On the Web, Corruption and The Attribution Economy

Things are not what they seem. It is simple economics.

  • The cost of lying is higher to those that abide to their values
  • Hiding the truth through fragmentation ( and other political "arts" ) is easy, as long as the information flow is controllable
Therefore, given enough time, the shit goes up. Time to bring it down. The Web is a weapon.
The Web is making the information flow less and less controllable. We have already seen a huge impact ( the fact that you are flooded by news about human rights violations, dictatorships, etc. means that information is leaking ).
Linked Data is going to take this a step further. We can expect as a result of this process that we will quickly move towards full accountability. This is beautiful. You are what you do, and you get what you deserve.
Of course, this is a fluctuating process and there will be bumps ( privacy comes to mind ). But, speaking for the generality of the world ( which is not sitting on a leather couch drinking a beer ), the bumps are a joke compared to the benefits it will provide.

I know this might seem like something distant for many ( specially if you ARE sitting on a leather couch drinking a beer, like me ).  It might all sound logical but... what does this have to do with my life?
That's a valid question. And this is the point where its up to you to come up with an answer. You need to decide whether you really want to try and understand the meaning of what you're doing. The formula is simple: the more info you gather on the depth of the problems our unfortunate brothers are having, the more sensible you'll become.

If that sounds too vague ( it is a vague advice ), then there is also another way to work this out. Bring the issue to your living room. ( because you are being fooled by someone at some level ). Here's a trick that has worked wonderfully for me:

First, find a stereotype and learn about it. How would ultimate corruption look like?
This is a subtle process but you can expect to
  • See just how real corruption is and how twisted we can become
  • Learn the subtleties of the system
I have to thank mr Mugabe for providing the perfect example.
Take your time and read about Mugabe's regime. How he got there, his lavish lifestyle, how he's destroyed the country and everything in between. Notice how information is starting to hurt him through exposure ( too little, to late, but it's a start ).

In particular, take a close look at his staff. See how they operate. See how they lie and literally laugh about it ( and they keep doing it. It's like they enjoy some sort of magical impunity ). Their conduct is so grossly twisted that it may even seem funny for us. But there you have it: a stereotype.

Of course we all see thru this charade and find it bordering impossibility. How can they pull this off? And yet, they do it. And millions suffer.
Now what makes you think this is just their problem?
Is there a chance you might be experiencing something similar from a conceptual standpoint?

Second step is to try and take the stereotype to your reality. Unsurprisingly, this is also quite easy now thanks to the Web. Just surf through the videos from the trials of the latest financial crisis to anything related to the Fed and in particular the bailout. Do this and see if you recognize any patterns. Just follow your gut feeling.
I won't point you in any particular direction here, because you'll think I'm cherry picking particular videos and/or you might have your own political POV. But here's one tip: it's not about who's right, it's the whole game that's really rotten. When watching a trial, focus on the "whole thing". The guy sitting on the strand is just playing his part.

Once you train the feeling, the evidence around you will be overwhelming. A little too much at times.
It's the egg or the chicken problem. You don't value evidence if you don't know what you're looking for. So, you need to take the first step.

I am happy to work on an area related to the web, even if my contribution is small. The more I understand, the more gratifying my work becomes. This is going to be a great year for all of us ;)
Full attribution is the ultimate utopia, and it will happen in our lifetime!
For the first time, being a good person will also be a
convenient thing to do ;)

Alejandra Cuevas R said...

10:16 AM  

Totalmente de acuerdo. Es bueno ser bueno...y ahora sará además bien visto!


1:55 PM  

Seamos mejores y recibiremos más....