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+% Copyright 2009 FSCONS, Superflex and the individual authors.
+% This entire book and all its source files is licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5
+\mbox{}\vfill\begin{center}\LARGE{Intermission}\end{center} \vfill\mbox{}
+\mbox{}\vfill\begin{center}\LARGE{Intermission end}\end{center} \vfill\mbox{}
+Copyright 2009 FSCONS, Superflex and the individual authors.
+This entire book and all its source files is licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5
+# Change this to sane values for you
+PDF_FLAGS=-p -d -f
+# Stop changing here
+INTERMEDIATE_FILES=*.pdf *.ps *.aux *.bbl *.blg *.idx *.log *.out *.toc *.lof *.lot *.nlo *.dvi
+all: book view
+	$(MAKE) clean
+rubber: $(DOC_PREFIX) 
+pdflatex: $(DOC_PREFIX)
+	bibtex $(MAIN_DOCUMENT)
+mrproper: clean
+	@if [ ! -z "$(PDF_VIEWER)" ]; then \
+		if [ ! -f /tmp/$(MAIN_DOCUMENT).pid ] || \
+		! ps x | grep -q "^[ ]*$$(cat /tmp/$(MAIN_DOCUMENT).pid)\>"; then \
+			echo -n $$! > /tmp/$(MAIN_DOCUMENT).pid ; \
+		fi ; \
+	fi
+	mkdir -p $(DOC_PREFIX)
+.PHONY: book clean mrproper view 
+The Freebeer book was compiled using the following packages:
+% Copyright 2009 FSCONS, Superflex and the individual authors.
+% This entire book and all its source files is licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5
+    author = {Damyan Ivanov},
+	title = {{Unofficial Git repository of the dh-make-perl Debian package}},
+    howpublished = {\\\url{}},
+    month = {October},
+	year = {2009}
+    author = {Josip Rodin},
+    title = {{Debian New Maintainers' Guide -- `rules' file}},
+    howpublished = {\\\url{}},
+    month = {June},
+    year = {2008}
+    author = {Josip Rodin},
+    title = {{Debian New Maintainers' Guide}},
+    howpublished = {\\\url{}},
+    month = {June},
+    year = {2008}
+    title = {{Debian Policy Manual -- Binary Packages -- Dependencies}},
+    howpublished = {\\\url{}},
+    month = {August},
+    year = {2009}
+    author = {Raphaël Hertzog and Brendan O'Dea},
+    title = {Debian Perl Policy},
+    howpublished = {\\\url{}}
+    title = {{Debian Perl Group}},
+    howpublished = {\\\url{}}
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+    title = {{Labor and Monopoly Capital}},
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+    address = {New York},
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+    author = {Braverman, H.},
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+    title = {{Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century}},
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+    title = {{The Hacker Movement as a Continuation of Labour Struggle}},
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+    title = {{Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution}},
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+    title = {{Strange Weather – Culture, Science, and Technology in the Age of Limits}},
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+    publisher = {Verso}
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+    title = {{Rebels Against the Future -- The Luddites and Their War on the Industrial Revolution, Lessons for the Computer Age}},
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+    publisher = {Addison-Wesley Publishing Company}
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+    year = {2002},
+    title = {{The Hacking of America: Who's Doing it, Why, and How}},
+    address = {Westport, CT.},
+    publisher = {Quorum Books}
+    author = {Shiller, D.},
+    year = {1999},
+    title = {{Digital Capitalism: Networking the Global Market System}},
+    address = {London},
+    publisher = {MIT Press}
+    author = {Sussman, G. and Lent, J.},
+    year = {1998},
+    title = {{Global Productions – Labour in the Making of the 'Information Society'}},
+    address = {Cresskill},
+    publisher = {Hampton Press}
+    author = {Terranova, T.},
+    year = {2000},
+    title = {{Free Labour: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy}},
+    journal = {Social Texts},
+    volume = {18},
+    pages = {33-57}
+    author = {Torvalds, L. and Diamond, D.},
+    year = {2001},
+    title = {{Just For Fun -- The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary}},
+    address = {New York},
+    publisher = {HarperCollins Publisher}
+    author = {Webster, F.},
+    year = {2002},
+    title = {{Theories of the Information Society}},
+    address = {New York},
+    publisher = {Routledge}
+    author = {Weed},
+    year = {2008},
+	title = {{The Dark Side of Cyberspace – Inside the Sweatshops of China's Computer Hardware Production}},
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+    year = {1982},
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+    title = {{The Philosophy of manufactures: or, an exposition of the scientific, moral and commercial economy of the factory system of Great Britain}},
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+    publisher = {Knight}
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+    year = {1979},
+    title = {{in: (ed.) Zimbalist, A. A Case Studies of the Labor Process}},
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+    year = {2002},
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+    journal = {International Socialism Journal},
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+    author = {Zuboff, S.},
+    year = {1998},
+    title = {{In The Age Of The Smart Machine: The Future Of Work And Power}},
+    address = {New York},
+    publisher = {Basic Books}
+    author = {Jordan, T.},
+    year = {2002},
+    title = {{Activism!: Direct Action, Hacktivism and the Future of Society}},
+    address = {London},
+    publisher = {Reaktion Books}
+    author = {Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M.},
+    year = {1980},
+    title = {{Metaphors we live by}},
+    address = {Chicago},
+    publisher = {University of Chicago Press},
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+    author = {Castells, M.},
+    year = {2000},
+    title = {{The Rise of the Network Society, 2nd edition}},
+    address = {Cambridge, MA; Oxford, UK},
+    publisher = {Blackwell},
+    pages = {500}
+    author = {Morgan, G.},
+    year = {1999},
+    title = {{Organisationsmetaforer}},
+    address = {Lund, Sweden},
+    journal = {Studentlitteratur},
+    pages = {9-15}
+    author = {Vago, S.},
+    year = {2009},
+    title = {{Law and society}},
+    address = {Upper Saddle River, N.J.},
+    publisher = {Pearson Prentice Hall, coop},
+    pages = {335-336}
+    author = {Castells, M.},
+    year = {1996},
+    title = {{The Information Age: economy, society and culture}},
+    address = {Malden, Mass.},
+    publisher = {Blackwell},
+    volume = {1. The rise of the network society}
+    author = {Castells, M.},
+    year = {1997},
+    title = {{The Information Age: economy, society and culture}},
+    address = {Malden, Mass.},
+    publisher = {Blackwell},
+    volume = {2. The power of identity}
+    author = {Castells, M.},
+    year = {1998},
+    title = {{The Information Age: economy, society and culture}},
+    address = {Malden, Mass.},
+    publisher = {Blackwell},
+    volume = {3. End of millennium}
+    author = {Santos, Boaventura de Sousa},
+    year = {1995},
+    title = {{Three metaphors for a new conception of law: The Frontier, the Baroque, and the South}},
+    journal = {Law and Society Review},
+    volume = {29 (4)},
+    pages = {569-584}
+    author = {Santos, Boaventura de Sousa},
+    year = {1995},
+    title = {{Toward a New Common Sense: Law, Science and Politics in the Paradigmatic Transition}},
+    address = {New York},
+    publisher = {Routledge}
+    author = {Fridholm, M. and Isacson, M. and Magnusson, L.},
+    year = {1984},
+    title = {{Industrialismens rötter. Om förutsättningarna för den industriella revolutionen i Sverige}},
+    address = {Stockholm, Sweden},
+    publisher = {Bokförlaget Prisma}
+    author = {Sundqvist, G.},
+    year = {2001},
+    title = {{Bredbandspolitik - En tekniksociologisk analys av kommunala bredband}},
+    publisher = {STS Research #2, Avd. för teknik- och vetenskapsstudier}
+    author = {Ewerman, A. and Hydén, H.},
+    year = {1997},
+    title = {{IT och social förändring}},
+    publisher = {Byggforskningsrådet}
+    author = {Hydén, H.},
+    year = {2008},
+    title = {{Från samhällsutveckling till samhällsförändring – om behovet av att tänka nytt, in Hydén, ed. (2008) FRAMTIDSBOKEN: Volym 1.0 ``The Darling Conceptions of Your Time''}},
+    address = {Lund, Sweden},
+    publisher = {Lund University}
+    author = {Næss, A.},
+    year = {2007},
