There was an integrity issue and there is a technological solution that doesn’t expand the attack surface by introducing third parties (ex: cloud commercial services). On top of TCP/IP, with its own problems of integrity (ex: of routing messages) and its own solutions (ex: encryption of handshakes and routing messages). And maybe, one day, on top of ad-hoc radio networks as well, where integrity problems and solutions are tightly embedded into electromagnetism: the power of the electron and the beauty of the light. Finally.
But by hashing everything, every single ‘word’ (7,8,16,32,… bit) in the common public filesystem is easily identified; and the same for any key-value pair (ex: author-message). And this easily identifiable author-message pairs run on telecommunications systems having for their core function to keep track of all (and any) connected device. Is it the beginning of a nightmare?
What is not clear, in fact, is the legal part of the story. Do you really want it without asserting your rights first? In other words: do you, me, need a pre-defined set of safeguarding rules commonly called Constitution?
I was kid in Italy, and in Internet, so I’ve never had the need of a constitution; Italy had one, and the Internet was just working fine thanks to this Deutsche Wunderbar, common sense, some legal barriers, and some transcontinental games. Things evolved pretty badly up to two modern examples of (Internet) consitutions aiming to restore peace of mind to all:
Those are two civil law (aka continental law) countries. In common law countries instead, the people produced amazing ‘cases’ that triggered some parliamentary proposals and presidential acts
- Julian Assange
- Chelsea Manning
- Kim Schmitz
- Edward Snowden
Around 2000 the EU leaders gatered in Lisbon and drafted the so called “i2010 Strategy”. Then 9/11/2001 and …
In 2008 the EU leaders signed - by overriding French and Irish vote on the EU Constitution - the so called ‘Lisbon Treaty’. Italians and probably others have been simply … jumped, bypassed without a referendum. From there on, there have been an european train of intellettuali organici that did anything they could to keep this plan in place: public funded propaganda, information warfare (ex: this text, if public funded and slingshotted on any media for prolonged time), fake judicials (ex: me; for my personal security I don’t have on-line docs to link), abduction of activists (ex: me in Dominican Republic), espionage on radicals (ex: me at Partito Pirata with servers in Aruba S.p.a. webfarm), etc.
Roger Waters for president!
I was following the european legal issue by proxy: my ex girlfriend was studying law and this european process was a constant topic between me and her. But I had top priority problems to access the judicial system, and the things were getting worse in time; I simply couldn’t recognise a working public establishment. To let them
replace the Constitution was just … too much.
So I wrote what I call ‘My Constitution’ and (on 22 July 2008) addressed the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano thanking him for my culture, introducing My Constitution and resigning from the italian citizenship because my constitution factively overlaps, include, his one.
No black magic here: I’ve just compressed the first (roughly) 20 slim articles of the Italian Constitution in 7 fat ones, applied old patches never enacted by our catholicians, and added a few ideas for practical reasons. I showed the promo video to a few (bored) people and asked to evolve that text using tools like SVN (or alike) rather then a wiki; so that, by adding collective intelligence, one day it could become something serious.
A movie that was originally a comedy, but became a documentary. (Urban Dictionary about the movie “Idiocracy”)
The title of that 2008 video is ‘Italian Crackdown’ because in 1994 police cracked down in one night the italian chapter of Fidonet amateurs network (for no reason: nothing was illegal before, very little was found after). They might have done it for commercial reasons (SIP, the public owned Telecom Italia, was selling an underachieving service called Videotel, similar to Compuserve; and the Internet was coming out). In 2008 the whole thing has gone simply ridicolous: the formal systems were failing because of an insane double spending for paper&computer, but politicians, journalists, artists, were excited because of this ‘new frontier’ of more spending for nothing. The ones didn’t know who Keynes was had cocaine-digged craters in their brain; some of them even publicly stated to be ‘the first on the internet’, referring to the usual insignificant act of uploading text to a file server (someone like me was managing). In my small hometown have been a technology event: they talked of marketing, only. Not marketing of technology, but marketing by itself. Uh? Ehm? Sorry sir, I red “Technology” and I got “Marketing”: where is the technology?
