ARCHIVES 1997-2007  --- ARCHIVES 2007 +
JUNE 2013


Two years ago I wrote about a new cultural force which I called DATAISM

I wrote

"Dataism" is the new economic paradigm.  Dataism is an economic system based where those who have the power to collect, organise, analyse, generate and deliver data are the wealthy.  That is what Twitter, Facebook and Google do.

It is a cultural progression.  First was control of land by sword.  We called it Feudalism.   Then came control of gold which came to be called Capitalism.   Military power could not control wealth generation, which is why commercial nations prevailed over feudal nations. 
The new wealth is data flows and those that liberate data flows will prevail over commercial nations.  It is the next step to a laissez faire economy.

One of the driving forces of the new revolution is high level abuse of data control.

Those names at the top?  They are the Christopher Columbus's, the Einsteins of Dataism.  They hope to stop state control of data.  Snowden is on record as wanting to stop the institutionalised collection of private data.

Vain hope.  The NSA and Homeland have already taken the bit between their teeth.  They are obtaining data from various private sources, including large internet companies.  Like J.E.Hoover is reputed to have done, they may well already control the presidency and various other members of government.  While NSA or HS (or somebody within those agencies) might not already control various government personages, it is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

We can see the forces of those bureaucracys moving against this dissemination of information with all the power they can muster.

I can see only one sure solution.  Absolute liberation of information.  Privacy must disappear.  All public webcams should be online to everybody, all the time.  And (ultimately) all government records.  (Yes, including taxes.)

Some time ago I read a comment in the letters page of "The Australian".  Someone had written words to the effect:

I am not particularly worried about privacy.  It is those who have large amounts of illicit wealth who are most concerned.

Of course errant wives/husbands might find it difficult to be errant.  But less crime would be a positive.  And most forms of corruption would become impracticable.

I am planning to do my part.  I hope to mount a webcam focused on the street outside my home.  I further plan to put the output of that webcam online.  Watch this space.

25th June.  This matter has gone through an astounding and alarming transformation.  The USA apparently felt that it could persuade the Chinese to hand Snowden back, but the Chinese baulked and he moved to Russia.  This leaves us with two likely narratives.
  1.   ~40% probability.  The US believes all the damage is done, and just wants to see Snowden punished.  Being confined in an Airport in Russia is probably about as great a punishment as happened to Assange, who is confined in a small embassy in London.  So everything is just noise, signifying nothing.  The US has made an example by having the miscreants punished by confinement, and avoids the embarrassment of a trial.
  2.   ~50% probability.  Snowden has got really damaging data and must be neutralised at all costs.  We can guess at the nature of that information from the disparaging tone of official US pronouncements juxtaposed with the information provided on   "" ("Russian Television") suggests the existence of evidence of misbehaviour by senior people in the US government.  If that is the case, then Snowden is a crucial link in the "chain of evidence".
It will be interesting to see how much pressure can be brought to bear.  If Snowden is killed or repatriated, then it was probably narrative (2).   If Snowden survives (in Russia) then we wonder at the price paid to muzzle him, or maybe there was nothing to tell.  If he goes to Ecuador, then it will be interesting to see whether the US renews it's trade deal in the coming months.


To me, representative "democracy" is like a bad joke.   And the two party system is the worst version of representative democracy.  Let me try to explain.

A close analysis shows that there are always two parties.  The governed and the governors.

So in a "democracy" you think we have the power to choose the governors?  That is where the bad joke really starts.  We don't get to choose laws.  We get to choose between two parties (or in more enlightened places, like Italy or Israel or Switzerland, between multiple parties).  So you might like 51% of what party "A" offers, but don't like the other 49%.  Not good.  You might like abortion on demand, and also the right to carry a gun.  At least the odds of getting both simultaneously must improve with multiple political parties.

And once you have chosen you are stuck with your choice until the next election.  In more enlightened places like Switzerland, in approximately half of the states in the USA, even in Venezuela, people have "recall elections" or "citizen's legislative powers" aka "propositions" in California.   The best places also have a quite short time between elections.  In the US there are Federal "half" elections every two years.  In Australia we do 3 years, except in NSW where we have 4.  (That was a big mistake, but we weren't asked.  Because we do not have a state constitution.  (well hardly)).  So it was just thrust upon us.  I suppose it could be worse.  In the UK it is five years, and in some places, it is seven years.

And the really nasty thing is, local (municipal) councils in Australia have no independent existence.  Municipal councils are effectively departments of the state government, where the Mayor is locally chosen.  Our state governments could (and have) dissolved local government councils at whim.

So what is happening?  In Oz we have a two party system.  Local councils in NSW are mostly dominated by independents.  The math is quite simple.  Larger councils will favour the election of the two major parties as councillors at the expense of the independents.  That is what happened in Queensland, when about 160 councils became about 60.  Guess what our NSW state government is planning.  Except even more savage.  Five councils in eastern Sydney are to become one.

Right now they are holding a pretend investigation.  Just like when they stopped dual roles in elected government.  Elected members of state government were prohibited from being Aldermen or Mayors of local government.  I wrote about that one at the time.  Under the heading "regulatory capture".

What we the people of Australia need is the power to directly legislate, or at least to recall our government if it starts legislating in it's own (I.e. the politician's) interest instead of ours.  It is easy to see how, with the best intentions in the world, our political leaders could become total dictators.

What we need in Australia is a more direct democracy, not a periodically elected dictatorship!