+    title = {{När jorden stod stilla. Galileo Galilei och hans tid}},
+    address = {Stockholm},
+    publisher = {Leopard förlag}
+    author = {Larsson, S.},
+    year = {2005},
+    title = {{Intellectual Property Rights in a Transitional Society – Internet and File Sharing from a Sociology of Law Perspective (in Swedish.) [Musikupphovsrätten i ett samhälle under förändring – Internet och fildelning ur ett rättssociologiskt perspektiv]}},
+    address = {Lund, Sweden},
+    school = {University of Lund},
+    pages = {28-29}
+    author = {Kierkegaard, Sylvia Mercado},
+    year = {2005},
+    title = {{Taking a sledgehammer to crack the nut: The EU Enforcement Directive}},
+    journal = {Computer Law \& Security Report},
+    volume = {21},
+    pages = {488-495}
+    author = {Töllborg, D.},
+    year = {2008},
+    title = {{Hegemoniska revolutioner, in Hydén, ed. (2008) FRAMTIDSBOKEN: Volym 1.0 ``The Darling Conceptions of Your Time''}},
+    address = {Lund, Sweden},
+    publisher = {Lund University}
+    author = {Karnell, G.},
+    year = {1970},
+    title = {{Rätten till programinnehållet i TV}},
+    address = {Stockholm},
+    publisher = {Jurist- och samhällsvetareförbundets förlag},
+    pages = {70}
+    author = {Lessig, L.},
+    year = {2006},
+    title = {{Code version 2.0}},
+    address = {New York},
+    publisher = {Basic Books},
+    pages = {175}
+    author = {Hydén, H.},
+    year = {2002},
+    title = {{Normvetenskap, Lund studies in Sociology of Law}}
+    author = {Holden, J.},
+    year = {2008},
+    month = {December},
+    title = {{Democratic culture - opening up the arts to everyone}},
+    address = {London},
+    publisher = {Demos}
+    author = {Larsson, S.},
+    year = {2008},
+    title = {{Om Sanning och Rätt, in Hydén, ed. (2008) FRAMTIDSBOKEN: Volym 1.0
+        ``The Darling Conceptions of Your Time''}},
+    address = {Lund, Sweden},
+    publisher = {Lund University}
+    author = {Larsson, S. and Hydén, H.},
+    year = {2008},
+    title = {{Different darling conceptions tied to different societal systems. The case of illegal file sharing in a brave new world}},
+    howpublished = {paper presented at Research Committee Sociology of Law annual meeting, Law and Justice in the Risk Society, Milan and Como, Italy July 9-12, 2008}
+    title = {Chart of Licences},
+    howpublished = {\url{}}
+% Copyright 2009 FSCONS, Superflex and the individual authors.
+% This entire book and all its source files is licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5
+    colorlinks=true,
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+\usepackage{tocloft} % manages the design of ToC, LoF, LoT etc
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+% add more languages here if needed (Java, Python, whatever)
+% list of supported languages here:
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+    \title{\Huge{Free Beer}}
+    \author{\textbf{Written by speakers at FSCONS 2008}\\\\ Edited by Stian Rødven Eide\\ \LaTeX{} by Patrik Willard}
+    \date{\today}
+    \definecolor{listinggray}{gray}{0.9}
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+    \pagestyle{empty}
+    % without textcomp package we cannot import the licensepage, if we do, it
+    % won't compile
+    \input{licencepage.tex}
+    \tableofcontents
+    \newpage
+    \mainmatter
+    \pagestyle{plain}
+    \input{./00_chapters.tex}
+    \appendix
+    %\input{appendix/appendix.tex}
+    \backmatter
+    \bibliographystyle{unsrt}
+    \bibliography{./bibtex/ref.bib}
+    \newpage
+    \mbox{}
+    \thispagestyle{empty}


+% Copyright 2009 FSCONS, Superflex and the individual authors.
+% This entire book and all its source files is licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5
+    \qauthor{\LARGE{Smári McCarthy}}
+\chapter{The End of (Artif\hbox{}icial) Scarcity}
+The modern materials economy has been marked by an unwillingness to face the
+subtle repercussions of the industrial revolution. In this essay I intend to
+play out this future drama of mankind in three parts. F\hbox{}irst, I will set
+the stage by showing that we have perhaps unknowingly built several political
+assumptions into our society in such a way that we cannot see these 
+foundations, let alone replace them when they are sinking into the mire. 
+Second, I will show that the failure of these foundations is not merely
+inevitable, but that it has already happened. F\hbox{}inally I intend to try to
+describe a couple of methods we can use to build new egalitarian foundations 
+for our societies.
+\section{Act 1. Our Unspoken Mythology}
+A myth is a powerful thing. The power of a story, an epic or a tale is 
+formative to a culture, from the epic of Gilgamesh to the stories collected by
+the Brothers Grimm and onwards to \textit{Star Wars} or \textit{Harry Potter}.
+The stories of our time give us the context by which we live our lives – the
+stock phrases, the iconography, even, nowadays, styles and variations. Every 
+era has its heroes, and the narratives they follow from are strongly woven into
+the mood of the era, as both reality and f\hbox{}iction move forward in a
+powerful symbiosis – who would Beowulf have been without the conception of evil
+hidden in the darkness personif\hbox{}ied by Grendel? Would James Bond have 
+been interesting if not for the Cold War and subsequent hiccups and hijinx in
+global politics?
+Before the advent of writing, stories were transmitted from person to person by
+word of mouth. Until the printing press came to be they continued to go by word
+of mouth primarily but were also preserved for posterity in a slightly more
+permanent and immutable form. The printing press changed all that, it provided 
+a platform by which two things could be achieved. F\hbox{}irst, the
+formalization of myths – no longer would they be subject to faulty memory or
+creative manipulation, embellishment or subjugation. Second, the elimination of
+scarcity – the printed myths in their more immutable form could be reproduced
+almost indef\hbox{}initely, allowing the ideas presented to reach an almost
+inf\hbox{}initely larger audience, given time.
+Our stories have captured well the struggle for freedom. The premise of Arabian
+nights is the thousand and one nights in which the sultan is told a fascinating
+tale by his harem-bound storyteller who yearns for freedom from captivity.
+Dickens's stories often featured themes of freedom, from \textit{The Tale of 
+Two Cities} to the \textit{Christmas Carol}, the protagonists seek freedom of
+some kind. \textit{Oliver Twist} told of a boy wishing for freedom from poverty
+that was unjustly assigned to him as an unwanted birthright. Even Shakespeare
+put his f\hbox{}inger on the topic every now and then; Romeo and Juliet's 
+desire to be free from the constraints of their social situation, feeling that
+the battles on the streets of Verona weren't necessarily what they signed up
+for.  Some are more blatant than others in this, Orwell's \textit{1984} and
+\textit{Animal Farm} notwithstanding.
+All of the above can be studied in a number of ways, and is. While folklorists
+may refer to the Aarne-Thompson system\footnote{A system which enumerates
+roughly 2,500 basic plots that manage to encompass most stories. See Antti
+Aarne, \textit{The Types of the Folktale: A Classif\hbox{}ication and
+Bibliography}, The F\hbox{}innish Academy of Science and Letters, Helsinki,
+1961, for Aarne's original system which was later expanded by Thompson.} as a
+way of understanding the stories' structure, and semioticians may consider the
+symbolism within a tale or the meaningful patterns that emerge in collections 
+of stories\footnote{A fairly benign guide to Semiotics for people unfamiliar
+with the term is Daniel Chandler's Semiotics for Beginners,
+\url{}}, there may be a better f\hbox{}ield to use in our
+exploration of the theme which interests us the most in this instance, namely
+\subsection{Formative myths}
+The f\hbox{}ield of memetics came out of Richard Dawkins' book \textit{The
+Self\hbox{}ish Gene}\footnote{Richard Dawkins, \textit{The Self\hbox{}ish 
+Gene}, 1976}, which applied the phraseology of epidemiology and genetics to the
+concepts of ideas.  Memetics studies evolutionary\footnote{It's worth 
+mentioning that not all evolution needs to be Darwinian evolution; I think 
+ideas are more of a Lamarckian type, if any model of ``evolution'' (as opposed
+to emergence) applies at all here.} models in the transmission of ideas, and is
+as such as much born out of information theory on the one hand and cybernetics
+on the other as much as it is from genetics. In fact I generally consider
+memetics to be a sub-f\hbox{}ield of cybernetics, which I'll come to later.