And all around was all the same. The telecommunication closets in the streets were broken: doors unlocked, open, missing; our landlines, hundreds per closet, exposed to anyone and anything. But they were using the network for chatting, downloading, chatting with a better platform, and porn (with videochat on a better platform).
Here me helping Robin Good at video-documenting the rise of the blog phenomenon
And here me (at 6:25, the one with a blue florwery idiot-like hawaian shirt) documenting the rise of the vlog phenomenon
They have been one whole day talking about videomaking repelling any kind of deeper tought about the infrastructure: “Hey dudes, the telephone closets are broken! How do you stream your masterpieces?”. Lynched. Things like asymmetric datapaths (ex: ADSL) that limit the upstream (ie: publishing capabilities) where very far from their comprehension. They kept talking about ‘media democracy’ repelling any important topic about that.
And with the representatives of the newly elected (2006) Ministries was even worse, me “I have a plan! I’ve already made a prototype, it works!”:
- Ministero delle Communicationi (Communication), answer from Paolo Gentiloni sending me to (Paolo Zocchi, note: he was the toyboy of Linda Lanzillotta at the Ministry of Regional Affairs, but they were crowd-sourcing inside the same party instead of cross-ministries to produce a public unity so you won’t find any public registry about him at MinComm): “There’s no table to drop your project upon”,
- Ministero dell’Ambiente (Environment), answer from Beppe Grillo sending me to(Maurizio Pallante): “How do I sell it to the people?”.
Holy crap: it’s infrastrcutrue, ‘infra’, INFRA! Between structures: everybody give it for granted until it fails; there’s simply nothing to sell. The plan was exactly to foster the crowd-build-up of a backup network with cheap charlie money until they figure out what to do with the traditional copper network and its (scattered) fiber optic updates. And in my small town was even worse, the mayor: “I want to make it self-sustainable: what about mandatory advertising on webpages?”. At the same time, in the same area (province level), they were wasting money with Provincia Wireless Spa project, everybody want both a share and a wage for their kids. The final result is that at the moment there’s no wireless service network, and a huge amount of money wasted.
Basically we were paying for the 1994 Italian Crackdown by having a generation of Anal-f-Abets in charge.
I published the Italian Crackdown video 3 days before the parliament voted the Lisbon Treaty. It wasn’t on purpose; I mean: I had no idea that they were going to vote on 25th. I was at MOKA2008 in Pescara (IT) to deliver my other video made at CCC2007: “Sapere Aude 1784”.
But later on I’ve been happy to discover that, by heart and by facts, I could have been the only one (?) to not have signed the so called “Lisbon Treaty”, and have declared it. Without any need nor intention to profit from it: just sincerelly stateless. Terrorists, mafia, criminals act for profit (emotions included), without warning; and are outlawed for it. I didn’t. Cool.
It was just a weird thing: I locked myself inside and made fun of all the others, “you are outside!”; but legit, by international rules because of the public acknowledgment. I (didn’t) fight the law. I’ve never had the will of doing so. I was just an immigrant in my own town. And I love it, I don’t want to change it. Despite the fact that I’m living abroad, and I probably agree with most of the current european policies, I don’t want to sign the Lisbon Treaty until the whole italian side of the story is fixed (if ever).
When the cops came to my place in 2010, with a search&seize order, I was scared to death, upset, angry, fleble, disoriented. And still I am. But also happy, because finally I had the chance to access the judicial system that I tried to access in the past 4 years, in vain. It was just weird the way it happened.
I’ve been since then trying to watch edge cases without getting involved - easy to say, hard to do - in the attempt to build up my imaginary law, on top of My Constitution. The hard part in fact is to understand things like: why the hell cops don’t wear cams on their uniforms to avoid popular hate and such things? Why the military don’t arrest those politicians straight away and send us to new elections? Result of my research: a nevrosis, and the damned feeling that freely searching for those answers is too risky.
