Cost of Crime (2)

It’s hard to explain how we might go about establishing facts in order to create a more rational and ‘better’ society.  There is room to doubt that even schools and universities have failed us in this respect.  These days most of us could home school through the Internet.  There is some cracking stuff about in the mire of 99% porn and crap.

Google is now our first route into knowledge – I use duckduckgo too.  I refinement on Google is Google Scholar.  This puts you into the academic world of books and papers – porn is rare but the 99% crap rule applies.  Without organisational/university access you have to pay to read many journals.  Paying $20 – 50 a pop for goat-poo doesn’t feel good.  Some academics post their work free on their own or university sites.

You can build quite a library through the Internet – but how do you sort the wheat from the chaff?  In Cost of Crime (1) I tried to give the reader a glimpse into how hard this can be.  Slack use of words by academics reporting a cost of crime project from Cambridge had be thinking each of us in the UK pays 12 quid a year to support just one miserable male criminal prolific offender.  Actually, its 12 quid from each of us on average to support all 780 thousand in this category.  Pity – as I pointed out – as culling just 4 of them would pay our country’s EU fees if my first reading had been true – whereas the fact is culling all of them would only pay a quarter of this.  I think killing people is wrong – but this is incidental to the thought experiment.

One reason I was tempted into false belief on the cost of an individual recidivist scrote is personal impact when they have crossed my path.  Our former next-door neighbours were so damaging on our lives that I should have killed them at the start and done the time – I’m a bit ashamed I couldn’t have lived with the guilt.  In more recent times, our grandson and many others have been terrorised over two years by a 15 year old piece of vermin.  Action and attitudes amongst the relevant authorities has improved, but the ease with which such scrote can ruin victims lives remains as was.  How does one cost such stuff as finding a grandchild on suicide sites?

The devastating impact of these shits on people forced to put up with them is so massive I can imagine 4 or 5 of them costing us more than EU membership.  The truth is that we are very reluctant to spend the money needed to prevent crime fucking the lives of victims.  12 quid each a year is peanuts, even in dealing with the part of crime committed by the male, high-rate offenders.  Yet the peanuts add up to us not having a university of the air – or whatever.

The 15 year old I mention first came to light in our street waddling about in his nappies.  A decent neighbour used to take him in.  He caused so much trouble at his junior school he was transferred to the one our grandson attended.  He needed a firm hand, but I quite liked him at this time.  He lasted almost no time at all at secondary school as was sent to one for behaviourally disturbed kids – only to be such a problem there parents started to withdraw their kids – he will be excluded.  A six week custodial had no effect and his crimes include burglary and blackmail.  The story is long and he has probably done years of damage to other kids.  One ‘answer’ could have been to evict the family, but not only would this have punished the rest (decent enough) of the family, they were able to evade this by putting in to buy the house.

Loads is written on all this – https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/208804.pdf – is an American example.  My own feelings on discovering my grandson’s terror concerned killing the source of the problem – I’m almost non-violent.  When I did warn the scumbag off he caused £500 of damage to our car.  I accept that we give up personal retribution, prevention and vendetta for good reasons..  Even Hobbes knew that.

We can ask what it would cost to do the best we can for the 15 year old lout.  He could go to a semi-secure boarding school – cost vast.  This would, of course, remove the cost burden from our grandson and 50 or so others.  A major feature of our CJS is that it defrays costs onto victims.  Decisions are made in cash not pain – and in devolved budgets.  And we should consider that paying out for facilities to perpetrators feels lousy.

It costs a fortune to sneeze these days.  The amount we probably need to spend on the people who commit most of what we consider crime is probably so massive we can’t afford it.  Instead we have  CJS that tries to keep the lid on and a lottery attitude to being a victim. You’re lucky if you win the money lottery and it’s just tough luck if you ‘win’ the victims’ one.

The financial cost of dealing with problem families is so vast one has to wonder whether giving them the £500K with plane tickets to Bulgaria would be better.  Looking ahead of being able to marshal facts, I’d say most already written is likely to be cloud-cuckoo-land posturing.  I’m sick and tired of ‘project solutions’ set up with no clue how to put intensive care operations into the financial mainstream.  I currently believe we are ignoring paid work as an answer.

