Posts Tagged ‘open’

Revolution Everywhere

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Mass upheavals have been toppling corrupt rulers all over the world, proving that we the people still have the ultimate power. Unfortunately, whenever the glorious revolution does occur, all too often one evil tyrant will fall only to make way for the next.

What we’ve been missing is a key piece to the puzzle: how do we roll out a functioning democracy over top of an old, broken establishment. Lucky for us, this key to unlocking lasting democracy around the world is in the process of being made right now.

This tool, still embryonic, will be an open-source, upgradable system of people, mechanisms, technology and software that will constantly glean consensus from entire populations to develop better policies and rules of governance. so that we can hold our elected officials to the utmost accountability.

How exactly will this work? That is yet to come, but it will work with the instantaneousness of twitter, the self-governance of forums like reddit, the connectivity of Facebook, while being imbued with selflessness like Wikipedia. Politicians will know what their electorates want, and the people will be involved, knowing their voices are being heard, and watching their leaders respond accordingly.

This democracy-in-a-box will be something that can be implemented anywhere, for any size population – so that when the people rise up against injustice, instead of repeating the old cycle of inevitable hypocrisy, they have this system which can be put into effect and live forever free of tyranny.

It will take a group effort to make this happen, as it will really be a monumental accomplishment to create something of this magnitude. But it’s entirely possible and in many ways has already begun.

Demand Transparency

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

So many of the faults which plague systems of governance around the world could be solved if only we had the means to hold those in power accountable for their actions. And there is no better tool to do this than transparency.

Malevolence, corruption, cruelty… this things can only persist in the shadows. Out in the open, under the scrutiny of a watchful global eye, the weight of the world’s people will inevitably stamp out these injustices.

Imagine if cops and soldiers, while they were working, had to wear an always-on camera that streams the video to a publicly controlled database. The feed could be delayed, but will eventually be made – unaltered – to the public.

An ever watching lens could be doubly beneficial to police, helping to hold wrong-doers accountable while weeding  weed out abuses of power. The military could also be helped as streaming cameras ought to deter crimes against humanity, capture their acts of bravery, and show the public what the true face of war is.

Or suppose we demanded that governments account for every single dollar taxed and spent. Lay it all out for us online, make it easy to navigate and simple to understand – not because politicians and civil servants want to, but because we demand it. Mismanagement of funds and institutionalized corruption will be excised as it becomes glaringly evident as to who is taking far more than what they’ve earned.

The same goes for the US Healthcare system. Why not completely expose what’s been going on? It would be a great way to fix the problem. Institutionalized corruption. Collusion between health care elite, insurance companies and the government,  all maximizing personal profits at the expense of the public.

We have the technological means to make these things happen. The only reason it hasn’t arrived yet is because there isn’t enough will among the people.

Politicians? The Mainstream Media? Few of them are going to spearhead a ‘show everyone in the world what we are doing behind closed doors’ platform, so it’s up to the rest of us.

Spread the word, make our demand for transparency a part of everyday discussion.

Occupy Democracy

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Former VP Al Gore and online entrepreneur Sean Parker spoke this week at the SXSW conference in a riveting tete-a-tete which left the audience clamoring for more.

“Our democracy has been hacked!” says Gore, comparing the special interests in the political spectrum to malicious users in the cyber-realm.

It is time, Gore believes, to form a “Wiki-democracy” of “digital flash mobs calling out the truth” and “a government square that holds people accountable.” And the best way to do that is to leverage the online realm and social media in ways that will “change the democratic conversation.” (more…)

Make Cops Wear Cameras

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Imagine if cops had to wear cameras where the video is streamed to a public database. How would they act with an unblinking and unbiased witness forever leaving them open to the people’s scrutiny?

Here’s my prediction: there would be less abuse of power. Police misconduct happens when they know they can get away with it. But under and ever-present eye to watch them, they’ll find it much harder to abuse the authority they’ve been entrusted with. (more…)

Crowdsourcing Helps Form Iceland’s Consitution

Friday, August 19th, 2011

What do you get when you cross 25 regular Icelanders with hundreds of Internet users? Iceland’s new constitution!

After the island nation’s economic collapse in 2008, Iceland has seen a strong upsurge of social movements, many of which have called for a revamp of the aging constitution. But not just any rewrite will do – the process needs to be led by ordinary citizens – so that is exactly what they’ve been doing.

Iceland’s small population of 320,000 elected 25 assembly members from 522 ordinary candidates (including lawyers, political science professors, journalists, and many other professions), who in turn opened their process up to the public in an unprecedented fashion.

It’s amazing to see such a completely transparent process. Online users can easily follow early revisions of the constitution and instantly offer their feedback. So far, more than 1,600 propositions and comments have been received, all of which are given due consideration by the 25 Constitution drafters.

