Waiting for the storm

I watched the rolling news out of the corner of the eye today whilst doing my admin tasks. BBC, Sky and Russia Today get some part of my attention.  I learn nothing much except I prefer Radio 3.  Sky had some vapid woman who either is of was a police superintendent.  I gleaned little except democracy is not safe in hands like hers.  RT actually spoke to a few protesters about the protest.  The UK clowns seemed to be hoping something would kick off.  What I thought I saw was police over-kill with London closed to traffic and more officers than protesters.

I regard myself as little more than a serial cock-up survivor.  Life as others live it is meaningless to me and allows little moral fellowship.  We do a bit of shopping for elderly neighbours, I cut next door’s “lawn”, clean up crap for the street when I put out our bins and turn up to help next door’s kids when their parents are out if needed (they have replaced a couple of my roof tiles etc.) – but in the wider sense I just see doom.

Gadget’s girlfriend was under attack in Parliament and blamed the previous government. No truth came out other than that the gaggle of clowns in the place aren’t fit for anything but ridicule.  Ms May appears capable of sacking people and I suspect this will lead to more paperwork as people cover arse.  I note that when the clowns present themselves in our roughly five-yearly selection interviews that they don’t say they will do so much of more or less nothing they will still be able to blame the last management two, three and ten years down the line.  Evette Cooper was useless and the point that we can’t muster enough customs people with a reserve army of about 8 million unemployed was never made.

Police will not be able to find enough officers to ‘anti-protest’ at double the number protesting or setting up tents if the actual nature of our plight dawns on enough people.  It’s not good to see that we now mob protests with police and nick people for camping in Trafalgar Square.  But never mind anything serious, FIFA is going to allow our players to wear poppies that rightly commemorate the fallen but also encourage the forgetting of the imperialist nature of wars millions protested against and then died in because we couldn’t resist the banks and commercial interests any better then than now.

I have no real truck with the protesters, but think they should be allowed to protest around Parliament – to discourage the clowns in the place.  The rest of us deserve little as we remain ignorant and apathetic under the current tyranny of clowns.  I’m just waiting for the run on the banks (what I put by is in gold), a collapse in asset prices and then my little pace in the sun.  I’d rather fight, but tell me where or who with,

I’m going abroad because almost all our society disgusts me and I can get cricket and rugby on Sky.  It’s all easier to ignore as an exile, there’s generally less crime and a less threatening drinking atmosphere when I venture out for a few.  And there are none of those awful apathetic English.  I hope to be out before the storm blows here.

Channel 4 News returned a little sanity, soon back to the despair of a young disabled couple who committed suicide in our Brave New World, yet at least some concern with truth.  I half-expect the studio to be dismantled by a flood of Bobbies!  There is still little on the Italian job and what it means.

Those of us who believe the current model of doing things in the world is hapless are rarely motivated by Marxist jargon these days.  I’ve always thought ‘brainwork’ should be unlicensed and free to all with minor exceptions like bomb-making recipes and skills.  the issue for most of us is debt and the way neo-classical economics (of most governments) leaves this out of the relevant management spreadsheets.  This leads us to think we are in another great depression, with the exception that government interventions this time have been massive (QE and such).  And most of us think these government measures are appliatives for a crooked banking sector, not the real problems.  This isn’t hindsight and most of us concerned with debt predicted the 2088 crash or something like it.  You can find most of the argument at Naked Capitalism, Steve keen (including a full academic course of lectures), David Malone and Zerohedge.

My tack has never been one of economics in the standard sense.  I take it that society needs something simple that most people can grasp – this because I’ve taught too long to believe even university students can get over ‘early learning’ constantly reinforced by our vapid media and stifling workplaces.  More people turned out for Jimmy Saville than to protest.  It is no surprise that Berlusconi is off just after agreeing the IMF inspectors can come in.

Hats Off To The Libyan People

The Arab Spring may yet turn out to be just a shifting of power elites, but who knows?  Those of us who have ‘taught’ in security and other roles tend to have little faith in the peoples of the Middle East – it’s not that long since the Greeks had the vile rule of the colonels.  Whilst I’ve had to dodge mobs in the area, they show remarkable courage getting on the street against the dictators, and we should remember that we aren’t managing to do the same or really even spot who the tyrants are.  My hat’s off in recognition of the courage.

What’s behind the ‘revolution’ it is impossible to be sure.  Friends and colleagues across the area say things about the tyrants like ‘they are eating us from the inside-out – soon even to our skins’ – this from ordinary blokes and women.  Others say of the tyrants, ‘at least they keep the mullahs off our backs’ and everyone has some notion of the ‘wasta’ system of influence, much as of the Mafias in some parts of Italy.  Some would welcome moves to more modern, western society, but all share distaste for it in some measure – a distaste many of us share.

