Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Red Cliffs Of Dawlish
Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Future Politicians: Engineers Need Apply Only!

I've mixed computer metaphors with car mechanical with political! The visual image is stronger for that of a car object but the concept is stronger for the computer architecture applied to the politics

This blog post observes two sets of useful feedback from the current compromised Referendum Process, for future information usage, which it is hoped can be accounted for and put into "political memory" for a subsequent time:-
  • Negative Feedback: Our Politicians and Politics on both sides of the Leave, Remain question have only become more exposed as failures and failing to serve their functions.
  • Positive Feedback: There is again through this Referendum process greater exposure to the early stages of useful contribution by people more actively into our political decision-making processes.
Let's look at the Negative Feedback first; because it's a real education.

The above diagram is intended to make a connection: A car without an engine cannot move. The engine is the essential feature from which the rest are in designed around. The rest of the hardware; a platform to sit the engine in, the wheels on the platform connected to the engine to power them forwards, breaks to stop the wheels by control of the driver and a fuel system to power the engine are all obviously needed. Over the top of this you have the "User Experience" the seats, driving wheel and dashboard and of course the hood or cover so that an enclosed space can have it's internal environment can have it's conditions regulated: Either heating or cooling so that the people's trip is both made and made comfortably and safely.

Without an engine, you could choose either a horse, a bicycle or other non-engine form of transport!

Interestingly Brexit campaigners have no qualms about visualizing David Cameron's "version" of a deal as a clap-trap car. But equally important, as David Cameron as a dishonest second-hand used-car salesman:-

People are much stronger making "investment based or risk analysis" decisions about buying a new car than about choosing how to vote in politics

 So, in this Referendum Campaign, I think the analogy of an engine is the core requirement for the argument to be able to "move" politically forwards. How how well designed, how safely, securely and reliably does it work? Will people be convinced to buy it and make the journey using this "vehicle"? This then is in turn up to the Leave Campaigners to promote and sell to the voters. A really well run campaign will make people feel:-
  • Safe
  • Comfortable
  • Excited at this new model
  • Worth the investment
  • Worth the journey
  • Superior product to the competition
  • They can recommend to family and friends
What I find very peculiar from our politicians on the Leave Campaign side is that these people running the campaigns have built a chassis that they think fits what they think people think looks attractive for an automobile roof. Now I am confident I am not bullshitting here. Why? I have been observing and watching a lot of what is taken to be politics (the automobile roof) and the "plans" or policies created by the politicians to fit to that (the chassis or vehicle frame):-
"A vehicle frame, also known as its chassis, is the main supporting structure of a motor vehicle to which all other components are attached, comparable to the skeleton of an organism."
Now we have a framework for our own thinking we are all familiar with; let's implant this onto the actual subject. I was watching BBC News Night and Andrew Marr Show; two stalwarts of how we receive our political information via "rich" news-media (audio-visual and/or "live") presentation. On Newsnight Evan Davies had three ladies and they discussed the touchy-feely emotive reactions of various individuals concerned around a particular political subject. Then again on the Andrew Marr Show today, we had Grayling, Toynbee and Marr. Here driven dominantly by Toynbee the same "so-called politics" was discussed concerning the personalities and opinions and emotional reactions of the people, not the actual arguments. The same or similar when Lord Lawson is invited on, and he waffles on about a few details in his "chassis" but does not build a coherent picture.

By contrast, I have full sympathy for when empathy and emotion are called for: There were two women who expressed incredible compassion and intelligence on a particularly challenging subject (where such intrinsic empathy was required) at another time on Newsnight and I was deeply impressed with both of them and their ability to articulate such complexity and in a manner that was subtle but explanatory.

Now. My contention is this: All the designing of chassis, all the designing of automobile rooftops and accessories for the market are a complete waste of time if the core around the concept of a car, the engine is completely ignored! I can't imagine what weird non-working machines would be created imagining such a defect mechanically! Now imagine this picture politically.

But it's deliberate. And here we can move onto the second feedback, which is positive:-

A friend of mine once gave me a visual thought exercise that I find useful and enjoyable to think about and consider how to apply to various different situations. In fact it was with regard to my then current disillusionment with having completed a science degree and finding the idea of researching very deeply and very narrowly very unrewarding after spending most of my childhood thinking that I would probably become a scientist. It looks like this:-

Search Strategy: Buried in a specified area is "something wanted" = Current Information. Which is a more effective way of structuring a search for it? A or B?

