Wednesday, August 10, 2011


TWITTER DEBUTS AS MEGA-VILLAIN

Funny Story. ABC news ran an article blaming Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger for facilitating better communication between the on-going London rioters and thus, holding them responsible in-part for the destruction caused. Of course, you will remember that the same Twitter  was praised for its role in the Iranian (2009) and Egyptian (2011) revolutions even bestowing it a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. So, the twitter went from hero to being the villain just because the what is being destroyed right now is ours' not theirs'. But, never mind, Mr. Twitter. A lot of Hollywood A-listers won critical acclaim and Oscars for playing the unrepentant bad-ass (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins etc.). One must never forget that there's always hope. For now, just stick to tweeting from the International space station

Aren't we lucky we are living in interesting times? Or does that say something about the general intelligence/intention of the media?   


INTERNET DEMOCRACY

I think we should have internet as a part of political decision making. I mean, if the business guys can trust the internet in taking our money, I am sure we can trust the internet a little bit in creating a healthy political atmosphere. The world is simply more complex. The speed at which business is done, or the speed at which the information can flow simply implies that there are lot more issues that have to be dealt with than, say, in the  1960s. The same politicians we elect have to fix the education system, create jobs, promote growth, prevent recessions and frauds, fight terrorism, increase social mobility, achieve energy security and still manage to not ever get embroiled in a sex scandal. Isn't that a little too much to ask of a single human brain? With a million issues pending and million issues created each day, I seriously doubt that any person can be efficient in understanding the complexity of all the problems, provide adequate solutions and yet have the time to campaign to be elected each time. No wonder, they have given up long ago. Notice the sublime social equilibrium. It seems that we have worked out a neat deal between the ruling class and the public: "Blame the politicians for everything and they, in turn, get to keep the power along with their business buddies".

I mean, let the public and local communities vote over the internet on simple issues and make a decision based on simple majority or otherwise and free up politician's time to tackle complex, broader issues of national interest. I mean, the idea of enabling you to decide your nation's future "one-vote-at-a-time" while draped in sweat pants and by toying around with a smartphone is an instantly sellable idea. I repeat: Business people - the real owners of the world have no problem trusting the internet. So, I think we will do just fine.

The way I see it, democracy as our constitutions envision some 50 years back is no longer relevant today and must change to reflect the technology of our age. I am not saying this is my idea in any way. I am sure political scientists could have come up with novel solutions to make the governments function better. But, I am sure that the future versions of democracy will and must have internet in the mix.


CHARITY VS. CORPORATION

Have you ever wondered why charity is not as efficient as a corporation? Imagine all the private, public and international aid that constantly goes into an impoverished region like Africa. Still, isn't it surprising that things are more or less the same? I am not at all trying to downplay all of those heroic efforts by social workers in service of these regions. I am sure altruism/charity is as old as trade/business but somehow, the corporation is more effective in its actions.

Part of the answer, I feel lies in the fact that corporations can form complex hierarchical structures and chains of command that  enable them to perform functions that charitable organizations cannot. Simply put, today's corporation is a much more vicious and sophisticated organism as opposed - and can get more work done. I mean, an organization with a profit motive can kill like an animal - it knows what it exactly wants. Charity, on the other hand, hasn't been able to self-organize itself to achieve a common goals. I think charity and non-profits do wonderful things for humanity and have the noblest of aspirations like eradicating diseases, fighting poverty, campaigning against environment and so on. A lot of people donate their time and money towards these causes but they all tend to act independently and in localized regions. I feel complex problems (such as poverty) need complex solutions. But, because of the lack of a sophisticated hierarchy, all charitable institutions only manage to cure the symptoms and never get to the disease. Not to ignore the fact that the political and economic environment's delightful presence can create a lot of obstacles in the way of doing good.

May be people would trust the charity stuff a lot more, if it can self-organize itself into a more sophisticated organism like a political or corporate structures. The day all the wanna-be blood donors in the country can come together to something equivalent to a shareholder meeting and not screw it all up, then charity can fight the corporation on its own ground. Hope we see that day. 


Well, do you feel Lucky. Well do ya, Punk?
 
If you look closely at the populist rhetoric, the standard we seem to have set to solve long-term problems like Global Warming, Energy Security, Drinking Water, Food Self-sufficiency etc., is that the "human species" ought to survive these calamities. Of course, our species will survive anyway. What's the frigging mystrey there? The real question is how many of our species will remain when these issues become intense. No one speaks of those numbers. Will it be the entire 10 billion people? Or just the lucky 3 billion living in the nicer parts of the planet ?  

History will always written by winners who are always going to say, "HURRAY!!! WE MADE IT". May be the standard shouldn't just be only some of us claiming that. May be it should include most of us. What say? 

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