+The meme (or possibly meme-complex) of freedom is very popular and very
+powerful, being transmitted from an ardent believer (memoid) to a potential 
+host through various means. Indoctrination generally begins young as with any
+potent idea, like language or property or respect for elders. Freedom also 
+seems to be a meme that people are prone to reinvent if they aren't infected
+with it and they f\hbox{}ind it might be useful. Freedom, as a meme, has 
+several f\hbox{}laws though. It is largely undefended against 
+misrepresentation, it has inconsistent sociotypes (or social expressions of the
+meme), and it appears quite prone to memetic drift, or the idea becoming 
+watered down as time progresses, until such a time that it snaps back into full
+force, creating a sawtooth-wave of sorts.
+All myths are not f\hbox{}iction. Some myths are portrayed not as stories for
+campf\hbox{}ire sittings or late night movies, but rather as if they were the
+truth. These are generally called lies, but only after they have been 
+discovered to be untruthful. Until such a discovery is made, these
+\textit{f\hbox{}ictitious} myths are quite as formative as their
+f\hbox{}ictional counterparts to our society. A statement regarding some well
+respected businessman's deviant sexual behaviour can damage his reputation, 
+even if it is a lie. And even after such a lie has been discovered, much
+irrevocable damage may have been done.
+An example of such a formative lie would be McCarthyism in the 1950s. It was a
+widely held belief of the time that communists were a purposefully destructive
+force, acting in unity within US borders in an attempt to destroy democracy and
+freedom and all that. This belief was strengthened by the will of uncle
+Joe\footnote{I am in no way related to former senator Joseph McCarthy, but I
+sure like to make that joke. Apparently, so does the Icelandic media, as can be
+seen in a late June 2008 edition of Fréttabla{\dh}i{\dh}, where I am likened to the
+senator.} and others who used the myth to push forth their political agenda.
+Perhaps they believed in the myth, perhaps they didn't. It doesn't matter. The
+meme of anti-communist sentiment f\hbox{}lourished under these circumstances,
+the cognitive image was strengthened, and society changed because of it.
+Granted that we know that myths and lies can be formative to our society, and
+our keen interest in this meme called freedom, the central theme of our
+movement\footnote{This would be the \textit{Free Society Movement}, and it's
+sub-classif\hbox{}ications far and wide, reaching the shores of the Free
+Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons, and
+so on.}, it is self-evident that we would benef\hbox{}it our choice meme 
+greatly if we were to discover lies which have a negative ef\hbox{}fect on it.
+There are two in particular that are worth mentioning in this context for their
+profound ef\hbox{}fect on our civilization over the past two hundred years and
+the astoundingly small amount of scrutiny they have received. 
+\subsection{Centralization culture}
+Modern political science narrowly and crudely separates all modes of thought
+into the socialist and individualist movements with few exceptions. Whilst most
+political scientists will agree that there is more to the world than exists in
+the capitalist and communist philosophies, they tend in general to sit on 
+either side of that particular fence and toss faeces thence without regarding
+other pastures. But deep within both political theories lie two assumptions 
+that are held up high. The Marxists may disagree with the Smithists on the
+issues of who should own what and who should rule over whom, but despite all
+their diatribes they are dear buddies when it comes to the questions of whether
+anybody should rule anybody and whether anybody need own anything.
+In 1651 Thomas Hobbes published his \textit{magnum opus Leviathan}, a thickset
+tome using complex language to explain a set of ideas regarding the nature of
+control in man and animal, the essence of authority and the purpose and correct
+modes of civilization. In it, he makes certain statements as to the nature of
+government in particular, easily stating that in lieu of a strong centralized
+government, human civilization will dissolve into chaos\footnote{``The only way
+to erect such a common power, as may be able to defend them from the invasion 
+of foreigners, and the injuries of one another, and thereby to secure them in
+such sort as that by their own industry and by the fruits of the earth they may
+nourish themselves and live contentedly, is to confer all their power and
+strength upon one man, or upon one assembly of men, that may reduce all their
+wills, by plurality of voices, unto one will [\ldots]'', Thomas Hobbes,
+Leviathan, chapter XVII (Of the Causes, Generation, and Def\hbox{}inition of a
+The reason given for this is that man is, in his own right, a haphazard beast
+and completely incapable of making rational decisions, and thus it is only
+natural that his welfare be put into the hands of inf\hbox{}initely more 
+capable people such as, say, kings.
+Does that sound a little bit odd? Consider this assumption in the context of
+capitalism. Very few capitalists entirely reject the notion of
+government\footnote{I could point at Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek,
+but I'm not going to for reasons that will become apparent.}, most saying 
+rather that the government should stay out of the way of the natural behaviour
+of the market, which is busy doing its thing. A government has very few tools
+with which to sway the behaviour of a community, the f\hbox{}irst and foremost
+being the legal system, which provides a system of restrictions (or
+\textit{boundary conditions}), which act as parameters within which everybody 
+is bound to act.  Restrictions, the capitalists note, put limits on the growth
+of an economy.  Rejecting government altogether would be to reject restrictions
+altogether, but most capitalists feel strongly about keeping government handy 
+in case they screw up.
+I mentioned that \textit{Leviathan} addressed ``nature of control in man and
+animal.'' This wording is not accidental. In the early 1950s they were used by
+mathematician Norbert Weiner in his description of a new f\hbox{}ield of study
+with which he had become infatuated, which he verily named 
+\textit{cybernetics}, or ``control theory''\footnote{In Lawrence Lessig's
+\textit{Code v2.0}, cybernetics is misrepresented as a study of ``control at a
+distance through devices,'' missing by far the subtlety of actually studying 
+the nature of control itself and the way it behaves in systems.  }. The purpose
+of cybernetics was to explore how authority propagates through systems, and it
+has alarmingly deep things to say about such things as computers and tribes and
+economies and so on. Nowadays cybernetics is rather unpopular, with one of the
+world's largest cybernetics faculties having recently been merged with a 
+faculty of computer science, as if it were so narrowly def\hbox{}ined. 
+In previous decades cybernetics had glorious times, like when Staf\hbox{}ford
+Beer spent time in Chile helping Salvador Allende's government install a
+computer-controlled network of sensors and transducers, connected upstream
+through statistical software, that gave a simple method of reacting to
+situations at the factory, district, county, or national level\footnote{See
+\textit{Fanfare for Ef\hbox{}fective Freedom}, by Staf\hbox{}ford Beer.}. The
+idea was to use a network of teletype terminals running through the phone
+system, a precursor to the Internet, to maintain complete information about the
+status of the nation's economy; the Marxist government having the ability to do
+without the capitalist theme of withholding information that may benef\hbox{}it
+The project was killed along with Allende himself when the CIA sponsored
+\textit{coup d'etat} organized and enacted by General Augusto Pinochet shocked
+the Chileans into submission\footnote{See \textit{The Shock Doctrine}, by Naomi
+Klein.}. It is unsure to what degree the CyberSyn project, as it was called,
+af\hbox{}fected the CIA's decision to sponsor the coup, but it is clear that 
+one of the key motivations for replacing Allende's Marxist government was to
+temper the rising prices of copper, Chile's main export, which was required for
+the growing information infrastructure throughout the west: CyberSyn, by
+heightening the f\hbox{}low of information through the industrial sectors in
+Chile and af\hbox{}fording the workers a more egalitarian method of industrial
+organization, was threatening to make the adoption of information technology 
+too expensive in the western world at a pivotal point in time.  Perhaps one
+could argue that Pinochet saved the Internet by enslaving an entire nation, but
+in doing so set information technology back by decades.