We need some imagination – so imagine this.  We do some charity stuff to buy some tractors and such (plus the means to fuel and maintain them etc.) and take them to rural India to boost agricultural production.  Before getting carried away, you need to think that this excellent idea might end up killing peasant farmers and their families made redundant by the technology.  This warning applies well to crime thinking.

Boston Bombings Come After Omen For “Crash Two”

Gold has seen its biggest falls for thirty years.  The last big drop came just before Lehman and the current everlasting financial crisis.  Shares are taking big hits too.  Assets of all kinds have been pumped up by QE and other measures for a long time and the world economy has not recovered in more than 5 years.  A full description of what has been going on is difficult because issued figures confuse and are intended to do so.  The situation in economics is similar to that in police statistics, governed by gaming and performance management targets.  Ask yourself if selling insurance to someone you know can never pay off for the individual sold and whether you think this is fraud.  I certainly do.  Record each instance and loads of other financial crime and we’d see crime figures rising.    This type of thinking escapes inclusion in police recorded and BCS systems.

We lack real figures across what goes on in our societies.  Whenever we sneak a few undercover reporters and cameras into situations we are told are rock solid we find an unholy mess.  One could do a statistical analysis based on such investigations.  I suspect the correlation between smiling politicians and regulators singing from hymn sheets and unholy mess realities would be very high.  The big step statistically would be demonstrating the likelihood of unholy mess realities across the board.  One could do something similar in the financial system with a small number of full-blown investigations on a random sample.  The same is true for victims in anti-social and other criminal situations.  This work does not get done.

One can only feel sorrow for those killed and injured in Boston.  Rumours are already out in US press that a Saudi national is in custody.  One hopes the perpetrators are caught and upcoming events in the UK are not targeted.  We may be back in some dire crash in the next few weeks (charts predict this – but then the always do), but what should be striking is that we really don’t seem to be able to free ourselves from very peculiar politics (including terrorism on all sides) and an economics so difficult to follow most give up.

Boston is hopefully not related to a group seeing an opportunity to make its point in coordination with sophisticated market analysis.  I just wonder why, with all our technology, we live in a dangerous world worrying about our jobs and now, following Cyprus on whether any money we have would be better mattressed rather than banked (the Germans are proposing a ‘wealth tax’).

Most of the terrorists we catch have done us much less harm than international banksterism (fancy being a Cypriot for the next couple of years?) – which excuses none of the idiots, zealots and associated wide-boys.  Five years on, none of us in the UK know just what debts our banks are holding, why we went into Iraq (other than that Bliar’s account is false) and yet still think we live in a democracy.  My guess is we won’t feel that if Britain becomes a victim in ‘crash two’.  Key in that will be whether our banks actually own anything real, whether they really are our banks and whether the financial merry-go-round is a zero sum game with losers balanced by winners.  I suspect the latter is really a Ponzi and any tickets held worth as much as betting slips with a bookie last seen speeding from the track.

Many of our banksters should clearly be in jail and would be if our cops we allowed to investigate no-holds-barred and put the cases to juries unhampered by our legal establishment.  That we’re seeing civil fines suggests government collusion to keep the real issues under wraps.  In turn this suggests things are worse than we think and the powers that be cling to a belief ‘we’ can still be winners if crash two is handled properly.  There’s strong evidence to suggest French and German banks we able to delay ‘Cyprus’ for two years in order to get their money out.  It’s all scary and could come in the next three weeks if the gold price crash before Lehman and the current one are linked.  This gold price crash is worse, at least in ‘paper gold’.

Nothing Changes

Video

Obama is giving Thatcher a medal and privatising the TVA.
When are we going to grab the idea economics doesn’t work?

Our energy bills are going through the roof, so privatisation worked did it?

We are in the sixth year of a “crisis” with an end as realistically in sight as world war claims ‘it will be all over by Xmas’.   When Canute ‘tried to prevent the tide coming in’ it came in and did so since.  He may have been demonstrating limits to a monarch’s powers or a total arse (plenty of royal examples).  Modern economics and government tend to make us believe the sky will fall without them.   Maybe Canute is the better example?

