Don’t fear ‘Garden Tax’ – Land Value Tax is a good idea

I’ve written before that housing, property prices, land rights and so on are a big chuffing catastrophe for a lot of people in the UK, more so the young and property-less more than anyone else. For example, I couldn’t read the whole of ‘All that is solid’ by Danny Dorling because it just ended up making me really sad. I even blogged about this occasionally to a small audience of weirdos. (And I ask you – is there a higher calling?)

I felt simultaneously annoyed and compelled to write something about the news (specifically in the Sun, Mail, Telegraph, Express, Star) popping up slamming what they choose to call the called ‘Garden Tax’ announced in the Labour manifesto for the just-around-the-corner general election… but it’s not.

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Open Audience Finder

Open Data Kit + Audience Finder = Open Audience Finder?

oafopts

I’ve worked on audience surveys for a long time and I’m always looking to improve my methods. Relatively recently the roll out of Audience Finder from the Audience Agency has done a lot of good in standardizing many basic questions and methods for a range of arts organizations. (see standard questions: link)

This makes a lot of people happy as they have a basis for comparing and contrasting their results with others. Most of the arts organizations I’ve worked with see the value, one way or another. Everyone has their own tweaks or preferences to suggest but some collaboration around some standard questions is generally a good thing…

Around the same sort of time, I started learning about and putting Open Data Kit into use, for various audience and other kinds of end-user/patient surveys. Hence the combination of the two, and in this post, I will be describing how you, with less technical expertise than you probably think, can use it too.

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QGIS examples

Here’s an example of just some of the things QGIS can do. In particular, I am using some of my own data collected at the relatively recent Leicester Belgrave Mela from audience members. (Thanks to the Mela for doing the fieldwork!)

  1. Just viewing OpenStreetMap (OSM) data in QGIS. Until we specifically download polygons/points/lines QGIS is only really doing the same job as a web browser at this stage but it is obviously very handy to not have to download a whole map to even get started. This also means the most recent data is available.

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Greenfield greenwash: Music festivals and contradictions of the counter culture

This is a sample of a short e-book I’m working on. It collects various bits of research I’ve been involved in around festivals environmental impact, as well as thoughts about the big picture of it all. It’s targeted at a general audience, maybe the kind of thing I would have found useful as a student or anyone with an interest in festivals, green politics and general environmental management. Subscribe to the blog or send me an email (r.i.c.h.f@hotmail.co.uk) if you want to be notified when I finish it. Thanks for reading!

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STEM and STEAM: education by acronymisation

I think I bang on quite a bit in lectures about the differences between academic disciplines or fields of study, because I think if you “get” this, it puts everything else you do within a useful context. People don’t like to be told: “That’s interesting and original, but you only get a 50% because it doesn’t really address the question.” or “Your references are from good sources but not really relevant to the field.” The different disciplines, taken to an extreme, represent quite fundamentally different philosophical or ideological ways of seeing and experiencing the world. Perhaps it is no great surprise that there is ongoing and noisy debate about which disciplines should receive the most attention at varying levels of education. Artists are gonna want more arts, scientists are going to want more science.

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