The run-up to the Olympics that was filled with anguish and concern reflects a far deeper problem in society. Indeed, it was a result of the over-inflated obsession with security that has gripped the U.S. and many in Europe, but particularly Britain, since 9/11.
As a resident of the area, I am always struck by the way the boarded up fashion stores take on the appearance of failed businesses. Notting Hill looks like the opposite of what it is -- a post-apocalyptic village in terminal decline.
Crowds, linked by clouds, are wielding new mobile devices to communicate different types of information across different types of network. The commercial implications are transformative. The political ramifications are revolutionary.
The recent events in England allow us the opportunity to make social scientific lemonade out of British lemons. Cameron's government should not only crack down on protesters, but also unearth funds to implement jobs programs for at-risk youth.
You won't find the most troubling "moral breakdown" in London among its youth. It reveals itself in every humiliating police search, every shuttered youth club, every corruption scandal ingrained in a political structure that walls off ordinary people.
We've had financial bubbles before. This one's got a twist though. It's fraught with complexity, scope, depth, widespread fraud and bad underwriting practices making coming out of it, all the more difficult.
Who is a responsible for the moral rot in Britain? The police are blaming the youth for being hooligans, as if young people are supposed to learn values on their own. The politicians are blaming a culture of selfishness, egged on by Wall Street.
It may be easy to call for public inquiries at the drop of an ethical hat, but it isn't especially meaningful. It demurs decision-making and abdicates the responsibility, one that our politicians should feel, for articulating a strong and compelling portrait of society and its ills.