+\subsection{Building the System}
+In cybernetics, you consider a \textit{system} to be a \textit{state space} 
+upon which a set of \textit{transformations} may act\footnote{See \textit{An
+Introduction to Cybernetics}, by W. Ross Ashby.}, and by mapping all possible
+transformations on the state space you can f\hbox{}ind contextually congruent
+states and possible paths that the system can take. To visualize this, take a
+piece of paper and draw a circle on it. The paper is the system, the circle
+represents the desired operational boundary of the system. Now place a point
+randomly inside the circle. This is the system's state. Now without lifting the
+pencil, go back and forth within the circle, making scribbles.
+A number of interesting questions arise. What happens if you keep going back 
+and forth between the same places? This is called homoeostasis, and is 
+generally considered a good thing, albeit somewhat unexciting. It occurs when
+you have a harmonic oscillation between states. Call it harmony if you will.
+Don't call it Utopia, please.
+Does distance traversed within the circle matter? It does. If you go too far
+your system is very unstable, and is likely to explode. If you don't go far
+enough the system may grow ``cold'' and die out, being replaced by something
+else entirely\footnote{A Douglas Adams quote comes to mind: ``There is a theory
+which states that if anybody ever f\hbox{}igures out what the Universe is and
+what it's for, it will immediately by destroyed and replaced with something
+dif\hbox{}ferent.  There is another theory which states that this has already
+happened.''}. What is an explosion? That's when you leave the circle. That's
+when you enter uncharted waters. It shouldn't really happen, but let's remember
+that this is a large and complex chaotic system where we are faced with any
+number of situations such as global warming, \textit{coups d'etat} and
+f\hbox{}inancial meltdown. Not everything that can happen exists within the
+circle; rather, we def\hbox{}ine our circle in terms of what kind of behaviour
+we deem acceptable.
+Government then, is the device that draws the circle, that sets the rate of
+change in the states, or at least installs speed bumps and so forth to keep
+things in check and balance. If they draw the circle too tight – limiting
+freedoms too severely – they risk explosion. If they put in too many speed
+bumps, they risk cooling out and being replaced by something stronger.
+And that's why the capitalists like to keep the government around, because they
+control the lasso, they can make sudden changes to the playing f\hbox{}ield.
+This can prove useful, they believe.
+Consider now the implications of the \textit{Leviathan statement} on communism.
+Marx \& Engels noted the importance of the control of the means of production 
+to be in the hands of the producers themselves, which sounds quite reasonable.
+The idea being that nobody has a say in how and when things are produced unless
+they are actually going to be doing the work. They wrote of ownership by the
+proletariat, rather than ownership by the bourgeois\footnote{A term which has 
+no relevance any more, since industrialization and destruction of natural
+habitats have forced the majority of humanity to now live in cities. Now it
+would be more correct to speak of \textit{owners of capital}, or, erm,
+\textit{capitalists}.}.  So that was theoretical communism, drunken deeply from
+tankards forged in the anarchist tradition. But in applied communism we have
+seen all over the world a tendency towards drawing ever tighter concentric
+circles, building a centralist government which tells people what the plan is
+and how it shall be accomplished by way of bureaucratic output in industrial
+Verily has a Leviathan been pulled from a hat, and the assumption of strong
+centralized government has been abjured into reality. The result is that most
+modern local or municipal level government activity is applied to jumping
+through hoops manufactured by authorities higher up in the chain. My local town
+government has employees writing reports for the ministries of industry and
+education and environment, and they in turn have employees writing even larger
+reports for the European Union and the United Nations and so on. The power base
+has even become so diluted that it is no longer clear exactly on whose 
+authority many things are being performed.
+\subsection{Scarcity set in Stone}
+More than a century after Hobbes, an awkward man named William Godwin wrote a
+book named \textit{An Inquiry Concerning Political Justice}. In this book he
+argued against the \textit{Leviathan statement}, insisting that it was a myth, 
+a lie, something that might not actually be right and that somebody should
+check.  The book sold well at f\hbox{}irst, attracting the attention of many
+famous people such as the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (who later became
+Godwin's wife), the romance poet Percy Shelley (who later ran away with 
+Godwin's daughter Mary) and former US vice president Aaron Burr (who later
+killed Alexander Hamilton because of a silly dispute\footnote{In \textit{The
+Federalist Papers} as published by Bantam Classics, Burr is spoken of as
+``volatile'' in defence of Hamilton, who wrote of freedom and traded in slaves.
+The entire Burr-Hamilton incident is a fascinating one but outside the scope of
+this essay.}). But amongst Godwin's erstwhile readers was at least one who
+didn't take the meme of political justice without a grain of salt. Thomas
+Malthus, being well versed in the \textit{Leviathan statement}, wrote in
+response to Godwin a vast tract, \textit{An Essay on the Principle of
+In his essay, Malthus pointed out that without a strong centralized government
+(without using those words) imposing arbitrary restrictions on resource
+allocation to the proletariat (without using that word), human population would
+continue to increase exponentially until such a time that all the resources
+available to man would be depleted and we would all die of starvation and chaos
+would ensue\footnote{``Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical
+ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight
+acquaintance with numbers will show the immensity of the f\hbox{}irst power in
+comparison of the second.  By that law of our nature which makes food necessary
+to the life of man, the ef\hbox{}fects of these two unequal powers must be kept
+equal.\\ This implies a strong and constantly operating check on population 
+from the dif\hbox{}f\hbox{}iculty of subsistence. This dif\hbox{}f\hbox{}iculty
+must fall somewhere and must necessarily be severely felt by a large portion of
+mankind.'', Thomas Malthus, \textit{An Essay on the Principle of Population},
+Chapter 1.}. This was a commonly held belief at the time, but Malthus gained
+notoriety for putting it in words and justifying it with graphs.
+Suf\hbox{}f\hbox{}ice to say Thomas and William\footnote{And others, including
+Nicholas de Caritat, marquis de Condorcet, who developed the \textit{Condorcet}
+voting scheme.} argued about this for several decades, and Thomas won hands
+down. As in any philosophical debate, the validity of the arguments hinged not
+on their truthfulness, but on their memetic infectiousness, which in Thomas'
+case was severely augmented by support from the governmental powers in Britain,
+desperate to hold on. The Malthusian myth was forged and is still being
+reinforced to this day, yet depressingly few Malthusians go out of their way to
+read the works of Godwin and Condorcet which are heavily referenced in his
+Consider our circle. In the cybernetic, this means that there exist innumerable
+paths from our current state that lead to states wherein we all die from
+starvation. I'll assume this lies outside of the circle since we deem that an
+unacceptable result. Malthus' claim was that it was government's job to prevent
+society from applying certain transformations that would lead to an exhaustion
+of resources.
+Remember that this is all happening just as the industrial revolution was 
+taking its f\hbox{}irst steps, tumbling awkwardly over itself, making silly
+mistakes and not really getting very far. Machines, back then, were a joke,
+despite Watt and Carnot and the others. So little could Malthus know (although
+Godwin predicted) that industry would alter the entire materials economy to a
+point where resources were the least of our problems\footnote{For a couple of
+hundred years, at least.}, so it's fair to forgive him. What cannot be forgiven
+is how this assumption of \textit{scarcity}, the meme of \textit{poverty}, has
+managed to survive the industrialization of the western world without being
+attacked or scrutinized too deeply.
+Look at the f\hbox{}igures. Agriculture in the western world now produces more
+food than would be needed for a humanity twice the size\footnote{Statistics
+available at \url{}; for example, 784.786.580 tonnes of maize
+were produced worldwide in 2007, 651.742.616 tonnes of rice, 216.144.262 tonnes
+of soybeans, 1.557.664.978 tonnes of sugar cane, and so on. That year
+ tonnes of \textit{vegetables} were produced worldwide, which is
+roughly a tonne of food per person per year. The US Department of Agriculture
+states at \url{} that the average person consumed 884.52 kg
+of food per year, and that statistic includes meat and dairy products.}. About
+half of this food is thrown away\footnote{See Timothy Jones;
+\url{}}, and yet about 800 million people are
+starving\footnote{According to FAO, 852 million people, about 13\% of the
+world's population. ``Of this, about 815 million people live in developing
+countries, 28 million in ``transition'' countries of the former Eastern Europe
+and ex-Soviet republics, and about nine million in the industrialised world.''
