Another example of blowing the whistle leading nowhere useful

You can’t catch some interesting Australian News on the banking system by following the links in this David Malone post – http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2011/11/whistleblowerirl-revealed/ – the story is pretty much routine in terms of what happens to whistle-blowers and describes how farcical ‘honesty is the best policy’ has become.  I no longer believe rational argument is possible on the economy and banking until we understand the current system is about thieving by an elite group.

I haven’t actually believed in rational argument for about 20 years.  What we have of it is a sham – which of course leaves me with problems on how I know this and how I can communicate it as I can’t appeal to rational argument itself.  Habermas followed Weber in appeal to an ‘ideal type’ – in his case the special case of ideal speech situations.  Of course, Plato beat him to this with his Guardians and their intense training and communist free table – which can look like elaborate reasons for dirty old men to get to look at gymnastics in the nude!  So farcical is The Republik that the Guardians are presumed so dumb they won’t know even their reproductive activities are being organised behind their backs.  Our “advanced civilisation”, of course, relies on such mad stuff as ‘greed is good’.Economics is often perceived by adherents as ‘Dr.Strangelove’s Game’ (Paul Ormerod) and we have generally forgotten (I polite term for ‘never known because we are too idle to learn’) its roots are not in Adam Smith, Richardo and Marx, but gambling and war financing (really, I’m not making this up – you just don;t read enough).

My interest in policing and criminal justice has little to do with my time as a cop.  The CJS is an example of society trying to contain pathology and I’m looking to formulate a model that might be the basis of an economics that works for more than a tiny number who then also control politics.  There has to be a way that doesn’t create “Guardians” or knowing people who want to control others for their own ‘reasons’, however good they are at hiding them in “cool objectivity” (which we know is never as claimed).

I’m inclined to the blunt – if there was nothing wrong and a sensible system was in place, we wouldn’t shit on whistle-blowers.  That we do this in high-ratio is obvious.  The BBC’s most gawping loon, Peston, wheeled on to ‘explain the figures’ tells us people just sense something is going wrong.  No they don’t you turd – they are unemployed, under-employed or see their kids with no jobs, no prospects and worry about paying the rent.  The figures you don’t give us concern massive debt brought on by neo-classical economics as sound as anything preached in religious sects, a theory that was always about enriching a few by stealing from the many, looting by bankers and a lot of other stuff you could track down if you were a reported and not a stooge,  Channel Four finally produced a woman with an MA selling teas and coffees from a van.  ‘Politicians’, she says, ‘don’t know what they’re talkin’ aboot’.  My written Geordie is poor!  I believe they do and are lying to us.

Your Friendly Not Quite Neighbourhood Police Force?

These cuddly chaps are part of a European squad who can be called into an country according to David Malone.  They are rumoured to be operating in Greece, though based in Italy under the name ‘Eurogenfor’.  One has to favour the crushing of the kind of riots we had recently in the UK, but if we have to have these chaps in reserve we’ve lost the plot. The UK is not among the 6 nations contributing, but they could be called here.  Cops in the old days were often outsiders, but this is ridiculous.  Have we really sunk this low?

Reasons for blogging

I wanted to have a look at whether blogs provide much of a difference to the views generally in front of me in mainline media and what I churn through as an academic.  The answer on both counts is ‘not really’.

In looking at the above I did find sites of interest (Inspector Gadget, Ambush Predator, David Malone – plenty other others) and a lot to agree with, make me angry and enjoy.  Not whatever it was I hoped for, but I’m much more likely to get my laptop out on a train or in a hotel bedroom than bother with a newspaper of television news.  A touch of Hogday or Dickiebo does you good.

My own blog has been done with little thought.  It’s a bit like the wall in front of you teaching.  You get to feel it isn’t worth the effort a lot of the time.  I’ve long been convinced we are over concerned with words and need a new technology of production more can understand for a ‘university of life’.  Blogging lacks what can happen in a classroom engaged with itself – hardly surprising when most of being human flows well underneath words.  The ‘Penelope On The Toilet’ of the blogosphere is as distressing as ‘Cheryl In The News’.

