Secrecy, Wikileaks And The Death Of The Free Internet

01. January 2015 Free Internet 0
The Wikileaks controversy has stirred up old debates about openness, government, corporate secrets and society’s right to information about its institutions. Few writers have acknowledged that the current, free Internet is the foundation, the sina qua non, of the debate. Remarkably, the Internet has survived for 40 years because it is sustainable. It is open. It is honest (at least at the network level). And costs are shared, more or less, equally. Without this sustainable foundation, Wikileaks and the surrounding debate would not exist. Ironically, it may be the Wikileaks controversy that destroys the open, free Internet. Already, many law makers in Washington D.C. and Ottawa are calling for stricter network controls on the Internet in order to maintain national “security” secrets, to prevent the formation of other web sites like Wikileaks and so that “terrorists” don’t get us. In countries like Russia and China, web sites are routinely blocked from the Internet and communicating to the rest of the world. Now, England is urging ISP’s to ban any web site that may be “pornographic” in the name of keeping children safe. As Americans have known for 200 years, free speech is messy and sometimes dirty and even offensive. But that is the ironic principle behind free speech: once you start restricting some speech because it is offensive, eventually all of it gets censored, free thought is aborted and people cease to be free. Our free-flow of information on the Internet didn’t happen by accident or without the effort of thousands of early pioneers who shared a vision of open, free communications between free peoples. That vision of free speech online is under threat by the Wikileaks scandal. At its heart, the Wikileaks scandal looks like a replay of the Pentagon papers released by journalist Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 that shamed the U.S. government and showed that the Johnson administration deliberately and repeatedly lied to Congress about the war in Vietnam. The response then was the same as today: shut down the source of the information leakage (rather than admit fault and take responsibility). The U.S. government sued the New York Times and won an injunction preventing the paper from publishing for 15 days in 1971. This was the first successful attempt by the federal government to restrain the publication of a major newspaper since the Civil war. Luckily, the Supreme Court overturned this case and the Times resumed publishing the Pentagon papers. This time around, however, the Supreme Court may not hold jurisdiction over Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, because he is not an American and his web site is hosted in Europe. If free people don’t stand up and defend the right of whistle blowers to spread facts about the unlawful and dishonest actions of government and corporations, then we don’t have much to stand on. The continued existence of a free Internet and free people depends upon it. Source: The Atlantic It is possible for tiny actions to occasionally have huge consequences on the Internet – like the creation of a Facebook or a Wikileaks by tiny teams – because many thousands of people over decades set up the underlying structure of that seeming magic trick. It seems to cost nothing to send an email, so we spend billions of dollars on spam. The existing Internet design is centered on creating the illusion of no-cost effort. But there is no such thing. It’s an illusion born of the idylls of youth, and leads to a distorted perception of the nature of responsibility. When there seems to be no cost, the idea of moderation doesn’t seem sensible. Source: Wall Street Journal Tomorrow morning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will mark the winter solstice by taking an unprecedented step to expand government’s reach into the Internet by attempting to regulate its inner workings. In doing so, the agency will circumvent Congress and disregard a recent court ruling. …

Holographic Power Structures

01. January 2015 Holographic 0
The existing power structure on Earth is like a pyramid. All information and secrets are kept by few at the top of the pyramid who then distribute the information downward through the pyramid. Economically, this is known as the “trickle-down” system of the rich giving jobs to the poor. In governments, the military and corporations, we have chief executives who make decisions which trickle down the organizational chain of command. When you want to defeat an organization in battle, it is said that you need to “cut off the head” and then the body will die. All these are examples of the current pyramidal power structure that is the matrix lattice which controls our lives. It forces us to pay rent for shelter, spend money for food and water, and have a job that often leaves our souls wanting more. Pyramid schemeAnother disadvantage of pyramid systems is that they are inherently unsustainable. Take for example the “pyramid schemes” seen in chain-mail, multi-level marketing (MLM) and Ponzi schemes (Bernie Madoff). Sooner or later, they all collapse leaving most participants wondering how they could be so foolish. Historically, I think we’re in a similar point where we are waking up and realizing that our society is one big pyramid scheme that is collapsing upon us. We need a  new model, a new system of organizing ourselves that leads to sustainable prosperity. Holographic Power Structures Holographic power structures refer to systems of organization that distribute power equally across all members. This is not done for ideological or idealistic reasons, but for the practical reason that it is more sustainable and stable. The Holographic power structure is a new paradigm where vital information is not controlled by a few at the top of the pyramid. Information is distributed equally amongst members, like a holographic image where every pixel contains all the information for the entire picture. It is also like the open-source software movement where the entire code base is shared openly to everyone. Nothing is secret, no one is an executive controlling the movement. The Open source movement is also inspiring new ideas about money which is one of the primary mechanisms of the pyramidal power structure. By reforming the way money works from a pyramidal to a holographic paradigm, we may be on the way towards vast, meaningful, sustainable changes in our lives. Source: BetterMeans and the Open Enterprise model The Open Enterprise is a new organizational design. Unlike organizations using traditional management structures, Open Enterprises replace the command and control hierarchy with a meritocracy based on collaboration and open participation. Organizations that adopt this new organizational structure can make decisions faster and respond quicker to their markets. They look more like living dynamic networks, and less like pyramids. People working in these organizations will have (and feel) more ownership. They’re more engaged in their work, and have the freedom to work on what they want, when they want to. Most importantly this model enables people to once again bring their full humanity – values, beliefs and passions – to the workplace, removing disconnect between organizational and personal values. See also: Global Guerrillas Basically, what this metacurrency project is about (at least my intent) is to find a way to rapidly build successful open source ventures (and over time: build an open source economy).  These open source ventures: generate incomes for the participants ($$, yen, Gold, Euros, food, etc.), automate the allocation of rewards based on contribution, and don’t require a corporate hierarchy/bureaucracy to  manage them (which ultimately dooms every corporation to stagnation/death/inefficiency). The short term objective of the project is to build a social network enabled Internet venture, using metacurrencies, that proves the concept.…