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Monbiot's annual outing on this blog – 2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 0:01
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(Before It's News)

I read Monbiot every week in the Guardian and for fifty weeks a year there's really nothing worth commenting on. But as regulars will know, around once a year old Moonbat comes up with a column that presses all the right buttons. This year's hit is a post on Big Data.  

Not so much Big Data as the Big Money that uses it, in the West anyway. Those who have great wealth, from across the political spectrum, inevitably turn their attention to using it to gain greater political leverage than their single vote alone would allow. And they all make me nervous; Gina Miller and Tony Blair as much as Lord Ashcroft and Arron Banks. Whilst we're working towards controls that restrict their funding of political parties – controls that depend on also controlling TU funding – the funding of 'sniper' technology that allows campaigns to be precisely focused rather than shotgunned is not so controlled. And the State can also use it;

” … deep-learning algorithms enable the state to develop its “citizen score”. This uses people’s online activities to determine how loyal and compliant they are, and whether they should qualify for jobs, loans or entitlement to travel to other countries. Combine this level of monitoring with nudging technologies – tools designed subtly to change people’s opinions and responses – and you develop a system that tends towards complete control.”

However, Monbiot also recognises that Localism, Direct Democracy and other systems that 'take back control' from the overwheening centre can counter these malign effects

“But digital technologies could also be a powerful force for positive change. Political systems, particularly in the Anglophone nations, have scarcely changed since the fastest means of delivering information was the horse. They remain remote, centralised and paternalist. The great potential for participation and deeper democratic engagement is almost untapped. Because the rest of us have not been invited to occupy them, it is easy for billionaires to seize and enclose the political cyber-commons.”

To a point, George. So long as we maintain universal adult suffrage and the secret ballot on all matters of importance, this can be supplemented by as many citizens' juries as you wish. But any solutions that disenfranchise any part of the population are unacceptable – and Labour has a shameful history of supporting Eugenics in the party's early days, a fascist tendency that resurfaces from time to time. 



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