The song is 60’s – the economic arguments better understood in the 20’s when E D Morel unseated Churchill in Dundee.  We can waste £10 million on the funeral of a woman whose family could have done it quietly and sold the event to the Daily Mail.  Do you know the names of any of the leaders of the best country to live in for the last 100 years (Sweden)?  It’s time for a big rethink.  Sadly, most of our most able go to university to make sure they never will think for themselves.

When Will The Lying – From Police Statistics to the Economy Stop?

Plato wrote seven books on the training of people supposed to look after society – his Guardians.  I gave up after The Republik – you can get this free on line.  My rating of even this famous tome is dross – somewhere below a Zimbabwean high interest bond.  Students never came into my business maths modules to learn the maths and understand the limited application of such.  They were instrumental, after a piece of paper that would help them get a job.  They restricted their in class learning to being able to do the sums set in tests, not unlike the cops and others in ‘diversity training’ and other hapless nonsense learn ‘correct speak’.

Police statistics across the developed world show a consistent drop in crime.  Cops know there is really an increase in crime.  I’ve heard many comment that the burglars become ‘borrowers from  shops’, that there is a massive increase in fraud, the war on drugs is lost and so on.  What makes sense of the repeated claims that crime is dropping is a proper understanding of “performance management” – and ultimately the old Soviet style of performance management has taken over our societies.  Can you really say the word “targets” these days without wanting to spit?

Not long ago we were being told a new knowledge society was being formed – the left denounced this decades ago as a “risk society” and critique of mainstream neo-liberal, neo-classical and neo-con (there is no alternative) buffoonery stretches back more than a century.  Critique largely comes from people on sinecures of one form or another and largely fails to engage the population at large.

Pretty much any complex formal reasoning is beyond most of our population.  Universal education has largely failed in this respect.  I know plenty of people who can spot that police statistics lie and that bankers lie about their systems and the personal brilliance and risk taking through which they merit vast bonuses.  It is also easy to dismiss cops struggling in the day-to-day lunacy of the Swamp, Reservation and Everglades who believe ACPO are pathetic, careerist pen-pushers (think NHS, Care, Banks too).  This is “envy” or the attitude of malcontents.  The Catch 22 is that to avoid being envious or malcontent one must produce soundly argued critique and any such critique is broadly wasted because the population won’t be able to understand it.  Hence ‘dictatorships of the proletariat’ and other unimpressive top-down solutions that first require proles run towards bullets.

Most banks across the world have undergone ‘stress tests’ since the crash.  Banks in Cyprus passed theirs 18 months back and are now clearly worth as many multiples of a bag of rocking horse droppings needed to produce a big, fat, zero.  The UK and USA are very similar on the debt front on household, corporate and government debt per capita.  The UK has vastly higher financial sector debt.  I have seen no public exhibition on whether this financial sector debt is a good or bad thing, or even whose money is involved or at risk.  I can say, on the other debt, that a 30% wealth tax would put the UK and USA to rights  (i.e bring household, corporate and government debt to the supposedly optimal 180% of GDP).  When polices statistics get in the news it’s very rare for the material to be treated as performance management and the figures are taken at face value.

We are now 5 years post-Lehman and every six months or so the books get cooked again in front of us.  A magician tells us everything is hunky-dory and we get on with waiting for the next bail out – and now post-Cyprus for bail-ins that will take our savings accounts.  Across other performance managed tedium we wait for the next Hillsborough, next Baby P, next Nico Bento, next lousy hospital, next miserable treatment of the disabled and old – and so on.

The simple answer is that our “professionals” are lying to us as surely as any Soviet apparatchik (there the apparatchiks have become the entrepreneurchiks).  What we have lost, if we ever had it, is accounting based on reality.  A question I want an answer to is what would really happen if we collapsed the financial sector entirely, replacing it with small, local banks doing real investment and utility work.  Would we starve, not be able to have homes, medical care and things we really need?  This is a basic question about our security and one would think politicians and media-types would want us to know.

I regard many organisations as much worse than the police – social work, lawyering, accountants, banksters, politicians and my own academy.  The idea of a more “professional” police fore fills me with dread.  Our local bobby and CPSO are fine – the problems are in management and we should be looking at much less of this, not paying it more through professionalisation.

