Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Manipulation is failing all around the world

It is human nature to seek the truth, provided that there is an incentive for doing so.

The essence of manipulation, therefore, is to provide the incentive for not seeking the truth--more, for actually believing the lie.

The manipulation all around us is in this form. It is commonly viewed that CPI and unemployment numbers are manipulated, but they are generally accepted so long as people can afford to eat. It is only when a sufficient number of North Americans cannot afford to live as they have that these methodologies will be called into question.

There are many who feel the prices of gold, silver, oil, and other commodities are or have been manipulated.

Manipulation is overcome when the extra costs of the distortions caused by the manipulation exceed the perceived costs of righting them. Righting manipulation begins with communication and information. And in the days of the internet, the costs of communication--as well as the costs of research--have fallen sharply--so much so that the costs of righting manipulation are being seen to have fallen.

That is why manipulation--of the economy, politics--is beginning to fail around the world.

Foisting a dictatorship on people is a form of manipulation. It works until the people realize the cost of overthrowing the dictatorship is lower than enduring it. In the days when one would have to print and hand out leaflets or put up posters, the costs of information distribution (the actual printing, the time taken to distribute them, and the risks of arrest from either posting information or from government moles in the required distribution network) were prohibitively high. In the age of cellphones, email, facebook, and twitter, the physical costs, the time, and the risks are all greatly reduced. Furthermore, interested individuals now have the ability to cheaply search for information about previously arcane topics. In the past you might have had to go to the library (which might have been monitored) or gone off in search of books to buy.

Now, if the message is compelling, the information is free.

In any society, there are a huge number of interconnections between people. The cohesive web has so much redundancy that even if the majority of the links are cut, the information still propogates.

When communication is free, the network of connected individuals can plan and act. Whether that planning involves filling public squares with protesters, or buying futures contracts in silver and pledging to take delivery, the ability to find like-minded individuals is cheaper than it has ever been.

Individuals can learn about silver contracts much more easily now than in the past. They can find a broker much more easily than they could in the past. Thirty years ago the Hunt brothers had to fly to Iran and Saudi Arabia to find partners for their silver purchases. Today all they would need is a facebook page.

A second factor is the complexity of the world. When you are manipulating one system, you only have to concentrate on that alone. But if you are manipulating multiple systems, the distortions created by one system have the potential to undo another. For instance, the collapsing dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt, both US clients,have been driven by the rise in food prices, which has been caused in part by the diversion of corn to make the ethanol required in US gasoline.

Rising food prices is also influenced by US inflationary policies.

Rising food prices increases the costs of enduring the manipulation. That, combined with the fall in the price of communication, has sparked the riots (last week, in 88 places!).

No comments:

Post a Comment