+\url{}} and in the west millions of people are obese. Does
+this make sense? Does poverty make sense?
+Industry was supposed to remedy this. Wasn't it? Was industry not intended to
+replace the human hand with machines, transforming hard labour into a
+caretaker's af\hbox{}fair of relative ease, letting machines fulf\hbox{}il our
+every want and desire in plenty, letting us all lead comfortable lives of
+af\hbox{}f\hbox{}luence? Or was the industrial revolution a purely technical
+issue, hackers of yore making things that did suave stuf\hbox{}f just because
+they had a strong desire to solve technical problems? Doubtful. As 
+technocentric as hacker\footnote{I use the term \textit{hacker} in the sense 
+``A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal
+workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular,'' as
+def\hbox{}ined in RFC1392 and echoed in senses 1-7 in the Jargon f\hbox{}ile.
+\url{}} culture tends to be, hackers have politics up to 
+here. Look at the free software movement, look at Wikipedia.  When technically
+minded individuals come together to address problems, be they technical or
+political or social, they do so with a fervour that makes people's heads spin.
+Nobody is going to convince me that Alessandro Volta didn't think electricity
+wasn't going to tip the game slightly in favour of the peasants. Nobody is 
+going to tell me that Robert Fulton wasn't acting in what he believed were the
+interests of mankind. ``Oh, look,'' I can't imagine him saying. ``there's an
+opportunity for further oppression of the working classes by making them not
+only have to work, but have to f\hbox{}ight for the right to work too by making
+them have to compete on an open market against machines capable of working
+tirelessly with arbitrary accuracy!'' Nobody is that stupid. Or are they?
+Let's fast forward a bit. In 1968, whilst student uprisings were happening in
+Paris, Milan and San Francisco, to name a few of the more important
+battlegrounds, a professor of biology at University of California at Santa
+Barbara, Garrett Hardin, crawls out of the woodwork of relative obscurity and
+writes of the \textit{Tragedy of the Commons}\footnote{Originally printed in
+Science magazine with the introductory line: ``The population problem has no
+technical solution; it requires a fundamental extension in morality''. See
+\url{}.}, a thought based very deeply on the
+\textit{Malthusian statement}. Here he claims that common ownership (or 
+rather – stewardship) will end in tears when the resources run out. But Hardin
+is a post-industrial person saying that the existence of a commons was
+contradictory to the assumption of scarcity. That with anything in common or
+communal ownership, be it works in the public domain or resources not
+specif\hbox{}ically allocated, there was a threat that the commons would wipe
+themselves out. Given scarcity, people would take and take and never give.
+Hardin, in making this statement, was doing game theory a big favour. Game
+theory was a relatively fresh branch of mathematics made famous by Nobel
+laureate John Nash, that inspected strategies and situations in terms of
+\textit{games} played by \textit{players}. Examples of strategies developed
+under game theory were minimax (commercialism: maximize the ef\hbox{}fect of
+your actions and minimize the ef\hbox{}fect of those of your opponent) and
+tit-for-tat (the cold war: if you launch nukes, so will we). Hardin produced a
+strategy that was widely adopted, and it is known as the CC-PP game. CC-PP
+stands for “Communize Costs-Privatize Prof\hbox{}its.” In this strategy you
+leech of\hbox{}f the investments of your competitors, making the community as a
+whole pay for as much of your own expansion as is possible, but at the same 
+time making sure to keep all prof\hbox{}its for yourself by not divvying out
+your booty to the rest of the pirates.
+Exploring this within our system-circle (which has now admittedly become
+something of a mess), what we're doing is pushing the system in directions that
+will make others pay for our prof\hbox{}its. Who better to do this but the
+government, which already has the legislative authority to do so?
+\subsection{The Best Insurance Policy Ever}
+Say what you will about Friedman and co, but at least they were
+honest\footnote{Well, no. But it's a good argument to make nevertheless.}. The
+rest of the capitalists are playing the CC-PP game. Consider a few examples:
+after the great depression John Maynard Keynes suggested ideas that became
+rolled into Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, which was accepted and performed
+quite altruistically. But if we look at the situation, what was being done was
+huge debts were being forgiven towards the people who caused the depression to
+begin with and society as a whole was being made to pay. In Iceland in 2008, as
+soon as the f\hbox{}inancial situation of the banks was regarded as ominous, 
+the banks were – and get this – \textit{nationalized}\footnote{For more details
+on this, see \url{} and it's many references.}. The assets of
+the banks were seized and the government put in direct control of the daily
+operations of the bank.
+The owners were magically freed from their already non-existent obligations
+towards the f\hbox{}inancial stability of the bank, losing a pile of money that
+didn't exist either anyway, and the full brunt of the debt that the owners had
+created within the bank pushed onto the nation.
+The exact same story happened with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and any number 
+of other examples come to mind. Would a bank ever be nationalized if it were
+doing well? Not at all. Indeed, as was seen in Bolivia in 2001\footnote{See
+\textit{¡Cochabamba!: Water War in Bolivia}, by Oscar Olivera and Tom Lewis.}
+the obverse is true. Prof\hbox{}itable ventures, such as selling water to
+peasants, tend towards privatization in any system that assumes scarcity of the
+same.  Instant prof\hbox{}it!
+The net result of the CC-PP game, in this instance, is the production of a
+situation where the rich play by the Marxian rules and the poor play by the
+Smithian rules: Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the Poor. If you just
+happen to be one of the unlucky sods who doesn't own stocks and wear a \$5,000
+suit to work, you're in a dog-eat-dog world and getting beyond that point will
+always be problematic at best. Indeed, our cybernetic circle diverges into two
+circles at an ever-accelerating rate, where one of the circles is a game plan
+for the wealthy and the other is a game plan for the poor.
+The government, then, is a tool being used by two factions to preserve their 
+own dominance. For those who strive to increase their inf\hbox{}luence, a
+government is a way to satisfy their egotistical yearnings. For the 
+capitalists, a government is the best insurance policy other people's money can
+\subsection{Manufactured Scarcity}
+And all of this comes back to the underlying principles of the political
+doctrines of Smith and Marx: Hobbes' Lie and Malthus' Lie. There are other 
+lies, but these are the core, as far as I can tell. No other elementary
+assumptions built into the system are as well def\hbox{}ined and as thoroughly
+cherished by all parties.
+In fact, government has been very busy enforcing these lies, upholding the 
+myth.  Scarcity is the tool they use in conjunction with the owners as a method
+for ensuring the subservience and subjugation of those not indoctrinated in
+their world\footnote{I almost wrote \textit{of the working classes} here, but I
+fear instigating a class war is a perfect way to maintain the \textit{status
+quo}.  See any class war in history for examples of this.}. Scarcity in food 
+and commodities by an inherently faulty distribution network, implicitly 
+limited by people's lack of regard for one another and explicitly limited by
+trade barriers, tolls, taxes and tarif\hbox{}fs. Scarcity in culture by the
+conf\hbox{}inement of \textit{f\hbox{}ine art} and cultural events within the
+lucrative boundaries of the cityscapes, as well as the projection of knowledge
+into books – immutable and easily scarcif\hbox{}ied by the producers, who sell
+at whichever price f\hbox{}its their fancy. 
+Everywhere in the system, scarcity is being manufactured to insure the
+prof\hbox{}iteers against the dangers of abundance. Working from Malthus' Lie,
+the myth of scarcity is being upheld quite vigorously as a fundamental truth
+about the nature of the universe, while elsewhere in the system people are hard
+at work disposing of excess production and obstinate themes, colour schemes and
+styles in favour of new.
+An example of this is the production of academic textbooks. When a professor of
+some f\hbox{}ield appears at the publishers with a manuscript for a new 
+textbook on whichever subject, the publisher will explore the availability of
+other similar textbooks, the originality, the readability and the depth of the
+manuscript, and the statistics on how many people are likely to study such a
+subject. After which they will decide on the price of each copy of the book in
+such a way that they are destined to make a prof\hbox{}it. Quite reasonable,
+assuming scarcity, but the idea of publishing the manuscript in a readily
+copyable way has not caught on.