I usually find my plans have nothing to do with what I find and that action reveals more to me about myself than anything else.  I am now revolted by the world I live in and the difficulties of doing any more than act in it rather than change what  can be done.  Finding the technology we could already be using to change away from a politics like grim Pot Noodle advertising already subsumed in the same is disappointing, but hardly surprising.  Today, a new university for people who can afford to get their non-scientific kids educated has been announced – not ‘a university of hyperspace’.  This is very sad – though maybe it will be able to afford me!

What I have picked up (apart from the pleasure of agile brains at work) is that some kind of genuine hyper-text is possible.  One could write and produce video in this medium with a great deal of referencing layer below – and in principle this could be really accessible to all – though there is no business model of this and it would run against existing publishing interests.

To give the briefest idea of this, imagine I’m arguing that the Falklands’ Fandango was never about the islands themselves, but part of a neocon strategy in which Argentina’s military strength was degraded over several years and our military used for the purposes of securing financial gains in Argentina, its drugs’ trade and future access to the resources in the Antarctic.  No need to agree.  I could cite a couple of hundred references to this – in the new system they wouldn’t be dead on the page or cost thousands to get hold of.  They would be available ‘hyper’, linked to my core argument.  The whole argument would be linked to its critique too.

This is very much what does not happen now.  Whilst I’m thinking very technically here (if not writing so), one could imagine a statistical version of Ambush Predator.  JuliaM finds many examples of inane public administration – it’s possible to imagine the databasing of her anecdotal approach done in such a manner that would let us know what real processes her sharp eye and wit reveal (not AP’s – the state of our administrative processes).   My research does not find competence as our base, but incompetence, but to get at this in a statistical manner (which isn’t about numbers as in official crap) we need widespread, collated work.

Currently, any half-assed prat can be an ‘expert’ through our university or pundit system.  You must have seen them.  The ‘psychologists’ who come on and tell us teenagers get pregnant because they are driven to sex.  Supreme Court judges with definitions of objectivity so inane they claim to be ‘of the people’ whilst declaring ‘resource poor’ childhoods that included public school.

Our ejukation system is now so good you’d expect no one to entertain the expense of sending their kids to public school – yet this is on the rise, as is buying houses to get kids to the right school.  A university for posh kids opens.  Of course, it offer bursaries for the ‘poor’ – it would – it’s buying bright kids to help ejukate the richer ones.  It’s observations like this, or AP’s ‘there goes another one’ that should be the base of statistical reasoning – not bloated government claims produced in ‘quartile-speak’ by functionaries.

It’s encouraging that people can blog material as good as and better than mainline media.  My disappointments may lie in wanting too much.  I want to bring down the mainline and not see it replaced – at least not directly.  There is now an alternative currency (Bitcoin) of hyper-space.  My guess is more is changing than I’ve spotted.

Bitcoin might be a way of paying each other and developing a blog economy, though if it works beyond its current stage it will be crushed.  Interesting though that even such stuff as money could be destroyed through hyper-connection, if only in principle for now.

I guess too that much of blogging is to do with not having to put up with the real-world equivalents of spam, violence and needing to drink a lot to put up with the company.

It would be a mistake to believe I think much will happen as a result of blogs.  Argument has gone nowhere for millennia.  We are too self-interested for argument to work without some kind of of testable outcomes.  I rather hope we are so brainless that technology will change our reliance on it, which is generally puerile whether philosophers are counting angels on pin heads or politicians appealing to our dolt notions of economics and cures to social problems.

Argument is so brilliant we get a Human Rights Act that has outcomes in protecting shagging footballers and sending us to jail for gossiping about them.  We’re giving up newspapers, but not really finding ways to replace the editorial control, perhaps discovering a little where it lies in the play of appeals to one set of ignorance or another.

In the end, blogs are much like everything else -little I want, much I want to exclude.  I’m off now to see if my friend Francis has some thoughts on offer.

Sensible Drug Policy Remains a Fiction

We rely on Fiction far more than we are prepared to admit.  The UK was once a major drug grower and  trader whilst insisting on Prohibition at home.  The Opium Wars and all that – though the trade was still going on after 1900.  There’s information on Wikipedia and you can read up for free at the Gutenberg Project (get the Google gadget – it’s great source of old books).  We gave interest free loans to Indian growers and were involved in later manufacturing, product  diversification and delivery.  Monies concerned are listed in official government financial statements.

