It is a nice day here in Menlo Park, California. The annual Menlo Park Summer Festival is being held this weekend. There is a particular artist I go to every year to acquire this year's shirt. Steve Ripatti is his name and he spends all year coming up with one design for a shirt. Every year I make the trip the Menlo Park Summer Festival to pick up the shirt. The shirts take a year to make because the fabric incorporates up to fifteen different colors and Steve says most fabric makers only do three-or-four, tops. This year's shirt was about Cuba!
Now just hold your horses. We'll get to the topic of politics here in a second.
Cafe Borrone in Meno Park opens at the unusual hour of 7:00am and it is a nice place to grab eggs and a mocha con panna. And a mimosa. Mmmm. There is something I find especially appealing. That is this: now I don't consider myself a particularly pretentious fellow. I haven't had a hair cut since October and when I do I go to Super Cuts. I'm pretty much both a nerd and a geek. I do make an exception with this one thing about Cafe Borrone. And that exception is that when you order a toasted baguette with butter and jam then you don't get a choice. Not about the baguette, choice about the jam. They serve only one flavor: raspberry. Yeah! Baby! Yeah!
Okay, on to everybody's favorite topic of fun and excitement: politics. But not just any politics, systemic politics. Politics is no fun. The working of systems is not fun. Put these two things together like peanut butter and jelly and you get one big sticky mess of boring. Us nerds find the working of systems quite the hot topic, normal people not so much. On the other hand us nerds are typically not all that and a bag of chips into politics. I'm the exception there. Mostly because I see people as systems. When you view people as systems then they are every bit as interesting as Lenovo T430 I'm writing this here blog post with.
Irreni World Scale is about solutions, not punditry. As such Irreni is about hope because improving the systems of politics, making them work, is what is needed today.
So strap on your best Sunday go-to-meeting frippery and hold on to your flower bonnet hats, cause here we go.
Political parties need to go. Whoever invented the expression, "there are lies, damn lies and statistics" forgot to consider political parties in that equation. The term was popularised in United States by Mark Twain to most people's thinking, who in turn attributed it to the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Those damn British. They should leave these things to us Americans. There are lies, damn lies and political parties.
As a person who invented a brand spanking new, shiny political system called Irreni World Scale then I do find myself often jabbering on about politics with some kind folks. Lately in the run up to the conventions I've been asking whoever is kind and handy, "what do you think the biggest problem in US politics is today?" You know what the answer is? Fear. Fear. Pick a modern news topic albeit racism, black lives matters, guns, LGBT using bathrooms or President Obama. Fear and the media's fearmongering is what weighs heaviest on my people's minds.
And guess where the media get their material for fearmongering? Yeah, that's right: political parties. Political parties are the root of all modern political evils and so political parties have to go.
Real quick: name one benefit political parties bring to the table? Anything? Quick! Guess what? You probably drew a blank. That's because they don't bring any benefits. So why are we the people, of the people and by the people putting up with their utter cussedness?
Political parties are a system. As such they fall under the preview of Irreni World Scale. As a reminder in case you have forgotten, the mission statement of Irreni World Scale is politics as science for the systems of politics. Irreni World Scale is not about the policy of politics, like say gun control or abortion rights.
No, Irreni World Scale means [I]nnovation [R]eplaces [R]evolution, [E]ngineering [N]ot [I]deology. Things that Irreni concerns itself with are things like political parties, the electoral college and electronic voting.
And in this blog post I am making the case that the fundamental problems with all our politics in 2016 are systemic: our systems are failing. Like political parities. I reckon our parents and their parents before them fought about the political issues of their day every bit as vociferously as we are today. Yet somehow our parents managed to get political work done and corruption was contained. Today, our political systems are completely broken and corruption is out of control. As a result our politics is hyper-focused on fear so as to cover up the broken systems and unmitigated corruption. Booo ya!
Why? By "Why?" I mean why have we allowed our political systems to corrode to the point of no return? Our political systems in 2016 cannot be saved by the people who are elected, people within the political system. We've crossed the point of no return. Time to admit that folks.
Why did we let that happen? Well, I'll tell you why. It is not like one is going to pop on the telly to a political news show to watch a fun, rousing row about whether the number of representatives being 435 is still effective. Because that's just boring. Systems are boring. So boring that those of us who find systems and engineering fun have a nickname: nerds. The taste in one's own mouth when the topic turns to systems of politics, or systems of anything, is like someone dumped a bottle of cayenne pepper on your tongue: yuck, cough, pew, pew, get that stuff off my tongue!
Remember hanging chads? When I first heard that topic of discussion come up in mid-conversation I remember thinking, "those poor people in Chad, Africa, what did they do so as to deserve a hanging?" *sigh*
The lesson here is one of human nature. Almost all of humanity finds the topic of systems boring and when it comes to politics anything that is boring can topple the political system due to a want for attention. Ahh, human nature. Aren't forever giving ourselves the fickle finger of fate? ha!
Irreni is about solutions and of course I'm here to bring the solution. Bring it on, bring it on, bring it on. But there is a sermon, a warning, here: we need to learn the lesson of overcoming our shared human nature of ignoring political systems because they are boring or we shall certainly repeat this bit of political history we find ourselves here in 2016.
Anyway, political parties need to go. Political parties may in fact be the only thing in nature where nature will refuse to abhor that vacuum. When we finally toss political parities over the guardrails of our political systems I'm pretty sure nature will celebrate by creating a vacuum there and laugh the laugh of eternal joy.
