"...Panic on the streets of Birmingham, I wonder to myself..."  Why?  When You Tube streams have topped 1.2 billion per day and my wife calls asking me to collect her from a city centre restaurant in Birmingham, locked down due to gangs of hooded rioters (no-doubt uploading their antics to You Tube), why can't I jump on my iPhone a view the situation in real-time?  Most major cities in the world have state commissioned CCTV networks but who is using them?  Some night-watchman sat if front of a bank of 100 black and white monitors I guess.  Adequate when things are calm but how can he focus when things kick off?  We needs more eyes.  Police were seemingly in the dark as to where last nights violence was erupting until the chaos had escalated.  It seems to me there is a serious resource issue here that could be addressed with some clever tech and governments having more confidence in the greater majority of us.


Of course few of us like the idea of the nanny state but most of us welcome local information, especially when disasters, natural or otherwise occur.  Whilst nosey do-gooders can just as easily enflame a containable situation perhaps we could be both policing and moderating ourselves more effectively if the video streams from all those city centre cameras were accessible, to the public, 24/7.  The value to human life and national security is immeasurable but the value the retailers lost in last nights looting is absolutely quantifiable.  A modest commercial insurance paid for by city centre businesses would surly cover implementation of a digital neighbourhood watch, streamed over our mobiles that would enable us to help one another and help prevent this kind of mindless violence escalating out of control.  My wife could have logged in, selected the Brindley Place cameras and honed on the situation to decide the safest direction to take whilst I'd have known which routes to avoid on my heroic rescue mission.  And the whole thing could have be sponsored by You Tube which might go some way to redress arguably lacking corporate responsibility.  

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I set up Who'd of Thought It in 2010, as a blog and place to share and develop ideas. 

It evolved into a small community and forum to post thoughts and canvass feedback, with me entertaining the notion of perhaps collaborating on and publishing some of the content to a wider audience. After gathering some initial traction (there are some novel concepts in the archive) other ventures took precedence.

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Enjoy. Chris Thompson

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