+Why? Copyright.
+Back in the time of Hobbes, copyright law did not exist\footnote{The
+f\hbox{}irst example of copyright law in the modern sense being the Statute of
+Anne from 1710.}. Mapmakers toiling day and night to copy out maps by hand for
+ships to sail by and people to travel by were extremely jealous of their
+property, and went to great extents to maintain their unequivocal right to
+produce maps based on their particular data set, and as a copy-protection
+measure they would mark in false roads, so called trap streets, or mangle names
+of places, so that if another were to copy their maps they would be easily 
+found out. Back in those days illegal copying wasn't a large problem, but
+despite this the producers of the maps were damaging their products by
+decreasing their accuracy in order to foil people who wish to mimic that
+This kind of early DRM\footnote{Digital Restrictions Management, or Digital
+Rights Management, depending on who you ask. Generally speaking a technological
+method intended to enforce copyright. These invariably fail for numerous
+reasons. See \textit{Microsoft Research DRM} talk by Cory Doctorow,
+\url{}}, along with monopolies in the publishing
+business\footnote{Held originally in Britain by the Worshipful Company of
+Stationers and Newspaper Makers.} and later a succession of laws starting with
+the Statute of Anne and the Berne Convention and moving through to legislations
+such as the Sonny Bono act in the United States, copyright has been transformed
+into a means of production, not of works of art, but of scarcity. Scarcity of
+the very works of art it claims to protect. Before the advent of the printing
+press and the phonograph, this was almost cute, since it was rarely worth the
+hassle of copying data by illegal means anyway because of the shortcomings in
+the technology. But with the further digitization of society, copying became
+easier and easier, and the scarcity was upheld increasingly vigorously by the
+Imagine you live in a far away land where the penalty for stealing bread is
+quite severe. You are starving, and so you attempt to steal a loaf, but are
+caught bread-handed. This poor judgement on your part provides you with a ten
+year prison sentence. Fair enough, 'tis the law of the land. 
+But let's imagine that the day after you are incarcerated, a new technology is
+invented. This new technology produces bread out of thin air at no cost to
+anybody, in virtually inf\hbox{}inite quantities, and nobody need starve ever
+again.  How just, then, is your incarceration? You stole the bread while bread
+was still scarce, and there was no way of knowing that this technology was just
+around the corner, so perhaps it is still fair; but obversely, if a law were
+passed making it no longer criminal to steal the bread, would you not wish to 
+be released?
+No such law is passed, and a few years pass as you mull over these details in
+your stinky cell, when suddenly a new prisoner appears. It is your brother, and
+he has just been convicted of stealing bread. Outraged, you ask how can that 
+be, since bread now exists in such plethora that nobody needs to steal bread?
+Ah, your brother replies, it may well be that the technology exists to produce
+bread at no cost to anybody, but it is still criminal to steal bread, and not
+everybody owns a breadulator to make bread with. In fact, the bakeries that
+produced the bread before have bought up all the breadulators and have claimed 
+a patent for their design, so they can now prevent anybody from building their
+own breadulator. Now bread costs the same as it did before, and it is of course
+illegal to steal something that is scarce, be it from your neighbour or from 
+the bakery.
+This inane example illustrates in very silly terms how copyright works in the
+digital age, and highlights one important aspect of it: that not only is our
+sociopolitical system thoroughly dependent on the concept of scarcity, but the
+producers who control the means of production will use their means to produce
+scarcity as well as products, in order to maintain their worth in the system.
+With each producer doing this, including the producers of money itself, the
+system hangs in a balance where producers attempt to scarcify their produce to
+maintain their worth relative to the prices of everything they themselves
+require from other producers to survive. If anybody over-scarcif\hbox{}ies or
+under-scarcif\hbox{}ies, there is chance of a crisis emerging. If it's food 
+that is over-scarcif\hbox{}ied, people starve. If it's oil that's
+under-scarcif\hbox{}ied, middle-eastern nations get invaded. If it's money
+that's over scarcif\hbox{}ied, people stop trusting each other to maintain the
+scarcity-equilibrium and the entire economy explodes.
+\subsection{A Recipe for World War}
+We're in our circle again, this time we draw a line against our will to the
+point where we get a deep f\hbox{}inancial recession, just like in the 1930s,
+just like in 2008. Then something weird occurs. In the cybernetic, this is
+called a backlash. This is when a large and sudden change in the system causes
+another sudden change in the system. A domino ef\hbox{}fect. Probability
+theorists call these Markov explosions\footnote{Markov explosions occur in
+stochastic processes when an inf\hbox{}inity of events occur simultaneously and
+the system resets itself to a random state. There is a lot of deep literature 
+on the subject that warrants scrutiny, but as an introduction for the
+mathematically minded, I suggest \textit{Markov Chains} by J.R. Norris}. An
+inf\hbox{}inite amount of events occur in the same instant, an apocalyptic
+causality that devours every aspect of the system, and then, suddenly, it's
+over. The world has changed.
+In a post-depression world, a lot of people have a hard time getting their
+bearings. Confused, people lash out against whatever they can f\hbox{}ind to
+fault, be it the government, the owners of the means of production, or even
+people from outside of their tribe, city, nation or other demographic group.
+Increased nationalism is quite a typical result of f\hbox{}inancial crisis, 
+look at World War I, World War II. Look at the Napoleonic wars. Each was
+preceded by a spike in nationalism, which in turn was preceded by a
+f\hbox{}inancial collapse of some type\footnote{The historical
+justif\hbox{}ication for this claim is complicated. The Great Depression is
+easy, but see also the implications of the 1873 panic following the crash of 
+the Vienna Stock Exchange on Eastern Europe, and the ef\hbox{}fects of the
+collapse of London banking house \textit{Neal, James, Fordyce and Down} in 1772
+on Western-European trade, which led directly to the Boston Tea Party. Consider
+Kondratiev waves in this regard.}.
+The Napoleonic wars followed immediately from the French revolution, which in
+turn followed bankruptcy in the French state. Simultaneously in the American
+colonies f\hbox{}inancial instability was also a hot topic, which led to demand
+for taxation with representation or no taxation at all. These events and others
+like it culminated in extreme nationalism – the Americans wanted to be
+Americans, the French wanted to rule everybody, the British wanted to rule
+everybody, the Danish and Norwegians had problems f\hbox{}ighting of\hbox{}f 
+the British while the Swedish and Russians and Prussians tried to f\hbox{}ight
+of\hbox{}f the French. F\hbox{}inancial instability led to nationalism led to
+world war. Is this not avoidable?
+\section{Act 2. Burning the bridges when we get to them}
+From the preceding pages we can learn a few things. The most important lesson 
+is that the paradigms that form the basis of our mental models of reality can 
+be built upon assumptions that are neither intended, apparent, nor correct. A
+second is that all current forms of society and government are built around the
+assumption of scarcity, and that scarcity can be shown not to exist any
+more\footnote{Or at least be insignif\hbox{}icant. Further details of remaining
+scarcity follows.}. The third is that because of these assumptions, all higher
+dynamics within our system are fraught with terrible inequalities and
+eventualities, namely poverty, famine, oppression, bankruptcy, prejudice and
+\subsection{Homogeneity and Censorship}
+At the outset I made f\hbox{}leeting mention that increasingly potent copying
+technologies had made creativity harder to accomplish, since accurate copying
+leaves little room for embellishment. Constant and well-def\hbox{}ined data,
+such as the text of the Constitution of the Swiss Confederation or the original
+manuscript of a Harry Potter book is fairly resilient to \textit{ad-hoc}
+editing, whether for creative or malicious reasons. In Orwell's \textit{1984}
+the protagonist's occupation was to be a historical revisionist, altering all
+distributed accounts of the past to meet the goals of the present.
