logo

Climate change was perceived to be affecting other countries more than respondents’ local area within the UK although half of respondents (50%) felt that their local area had been affected to ‘at least some extent’.

  • Eighty-three percent of participants reported that climate change was a concern.
  • Fourteen percent of participants perceived climate change as affecting their local area by ‘a great deal’ compared to 42% of UK participants perceiving climate change as affecting other countries by ‘a great deal’.
  • Eighty-six percent of UK participants perceived other countries to be experiencing climate change effect to ‘at least some extent’.
  • Around half (54%) of participants perceived their local area to be experiencing climate change effect to ‘at least some extent’.

Source: Climate change and net zero: public awareness and perceptions | GOV.UK

Information means nothing by itself

I had reason to reference this image today, which is an update of the classic gapingvoid cartoon. The point I was making is that a lot of organisations think that they revolutionise learning by connecting people to knowledge.

However, as every educator should know, it’s the connections between bits of information, including context and application, which constitutes the learning experience. The thing that gets missed most often, of course, is the “so what?” — i.e. the impact.

PS- the above image is from the (seemingly) never-ending, information-knowledge meme, originally done as part of building a culture of innovation for our friends over at Genentech. They were happy, the idea lives on. This is how you turn change into movements 🙂

Source: Want to know how to turn change into a movement? | Gapingvoid

What kind of world do we want? (or, why regulation matters)

I saw a thread on Mastodon recently, which included this image:

Three images with the title 'Space required to Transport 48 People'. Each image is the same, with cars backed up down a road. The caption for each image is 'Car', 'Electric Car' and 'Autonomous Car', respectively.

Someone else replied with a meme showing a series of images with the phrase “They feed us poison / so we buy their ‘cures’ / while they ban our medicine”. The poison in this case being cars burning fossil fuels, the cures being electric and/or autonomous cars, and the medicine public transport.

There’s similar kind of thinking in the world of tech, with at least one interviewee in the documentary The Social Dilemma saying that people should be paid for their data. I’ve always been uneasy about this, so it’s good to see the EFF come out strongly against it:

Let’s be clear: getting paid for your data—probably no more than a handful of dollars at most—isn’t going to fix what’s wrong with privacy today. Yes, a data dividend may sound at first blush like a way to get some extra money and stick it to tech companies. But that line of thinking is misguided, and falls apart quickly when applied to the reality of privacy today. In truth, the data dividend scheme hurts consumers, benefits companies, and frames privacy as a commodity rather than a right.

EFF strongly opposes data dividends and policies that lay the groundwork for people to think of the monetary value of their data rather than view it as a fundamental right. You wouldn’t place a price tag on your freedom to speak. We shouldn’t place one on our privacy, either.

Hayley Tsukayama, Why Getting Paid for Your Data Is a Bad Deal (EFF)

As the EFF points out, who would get to set the price of that data, anyway? Also, individual data is useful to companies, but so is data in aggregate. Is that covered by such plans?

Facebook makes around $7 per user, per quarter. Even if they gave you all of that, is that a fair exchange?

Those small checks in exchange for intimate details about you are not a fairer trade than we have now. The companies would still have nearly unlimited power to do what they want with your data. That would be a bargain for the companies, who could then wipe their hands of concerns about privacy. But it would leave users in the lurch.

All that adds up to a stark conclusion: if where we’ve been is any indication of where we’re going, there won’t be much benefit from a data dividend. What we really need is stronger privacy laws to protect how businesses process our data—which we can, and should do, as a separate and more protective measure.

Hayley Tsukayama, Why Getting Paid for Your Data Is a Bad Deal (EFF)

As the rest of the article goes on to explain, we’re already in a world of ‘pay for privacy’ which is exacerbating the gulf between the haves and the have-nots. We need regulation and legislation to curb this before it gallops away from us.