Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Even the NY Times is catching the meme!

Ok, I have to admit that I am a bit happy and yet a bit disappointed that the New York Times has caught on to the "crowd sourcing" meme as a form of social involvement. I highly recommend the article as it does have links to various new services cropping up all over the net. Of course this also validates another one of my deep seated instincts:

In the post modern world, interconnected with a growing base of internet neurons, what one is thinking and publishing will be immediately felt and realized by someone across the other side of the world.

Basically we are becoming the mind. This also dovetails into a science fiction concept of mine where an alien isn't just an "ego" but possibly a world. We are just too small a mind or creature to realize this. Some say you can see it here now in our world with the whole Gaia concept. However, with the massive internet growing and interconnecting, maybe, just maybe, like a large radio telescope, we will start to see thoughts of "others" impacting our own.

But I think I digressed enough.

Besides the NY Times article linked in my title (the little arrow box) I also read about a Russian man who started a very popular website that has been exposing the rampant corruption in the Russian energy world. I know, no surprise there, but the level of freedom and governance this is creating is unprecedented and also was previously impossible without the Internet. Not unlike the science and math of Fractals. Without the computer, it would not have bloomed.

In the NY Times article they give some nice mashups of crowd sourcing, geeks and mapping to give the end user a much better understanding in a very quick manner. They also go into many socially conscious websites (well it is the NY Times) and that is good. But they still haven't made the leap to governance. Actually changing the regulatory system here in the states would definitely impact them as much as GE, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Monsanto, Halliburton, and the publishing and media empires.

However, this will start the renaissance here in the United States. Once our fellow countrymen and women truly wake up from their stupor and demand equal enforcement of the laws, things will change quickly and for the better.

The change is coming and won't be denied and our great country with our constitutional dna will start to assert itself once more.

- j-

Monday, March 28, 2011

Guest Post: Socialocracy and StarTrek

There is a great duality which man has been forced to wear, I feel it is this generations purpose to remove said mask. The problem is as simple as this: People will naturally think and act and express choice, when his ability to do so are removed via institutions, the social fabric begins to crumble. Even simpler still would be the parable of the fish: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. As man's natural abilities are subtly removed, and the fabric crumbles slowly, and the corrupt elements can begin to control the ignorant and polarized populace. Technology is the bridge to a brighter future, but the end goal is still shrouded, and without a know final destination, the path will lead nowhere.

So where is the final destination? What tools are at our disposal to use? Who can help us? How do you spread the message? When do you spread the message?

The most important piece of this puzzle is where is the destination. When thinking about the future, what resources can we draw upon which have been assimilated into the collective unconscious? Have there ever been a widely accepted author/philosopher who has written of harmony within a technological society, without the depression of a dystopia? Some widely read men who gave visions of the future which can be crossed off of the list as the endings are typically of Hobbes- nasty, brutish and short: Orwell, Bradbury, Huxley, Hebert, Vonnegut. Who then is left? Roddenberry. This might seem like an odd choice, and he cannot lay claim to having authored the entire universe of Star Trek, but I doubt someone as prolific, positive or prescient has ever impacted culture as he has. This will not be an argument for worshiping at the altar of Star Trek, only a guide as to what might be, as Roddenberry and Star Trek left many questions remain unanswered on about how to get there.

So why am I claiming that humanity should look to Star Trek and the Federation as answers? If you have watched any of the shows or movies, there are several things which lay claim to the source of harmony on the planet. Perhaps the most obvious piece of evidence, in light of our current global financial crisis is that "There is no money in the 23rd century" James T. Kirk. - Star Trek IV. While this is an admirable goal, how do you get there, when there exist $240 Trillion in financial instruments? Will the problems be solved by the supply siders (J.M. Keynes) or the Austrian school on the demand side? This is a false choice, and does not represent a complete picture of economic thought. Participatory economics is a young, and yet to mature branch of economic thought which has positives and negatives. Using computing power it surmised to match aggregate demand with aggregate supply on a near-time basis. The system lacks the needed and necessary for of governance, but there have been short lived examplesof governments attempting planning at this level. There has been some minor musings into how it would fit into the world of Star Trek, which we might add as a guide point in the unknown space between here and the future. As with math, with any two points one can draw a straight line, and the vehicles we need to travel that line exist! Time Banking is an exceptional way to guard against the devaluation of an hours labor, foster community, but does not solve the issues of consumption or production of goods on any level.

The issue surrounding production and consumption of goods and materials lie in the at the very core of arguments for capitalism, socialism and every other method of allocating resources. In the end the balance of micro and macroeconomic equilibriums should satisfy needs, but does it make people happy. As humans we are very bad at determining what makes us happy, but my wife will tell you that buying clothes makes her happy. So if on a Microeconomic level consumption equates to happiness, and most Advertising firms know this, why is not the US the happiest place on earth? Why are there no parallels to be found in a Macroeconomic environment? Consider Amazon's wish list. Is this information useful in forecasting demand? Is it even utilized? Would a studying a democratic workplace such as SEMCO and building upon its principals help solve some of these problems? How fast can technology be disseminated to solve issues of resource use, renewal, depletion, efficiency? Can the Metropolis quandary ever be solved?

by Ben M.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Regulatory Capture

I was reading on opinion on ZeroHedge today and commented upon it. You can read the whole story and the comments at the link above. In essence, Richard Field goes on to say that the main problem with the current regulatory structure, at least in the financial sphere, is one of a monopoly on the information.