The bankers’ (and I think bankster now the better term) role in our society is not explained so we can understand what they do, and much the same can be said of our managers and politicians across our society.  They all seem to need vast amounts of produced wealth (sort of money) to do these jobs not explained to us.  There were claims not long ago that the financial sector might be producing as much as 40% of our GDP – but now it seems the accounting of this is in multiples of the bag of rocking horse droppings standardised in Value at Risk.  They can make up their accounts and do so based on various fantasies.

We need some good management – but I suspect we can’t get any until the lying stops.  In the police example we keep hearing the same performance management figures and such matters (if we look) as vast increases in the recidivist criminal population that suggest an opposite of any decrease in crime.  Our prisons are full, yet huge numbers of new arrivals already have a dozen community punishments.  Politicians may ponse on about human rights, but keep quiet about the UK (and US) as a very poor place to get legal help and access to justice in the developed world.

I take the guess that financial services are almost entirely criminal and no use to anyone decent (we only need utility banking and would be better off with general rather than ‘personal’ pension plans – to cut fees that destroy much of the investment – and banks that could invest in facilities we need and not chase “international rates of return”).  No one is explaining to us how our contributions to bail outs is supposed to work and why the vastly competent super heroes of finance can’t use their own kryptonite.

We know damned well what would happen if we abolished the police force and I doubt even criminals would vote for that (the rest of us would kill them).  Abolishing ACPO is another matter, as collapsing financial services to utility status would be.  Getting on with management reform after collapsing the lies might even give us more cops and allow guaranteed employment (I’d invest in cattle prod futures on account of our more recalcitrant welfare spongers – including banksters newly separated from their ill-gotten gains).

Time For The New Untouchables? Cyprus Bank Losses

I always liked the Untouchables.  The acting was wooden and it was easy for my young mind to spot the good guys.  Elliot Ness was the good guy, fighting illegal booze and the likes of Frank Nitty’s numbers rackets (now our government run lotteries) and the awful Al Capone.  Of course, the real Elliot Ness was an accountant and wrote his own legend.  As a cop, I spent plenty of time in speakeasies under our own licensing laws. and was part of such mega Untouchable raids as the one on illegal bingo playing in my local Labour club – strangely the raid, planned by a future ACPO and involving 40 hairy-arsed coppers, took place on a night with no bingo and with only a few grandmothers having the odd legal milk stout.  The hideous offence thought to be committed was selling 10 bingo cards for the price of 9.  All was not lost as said future ACPO fell off the stage on which the not-in-use bingo wheel was situated and I was able to practice my first-aid skills to such effect he was off sick for months.  Life was briefly sweet.  The two grandmothers he instructed me to arrest for the offence of laughing at his indignity received my personal caution.  This involved them being bought several drinks at a local pub by grateful officers.

Imagine yourself running a bank in Cyprus.  A Russian ‘oligarch’ (Lev Caponisz) comes in with several bin bags of cash – say a billion.  You take the money and wire it into the UK-hubbed offshore system.  Lev is not the kind of bloke whose money you would want to lose.  You soon have about £30 billion of money ‘belonging’ to such people.  Which man or woman amongst you wants to tell the various Levs you have lost the lot?  I doubt many of us would even be comfortable living in another sun-drenched paradise far away looking over our shoulder, let alone having to meet Lev and tell him we invested it in Greek Cuckoo-spit bonds now worth exactly a  weight of rocking horse droppings.  Few of us want to die in severe pain sometime after the rest of our family has been slaughtered in front of us.

The two biggest banks in Cyprus are now worth $30 billion less than a bag of rocking horse droppings.  Much of this is rumoured to be Russian mafia money.  Several Levs are thought to be unhappy about this.  That this much money has been lost is probably true, though whether this is really Russian suitcase money I’m not so sure.  If I’m not happy at the thought of having to explain this plight to Lev and the big guy with the thumb-screw, I can’t imagine those who actually run banks with their PhDs in knee-trembling likely to want to either.