+Such alterations of available information cause people to be less able to
+gingerly estimate their situation, especially if given evidence contradictory 
+to what they know. Revisionism contaminates the state-space we live in and
+ef\hbox{}fects our path through it like walls raised around us blocking other
+exits. Governmental speed-bumps have been transformed into causeways, designed
+to keep us forever within their boundaries at a speed that they can very easily
+In less abstract terms, this is the purpose of the Great F\hbox{}irewall of
+China\footnote{A computer f\hbox{}irewall that f\hbox{}ilters all Internet
+traf\hbox{}f\hbox{}ic passing within Chinese borders, allowing arbitrary and
+even asymmetrical censorship by the government.} and other censorship tools,
+including the less well known Swedish law that allows censorship of websites
+considered to contain child pornography. The danger of such systems is that
+there is no way to know what has been placed on such blacklists without
+bypassing the censorship. Perhaps somebody has maliciously censored information
+that could af\hbox{}fect the direction taken by the society with regard to
+certain issues.
+Censorship need not be absolute to be ef\hbox{}fective. Western governments 
+have in recent decades realized that by applying knowledge of trends and
+emotional reactions, they can avoid the need for censorship by simply placing
+information out of sight. Press conferences confronting uncomfortable issues 
+can be pushed to times of the day where they're unlikely to be televised, or if
+televised not watched by many. Unpopular results, such as dioxin output from
+industry, can be drowned in bureaucratic noise, such as measurements of other
+less damaging chemicals, so that very few would be willing or able to plough
+through the data looking for the bad results. In legislation unpopular motions
+can be stacked up with more popular issues in sets, to hide them from scrutiny.
+The point of this tangential discussion is that not only the mythology upon
+which the system is built af\hbox{}fects the way we behave, but also the 
+quality of the information available to us.
+Memetics and indeed cybernetics is a dangerous f\hbox{}ield because of the
+danger of misunderstanding. Faulty data can be worse than no data at all, as 
+our credence for getting some output is generally high; it's only when we get
+nothing – like those living behind the Great F\hbox{}irewall of 
+China\footnote{A stunning feature of the Great F\hbox{}irewall of China is how
+it feigns non-censorship. The HTTP protocol def\hbox{}ines error codes such as
+200 (everything is okay), 500 (internal server error), 404 (f\hbox{}ile not
+found) and 403 (unauthorized to access). When a censored page is accessed from
+within the f\hbox{}irewall, instead of reporting 403, clearly stating that the
+page has been censored, the f\hbox{}irewall reports 404, as if the censored
+article did not exist at all.} – that we start to raise our eyebrows.
+In our journey through the state-space of our reality, being pushed this way 
+and that by cybernetic inf\hbox{}luences that we may or may not be aware of, we
+are seldom aware of where we are going or what we will f\hbox{}ind when we get
+there. A well drawn circle will allow people within to believe themselves to be
+completely free whilst imposing fairly rigorous boundaries on what paths can be
+\subsection{The Dance F\hbox{}loor}
+An important feature of authority or control is that everything and everybody
+has it, and it cannot be entirely eliminated. Authority will always necessarily
+exist and cannot be done away with entirely\footnote{This may seem a
+self-contradictory statement from somebody f\hbox{}lying the f\hbox{}lag of
+anarchism, but it doesn't trouble me and if you understand where I'm going with
+all this cybernetics talk, it won't trouble you either.}.
+Consider a dance f\hbox{}loor. The dancers on this dance f\hbox{}loor are when
+we gaze upon them paired up, one as the \textit{lead}, the other as a
+\textit{follow}. Sometimes the couples break apart and singularly dance
+freestyle, and sometimes dancers \textit{steal} partners from one another. The
+objective shared by each of them is to solve a particular task, dancing, and
+they do this by submitting control to others or taking control of\hbox{}f
+others, but no single dancer can at any given time have complete knowledge of
+the status of the entire dance f\hbox{}loor. Their knowledge is limited by 
+their perception at any given point, but a dancer who perceives a potential
+problem arising (such as a collision between two couples) or a solution (such 
+as a fancy move) will take control of the vicinity momentarily to produce
+In this example – and it is a realistic one – although no individual or group 
+of individuals has been designated as rulers over the others, authority still
+exists. Each individual has complete authority over herself to begin with, but
+as the dance progresses individuals may temporarily cede their authority to a
+\textit{trusted interlocutor} in order to maximize gain.
+The key here is that authority f\hbox{}lows between individuals in the system,
+and manipulations of that authority can alter our collective path through the
+system. Imagine a dance f\hbox{}loor where one person stood in the middle
+yelling out orders, trying to micromanage the crowd. It would not function, as
+even if we were to grant this single person the unlikely talent of complete
+oversight, he would not be able to holler orders out fast enough. And if this
+person were a choreographer who plotted all the movements beforehand, there
+would be no spontaneity, and the dancing would have to stop intermittently to
+allow for more choreography. Authority must exist, yes, but like any resource 
+it must be well spent and fairly distributed. \textit{Ad-hoc} authority appears
+to allow for the highest synergistic benef\hbox{}its, as the natural agreement
+of all parties to the temporary authority will requisite the mutual
+benef\hbox{}it of all parties.
+This understanding of the nature of authority is a valuable tool to aid our
+understanding of cybernetics: with this, we have not only established a model
+for understanding peer-to-peer behaviour, but have also highlighted that any
+stable system is necessarily and inherently creative. This will be important.
+\subsection{Non-Rival Scarcity}
+A lot of what has been said can be traced back to a few people. Identifying the
+villains of this story early on as Hobbes, Malthus and Hardin, the heroes
+already mentioned are Godwin, Weiner and Beer, and now two more members of our
+cast shall appear: George Pask and Richard Buckminster-Fuller.
+Fuller is well known for his contributions to architecture and engineering, 
+most notably the geodesic dome, but in his less well known book \textit{Nine
+Chains to the Moon} he wrote of a process he dubbed ephemeralization, by which
+he meant the way in which advances in technology would allow us to do more with
+less.  Industrialization was exactly that: the advent of machines allowed 
+people to produce more goods with less workforce behind the production; 
+assembly lines allowed for more rapid assembly with less waste of time. 
+Advances in materials science have given us carbon f\hbox{}ibre strengthened
+plastics (CFSPs) that are both stronger and lighter than metals.
+The Internet is the hallmark of ephemeralization: it allows us to perform
+mind-boggling amounts of direct telecommunications and distributed computation
+using a very elementary method of sending electrical or optical pulses through
+copper and glass f\hbox{}ibre. More with less.
+Malthus could not have imagined the industrial revolution, but he could have
+paid attention to the trend of ephemeralization that Godwin appeared aware of,
+even if he didn't have quite such a fancy word for it. Ephemeralization alone
+kills the Malthusian argument entirely. We will be able to sustain an
+increasingly large population by applying advances of our understanding of the
+nature of reality to the aim of sustainability. Less will give us more, and
+chaos is not a given.
+This requires some hefty proof. Thankfully it is ample\footnote{See \textit{The
+Wealth of Networks} by Yochai Benkler and \textit{The Democratization of
+Innovation} by Eric von Hippel for much more proof than I shall provide here.}.
+Things can be categorized into two categories: rival goods and non-rival goods.
+Non-rival goods are not scarce by def\hbox{}inition, giving of them will not
+diminish one's own supply. This applies to software and mp3s, but not to CDs 
+and concert tickets. The latter are rival goods, but rival goods can be either
+scarce or abundant, where we def\hbox{}ine abundance of a rival good not by
+there being more than we need, but that the function of availability grows
+faster than the function of need.
+One of the most profound examples of this comes from a research paper by
+Perfecto, \textit{et al}\footnote{\textit{Organic agriculture and the global
+food supply} , Ivette Perfecto, \textit{et al.}}, where it is shown that by
+exchanging manufactured fertilizer with organic fertilizer, for certain crops 
+it would be a simple matter to quadruple the annual yield, with multiplicative
+results across the board. Add this to the earlier statement that we already
+produce enough food even discounting meat, f\hbox{}ish and dairy products to
+sustain humanity at its current level and still have leftovers, and it is clear
+that we are not destined to starve to death any time soon. Food, our most basic
+need, is a rival good, but can be considered abundant because it is currently
+available in much greater quantities than is required, and because it appears
+that technological advances will maintain this superiority in the food supply. 