Financial regulators have a unique position. They are the only financial market participant who can see the current asset and liability level data at any financial institution.

What this means is that only the regulator has the complete picture. No fund manager, consumer, or corporate finance officer can see all the data on any other hedge fund, bank, etc. This gives the monopoly of information only to the regulator. This monopoly of information is inimical to what is called the Internet. The Internet was pure anarch unleashed by happen chance upon the world. It was immediately embraced, organized and led to an explosion of knowledge, communication and power.

With the power of this monopoly, responsibility is ceded to the regulators. This is not how a free and capitalist society should work and be governed. Of course, there are layers upon layers of regulations that try to enforce information flow, but these have never succeeded. The only success is in the revelations brought about by wikileaks and anonymous and others. Basically, taking the information that is so closely guarded by the regulators and giving it freely to the public.

Even with the volumes of information leaked, the populace and the savants that exist, seem to quickly comb through the data to find all the true and relevant information. Well the same could be said of financial regulations. Let the data be public. And let the public learn, be educated and help enforce the simple and stated laws.

This would be the beginning of a new and equitable governance model and would surely return our great country to the rule of law vs the rule of man.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Those Security Cameras around Chicago

One of the tenets of my Socialocracy is that regulation is pushed down to the people. This is being seen in the free markets of the Internet with various rating type news sites, YELP! type apps, and via the underground with WikiLeaks and Anonymous.

So it occurred to me, a Chicagoan, that we should be able to look through all the bluelight cameras here in Chicago. Almost around any corner one sees a mysterious blue glow. This supposedly signifies that big brother is watching over you. But what is the point? Big brother is probably an underpaid police assistant sleeping in a control room bored by the 60cycle hum of electricity and the monotony of everyday life.

Put into the hands of the citizenry, however, and there would be instant change. Just punch in your street address and get a map of the cameras in your area, click on a camera, and let your app see what is currently happening. Maybe even have a thirty cache of video data available for anyone to peruse, and to focus on. This would be an incredible and inexpensive method to actually make those cameras worth the money. Heck, we the taxpayers had to pay for them, so why not have us use them?

Do they really believe that only they have the smarts to see? If a crime was committed, people would talk, the date and time would get known, and then probably a dozen folks would fire up their Internet or App and would start investigating.

News of this would spread and the empowerment would be great. Of course, they could then notify the police, show them their evidence and let the traditional system get back to work. This subtle shift in responsibilities would also start the heal the rift between citizenry and police as they would be working together.

It would also allow for a reduction in payrolls while increasing safety. Again, socialocracy at work for the good of the people.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The 28th Amendment Meme

A very important aspect of a Socialocracy movement is rapid dissemination of an idea or a meme. Recently one that has come to my attention via a couple of emails from different sources is an amendment to our great constitution. It is being called the 28th amendment for obvious reasons. It will be the next amendment as we only have twenty seven.

This amendment would be quite simple and has all the hallmarks of a Socialocracy. The laws will be equally applied to all.

Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the
United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or
Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to
the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally
to the citizens of the United States.

This particular amendment will again drive a stake into the current nobility vs commoner classes that have arisen in the last hundred years since the founding of the Federal Reserve. If this particular meme takes traction, we will start the see the true green shoots of a renaissance.

One of the overriding memes I see in the cities is the disrespect towards the police. There has become a very adversarial relationship. In my own experience, anytime I have encounter these so called "peace" officers, I have left a bit poorer. Why is this?

It is simply because there are so many rules and laws that everyone has become a criminal so it has become very easy for the state to extract, dare I say extort, money from the populace. Additionally, since most have a gut feeling that the laws are not being applied equally a growing disrespect blossoms into outright hostility towards the police.

The police were to solve crimes and not necessarily prevent them. Unless of course the officers would walk the beat and get to know the community. This has changed.

If the 28th Amendment were to be enacted, it would make the population believe again. It would respect again as it would now know that the laws would have to be applied equally. This would be an enormous start in the process.

Here are some quotes from an email I received:

No one has been able to explain to me why young men and women
serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives
protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay. While
politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines
of the capital, protected by these same men and women, and
receive full pay retirement after serving one term. It just does
not make any sense.

Monday on Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress
family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans.
This will get national attention if other news networks will
broadcast it. When you add this to the below, just where will
all of it stop?

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of
Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress
could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they
specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have
passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for
sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those
laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare
Reform... in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem
logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly
don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or
whatever. The self-serving must stop.

So? What do you think?

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Socialocracy Continued

As the above link will show, people are starting to both understand and think about what they can do about this feeling of unjustness. What I am trying to develop is the where, in the words of the inimitable Steve Jobs, "the hockey puck is going." It seems to me that to just bring down the oligarchs of finance is not enough. It is just a battle. Yes it is a very important battle but it is just a tactic. In order for the war to be won we must have a strategy and a goal.