The money has had it away on its toes for sure.  In light of the above, where is it likely to have gone?  If it was really Russian mafia money where are the mangled corpses of dead Cypriot bankers?  Don’t think they just haven’t been found yet – they would be left in the open as warnings.  Th banksters can fob me and you off with excuses like buying into Greek junk bonds, but not Lev and his mates.  It’s much more likely that the smart criminal money is already in US and Mayfair real estate or sloshing around the Caribbean offshore and Middle Eastern private equity investment.

The question for us in the Untouchable Squad (formerly the Fast Action Response Team) is how the offshore investment was obtained from genuine depositor money once and no longer in the Cyprus banks.  If the government in Nicosia had to stump up after the main banks.were allowed to go tits-up, it would be paying £30 billion it hasn’t got to fund the deposit insurance (hence the crazy EU bail-in by taxing existing deposits to reduce the ECB contribution – I doubt any of Lev’s money is at risk – this is just a blind or sop for public consumption).

If you take my point of none of us wanting to be holding the empty bag that once contained Lev’s cash, is it not reasonable to think this money is already secure elsewhere and Lev comfortable with the 5% laundering fee we have extracted?  The mug punters losing their 6.75% and 9.99% and the balance to be stumped up (tax payers) don’t carry knuckle-dusters and scrotum smashers.

Now, if Lev’s money is off somewhere safe, why has the rest of the cash been lost?  We will no doubt be told that the bankers just lost it in ill-advised purchases of non-English Law Greek doughnut holes (whatever).  These brilliant investments can be loosely described as $100 in to get a debt of $110 back (the $10 is how banksters pay themselves bonuses).  All perfectly legit.

Bankers are either super-intelligent (as they claim) or crooks.  It’s hard to believe the super-intelligent would keep investing in doughnut holes and rocking horse shit futures – but it seems they do.  So it makes more sense to think they are crooks who lie to us about being super-intelligent.  Even mugs like us could transfer Lev’s black bags of cash to sensible investments – knowing just what would be at stake if we lost it.  We also know the correct financial terminology to use when someone asks us to buy Greek rocking horse shit futures.  It’s fuck off squared.  This is never the offer.

What gets offered is this:

1. I have several sacks of rocking horse shit valued at $30 billion in a mark-to-market scheme of impenetrable complexity.  The contents are as promised and the loss, once a bureaucrat with an abacus sets to belated work on them, matches the contents once the magic Gaussian copula is waved over them, turning a big fat, invisible zero to a big negative number.

2. Why should I buy $30 billion of rocking horse droppings from you?

3. Firstly to keep your gonads where God intended them.

4. Secondly, because you will benefit more than to the tune of the status quo ante concerning your gonads.

5. We can sell you the rocking horse dropping futures, suitably leveraged and insured so you can make a personal profit and leave other mugs holding the bag when the music stops.  All the real money comes into our pot and goes off with Lev’s money offshore.  That money becomes ours and we guarantee you a huge slice so you can run off with your mistress beyond jurisdiction to live the good life.

6.  No way.  I’ll be left here carrying the can.

7. Don’t be stupid.  Tax payers and small depositors will carry the can.  No one gives a monkey’s toss about them and the law protects you and your fortune from them.  The law states no bankers inside.

8.  My fortune?

9. The $5 million we are about to lodge in Allcoppedout (Cayman Offshore) for you should you and your extremities take the rational course of action we are putting to you.  Our offers you can’t refuse come with delicious dessert.  Much more sensible than allowing parts precious to you to be served as sweetmeats on the table of our Arab confederates.

10.  Why would you sell me $30 billion in bags of rocking horse droppings for only $30 billion?

11.  You take the fees on the $30 billion sale.  Looks like a good deal and you can pay bonuses with the fee money.  We package the rocking horse and doughnut hole droppings in securitized CDO and multiple hypothecated collateral substitute repos that will take three years to untangle.  By the time the authorities realise the package is only worth what we would have paid for it had we any intention of actually taking up our future options on the shit, we are away with $25 billion of real money with no links to the celebration I am inviting you to on Turks and Caicos before Miss Zaplova takes you round the world.

