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links for 2009-10-19

  • There are lots of ways governments try to address complex issues. One of the more popular is to set up boards or commissions. The logic is pretty straightforward: Legislators simply don’t have the time to concentrate sufficiently on all the individual issues that require targeted attention. A commission can do that and out of the spotlight of politics. But some of these institutions aren’t particularly effective. What’s more, they cost money year in and year out. It’s kind of like buying a horse to pull a carriage: You have to feed the horse every day, even if he never actually comes into contact with a carriage.
  • Heather Armstrong had had enough. The mother of two had just spent $1,300 on a brand new Maytag washing machine to replace a rickety old one, only for the new model to faithfully conk out.

    After a repairman had made several visits to no avail, she resorted to calling a helpline, and got a wary customer service representative who wasn't helping. Armstrong, a little fed up at this point, finally said the magic words: "Do you know what Twitter is? Because I have over a million followers on Twitter."

    To the detriment of Maytag parent company Whirlpool, the rep said that she did and that it didn't matter, a sentiment that was echoed by her supervisor. Armstrong went straight to her keyboard. "I had exhausted all avenues and I had given them chance after chance to make it right," she says from her home in Utah, adding that she hoped "the right person would hear it and help me."

  • Creative Scotland will be a new organisation with creative practitioners at its heart: an organisation designed to listen to the needs of professional practitioners and use that intelligence in its role as advocate, champion, investor and broker. Over the next three months, we’ll be listening to your perspective on Creative Scotland’s four priorities: creative practitioners, accessibility, participation and international activity.
    (tags: art uk government)
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