Hillary Clinton would currently being enjoying the notorious reputation of being the presidential candidate with the highest negative polling in all of history, except the Republicans were hell bent and glory bound to be number one in the USA on that account. So in walks Donald Trump. That's just how much of a fuck you finger the political parties are waving in our face, and laughing at us, mocking us with a "what are you going to do about it" smile.
Political parties need to go. The have zero nutritional value and are the root of all evil fear being spread by the media today.
At this point in the post I'd like to point out that abolishing political parties is not a solution in and of itself. We need better political systems, just getting rid of the bad ones won't suffice.
As the nerd, as the engineer let me point us in the direction in how we should proceed. We have a rule of thumb in engineering, "Don't re-invent the wheel." Well then, let us survey the history of American politics and various systems already in place or already replaced. Ready?
Where to begin? Well, we have an intuition based on observation: fear and media fearmongering are our perceived culprit. So let us start there.
What media systems have their been that have worked and failed?
First, let us got back to Telecommunications Act of 1999 during the Bill Clinton administration. This was a huge bill, but one of the catastrophic failures in media today was brought about by deregulating media outlet ownership. Prior to 1999 media companies could not own more than three media outlets in any one market. The use of the word media here meant print, radio and TV broadcast. A company like Comcast could own three radio stations but then nothing else in the same market. Comcast could own one newspaper, one radio station and one TV station but that's it.
We removed all restrictions on how many media outlets companies like Comcast could own in a market. Boom! Comcast makes money by generating as little content as possible and re-selling it on all its media outlets. And guess what people will repeat buy over-and-over again seemingly with no end of thirst? Fear. Tabloid journalism. Sensationalism.
So, solution number one is to repeal the 1999 Telecommunications Act.
Did you know that prior to the Reagan administration that any one on the air, radio or television, had to have a 2nd class FCC license? Why? Because if one acted irresponsibly on the air then one could have one's personal license revoked by the FCC and no longer be on the air.
These personal FCC licenses didn't just apply to on-air personalities. I was a cameraman. As a cameraman it was your responsibility to point your camera away from fights that broke out at a baseball game or other sporting events. The principle was that people will do anything just to get on TV, including start a brawl. Therefore as a cameraman we were prohibited from pointing our cameras at fights in the crowd. If we did then we could have or FCC license revoked. No more. So now sensationalism has no boundaries except those self-imposed.
So solution number two is to reinstate 2nd and 3rd class FCC licenses.
Prior to the Reagan administration the news department for a media outlet had to be a loss department. News was prohibited from being profitable.
So solution number three is to reinstate news departments are prohibited from being profitable.
Prior to the Reagan administration the Fairness doctrine meant that newspapers had to carry both Democratic and Republican editorials, not just one party's.
Solution four is to reinstate the fairness doctrine.
So yes, Virginia, we have had better media systems in the past. All of the deregulation of media that started and continued unabated since Reagan has undermined and perverted journalism from holding up its end of the bargain; prevented journalism from being the fourth estate for the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. Journalism has been reduced to tabloid-ism, sensationalism and the fearmongering it is today.
So as a responsible engineer then it is my solemn duty to point out that before we go and experiment with any new systems of unproven worth as promoted by Irreni World Scale or others, then we should probably put things back the way they were when they have been proven to work.
Political Conventions 2016: The Case for Systemic Change.
So far I have used the deregulation of media systems we had in the past to illustrate that our fundamental problems of fearmongering in the media are the direct result of deregulation of media systems previously in place that worked.
And what about political parties? Well, they have escaped change by and large since this country was founded. But in our hearts we all know that political parties provide absolutely no value as a system and that we, the people, of the people, and by the people can easily end this systemic abomination. We can pass a constitutional amendment:
Political parties and other factions are hereby prohibited from being recognized by any and all governments within the United States. The only group affiliation to be recognized are the States and other governing bodies themselves. This prohibition includes elections of officials, rules for implementing legislation and any records kept thereof. Representation is to be one of direct democracy by representing all people equally irrespective of political party and faction.Of course our fourth estate and political parties are not the only egregiously broken political systems of the day. Other examples are:
- Campaign finance
- Electoral college
- Electronic voting
Warning: the following is a paid for advertisement by Irreni World Scale for Irreni World Scale.
Irreni World Scale is about science and engineering and not ideology. So there are no immediate solutions. This is because science relies on proven experimentation where ideology in politics manifests like Obamacare where a new system is rolled out whole-hog for the entire country without any proven efficacy whatsoever.
Irreni World Scale is anti-ideology: Irreni is pro-science. This means that in future blog posts where new systems are recommended to fix broken systems such as campaign finance then the methodology used is to experiment locally first. Only after proven efficacy at all scale levels between local and national would any new solution every be implemented at the national level.
Irreni World Scale invents new political systems as follows:
- Consider new proposals based on the best of observation and the latest science of human nature to date.
- Experiment with the protocols and mechanisms of new proposals up to and including admitting failure at any level of scale. New systems only scale-out to the next level of scale when proven an lesser levels first.
So the systemic case has been made for this 2016 political convention season. The wants of the people cannot ever be realized if the political systems that are intended to implement the wants are broken. Therefore our fundamental problems with the failure of all politics in the USA are systemic first. Until we fix the systems of politics we can never realize our wants and dreams.
Politics as Science!
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Prove it or lose it!
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Well come! and well met!