Good on them! Iceland is showing the world the power we’ve been unleashing with our emergent technology. It is only a matter of time until transparency and democracy aren’t just niceties to be optional from governance – they will actually be expected and demanded from all the world’s leaders.

Plus now the Icelandic people have a legitimate excuse to Tweet and Facebook all day – because they are trying to be founding fathers!

Wikileaks to Take on Fox News and Murdoch

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Wikileaks’ champion Julian Assange let slip another of his future targets: News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch and his station Fox News. In an interview with John Pilger, Assange claimed he has some dirt on Murdoch, which will be held as insurance for the time being.

Given how Assange faces possible Gitmo detention or execution, it’s hard to blame him for wanting to secure his own assets. However, Assange willingly took up this cause, and chose to be a leader in the fight for transparency in government. He knew the risks involved.

But what about all of the whistle-blowers who risked severe penalties, trusting in Wikileaks to release their documents. They are still waiting for justice and a blow against corruption, yet Assange just sits on his stockpile of secrets.

Is Assange just loving the attention and relishing his celebrity status? Probably. The fact that he sought to protect his own financial interests by threatening to sue The Guardian if they released ‘his’ cables shows what Assange thinks of freedom of information when he’s on the short end of it.

But let’s not come down too hard on Assange. He is still a hero, having spearheaded a pivotal moment in humankind’s history. Wikileaks and Cablegate have defined the moment when the balance of power truly began to shift away from the corrupt oligarchies of ole’ and into the hands of the world’s people.

In time, other leaks will come out, either from Wikileaks or one of their spin-offs, or maybe from a publicly shared torrent containing all the secrets. No matter the truth comes out, it will no doubt rattle the establishment.

It’s just hard sometimes to be patient anticipating the change transparency will bring.

Wikileaks’ Top Tidbits

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Here’s a few from the latest round of top Wikileaks stories:

One cable shows how the US conspired to force GMO’s into the EU. The US government bullying other nations to serve corporate interests? How original.

Another cable reveals that Saddam Hussein extended the message “Iraq wants friendship” to President Bush just before the Kuwait War. Consider it a no, Saddam.

A third highlight recounts the tale of Iranian President Ahmadinejad being slapped by the Chief of Staff. LOL!

Out of the 250,000 cables they have in their possession, the people at Wikileaks have released less than 2000. It sure would be nice if Wikileaks were to embrace more of the transparency they espouse and open up the cables to crowdsourcing. If they’ve got such a backlog of secrets, let us at them already!

Maybe they aren’t just milking the cables to stay relevant and they do know what they are doing. Perhaps slow-leaking the secrets is the responsible choice.  Assange does seem like a smart guy, after all.

On the other hand, considering how the leaks themselves are being leaked, we might just get lucky and see a new torrent garnering thousands of seeds very soon.

Wikileaks… Good Times

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Remember when Wikileaks released a bunch of classified documents and the establishment reeled from the threat of transparency? Man, that was sweet.  We should do that again.

Seriously, it was so exciting! One could almost feel the system changing with each step as the story unfolded. I miss those days.

What’s that? Wikileaks still has like 200,000 more classified cables to release, plus a whole backlog of dirt on some of the world’s biggest institutions? Nice! It seems more changes are on the way.

Did you also hear about the newly sprouted Wikileaks clones and mirrors? This means the struggle towards democracy and open government has never been stronger. Hooray!

Sure the fickle global spotlight seems to be moving on, but Cablegate is set to be remembered as a pivotal moment – a sign that the balance of power is shifting away from the few and into the hands of more and more people.

Here we go! More evidence to believe that a better world is sitting right upon our doorstep, and another reason to be optimistic for the future =D

An Open Letter to Politicians Who Support Drug Prohibition

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

On behalf of the Mexican drug cartels and organized crime everywhere, our thanks go to Mike Murphy, Rob Moore and the Harper government for their unfailing support of our business. Few people understand how hard it is to operate a business which depends so much on intimidation, bribery, murder and assassination. Necessary as they are, these practices give us a bad public image and lead to frequent legal problems.

Without drug prohibition, we could not survive. Thanks to prohibition, we enjoy amazingly high profits. Without this financial power, we could not afford competent murderers and effective bribes. Furthermore, prohibition eliminates the possibility of legitimate competitors, who would enjoy significantly lower costs if they existed. We commend Mr. Murphy, Mr. Moore and above all Mr. Harper for maintaining this system and working to strengthen this system.

We particularly appreciate the original version of Bill C-15. The “tough” aspects of the bill do not affect us at all: We can afford excellent lawyers; we can intimidate witnesses; and we could import marijuana if it became too difficult to grow here. What the bill WILL do is attack independent growers of all sizes. We are very happy with this: Any independent grower is a threat to our market share and our profits. By driving these growers out of business, Bill C-15 will cement our market dominance and ensure our wealth for many years to come.

-Mr. Cartel


Wake up, Canada. This is what prohibition does.

Contributed by Wassons Dream