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November 15 at 11:06am

Petitions After The Fact

If you want to change things, some times you have to show how something has already changed.  Everyone has climbed on the bus when you think they are still at the stop waiting.  This is a good idea: build a list of everyone who is well known who has done that thing you know they’ve done but it’s not being said.  You could extend this to many activities.

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November 9 at 11:00am

Can This Be Exported To The U.S.?

The “Do Not Call” List is a really good idea and of course we are on it, but what happens when those annoying marketing calls somehow still get through.  Some clever Brits not only came up with this good idea, but they have executed it.

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November 2 at 3:45pm

Can Shame End Corruption?

I was giving a read of Ray Fisman & Ed Miguel’s new book Economic Gangsters (get it, it’s a good and quick read) and was inspired by the former Mayor of Bogota’s techniques.  Some of you may recall Mr. Mockus from the article that tipped of Ray & Ed from the NY Times several years ago:

Mimes were part of Mr. Mockus’s diabolical plan. He first hired 20 professionals to follow, imitate and mock citizens who committed public incivilities like jaywalking, picking pockets and driving recklessly. So successful were the first mimes that 400 more were trained as ”traffic mimes” to monitor pedestrians at street corners.
Okay, so mocking and teasing isn’t quite the same as shaming, but I am still amazed by how many people treat “everyone else is doing it” as a get-out-of-jail-free-card.  The minor annoyances like the people that try to enter the subway car before the others get out may seem trivial but I do believe they pile up to create something altogether terrifying: corruption.  And if it takes white face and invisible stair walking to do it, it’s a good idea.
People need to be reminded of the world they want.  Sometimes you need a mime to do it.


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