The links between systems research/complexity studies (and whatever we may call it), and security have been for long time a part of my research interests. After studying all that I have come to the conclusion that the main challenge facing human society in not so distant future will be an increasing possibility to control it.
Then the following questions are arising.
- What will be the temptation that in consequence of having sufficient information, it would be possible to control individuals, groups, societies, etc.?
- Who and why will be tempted to gain such control?
- Will it be possible to make a new emerging “information-saturated new democracy” immune to that temptation, or on contrary, technological development (NBIC) will make any pre-emption against that “new controllability” impossible and the world will be facing conflicts between those wanting to capture control?
There is also an interesting question whether the present discussion about such a potential controllability will be fair and open – uncontrolled or controlled?
Yes, it sounds as almost a conspiracy theory but when taken in a very balanced way, it does not seem so unrealistic.
Have you heard about the project proposed by Dirk Helbing and co-working teams:
It looks as very ambitious but it may have some sense.
Of course, as usual, I could write much more. Perhaps I will present more something on those issues during one of next Metaphorum meetings, or elsewhere. Now it’s a project in a very early stage.
Best regards, Czeslaw Mesjasz
There is nothing 'wrong' per se in such a 'surveillance society', under the conditions you describe. As you imply the issue is to safeguard transparency, and establish a shared understanding and acceptance of the 'rules'. This might only be he case if there is a shared understanding of the ethos of the society.
As you question implies, the chances of moving towards such is continually frustrated through obscufation, confusion, distortion and refusal to put cards on the table. I don't know about the Sates, but here people have serious discussions about whether social services should have access to families who might be abusing young children, rather than any sort of debate about how such a situation and such families emerge and whether such children should be defended. The reason for this (surely well-understood) is the same as throughout so-called modern western democracies, and concerns a systems philosophy towards social organisations and institutions, one which is extremely reluctant to identify and name individual actions at having any causal relationship to such happenings. We see this, for instance,in plain sight in the case of the banks.
Misapplication of a systems approach has become the death-knell of accountability. It;'s the same issue identified by Maturana, von Glasersfeld and others when the previous generation of systems thinking (so-called 'open' systems thinking derived from the extraordinarily original work of von Bertalannfy, was applied to the biological (or living) human individual. As has been frequently pointed out, 'openness' as regards metabolic processes (flow of energy) has nothing to do with 'openness' as regards identity, autonomy and initiative.
On 6 Jan 2011, at 23:12, Boris G Freesman, Q.C. wrote:
So, I have asked these questions elsewhere, before, but in light of recent comments I want to ask them here, again.
What would be undesirable about a surveillance society [a system in which huge quantities of accurate, reliable data is constantly being collected and maintained so that, as a practical matter, all information about each organization, person and event is accurately recorded, organized, accessible and transferable] if, at the same time, the government system were totally transparent, accountable, responsible, participative, libertarian, open, fair, just, compassionate, effective, efficient... and secure against abuse?
How do we secure such a system against abuse?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2011 5:06 PM
Subject: Re: "Relative happiness"...????
As an interesting footnote, apparently George Orwell originally wanted to call the novel 1948 but was forced to change the year as 1948 was considered too controversial.
A bit ironic that!
On 6 Jan 2011, at 21:45, russell_c wrote:
"Don't worry, be happy -- your continued employment may depend on it."
And perhaps: "... here is the mandatory pill to take daily while employed to ensure it happens". Drug testing to make sure you are taking your Soma!
"1984.." -- the only inaccuracy was the date: pitched about 30 years too soon.
Anything but good management and ethical behaviour to reduce the need for it.
On Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 3:05 AM, Doug McDavid <[log in to unmask]>
This suggests a corrolary to a famous catch phrase from a few years ago: "Don't worry, be happy -- your continued employment may depend on it."
On Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 7:44 AM, allenna leonard <[log in to unmask]>
This looks like another ineffective needle in the haystack idea that will do much more harm than good if implemented. Very few human beings who work in bureaucracies are happy. From my recollection of one close friend, 10% of time was spent doing real work the other 90 satisfying silly requests, deliberate obstruction or out in left field political priorities.
Based on my own work in university administration ages ago it was 5% to 95% but things may have changed since.
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