Where once we had open Government, open judiciary and business of the non-criminal variety was conducted transparently, now we have, it seems, without too many questions being asked, moved into the age of ‘confidentiality’. Secret witnesses give testimony in court, employment contracts have confidentiality clauses and Governments negotiate trade agreements on behalf of people from whom the content is hidden.
To quote Judith Collins in her statement regarding the passage of legislation giving wider powers to our ‘secret service’ agencies, “If you have nothing to hide there is nothing to worry about.” It makes me wonder what it is these people have to hide and what it is they are worried about?
As a result of writing this column, many people from home and abroad have seen fit to share information with me. A document sent to me by a US contact was produced and published by two former high ranking CIA operatives Rob Dover and Robert Steel. They assert that the secrecy that abounds in modern Governments and the private sector is counter productive and must be abolished to address current levels of waste. They say:
Our focus is on the fundamental divorce of Western forms of organization and information management from reality.
While some conflate the industrial era with “the manufacture of evil” and point particularly to wage slavery and the separation of humanity from networks of kinship and trust and others lament the enclosing of the commons and the criminalization of what used to be natural behavior by individuals, the real issue for us, here and now, is this: to what extent have the primary forms of Western organization met or failed to meet the needs of humanity as a whole?
Across each discipline from agriculture to energy to health to the military to water, 50% or more of our natural and human and financial resources are being wasted due to poor information and decision practices.
This and following excepts are quoted from their discussion ‘white paper’ produced in 2014 at Loughborough University and include the following:
* Agriculture: In 2012 there was a spate of attention to the loss of 40-50% of food from its production to its processing to its distribution to wholesale and retail vendors, to the home, and thence into the trash.
* Energy: While it has been known for some time that close to 50% of the energy generated in a centralized and fossil fuel-based system is “spilled”, the “US Wastes 61-86% of its energy.” As with agriculture, this is strictly waste as defined by the traditional analysis model without regard to externalized costs imposed on society, such as earthquakes and contaminated aquifers from fracking.
* Health: Research concluded that US$1.2 trillion out of US$2.2 trillion – 54% – of every health dollar was waste.
* Military: The US military is the gold standard for waste in all possible forms. It is now known to have wasted up to 70% of all dollars spent in Afghanistan. When one adds elective wars based on 935 now-documented lies – wars that suck the UK and others in – the cost of a military as now equipped and utilized appears catastrophic.
* Water: The water cycle cannot be owned, but it can be destroyed. We must understand that only 1% of the water on earth is potable; that corporations are consuming 70% of it led by Nestle and Coca-Cola; (Worzel's note: Consider for a moment how much the Kaipara District Corporation charges for this unownable commodity) once an aquifer is depleted and fills with salt water, it can never be restored.
Corruption is waste – as we make all processes transparent, we will begin to eradicate corruption.
More broadly, we find that there are numerous information pathologies that prevent – hinder –
the establishment of public understanding and consensus on vital matters in the public interest.
There are further pathologies associated with a mix of corruption, ignorance, and public inattention. Within individual communities, from local to provincial, from national to regional, there are further biases, distortions, absences of understanding, and even malicious underminings of the public interest.
So much for the problems. However they state the way to finding solutions lies in the following.
We further believe that advanced in embedded intelligence and the adoption of open source everything, true cost economics, and holistic analytics, will allow us to devise an alternative academy, economy, governance, and society within which the six billion poor can aspire to Western standards of living without Western waste. We can, with intelligence and integrity, create a world that works for all.
It all sounds pretty good eh? And doubtless a world where all intellectual property is open source could greatly benefit everyone. In these days of global communication it is certainly possible to facilitate large scale collaboration in order to find solutions to the problems that beset mankind. But alas, as Ms Collins statement implies, many have too much to hide and the concept of openness worries them greatly.
The above quoted discussion paper is, of course, ‘open source’ – email me if you want a copy.
“… now we have, it seems, without too many questions being asked, moved into the age of ‘confidentiality.’”