Even today - after so much digging for clues in others’ business, collecting and mixing so many opinions - I’m not sure whether we need a Constitution or not. Some of the longer lasting ‘western democracies’ don’t have one, ex: UK. And I love the federations: CH. Expecially the ones based on individual will (one et all) to partecipate for a common result: UK&CH. Simple democratic culture deeply rooted into their people.
The common law systems (ex: UK) showed an impressive ability to quickly adapt to the times. Administratively. So one of these ‘new old ideas’ that I added to My Constitution was to scrap the third part of the Italian Constitution, the part that incept the administrative institutions and appoint them of their functions. To have a detailed incepted institution is too static, too entangling, too slow to adapt; if you consider also the feedback (ie: judicial) it become a black hole, a shithole. A recursive credit crunch machine. The british way, for administrative needs, seems to be more practical, more dynamic: everything is always open for an immediate change, everything except the institution changing everything. The institution itself is very closed instead, thanks to James Bond and special courts that release secret information to the public on request, if possible. In this way only a small portion of the activities are hidden to the public trust. It sounds reasonable, in a kingdom.
The EU Constitution instead was written all the way around: by including any kind of management ‘best practice’ found in one of the 26 EU members and anywhere else in the world and in the outer space. Plus 26 law enforcements - some of which James Bond like - stepping on each other’s toes. Probably the only approach possible in a so etherogeneous context but, as I said: a black hole, a shit hole. It ends up that in theory we all should be clones instead of … just equals. And the Lisbon Treaty has been even worse: they scrapped the human rights, referendum, etc, and silenced the french and the irish. The german (austrian? swiss?) law student that was addressing these issues - with german precision! He published a federative version of the EU constitution, comparated page by page - simply disappeared from my radar. The same that had already happened with the EU Parliament video sessions after the first in-session rebellion: closed doors, and those videos were aired again after all the games were over (I’ve seen them in 2013-2014, pushed as “today’s news”). And, if you look at the judicial systems: have you ever seen someone running naked in the streets with a machete in his hand screaming about zombies and UFOs? Well, that one was a judge of one of the 26 european high courts, that has been in office across the EU judicials meltdown.
Unacceptable: “Farage’s (UK Indipendent Party) for President! Send the Avros (again)!”. I was yelling the same crap 10 years before to the germans: “PLEASE, FREE THE ITALIANS! SEND THE STURMTRUPPENS (again)! BOMB US! DO SOMETHING!”. But nothing happened. They sent some nice guys to run some small business in Tuscany (and I interviewed one in 2007 in Finowfurt, desperate because … well … if you are used to open a VAT account in 5 minutes and start doing business in 6… in Italy you’re going to fail, but don’t take it personal, it’s not you).
Some sort of popular partecipation was added back in 2013, at the very end of the United States of Europe raising process: if you succeed to sign thousands of times, a petition across 26 states, the parliament takes the people into consideration by scheduling the issue in their agenda. A struggle to deliver a paper to the frontdesk of a small office in the basement of somewhere; a simple hands gesture on a monitor to schedule it; about 3 seconds to open the mic, say nothing, close the mic; 50.000 euros to pay the whole (no)thing. A pretty weird mapping of the italian constitution democracy statement (art. 1, 2nd comma: “The sovereignity belong to the people”). The italian problem was that … well … italian politicians never worked: the administrative land units reforms was in a drawer (already approved) since 1990 but have never been actually made because there were no enough seats for all those idiots; and basically the same for any european policy. At the time of EU United States … Italy was already in Africa rather than in EU, our politicians publicly blaming the Large Hadrons Collider for melting the Alps (as suggested by their vatican’s ghostwriters), and the people believing it.