What I think the above defect of our politics illustrates is that all the talking that dominates information delivery to people is a search strategy along the lines of "A". Doing the same thing expecting different results: Both the leave campaigners and our own politicians concerning the EU Membership. Instead what I've noticed which is very positive is that scouring commenting facilities online despite the huge numbers, a kind of Brute-Force Search by increasing the number of people feeding into a problem-solving exercise:-
"In computer science, brute-force search or exhaustive search, also known as generate and test, is a very general problem-solving technique that consists of systematically enumerating all possible candidates for the solution and checking whether each candidate satisfies the problem's statement."
There's a vast majority of low quality comments, but the sheer number does throw up some exceptionally strong thinking and new ideas. Interestingly this theme was also noticed by Lost Leonardo in his recent blog: Leading In Europe:-
“The reasons to leave the EU are quite clear and simple. Outside of the euro and political integration the UK has no role in the EU. This message cannot be countered by the Remain camp”.
"So writes a commenter on my previous post. This is the kind of thing that makes writing a blog worthwhile."
In Dr. RAE North's recent blog post,EU Referendum: spurning the chance of victory , commenting on Christopher Booker's comments, I think we're all on the same wavelength noticing this analogy between designing a car back-to-front in our current politics compared to actually designing around the core function, the arguments themselves not the personalities that I've secondly tried to illustrate in the "search strategy" picture above: All the media focus is on "A". Whereas enough comments (ie "B"):-

Douglas Carter, writes a very observant comment:-

So too does Simon Stephenson:-

I notice The Daily Telegraph has ceased it's commenting function in the lead up to the Referendum. This goes some way back to when the old bloggers, Hannan, Obourne and prior to then Dellingpole all vacated the newspaper. Interesting Polly Toynbee and Chris Bryant all use the idea that the "Legacy News-Media" is at least half virulently eurosceptic and peddling lies which Remain supporters must battle against!

And yet to take these morons at face value is the biggest mistake of all. If you read Simon Stephenson, the use of the words "window-dressing" or to use my analogy the "automobile roof"; effectively this feedback loop as Dr. RAE North coined it provisionally: "Politico-Media Loop" is exactly the engineering failure of our politics I've been talking about. And to connect with Ragnarök or Referendum: The Final Battle concerning treating people as "childlike in their mentality" as above. As Douglas Carter notes, the actual argument on Remaining in the EU, Pro-EU is a defunct argument. It's replacement, the engine of Brexit is deliberately ostracized, again as Douglas Carter notes above or the commenter at Lost Leonardo's blog.

Telephone: Circa 1950 = number of components = very finite mechanical. Modern iPhone different order of complexity ie a pocket-sized computer: Who understands all this? Systems-orientated thinkers not sales/marketing and image "experts".

One of the core reasons I believe is that our politicians are not engineers, creating and running and understanding the systems of politics that as Dr. RAE North noted first of all in his FLEXCIT Presentation has become so technologically advanced in pace with our own technological revolutions over the decades aka container: "Globalization".

Again I'm confident I'm on the right tracks when reading Dr. RAE North's recent blog comment I considered just how much he must appreciate the enormous gaping gap in what "is taken as serious politics" vs what "actually is rigorous, technical understanding of the arguments that form the engine of political process".
"Fear works, and that is why it is being used by the reamins. We have consistently warned that they would rely on FUD, and that is exactly how it is turning out to be. The "leavers" don't like it, and it's not an attractive form of campaigning. But, ultimately, this referendum will be determined by people in the voting booths deciding on whether it is safe to cast a "leave" vote.

As we went into this campaign, it was my view that we were facing major hurdles, which were going to be extremely difficult to surmount. Thus, the default scenario was that we loose. Actually to win will require an inspired, well-fought campaign. Instead, we are making every mistake in the book.
Unless we address that issue, there is no point in doing anything else. We can wax lyrical about the joys of leaving the EU, and constantly warn people about how terrible the EU is, but unless we can reassure people that leaving is practical and safe, we're going nowhere.

I really don't know how many more times I'm going to have to say this - or even how many more times I'm even capable of writing it before my head explodes."
I've barely even started taking an interest in politics seriously and can truthfully say: It's been an education. I have barely participated so can only appreciate to a tiny degree the amount of frustration at the primitive and superstitious behaviours that still seem to dominate how a supposedly "Great" nation such as the UK/Britain runs it's serious decision-making capacities!

