What Is The Purpose / Philosophy Of The Claverton Group?
Putting people with expert knowledge “at their fingertips” in touch with others who don’t have it and who might want it (without necessarily knowing the need it).
Fundamentally it is to put people in touch on a one to one / group basis often outside Claverton, and so the purpose of the discussions is to draw out and display who knows what, so that expertise level can be evaluated, contact can then be made outside the public network if desired, and this happens – users create all sorts of private networks which leads to all sorts of mutually beneficial private deals – information swapping or business deals.
(See also on the web site under the “WHO WE ARE” tab.)
People may wish to be involved for all sorts of reasons, from a simply desire to find an expert (consultant, academic) to the best supplier of a particular piece of equipment, or the desire to do business – and this happens all the time. Journalists often use the group to get information and check facts. People interested in policy, an academic maybe, can have immediate access to people who can for example tell them the typical cost of a new power station, or a wind turbine, or the life cycle maintenance cost of a diesel engine, without having to to do endless web searches (where they may be looking for the wrong information) yielding dubious and ambiguous results. Others are expert in how much energy could be saved at what cost if British houses were properly insulated as in Germany and Denmark or other technical minutiae.
By putting one expert in touch with another, rather than a database, the one expert may point out that the other expert is asking the wrong question (Relevance Paradox), and also vice versa. Most discussions start out free and stay that way, but they may lead on to lucrative consultancy work.
So the philosophy is to create a network of experts in the widest sense of the word – engineers, scientists, businessmen, academics, economists, politicians and civil servants, or simply people with particular experience etc, so that as a society we can talk rationally about energy, and energy policy – it being felt that the general level of public debate is generally poor and ill informed.
The fundamental philosophy was set out in the book “The IRG Solution – hierarchical incompetence and how to overcome it”(Souvenir Press – 1984 – Chapters are available on line in the Claverton Library World Energy Policy section)- which pretty much described the Internet etc well before most other people had thought of or realised the implications, and suggested how such a network of computer connected individuals, could be used to generate sensible world views and policies to avoid climate and resource disaster. (It may seem a bit long winded now, because back then, it had to explain why people would want a personal computer (which didn’t exist at the time), in every home (why would people want them?) , linked by modems, ( most people had no idea what that was and why on earth would you want one at home?), and what they would want to communicate about) Claverton is an Information Routing Group and the idea is to propagate it indefinitely – which is why we need more moderators to run more mailing lists.