The same continual failure you can see with the brazillian Marco Civil and the italian Dichiarazione dei diritti in Internet. Decoupling the plan and the exec is too slow. Watch out: don’t say it too loud … when I said that the italian Constitution was not enough for modern times I’ve been gagged!
A failure that was clear long time before the Lisbon Treaty: Vilfredo Pareto (maximum economics), Kenneth Arrow (impossibility theorem), Amartya Sen (capabilities approach). My father always said that he is doing two of the three impossible jobs: the medic, the father, and the politician. The first can’t be avoided unless we find a way to compress medic studies and practice in a few months; the second is 100% a choice nowadays; the third can be eliminated. One paradoxical layer less.
The games - for us, italians - were over with the constitutional court sentence 01/2014 that declared unconstitutional the parliaments since the 2005 voting system changes, but stated the need of continuity for law&order sake. And the whole judicial system adapted ignoring popular instances of individual rights violations. Uh? Ehm? Sorry to disturb sir, but I didn’t understand … I have some questions … honestly … I’m serious now: what about the Lisbon Treaty? What about United States of Europe? Is Our Constitution valid? Is there a Parliament in Rome? A President? Who is the civil authority that the militaries answer ‘Yes Sir’ to? What the hell is the legal part of the story!?!?!?? Again: no clue. Any crowd-sourced initiative failed because who collected the ideas never accepted the bottom one: no need of representatives acting as permanent middle-man between landlords-citizens-voters-whatever and the execution.
So far I’ve seen:
- the Personal Computers War that ended when we added an ethernet Card to every Personal Computer.
- the Internet War that ended when we added a firewall to every antivirus.
- the Mobile Phone War, that ended when we added porn to every mobile phone.
- the Big Data War, that ended when we added the capability to add money on every letter exchanged on any telecommunication device.
I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. But yes, I have an Android phone.
Today, despite all those failures in both the legal and the technology departments, we don’t have a clue about how to produce our own law. So now have a look at those three tools:
- Water: in the name of Bruce Lee (“Be Water”) I order you to not use a fucking powerful pocket calculator called Smartphone if you need to find a compromise with less than 5 people. Just buy a bottle of water, sit down in a quiet place togheter with the other 4 people, and COLLABORATE toward a common solution, using a proportional system. The reason why My Constitution started with “Italy is a democracy based on collaboration between the people honouring this paper” is that the other way to solve an issue is bloody and we don’t have legal deathmatches. I would like to vote for public certified, military monitored, arenas for deathmatches. Some people need it, some people already does it, and we are their hostages: so, why not? And that’s why I’m not a pro-life. I consider my life sacred, but I want for you et all to make your own way. If you have fear of the others 4, just add 2 big militaries in the room to overview the process and PEACEfy emotions. Hardcore censorship.
- Vilfredo: I’ve been having a nice dinner, in an amazing Rome’s city center (Trastevere), togheter with one of its developers in 2010. He described his toy to me, and my feedback has been: “it seems working good to you because you tested it in a university-like environment, among you developers only. All the alpha testers had motu proprio toward COLLABORATION: the real personal desire to see it working. Take it out and you’ll see it failing because of one asshole, or because of too many undisciplined people bubbling out problems and solutions, or both”. Today, 2015, on their webpage they introduce the tool: “Vilfredo allows groups from 5 to 20 people to ask open questions and reach consensus in an easy and fair way”. They took my feedback. Now it should work without the need of censorship.
