Ego, wits, complete apples and oranges, a combinations of it, or perhaps neither.
Wikileaks, an entity which once attracted songs that now appear difficult to find, must be going through some hard times following the arrest of Julian Assange, its founder.
“If you wanted to peruse [an] exclusive stash of Scientology tracts, Sarah Palin’s hacked emails, or Guantanamo detainee manuals,” as reported in a now more innocent time as far as Wikileaks is concerned, you’d go to their website which was founded all the way back in 2006.
The Hillary e-mails is what everyone thinks about in this brainwashing age, but Wikileaks played a significant role in channeling anger against the Iraq War, and thus in helping to end it, in addition to revealing plenty of behind the scenes information that have had an effect in power politics.
Why did they fall, is the question – if they have fallen – and what does that tell mainly techies who do command immense power and can change the world for the better if they use it wisely?
As far as anyone could understand, the main idea of Wikileaks as far as it eventually developed was to effectively break the ability of coordination by any group that was engaging in activity which if publicly known would court a backlash.
“During these revolutionary periods the people involved in the revolution need to be able to communicate. They need to be able to communicate in order to plan quickly and also to communicate information about what is happening in their environment quickly so that they can dynamically adapt to it and produce the next strategy.
Where you only have the security services being able to do this, and you turn the mobile phone system off, the security services have such an tremendous advantage compared to people that are trying to oppose them,” Assange said all the way back.
In its roots, the idea is noble. If the cost of coordination for bad people or bad ends increases considerably, then logically such bad acts would be less likely.
The problem is, just what is bad. Without seeing the forest, one tree can look awful and if this tree is brought to light it might burn the entire very prosperous project, perhaps unjustly if the entire forest was first seen.
The idea of coordination, however, and how it can be strengthened or broken, is an influential insight because it raises many complex balancing of powers questions between the rulers and the ruled.
Not to bring Hitler to the discussion, but if the state does secretly coordinate in a very well oiled-manner while civil society is made to fear coordination either because they fear the state or because they give too much weight to say privacy – from each other rather than from the state or other powerful entities – or because of deep-rooted dogma of each to their own and no such thing as a collective, then the happenings of 1930s can be better understood and thus potentially our ability to avoid them.
If we had to give a reason why Assange failed and be measured in doing so, we’d have to say it is because he was obviously a very fallible and a very imperfect human pioneer.
What he did, in many ways, was not done before to the same extent. Many ships sank on their way to Americano Vespucci. Failure, in new paths, is the expectation not exception.
The failure here was to give the appearance at the time of a desire of sorts to effectively break all coordinative ability by the government, which effectively translates to an implied, or otherwise, intention to overthrow the government while offering no realistic alternative.
It would have been far more useful to increase the coordinative ability of citizens, but let’s not so easily escape this very difficult point.
The insight here is that to achieve anything you have to coordinate, to coordinate you communicate, if you break coordination and thus communication then you have significantly reduced anyones ability to achieve anything.
The imagined scenario would then be if people are coordinating towards bad ends, leaks would break such ability because they would increase the cost of communication. The unaddressed part is that it would do so for good ends too, for both bad and good travels on the same communication lines. The naive response may be the good deeds have nothing to fear, yet we do use curtains for very good reasons and at the scale of jungle geopolitics such good reasons have many multipliers.
It is tempting to simplify complex matters into stating he used confrontational politics, or he was not smart enough to see the subtleties which holistically might give the forest a reason to on balance be ambivalent about the tree or to argue he was just wrong.
That’s because he wasn’t, in many ways, as he was in many ways. It is rather primarily simply the case of outright anger.
The rise of Wikileaks has to be taken within the context of a popular revolt in what are some of the darkest hours in living memory following years of brutal war.
There is a book on emotions written in the 1800s that slipped through our hands presumably because our genes would rather we are not aware of its contents.
Parable. Here is another one. Just like a scar looks different from the rest of your skin, so too knowledge from others is different from your own.
We effectively do not talk at all about emotions as a culture and society. It’s like they don’t exist even though clearly they have immense influence.
We just dismiss them with a tinge of snobbery. As something to be shouted at, effectively. Yet every vein in our body is emotional.
That can affect our judgment, usually for good, but at times also to a delusional extent. Truth is a very emotional word, yet that’s what they sang about Wikileaks. The truth, the truth, nothing but the truth.
If only it were so simple that one could just dictate truth in a somewhat neutral environment where the truth speaker doesn’t play on emotions such as: wow you should be angry about this.
To go even lower, objectivity does truly exist. Catching it, or even a glimpse, requires immense knowledge, experience, luck, and most importantly self-discipline.
Knowledge known but not acted upon is not knowledge. Much knowledge is within such not knowledge category. That is primarily because within our composition there is immense resistance to self-discipline.
The primary self-disciplinary matter in this context would be: what would the people really think after they are show “their boys,” accidentally or otherwise, killing two Reuters journalist as in the Collateral Murder video?
Not what they should think, but what they will think, unless one is of the view they can change that “will” to “should.”
The second self-disciplinary matter is: if you will take some collateral flack, how do you address it? Can you address it? Or do you just impulsively act and leave tomorrow to tomorrow?
A bigger question is, presuming you get the response you expect and thus the fame, how do you handle it within your own schimata?
Words build mountains, but actions reveal. The biggest action by Satoshi Nakamoto was to not reveal himself at all. That’s of course after the far bigger action of revealing his pseudonym and through it the invention of code money.
The perspective here is objective. An actual intention, capability, and action towards designing and implementing something that increase the coordinating ability of citizen society while not degrating other capabilities.
Something empowering that doesn’t rely on throwing out the old cup before you can find a replacement.
We can know of corruption all we like and we can shout about it as we please, but in the absence of an improvement, of which none have been proposed by Wikileaks, it is very difficult to see what gain such knowledge.
Men like Assange are nonetheless a positive drive towards more light if for nothing else than as an angrily shout at darkness. For it is here in this very imperfect realm where most of our mortal affairs are carried.
While men like Nakamoto who objectively provide a solution are very rare, but we can take their insight, as difficult as that is. We can at the very least pay more attention to solutions than to repeats of very well known problems or angry people shouting about someone else doing something about it as if they have an inability to think or as if words alone do truly build mountains.