The rebels have had unusual support in terms of air supremacy that has broken the main superiority in arms of the governments and in Libya in particular it looks as though we are repeating old tactics – much as if the Mayfair Group is back in business.  Television reporting is crude, with images of ‘war reporters’ in hard hats and body-armour but never under fire and familiar scenes of locals shooting in the air.  ‘Men in pink shirts’ are spotted as former Special Forces, but the action is always ‘nearby’ – something that makes little sense to anyone who has seen street fighting (where about the last place you want to be is on the open street – which is where you die).  Little we get to see could not be staged on a film set and the actually unarrested favoured son pops up with his own claque to prove the point.

The vile dictators of the Middle East are falling – one has to hope Saudi, other Gulf Cooperation countries and Syria will not miss out.  We presumably planned to do this back in 1956 through the Suez Crisis, in collusion with France.  One can re-write 20th century history quite convincingly with the British invasion of Iraq in 1913 as the start of WW1.  The big question is whether malign western interests want the current destabilization in order to find new groups to put in power and exploit at higher percentages than possible under the old regimes.  We have shown no interest in supporting previously elected governments in the area

To the Libyan crying freedom I tilt my hat (not that I own one), but I suspect a western financial system looking to hide massive fraud is looking for cash cow assets to milk, bought at fire-sale prices.  Greece has been broken to this without any military intervention.  My guess is the Arab Spring has nowhere to go because we need spring cleaning in our own ‘democracy’.  Our own GDP figures show we have been eaten from the inside-out too.  Our regime is better hidden than Qaddafi.  Do you remember voting for a transfer of money from poor to rich, for investment in India and China instead of in jobs here or for the influx of migrant labour?

The manifestos of our political parties remind me of bank balance sheets – written to avoid telling the truth and look like something they are not – a way for an outsider or voter to work out the true state of what is being said.  I can point to all the gimmicks used in either, but it all comes down to false claims that detailed investigation and leg-work can reveal as meaningless guff.  We have legitimated the kind of lying crooks do as our cultural norm.

The Libyans will forget how Qaddafi was received as a savior 42 years ago and will thus be prone to the next.  I suspect our rituals are the same without the shooting in the air.

Control Theory

It’s been my view for over 20 years that our fears about ‘Big Brother Regulation’ are hopelessly misguided and out of date.  My reasons vary, including how human rights legislation never helps those who need it, to advances in science.  I’m more interested in the social issues, but it’s hard to raise a conversation and academic papers hapless fuckwittery. A diagram of the complex network of genes that regulate cellular metabolism might seem hopelessly complex, and efforts to control such a system futile to godswank practicioners, leading to puerile ethical considerations more often than sensible contribution.  The ethics are important, but not dated claptrap.

An MIT researcher has come up with a new computational model that can analyze any type of complex network — biological, social or electronic — and reveal the critical points that can be used to control the entire system.  This is the cover story in the May 12 issue of Nature.

The algorithm has been  applied to dozens of real-life networks, including cell-phone networks, social networks, the networks that control gene expression in cells and the neuronal network of the C. elegans worm.   Calculations of the percentage of points that need to be controlled in order to gain control of the entire system are published.  We could do with a calculation of how much terror is required to keep Syria down, or people under Hollywood-capital glitz.  For sparse networks the number is high, around 80 percent. For dense networks  it’s more like 10 percent.

The area is know as control theory, a term that should raise our eyebrows.  This is the study of how to govern the behavior of dynamic systems, and has guided the development of airplanes, robots, cars and electronics. The principles of control theory allow engineers to design feedback loops that monitor input and output of a system and adjust accordingly. One example is the cruise control system in a car.  Control research on large networks has been concerned mostly with questions of synchronization.

The British Empire was a control system, the vile regime in Syria another.  The actual control system in the human sphere might be  worth a look.  Ethical dullards have not noticed there already is one, and their concepts arise in their flawed notion of history and conflation of objectivity with their manners.

Like other algorithms, we might be able to sniff this one out to resist, or even use it to promote ‘freedom’.  We would, of course, have to imagine what freedom is.  It’s later than you think.  It would help if we had writing and expression other than that of functionaries, but art is dead.

We have known for a long time that control is useless when we have to put more in than we get out over time.  My guess is human society is controlled through rather simple ‘evolutionary chemistry’ like the kind we see in packs.  It need not be thus and the potential in the algorithm lies in demonstrating alternative pathways that could allow us to get past current nodes of resistance to freedom.  Dangers lie in letting the devil loose with such a tool, yet one can only assume this is inevitable if we don’t.