- Liquid Feedback: this tool is exactly why in the Jargon File, chapter “Weaknesses of the Hacker Personality”, you can find: “Hackers sometimes have trouble grokking that the bubble gum and paperclip hardware fix is actually the way to go”. But the Schulze method in its heart, core … ehm … yawool … kernel is a jewel of the crown. It solves the Entscheidungsproblem (decision problem) without creating competition first, in order to fix it after. It doesn’t bomb first, and rebuild after, in order to raise the GDP two times. The downside of it is complexity: it can hardly be computed with a pencil; there’s the need of a well trained autistic guy to compute the votes with bare hands. It is pretty interesting for waterfalls in traditional voting locations with cabins. I mean: full fleatured anecoic chambers with military grade equipment, special forces on entrance included. And to sum up distributed systems for analysing, publishing, etc. The whole system around the Schulze method is a messy mix of different technologies packet together in order to (self) real time monitor the voting machine and by doing so avoiding the scandals that we spotted (in Florida) when Bush Jr was nominated (ie: non elected) by using electronic voting machines made as simple transposition of the current voting procedures (that were made for a pencil, not for a computer); and similarly happened in 2006 italian general elections (PM Prodi). I don’t know how LiquidFeedback evolved into the second version; they could have wrapped the entire system in a virtual machine or alike, to allow a security team to real time monitor the underline system running the virtual machine and, by doing so, monitoring the entire voting cabin.
This is what I got and freely distributed, up to early 2012, trying to keep the italian chapter of the Pirate Party strict on producing a digital tool to write our law without intermediaries by enforcing the once-upon-the-time called digital rights. Failing.
The Pirate Party (Italian Chapter) LQFB’s users were ‘escaping the tool’: LiquidFeedback forced the users to pop up issues, build up solutions, vote them; but they were avoiding this process complaining for lack of freedom of expression, and going back to the mailing lists to freely discuss about the issues. Failing miserably to empower the beauty of the wiki (the tool itself). Same had already happened with forums. Same of the email. And the same of the newsgroups. The human bug is to fail the beauty of the discussion toward the solution of a common issue. LiquidFeedback was a chance, and they failed it.
Some politician even endorsed the innovation attempt, and manipulated the thing to the point that it was not useful any more
Both modifying the LiquidFeedback to prevent users to pop up issues, and both introducing commenting capabilities: they changed an executive tool into a crowd-sourcing tool. We were aiming to remove the politicians from the public process; they were asking us to handle our ideas to them. The whole thing was simply ridicolous. It turned out that the only one using LiquidFeedback properly was a dinner time politics show (AnnoZero) presented by one of the most important contemporary journalists (Michele Santoro) and his team: they were the only one to use it as a feedback tool instead of an exec tool (Partito Pirata) or a crowd-sourcing tool (M5S’s and PD’s spin-offs).
So I delivered what I had and quit my last not-paid-full-time-job (ie: mangling LQFB PLSQL to compartiment the voting machines according to the current administrative divisions) in favour of full time dancing
Sometimes looks like the mankind can’t live without publishing, without show off. Indeed, media companies only are struggling because they can’t aggregate popularity, loosing some of the public functions that they got with Gutemberg first, the Statute of Anne then, the hundreds of laws made in every jurisdiction since then, up to the actual picture in EU, US, and anywhere else.
From my perspective Ethereum is the (best?) result of the third iteration over this modern democracies struggle, that incorporates the contracts discipline and the BitCoin (blockchain) experience. Some of the LiquidFeedback’s features (ex: to show on page the database queries so that every user can track his actions in the backend) are embedded into the blockchain system.
I feel grateful to live at the same times of those guys. They fucking nailed the fucking issue down: dynamism in human organizations. Liquid. They reduced SAP to the point that everybody can have one, and many can use it; and by doing so, all the human activities can bubble bottom-up in a very tidy (ie: usefull) way, instead of being top-down directed.
The human bug remain, but Master (Bruce) Lee would be proud of those computer guys.
By having thousands of teams working in Ethereum-powered activities, every activity would share the same information protocol, and all of them would be easily interconnected trough Ethereum’s contracting capabilities, accounted trough Ethereum’s currency, and certified against the public trust trough Ethereum’s blockchain. Automagically. To many europeans it looks like an asian puzzling game; indeed it is a pretty well know project/softdev/etc practice.
And the first project should/could be to produce a common ruleset to protect us all. A kind of Constitution to map the currents humans rights to. A permanent, blockchained, evolutionary, ruleset.
It is way better than a static Constitution.