By this time the banker realises he is talking to Lev.  I have not seen any news reporting even suggest we should go looking for where the real money went and start getting it back.  If bankers are so stupid they really invest in Greek and other peripheral bonds losing billions we should close the banks.  Does anyone sane believe the money has really disappeared – say being used to light fires to keep bankers’ families warm?  Its been nicked.  A squad made up of bobbies made redundant by this government, given global carte blanche to follow the money, could sort it all out.  There are only 92,000 filthy rich suspects in the world.  They have it.  We need to stop the bailouts and form a New Untouchables.

Our secret services must know where the money is going and who is getting it.  One can tell from economics – it all slides to the already super-rich.  Snatching bank deposits from ordinary people is just a continuation of what has been happening through global wage arbitrage (forcing wages to Chinese serf levels – except for the rich who get more), asset-stripping and internal CEO looting and the involvement of organised crime in nearly all businesses and government.  Has anyone told you where any of the money lost by banks has gone?  It can’t really be ‘lost’ as our governments keep ‘printing’ more and more of it.  It’s being redistributed and somewhere, it is being hoarded in Ali Baba’s cave.  The explanations we do get are as likely as that Mervin King is running his central heating system with paper money from the Mint.

That the banksters are organised crime is evidenced by clown claims like those of Stephen Hester that he has to pay big bonuses despite losses to keep the best staff.  Would be really fall for crap like that unless we were in fear of shouting out the truth?  In terms of agriculture, tourism and natural resources Cyprus is a ‘goldmine’ – so why is it riddled with debt?  We have to shape up to the facts and among these is criminality at the top.  I really do think we are now living in fear of organised crime.

 

Lies Are Now Told Without Moving Lips

It can seem we have no intelligent commentary on the UK economy. The story we are plied with seems to be:
the British economy makes an extraordinarily complicated picture. We have an economy which is either flatlining or going into an unprecedented triple dip, but is rapidly growing jobs (despite 30,000 government jobs going a month); we have brutal cuts in government spending, while government spending continues to rise; we have a country where things feel as if they’ve been bad for a long while, and yet on the figures, most of the hard times are still ahead. You’d think the banks had been thrown a few peanuts rather than £120K per household. Productivity, despite all the ‘thrusting’ private-sector created jobs, is down 15% on where it would have been on pre-2008 trend. We will soon have less crime because we got rid of 28,000 police staff and now have rank amateurs setting police budgets.

I salute the squadrons of flying British pork off to maintain Empire as they soar over the Pennines, counting them all out and counting them all back!

For similar on the US propaganda front see:
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/01/new-york-times-article-tells-big-lies-on-impact-of-fiscal-cliff-deal-on-rich-v-ordinary-americans.html#PvSwVPe1LtHZ3Dy4.99

Modern Monetary Theory

http://rt.com/programs/capital-account/stephanie-kelton-monetary-government/

The link is to a short video at RT on modern monetary theory.  The basic idea is that we have been had by economics.  Governments can print money and their basic job should be prioritising what this is spent on in democratic fashion.  We could even print such money in order to reduce taxes.  The video is very basic and includes such issues as creating full employment in order not to waste the 34 billion man-hours as current in the USA.

One can see many difficulties in the approach – but really we should be looking at this kind of stuff rather than clapped out, simplified BBC-bimbo programmes on Marx, Hayek and Keynes that make money for Stephanie Flanders and similar crew repeating ‘made facile’ textbooks as though they are knowledgeable.

Key problems in economics are really about why we allow competition on such grounds as ‘Chinese’ wages being so much lower and never give anyone any chance of voting for or against such ‘globalisation’.  There is no reason to do this I know of other than the ideology of free-trade and connected ideas on the ‘right to manage’.

MMT would require industrial/work democracy to work and to be taken up in large trading blocks like the Americas and Europe.  Most people have never heard of it – which just demonstrates the idea of voting ‘on the economy stupid’ is done in ignorant bliss.

Social Change Through New Technology

I have long thought the Internet should be changing the way we live more.  In fact, all the technology seems to be making us globally parochial.  We buy a lot of stuff though Ebay, Ebuyer and Amazon (etc.) – but substantial change would come by breaking the consumerist mode.  If I needed smalltalk, baby pictures and so on I guess the Net has them in plenty.  I suspect such need, even in my form, is more biological.