Heroin was once a currency, used by the Chinese hierarchy to buy goods and services and we competed with this.  The trade goes on, having merely changed its form.  Until we understand this, we cannot sort out the problems.  The arguments are written in moral posturing and panic.

The trade needs to be decriminalised, but the criminality involved still needs to be dealt with.  Currently, key evidence lies in possession – take this away and police will find it even more difficult to deal with the nuisance, violence, exploitation and other matters that should be the real concern.  Alternatives are available – and the current system does not work at all well.  Most cops will say privately it’s like cutting a head off the Hydra.

Prohibitions are not all bad – we prohibit murder and other behaviour.  If prohibition worked reasonably well in the drug arena, I would vote for it (not that one can vote on anything that does matter).  Give and take would be involved in my decision.  I would want anyone to be free to take clean drugs, yet also do not want anyone to live near the nuisance druggies usually cause – and so on.  Questions as to whether we would all end up as druggies if the stuff was freely available are pertinent, as is whether this would be a bad thing.

Many of the old rackets are now legalised – numbers to national lotteries and so on.  Booze and fags … and key here is the stuff being taxed.  All sorts of stuff is peddled at us that is no good for us – from fast-food and snacks to ‘Quantum Jumping’ and Scientology.  It’s very sad to see children die because they steal Daddy’s stash, but they also die drinking bleach from under the sink.

David Malone (http://golemxiv-credo.blogspot.com/) puts forward a speculative and interesting piece on what may be involved with the drug trade.  It would be interesting to account for what is involved in the trade as a whole – the lifehistory of atoms grown as drugs and their progress in destroying lives and creating banks – something like Julian Barnes’ history from the earthworm’s point of view.

I’m struggling with a change in my diabetes at the moment and am losing weight.  Some sad experience on opium, an experience ‘forced’ on many poor people, might almost help!  In some places, drugs are cheaper than food, life miserable enough for balls of opium to be preferable to another form of daily grind.  One can find the same round the corner, if prepared to look.  Life is so great, even some of the ‘successful’ blow themselves away on white and brown powders.

It’s true, that as you blow some Bolivian marching powder up your nose, that you are, in part ‘responsible’ for some of the war-scale deaths in South America – but you are ‘responsible’ for much squalor in eating a tin of tuna.  I wonder, at least, whether a trade that ends up with some scumbag cutting his product with ‘Vim’ and creates banks, is both worse and bigger than we know.  The current mess stops someone in pain getting some ‘medicinal herb’, allows various scum a living, kills, ruins lives and the rest, makes ‘responsible bwank’ profits and encourages criminality.  We need to have its economics in public circulation, remembering this wasn’t the case in our exploitation of China.  The drugs, of course, are in public circulation.  Easier to get than the real arguments.

Decriminalisation arguments need to demonstrate how much criminal, shit behaviour will be controlled and what steps can be taken to ensure the money-grubbers don’t find other ways to ‘trade and bwank’.  We would not just be taking on street scrote in this.  Decriminalsation might well need new laws to deal with shit behaviour – and has in the Dutch attempts.  Such law is likely to be administrative law (ASBOs are an example).  This is a challenge to vested interests in our ludicrous courts and their fanny-farting over celebrity secrets and evasion of access to very serious problems faced by ordinary people harassed by the drug gangs and soundblaster terrorists.

Off-beam, we might look at video games and Internet pornography in the same light.  The entrepreneurs are good at selling us shoddy shite.  Why is this so easy?  Banks appear in poor towns where there is no market, and money made in all kinds of dubious industries eventually puts us in its thrall, leeching from our work.  The drugs and prostitution people buy up hotels, catering and so on (good studies on Amsterdam).  We end up working for the ‘power’ this money brings, if indirectly.  Drugs are just one example of accumulation that is not about a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.  We need to question who makes the money and why so many get involved, for pay that is less than the minimum wage, generally welfare supported.  They would still need money to buy legal drugs, and we would be taking their livelihoods away.  What might they do?  Steal your TV rather than flog other crap?

The difficulties are no reason not to go for radical change.  We need to break through the off-the-shelf arguments of moral panic and chronic self-interest.  If agriculture is 4% of world GDP and criminality, including drugs is higher, what is going on?  It’s much cheaper to have a day out on drugs than to make a trip to Blackpool.