That is why I have come up with Socialocracy.

It is far time that we, in the United States, end this dual oligarchy of Republican and Democrat. I have seen and read so many times where people would immediately dismiss the other because of their preference for the label. This only serves the master and keeps the peasant fighting and distracted amongst themselves. What is needed is a non-co-opted third party to emerge. The Tea-Party was a start but failed immediately once it decided it needed to align with Republicans. It was quickly co-opted by the powers in that party. Of course, any progressive or democrat immediately hated them and called them racist.

The master won that battle.

What Socialocracy does is cut through the tendrils that keep the dual system intact. Not unlike a binary star system. Socialocracy cuts this tendril like a hot knife through butter, easily and without much effort.

The core tenet of Socialocracy is that regulation is pushed to the people. Enforcement will move back to the judicial system. Yet even the judicial system will be under the regulatory purview of the people.

Let us take a favorite pet peeve of mine, law. In the corrupted state of Illinois, one has to go to law school to even take the bar exam. This, the land of Lincoln! With this rule alone, would Lincoln have ever become the great, statist, fascist president? Of course not, but then again, that might have been a good thing.

Now before all you people declare me a racist, remember, slavery was abolished in almost all countries without a civil war. But then again, was it really slavery? Or was it economics? Anyway, I digress.

The point being is why couldn't I just study on my own and pass the bar exam. Heck, I think I would be more impressed and ready to give a lawyer my business who did study and pass it on his own. This shows dedication, discipline and heart.

But no! That would not do. The state and their institutions need to "control" and of course need to enslave via debt. How much would it cost to go to law school? And, supposedly, if I wanted to get a job at a "prestigious" law school, I would have to go to a really expensive law school. Thereby enslaving me with student loans of which the bankers and the state say I can go bankrupt on and would have to pay off till I die.

Obviously this is corrupt. Now some would say, this ensures that they are prepared. Then what is the bar exam for?

In a Socialocracy, enabled by the Internet. We have a very equitable solution. Let the market rate and publish! This type of governance can only be possible with the easy dissemination of information. The Internet makes this possible. This is like fractals in math. Without computers, fractals would never have become the science they are now.

We seem to have no problem understanding the effect of technology on things and science, but when it comes to governance, everyone seems to become blind. However, the free anarchic marketplace has created solutions that clearly work, i.e. YELP.

Now we just need to realize that the opportunity for a new renaissance stares us in our soul. Again, thanks to a completely free system, at least for now, of the Internet.

This also disproves the notion of anarchy and in a strange way entropy.

That is it for now.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Origins of Socialocracy


I have been doing a lot of thinking about governance, markets and finance.

My gut is feeling very upset these days. I feel that the apocalypse is real. If one understands that the greek root means unveiling, things become clear.

The Internet has stripped off the veils of all corruption, conspiracy, power, money, realities, politics, religion, war, pharma, oil, bio, nano and genetic.

Everywhere we look deeply it all seems so corrupted.

Meanwhile the Internet blasts change all over the world. It has obsoleted and birthed many industries. A wonder of pure anarchic freedom expressed by the worlds people. New wealth created, optimism and imaginations ignited. A real world example that disproves the one last fear... anarchy.

Then came WikiLeaks. Heroic in bravery, it published the communications of the noble class. The plotting, planning, gossiping world of the elite acting their charade of managing the people.

But WikiLeaks was a big dump of information. There was also a big dump of information from the Federal Reserve forced onto that bastion of satan by a meek little ol' doctor.

I remember a movie where Gene Hackman represented a little guy against a big auto manufacturer in a court case. In came the suits followed by laborers to dump hundreds of boxes of evidence hiding the one needle of a smoking gun. And like that movie even the one reference to the document was changed!

Again the Internet comes to the rescue. Suddenly savants and saints alike started pouring through the pages and exposing needles upon needles of delicious hay. Crowd sourcing with a goal. A goal of governance.

Next we move to the current Mid East revolutions and uprisings. Through Facebook, the students and people communicated atrocities and strategies alike, countering the din of monotonous propaganda.

Soon news of an immolation by a simple young man just wanting to earn a simple living spread through the land. Keystrokes later a revolution bloomed. Black swans gathering into an apfrockalypse from over the hedge.

The old way of governance is decaying in obsolesce while a new form of governance is being born before our eyes. I call it Socialocracy. May I dare say a true challenger? The true light and wave of communication.

But to name something is to control or own something. And to own is to be responsible.

A Socialocracy is where the rules are simple, the data free and open, and the people do the regulating. Not the voting but the regulating. Yes there is voting and elections, but the regulation thereof, by the people and for the people.

What would this mean?

With open information, the rich might start to feel foolish hoarding a billion a year from the interest they charge the sheep.

Regulatory agencies and the alphabet soup of their delusions... eliminated.

But of course this will be resisted. Why? The main reason is that all the laws would have to be changed. It would become clear that a nobility existed exempt from the laws. This could cause embarrassment for those who believe that the US is not a monarchy.

Anyway, I will explore this later in future writings but wanted to get this out onto the social net in a hurry.