Ricky Thompson

About Ricky

Areas of Expertise

Narrative & Digital Storytelling, Humanist, Internet - Communities, Futurism

I'm passionate about

Using the web to narrow the disparity in opportunities created by economic inequality. Encouraging people to recognise the web as the great enabler of ideas, education, and cultural exchange.

People don't know I'm good at

telling the time to a high degree of accuracy just by looking at the sky! I am always accurate to within +/- 10 minutes regardless of whether it is day or night!

Comments & conversations

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Ricky Thompson
Posted 9 months ago
Toby Eccles: Invest in social change
What is your involvement with the ex-offenders after the period that you have to keep them out of prison to receive payment? Will you focus on certain types of ex-offenders in your group to make the 10% or better reduction in re-offending? If so, what happens to the rest? Is there any danger that 'the rest' will get LESS help as the state organisations will be expecting you to co-ordinate stuff for them but you might, in practice, be de-incentivised to help them as they are unlikely to help you meet your targets? I'm very interested as there wasn't so much detail regarding either your practices or philosophies. Cheers.
160356
Ricky Thompson
Posted 9 months ago
Toby Eccles: Invest in social change
Wow. That was quite confusing. Was that talk just a quick sketch of a business model for monetizing criminals who leave prison? Once you are up and running successfully you will stop approaching social investors and just float the company? And you will direct ex-offenders more efficiently to pre-existing services and develop a communal file that all the service providers can use...is there more to it all than that?
160356
Ricky Thompson
Posted about 2 years ago
If the technology advances enough will people ever be willing to use an artificial Intelligence machine as a counsellor?
Hi Barry. I don't doubt that something simlar or proto-typey has already been done. For instance, I was listening to the BBC World Service this week and they described this game, Sparx, which could be said to be somewhere in the general vicinity of what I described. http://sparx.org.nz/ ... ...but I'm not sure how without real A.I. it could have really been done in a way that really reflects my question. After all, a patient receiving therapy needs to feel some level of empathy or sympathy, no matter how neutral the therapist attempts to be - this is something that computers are not yet capable of evincing from humans as we do not believe them to be sentient.
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Ricky Thompson
Posted over 2 years ago
Is there actually any wisdom displayed by the crowd? Or is it just the latest pet term to describe quantifiable results from chaos? .
I disagree. The market, and the speculators that make it/drive it, is guided by economic theories. The forming of these (academic) economic theories are not immune from the pressures that are typical of group-think. In fact, they seem particularly susceptible to these pressures. For instance, the current neo-liberal approach to economics routinely fails to look sufficiently at alternatives, displays massive data bias, is overly optimistic in terms of risk-taking, etc. The deregulation of financial markets by politicians (at the bidding of economists and the markets)that gathered ever-increasing pace since somewhere in the seventies saw politicians join in this group-think. The global economic collapse that emerged fully in 2008 is a result of listening to the markets. Group-think quietened the voices and thinking that could have prevented it happening. Market-led group-think is currently paralysing the European Union and plunging countries such as Greece into despair. The market is often portrayed (basically by itself) as an efficient process driven by supply and demand, an 'invisible hand' (as Adam Smith put it) that self-regulates. If it ever was, it certainly isn't now. The 'purity' of supply and demand has been distorted by things such as derivatives, and other dubious financial gambits. The market is not an automated process as it is not rational - chaos is always present. Economics (and hence the market) is a social science that is very much prone to group-think - do economists, financial journalists etc have a tendency to (in a broad sense) agree? Absolutely - especially if they want a successful career.
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Ricky Thompson
Posted over 2 years ago
How do you deal with criticism?
If I'm criticised about something that isn't urgent I usually just say something like 'that's an interesting way of looking at it' in a neutral tone of voice. It's non-commital, can be taken as if I'm belitting their criticism, thinking about their criticism, or don't care about their criticism either way. This gives me the space to stay empowered and not be weakened by malicious criticism. It also gives me time later on to think about what they have said properly and work out if it had merit, or even if it was just an attack disguised as criticism. Thus I'm better prepared to react in an appropriate way next time that they offer a view.