I’m not much impressed by human emotion – machines can more or less provide art, literature and so on.  The Greeks had rules for tragedy and comedy and such rules on human emotional engagement do transfer to machines that can replicate the colours, shapes and patterns that ‘turn us on’.  The soap opera and art system is such a machine and the knowledge can be embodied as surely in a computer and robot arm as a welder’s skill.  We can even sweep Twatter, Faceflop and the rest to find out what’s in fashion and churn out the next action movie tragedy with human avatars like Stalone to fit.

You can check out the rules of Greek tragedy here if you don’t know them –  http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/humor/ – under 6. comedy

The embodiment of knowledge is an old theme.  The Luddites had some clue about it.  Much artisan skill has been embodied in machines – we’ve had less apparent success with professional skills and I suspect this is because professional people are smart enough to protect their competitive advantage better.

We can already buy programmes that will turn a photograph into a Caravaggio – with a 3-d printer we might even make replicas as good as the originals.  It’s not hard to think of putting the brains of a few soap opera constructors in non-human substrate and letting that churn out the dross.

At the non-numpty end of telepresence 90% of US prostrate operations are now done by a remote surgeon.  The change is with us.  Some of us now teach without ever seeing a student.  This is particularly good for my health – I haven’t been plagued with cold and flu-like agonies since leaving the face-to-face disease ridden job.

Deep questions on what originality is are arising and business models are collapsing.  The £50K debts of non-science higher education students are now indefensible – all this work could be done Open University style on something like day-release and networked tutoring – classrooms would be about action and thinking.  Pretty much any supply chain could have the bloat of retailing, finance, marketing and the rest of the ‘middle men taken out.  This has long been the manufacturing model.

The ideology of work for wages (vast bonuses and the rest) is under challenge.  The Internet is mostly global-parochial gossip at the moment.  More people would tune in to watch my dog chase pigeons or the hoover than read this.  In principle it crashes the old rules – but at the moment is merely extending the non-modern simulacrum.  In principle it brings public scrutiny that should change politics – but really we can’t do Panorama ourselves as yet and most postings are gossip not evidence (as in the UK’s paedophile scandal).

I’m struck that the possibilities (and occasional real effect) of the Net already expose the non-modern ideologies we live by.  Our societies are full of gatekeepers (television channels, financiers, corporations, religions) – all could be replaced by nodes.  Currently I might watch ‘The Pope’s Toilet‘ (Uruguay) and mention it in a group or blog – a few friends might thus watch and laugh because I was up late watching BBC4.  Enough of us interested in foreign films could form a node to get them instead of Sky Movies – a new form of marker segmentation.  I could have a cricket and rugby league feed without paying for Premier League soccer.  Trivia in comparison, say, with a history channel that built an analysis of the world wars around the British invasion of Iraq (with mostly Indian troops) and Eurasian adventure, the use of international finance to promote the Nazis and the exploitation of middle eastern oil to command against worker democracy in coal and the oil industry elsewhere.  Bits of this last are about the Net and literature (Timothy Mitchell‘s ‘Carbon Democracy’ is a start if interested).

The practicalities of getting anything going probably  re-write managerial dross on resistance to change and what the barriers to genuine innovation are. What’s being challenged is control of production.  I feel powerless enough to think all I can do at the moment (after day-job commitments) is write a book about what happens after the changes take place.  To corrupt what my mate Lee from Mind’s Eye says – ‘good idea, but well need some suckers brighter than us to handle the transition’.

Blast of a LAFF from the past

This is from 2006.  One of these economists is more or less right, the other is a total donkey.  Given what has happened since it’s fair to say it’s easy to work out Laffer is the donkey.  I still hear people talk about Laffer Curves as though they ever made sense. Our mainstream politicians and Bimbovision are still backing the obvious loser in this 2006 exchange.  Plenty of people saw 2008 coming -this is just one more example.

