Social Information Networks

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Social Information Networks

Governments have always been networked: for six thousand years and more. Corporations have always been networked: since their more recent emergence. Governments and corporations say they serve the public: while life, the biosphere, degrades.

The words are pk: the inspiration is Ivan Illich.

Our perception of Pleroma — the physical universe — is based in information. The possibility of science is based in the assumption that Pleroma doesn’t misrepresent anything: light is light, gravity is gravity. The whole electro-magnetic spectrum is just that: the electro-magnetic spectrum. Civilization is based in control of information. Rulers know when to use definition A and when to switch in definition B: unannounced. Swivel logic, misinformation, breeds and breeds.

Illich said, with increasing force around 1970, that if the public wished to survive governmental- corporate tag-teaming (again, the words are pk), then the public must network itself: appropriate some of the same tools. Illich gave us the blueprint for cyberneticized learning opportunities. Denis Detzel said he’d do it. I said I’d do it. I didn’t hear from Denis: we both did it: independently.
I emphasized that the networking that applied to learning opportunities applied just as well to all public information. Cybernetics could apply the freedom of the ancient marketplace to contemporary societies: with modern efficiency. Naturally expanded, Illich’s blueprint was all the internet a public would need.

The public preferred the magic show it was used to — the sloth, the flattery (the greed) — to making the effort to free itself. But then governments and corporations perfectly well understood that they kept the advantage: raking off resources till there was little left to contribute toward autonomous survival.
Till 1970, the misinformation, the false models the public is steeped in, was imposed on the public (largely through the school (and university) system). Destiny used Illich and pk to turn the tables on the public. Since 1970, the misinformation, the false models are the public’s own responsibility.
This is not the first, and probably is not the last, time the public has ignored a chance to grow up: spurning a low-tech internet offered at cost.

Ah, but we didn’t know! So many of us didn’t know.

But that’s because we allow ourselves to be in thrall to the kleptocratic institutions. The Times declined to carry the message.

Did the Times lose its charter? No. The Times remains (ha!) the paper of record. Just as the government is still the government: no matter how many countries it invades, no matter how many land-mines it leaves behind, lies it tells and is caught in, how many elections it corrupts …

I’m not sure how good a note the following makes: so it’s just a note: detachable. I’m just watching 1941’s How Green Was My Valley. Issues of labor, and union, and strike are pussyfooted near. I don’t say “pussyfoot” because I’m a communist, a socialist, all gungho for labor; I’m not. I don’t believe in labor any more than I believe in corporate capitalism … or democracy … or America. Don’t forget that I don’t believe in civilization or even in agriculture: wishing that we still wandered in search of food. But: if you are sympathetic toward labor, then think of this: a low-tech internet, a simple data base of resources and of personal statements for the public, would serve as a union for people. Boards of elections shouldn’t be trusted to count votes. Representatives shouldn’t be trusted to represent. (How much time has your congressman spent listing to you personally? And if you had him for twelve hours, would your senator listen to him?) But FIX / FLEX could count votes, could record what you say, what you write. (It wouldn’t however then shove it down anyone’s throat.)

Keywords: information, Networks

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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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