Novum Organum (the new instrumentality for the acquisition of knowledge) ~ Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban PC KC (/ˈbkən/; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, and author. He served both as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. After his death, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method during the scientific revolution.
The central contention of the title of this blog is simple:-
  1. How we select the people to rule or govern us the people is deeply flawed.
  2. We can examine this from the historic perspective and developments as far back as Francis Bacon, to provide some perspective on progress vs stagnation in our endeavours and sources of these.
  3. Our politicians and our politics and legacy news-media are rife in these defective and more and more on context of globalization, defunct modes of thinking.
  4. These people are in positions of power. They won't go quietly. They will however lead to more and more ruin eg loss of prosperity as exemplified so clearly by: Lakshmi: Goddess of Prosperity 1 and Lakshmi: Goddess of Prosperity 2
  5. This will be repeated in our political results for example this Referendum: Five strikes against Cameron's referendum legitimacy? Scrub that. Now it's six... 
  6. To put modern words to Francis Bacon's insights: Our politicians provide complexity for the sake of complexity: Namely in their over-elaboration of "horse-trading" with each other to confuse, befuddle and hold-up their "fixations" or "idols" they've all bought into for personal gain. I think The EU has been a very strong example of this not far removed by the people who intended for it to be so: Our own politicians in Westminster.
In the previous blog, The Betrayal Of Britains Fishing - Booklet I wanted to try to provide a stronger visualization of that so-called "Engine" that is at the heart of driving Brexit forwards. I think I was partially successful. However, much work remains to be done to develop more thinking of this engine in more useful ways. I have tried to consider it again using computer concepts (an area I'm currently learning hence): There's a bit more on this here: Kernels and Shells:-

The disappointement I've felt when at FLEXCIT meetings, some people start talking about "reactions"; little realizing few people ever directly interact with the kernel: Others usefully provide all the services they need built via layers on top of it!

In FLEXCIT we have a body of knowledge that effectively contains substantial research basis into the "hardware" of politics concerning the EU, Referendum and Brexit subjects. The actual research per area connected. This summarized form then is a final living document which people can read, and of course it's complicated and few of the "end-users" will use directly. But that's the whole point. Above the kernal some "power-users" will be able to interact directly and create useful information to then feed into useful functions for other people "application layer/level" and then share these with yet more and more people. So we have 2 analogies, a car engine and a kernel. I think I've given a visual concept of the engine/kernel, "what it looks like" in the above blog post. But there's much more to do for example:-

Some years ago, I actually worked on the EU's implementation of changes to "roaming charges" at the company I then worked for. From that personal experience I can say there were two types of driver for change:-
  • Top-Down
  • Bottom-Up

Effectively with mobiles you have "roaming" and "network coverage" covering a given area so the end-users can use their devices. Mobiles have increased communications beyond anything you can imagine (billions/trillions). This is as with Internet a good thing overall, allowing the spread of information. And this is indeed reflected in boosting economical activity, hence there always was going to be a political driver from this point of view of expanding the market. However, mobile operators passing on the use of different networks for travelling customers, would include charges for the use of their different networks. This new technology led to a couple of serious end-user consequences:-

  1. Customers would unwittingly charge themselves thousands of pounds without realization.
  2. The costs of such for such a function were incredibly heavily skewed to the intended activity for using the mobile.
  3. The advent of data with new technology from EDGE/GPRS to 2.5G, 3G etc massively expanded the multimedia rich usees of smart phones along with their own improvements (see iPhone).
  4. Fraud was a big issue: Lines become hacked and customers are footed with a bill that leads to negative retention between customer and service-provider.
  5. Due to all the various carrier networks and matrix of combinations of "roaming" charges and their relative expense the consumer and business choice of understanding the vast array of different tariff options was always going to result in either telecoms service resale companies supporting such businesses or for consumers being ripped off with ridiculous bills and pushing for consumer changes. This again was a driver for turning networks into "dumb tubes" that behaved more consistently and transparently.
  6. Secondly as above, the advent of rich media on mobiles created it's own demand for subsequent services such as apps which are immensely profitable (eg Apple). This further was a driver for consumers to have more accessible tariffs and pricing options.
So if you look at the whole picture, telecommunications was invariably going to mature as an industry and the promotion of competition in this service an aid to uptake usage and the data/information revolution itself.

Hence it's quite a good example of the globalization process. Albeit to simply illustrate that using a particular policy area is challenging, or a problem of communication that someone reading FLEXCIT might like to develop an argument for in aid towards for example arguments that support and promote and extend the "usablity of FLEXCIT" in our political decision-making.

I think there's space here for intelligent and inventive people to politically make a difference and network around some prodigiously advanced and capable work and build off the shoulders of such progress!

The alternative is of course that "The EU wot did it?" Well I'm sure the EU probably was conducive, certainly for it's self-image, but why not? It just makes practical sense concerning Telecommunications trends. But did that require over-complexity of political idols and fixations?

As was reported recently concerning the tax issues: If you build a society around rewarding greed, sanctifying certain types as "good greed" you'll get tax avoidance results. The same with our politicians: If you build a voting system that promotes the self-serving and the over-complex manipulators of appearance over promoting a rigorous or "stoic" system of selection of candidates who can actually PROVE what they have contributed rather than fabricate it in the minds of captive audiences... that sounds a lot like what we've ended up with and more sharply in focus in this EU Referendum than ever before, in my opinion.