lundi 6 décembre 2010

A propos de "Fuites Express" ...

On ne compte plus les occasions pour Hillary Clinton, ici par porte-parole interposé, de se taire (WIIIAAI tente avec abnégation un décompte qui ne peut qu'être partiel), ce qui est un rien ennuyeux pour quelqu'un qui occupe un des Ministères de la Parole aux USA.

Nuova Gerona, Isla de la Juventud, Cuba

On peut quand même aller relire quelques très anciennes (2006, une éternité !) notes du blog que tenait l'anarchiste-pas journaliste, ici, histoire de saisir la perspective générale :

Sun 31 Dec 2006 : The non linear effects of leaks on unjust systems of governance

You may want to read The road to Hanoi or Conspiracy as Governance ; an obscure motivational document, almost useless in light of its decontextualization and perhaps even then. But if you read this latter document while thinking about how different structures of power are differentially affected by leaks (the defection of the inner to the outer) its motivations may become clearer. The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive "secrecy tax") and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaption.
Hence in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance.
Only revealed injustice can be answered; for man to do anything intelligent he has to know what's actually going on.

Sun 17 Dec 2006 : Freenet

Ian Clark's Freenet has forums. However, they have zero political impact because only very highly motivated users can perceive them.
We want to stand and fight AND run and hide, falling back to the next technical defense only when political defenses are over come.
This requires placing trust in some people. That's ok. We can engineer a situation that motivates people, not just machines, to have courage.

Mon 04 Dec 2006 : The Road to Hanoi

It seems like everyone I meet plans to follow the young Che Guavara, now that seduction of random latinos has been politically sanctified, and take off on their motorbike and adventure through the poverty and pleasures of South and Central America. And who can blame them? But there are other lands to explore.
Last year I rode my motorcycle from Ho Chi Min City (Saigon) to Hanoi, up the highway that borders the South China Sea.
On the road to Hanoi something caught my attention and that of every vehicle near me. We had to watch constantly and take action every few seconds or it would have killed us all.
The road to Hanoi is a Vietnamese economic artery but is nonetheless dominated by potholes, thousands the size of bomb craters. There are constant reminders of "The American War" all over Vietnam, and perhaps this was one of them, but in a more indirect way.
To a physicist a pothole has an interesting life. It starts out as a few loose stones. As wheels pass over, these stones grind together and against the under surface. Their edges are rounded off and the depression they are in also becomes rounder by their action. The stones become pestles to the hole's motor. Smaller stones and grit move between the spaces of larger stones and add to the grinding action. The hole enlarges, and deepens. Small stones are soon entirely worn away, but in the process liberate increasingly larger stones from the advancing edge of the hole. The increasing depth and surface capture more and more energy from passing wheels. The destruction of the road surface accelerates until the road is abandoned or the hole is filled.
Road decay is, like a dental decay, a run away process. Utility rapidly diminishes and costs of repair accelerate, and just like teeth it is more efficient to fill a pothole as soon as it is noticed.
But this measure of efficiency is not the metric of politics and it is a political feedback process that lays behind the filling in of potholes on almost every road on earth.
That process is driven by the behavior of politically influential road users who are themselves motivated to action by psychologically negative encounters with potholes.
When potholes are small, the resulting political pressures are insufficient to overcome the forces of other interests groups who compete for labour and resources. Likewise, it is difficult to motivate people who have other passions and pains in their life to goto the dentist when their teeth do not ache. Both are caused by limitations in knowledge and its distillation: foresight.
Why is this surprising? It is surprising because we are used to looking at government spending through the lens of economic utility; a lens which claims the political process as a derivative. This vision claims that political forces compete for access to the treasury to further their own utility. Hence, military intelligence and public health compete with road maintenance for funding and so should attempt to minimize the latter's drain on the treasury. But that drain is minimized by filling in potholes immediately!
Foresight requires trustworthy information about the current state of the world, cognitive ability to draw predictive inferences and enough economic and political stability to give them a meaningful home. It's not only in Vietnam where secrecy, malfeasance and unequal access have eaten into the first requirement of foresight ("truth and lots of it").
Foresight can produce outcomes that leave all major interests groups better off. Likewise the lack of it, or doing the dumb thing, can harm almost everyone.
Computer scientists have long had a great phrase for the dependency of foresight on trustworthy information; "garbage in, garbage out". In intelligence agency oversight we have "The Black Budget blues", but the phrase is probably most familiar to American readers as "The Fox News Effect".

Thu 03 Aug 2006 : How can we untie the unknot?

But then thundering, inexorable realisation that the world is what the brain makes. Constraints in the meat give form to the symbols on the paper, to every inclination and imagining, to every cognitive process. Here then, this very sentence, out of the countable arrangements of matter limited to just a few forms the brain can see. So, on to understand the brain to understand the mind to understand mathematics to understand physics to understand the world, but then, just when this seems to be the path to enlightenment we see that constraints in the meat must arise from physical constraints. The meat of perception has been shaped by iterated selection and variation of ancestral nervous systems. How can we describe the tendencies of selection? By its constraints. The constraints of the physical system in which it selected. Above all, life must live and that is constrained by energy and momentum and mass and time and charge and gravity. A creature's abilities and imaginings reflect adaption to these constraints. We have no other notion but to point and say there it is. But these physical concepts are concepts of the mind. The self description is the constrained language of the brain. All folds in on itself. Start anywhere. Start nowhere. With boundless insight draw the circle tighter, but a circle it remains. How to hack reality? How to pierce the skin? How to find the spot on the wall where the illusion flickers and rip it open? We can relate here to there. Thing to Thing. How can there be more? How can there not be more.


Thu 08 Jun 2006 : The history of warfare

The history of warfare is similarly subdivided, although here the phases
are Retribution, Anticipation, and Diplomacy.  Thus:

        I'm going to kill you because you killed my brother.
        I'm going to kill you because I killed your brother.
        I'm going to kill my brother and then kill you on the
        pretext that your brother did it.