“More Met Racism”

The story is probably as complete as a newspaper can make it here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/apr/05/met-officers-restricted-alleged-racist

I don’t like racism wherever I find it.  The problem is that I find it everywhere.  So do scientific tests.  In the latter we find it in the sub-conscious, underneath what we can pretend in rhetoric.  This is true of criminality, sexism, pornography and whatever to ‘push away’ from polite society (a Freudian concept).  The Internet is a mirror for it all.

I saw “police racism” first hand and its language was colourful (let’s face it, PC is so bad it could even make this ‘pun’ a speech crime).  In the Met this included a threat to set a police dog on ‘the Spade in cell 5’, down to ‘what do you call a nigger with a machine gun?’ and assertions the ‘way to deal with blacks’ was to go in hard, ‘knock them about to show who’s who’ and so on.  In all my time, I never saw and behaviour by officers other than speech to indicate normal impartiality was dropped on race grounds.  There was plenty of other stereotyping and gaming.  It wasn’t a good idea to be young, scuzz-looking and driving a Ford Cortina in the late and early-hours when I was working for that matter (scuzz nicked an awful lot of Ford Cortinas back then).

I’m sure cops take far more abuse than they give out.  I tried not to nick people just on this count, tolerate their drunkenness and so on.  I’m not sure how we have come to operate broken windows policy on “speech” – especially what may be said in heated contexts.  We have little clue on what connects behaviour with speech in common action.  In terms of  real racism in action, it is surely worse that we allow capital flight from Africa (through London) that kills people and keeps them in squalor, than any sloppy racist language can do.  And ‘ethnic’ discrimination is colour-blind – as in the Balkan and Rwandan genocides.

I’m quite happy to see words like ‘wog’, ‘nigger’, ‘Paki’, ‘Gringo’, ‘Jihadist’, ‘Crusader’ and the rest regarded as inappropriate.  That the issues remain untouched is obvious, say, when after several months working with Arabs, they announce you aren’t a Crusader.  From Cyprus to the Balkans you can find friendly, even inter-married neighbours quickly at war on old ‘ethnic’lines and disgusting genocides.  OJ was guilty if you were white, not guilty of you were black.  Even those involved in the Rodney King beating were not convicted of any direct crime, but civil rights abuse (google the video).

I’m much more concerned at the lack of disabled people reading the news or having to throw their wheel-chairs off trains and crawl back into them, or disproportionate numbers of ‘foreign sounding’ men driving taxis rather than a cross-section of the local population than any problems in ‘politically correct speech’ amongst or towards police officers.  This doesn’t make the latter right, but it is an indication that our focus remains on ‘espoused theory’ rather than theory-in-action.  I deeply suspect that those pronouncing on ‘institutional racism’ are deep movers in the institution.

You can’t watch news on Sky now without (especially around tea-time) some grim advert on poverty and deprivation in Africa and children starving.  Yet behind the attempt to get you to give a few quid or dollars, capital flight through the well-dressed and well spoken City and its offshore network is growing.  This is the City of “Blue Arrow” convicted by a jury of us, let off by judges who aren’t.  A few Met cops mouthing the wrong stuff are small beer and should be treated as such – quickly rapped knuckles are in order, not protracted legal non-solutions.  Sticks and stones break bones – words can be hurtful but we should be able to give and take these in a tolerant attitude, and more importantly we need to discredit words in favour of analysis of overall actions.

That cops can still mouth this crap is sad.  Yet nothing like as sad as what banksters do.  That kid you see in the advert has malnutrition – but what is the cause of her not having enough to eat?  The words of a few cops or something much deeper and to do with the institutions of ‘money’ and our failure to focus on what really matters and what is really immoral and should be subject of a moral imposition of the broadly democratic human rights that matter?  Tariq Jahan was capable, under intense stress, of saying the right things, in last year’s riots, and yet could still break another man’s jaw for ‘looking at his wife’.  Police officers who spout racism should not, yet they do less damage in this than those who spout ‘learning lessons’ or are incompetent, and a lot less damage than most of those who might hear their outbursts.  This latest case is encouraging, as it seems other officers have felt able to come forward and complain.  Yet surely there are more important matters they should be able to bring to light and cannot – such as the cover-up on hacking, what really happened in the Nico Bento case, and why white collar crime hardly gets a look in.