Years ago, I dreamed a most peculiar dream. Although I can now consciously only clearly recall certain fragments of it, somewhere in the dark depths inside me that dream continues. Fragments of it occasionally resurface. I continue to be haunted by it in quite extraordinary ways.
Let’s lay aside the distracting issue of Julian Assange’s sexual peccadilloes (which, under the peculiar and unique sex laws of Sweden have become inflated into rape. In Sweden what we call “rape” is defined very broadly as “sex by surprise,” — or maybe surprising sex. Isn’t part of the charm of sex the element of surprise?). Oh well… I want to focus here on Assange’s principal purpose in doing what he and the Wikileaks crew did rather than what “sex by surprise” actually means, or why it justifies involving Interpol and an international manhunt.
“Conspiracies are cognitive devices. They are able to outthink the same group of individuals acting alone Conspiracies take information about the world in which they operate (the conspiratorial environment), pass through the conspirators and then act on the result. We can see conspiracies as a type of device that has inputs (information about the environment), a computational network (the conspirators and their links to each other) and outputs (actions intending to change or maintain the environment).” — Julian Assange.
“Since a conspiracy is a type of cognitive device that acts on information acquired from its environment, distorting or restricting these inputs means acts based on them are likely to be misplaced. Programmers call this effect garbage in, garbage out. Usually the effect runs the other way; it is conspiracy that is the agent of deception and information restriction. In the US, the programmer’s aphorism is sometimes called “the Fox News effect”.” — Julian Assange
With this post, I thought I’ld share with you some of the better and more thoughtful commentary on the Assange case and the furor around WikiLeaks. This issue is fast becoming one of those defining historical events that people sometimes call a “tectonic shift”, so it’s no wonder that passions have been ignited and inflamed by the affair.
I read the results of a most interesting EKOS poll yesterday that surveyed federal voter intention in Canada. As usual, no political party on the federal level has the majority confidence of the Canadian electorate, and there is even less confidence in the system of governance selection itself. Voter participation rates in Canada have plummeted in recent years — down to 54% — whereas a couple of decades ago the voter participation rate here was amongst the highest anywhere. At 54%, though, we have to make the assessment that the liberal democratic system of governance selection (“one man one vote”) is in crisis, and that the rate of non-participation amongst the younger generation is the crucial factor in the overall demise of electoral democracy.