+The beauty of the food discussion is that it is so long since invalid. Peter
+Kropotkin wrote in 1892 \textit{The Conquest of Bread}, wherein he points out
+fallacies in feudal and capitalist economical systems in part by showing the
+global abundance of food indisputably.
+Another of our basic needs is shelter. Globally we are faced with a housing
+crisis, with an estimated 100 million homeless in highly developed
+areas\footnote{See \textit{HUMAN RIGHTS: More Than 100 Million Homeless
+Worldwide}, Gustavo Capdevilla,
+\url{}} and a further 600 million in
+developing countries. Note here two things. F\hbox{}irst, there is 
+approximately one starving person for each homeless person worldwide, but in
+developed countries homelessness is disparate to hunger. Second, the Geneva
+Convention grants prisoners of war rights to shelter, food and a blanket, 
+whilst not a single government in the world has granted homeless people the 
+same rights although they are granted by the Universal Declaration of Human
+Rights\footnote{``Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for
+the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food,
+clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right
+to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old
+age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.'',
+Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25.1.}. With the size of homes
+having grown substantially in the western world over the last f\hbox{}ifty
+years, there is absolutely no reason why there should be prevailing
+The argument made for homelessness is generally a lack or high cost of 
+materials for building construction. One cause of this is the high standards
+maintained by legislation in the form of building codes in some countries, 
+where many forms of af\hbox{}fordable housing have been simply made illegal,
+such as the Hexayurt infrastructure package\footnote{See Vinay Gupta's
+\url{}} and many other comparable projects\footnote{See
+\textit{Architecture for Humanity} by Cameron Sinclair.}. Another cause is
+luxuriation. In the city of Malmö, Sweden, authorities faced with a large 
+number of lower and middle class people without adequate housing started a huge
+project building expensive luxury homes along the southern waterfront. The 
+logic was that with luxury homes available, upper class citizens would move to
+these, freeing up cheaper homes elsewhere in the city for the lower and middle
+class citizens. This is generally referred to as ``trickle-down'' economics,
+where raising the standards for the uppermost echelons is expected to raise the
+overall average to acceptable levels. 
+The real result was that many of these luxury homes still stand vacant and most
+of those which have been purchased were bought by upper class people from other
+cities looking to own a second home. The housing problem was in no way averted
+by these ef\hbox{}forts, but rather compounded as it resulted in less viable
+land for development. If the issue had been dealt with directly the result 
+might have been dif\hbox{}ferent.
+Regarding material costs of housing, these can be severely reduced in a number
+of ways. Jökull Jónsson \textit{et al} have shown that improvements to the
+accuracy of the application of the Navier-Stokes  equations to structural
+integrity estimation of concrete can yield signif\hbox{}icant strength
+improvements with reduced materials volume and cost. Wallewik \textit{et al}
+have shown that modif\hbox{}ications of concrete viscosity can increase spread
+speed, allowing for much faster concrete pouring and setting. This could allow
+for layered 3D printing of buildings in the future, but for the near term 
+allows for much faster modular housing construction. Buckminster-Fuller showed
+the feasibility of tensigrity structures in housing, which distribute 
+structural load over the entire structure rather than on few key points, which
+lowers the requirements for overall material strength. Vinay Gupta has 
+developed a \$300 infrastructure package for temperate and tropic climates that
+can house a small family in close quarters with acceptable living conditions.
+Marcin Jakubowski \textit{et al} have shown that it is entirely possible to
+build a single storey 100m$^2$ building from compacted earth blocks for less
+than \$400 in materials costs in the American Midwest. Cameron Sinclair and his
+Architecture for Humanity project have collected hundreds of examples of
+ephemeralization in building construction and provided ample proof that current
+methods of housing construction is both overly expensive and poorly organized.
+Long story short, housing is not a problem any more than food. But what of 
+other things? 
+Consumer electronics are an example of a f\hbox{}ield where decentralization is
+currently extremely dif\hbox{}f\hbox{}icult, and yet profoundly simple.
+The dif\hbox{}f\hbox{}iculty here lies in chip fabrication: the arrangement and
+casting of specialized integrated circuits is a process that, by way of Moore's
+law, requires increasing amounts of specialization each year. Current
+microprocessors have circuit pitches of around 3$\mu$m in some cases, and this
+is expected to decrease even more. Each order of magnitude reduction in circuit
+pitch within ICs increases the complexity further as far as fabrication goes, as
+they require increasingly pristine manufacturing conditions, including clean
+rooms, high accuracy machine tools, and so on. However, three things may change
+The f\hbox{}irst is that with increasingly fast FPGAs, or F\hbox{}ield
+Programmable Gate Arrays, unspecialised integrated circuits made in bulk can be
+specialized \textit{in the f\hbox{}ield}, meaning that whichever specialization
+is required can be def\hbox{}ined by the end user rather than it needing to be
+def\hbox{}ined during the fabrication process. While FPGAs remain by far
+inferior to specialized chips, they are already eating away at the second
+factor, which is that hardware-level specialization is increasing overall 
+whilst demand increase for generalized computing devices is slowing. This is 
+due to desktop computing slowly losing out to laptop computers, and the 
+ubiquity of hand-held devices such as mobile phones, music players and other
+such gizmos.  All of these call for integrated circuits of a kind where one 
+size does not f\hbox{}it all, which pressures the chip producers to develop
+FPGAs even further or to develop smaller scale fabrication techniques. 
+The third point is that current 3D printing technologies are already lending
+ef\hbox{}fort towards arbitrary fabrication of circuits, and as this technology
+develops it is inevitable that accuracy will increase, eventually to such a
+level that printing out ICs may become feasible.
+At any rate, the assembly of the end products has never been a problem in the
+consumer electronics industry. The original personal computer was developed in 
+a garage by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, and this trend has held throughout 
+the decades, albeit with some f\hbox{}luctuation, with a recent explosion in 
+the hobby electronics industry giving new strength to user groups such as NYC
+Resistor, magazines and e-zines such as \textit{Make Magazine} and
+\textit{Instructibles}, and to open hardware projects such as the
+Arduino\footnote{See \url{}}. A lack of strict
+regulations on electronics production has helped this a lot, although there is
+signif\hbox{}icant barrier to entry into commercial production of consumer
+electronics through safety regulations such as CE.
+Even the titanic automotive and aeronautic industries are starting to buckle
+under stress from the decentralization movement, as open source cars, airplanes
+and even tractors are seeing the light of day. As with housing, here regulations
+are impeding progress. As Burt Rutan has commented\footnote{See
+\url{}}, increasing safety regulations in the aeronautics
+industry have all but extinguished aircraft development, making progress
+insanely slow even for large companies such as Boeing and Airbus. For small
+groups aiming to build manned aircraft, secrecy is just about the only way to
+avoid the transactional overhead put in placed by aviation authorities.
+Automotive regulations are nowhere near as stringent, but in many countries
+regulations for road safety are impeding reasonable developments. For example,
+in many Asian countries such as India the auto-rickshaw is a very common mode 
+of transportation, but it is almost inconceivable that such a device would be
+allowed to drive on British roads.
+With corporations such as General Motors having collapsed and the entire
+ecosystem of transportation being overturned by smaller units like the C,mm,n
+project and companies like Tesla, what is inevitable is the future realization
+that these things can be done dif\hbox{}ferently.
+\subsection{Exotic Objects and Real Scarcity}
+It's worth noting that there will always be scarcity for some things. I call
+them \textit{exotic objects}. One example is the Eif\hbox{}fel Tower. You can
+copy the Eif\hbox{}fel Tower exactly atom for atom, but it won't be the
+Eif\hbox{}fel Tower, it'll just be a copy. Anybody who's been to Las Vegas 
+knows that it isn't quite the same.  There's lots of things like that: Mona
+Lisa, the Statue of Liberty \ldots more or less anything that is what it is for
+cultural or historical reasons rather than physical reasons. My friend Olle
+Jonsson called this \textit{aura}, which is neat: \textit{aura} can't be 
+copied, although it can be manifested symbolically.
+Scarce things versus abundant is a very important point. We tend to treat
+everything as scarce and that's a very bad thing, but as we stop treating
+abundant things as scarce things, we should also take note of which things
+really are scarce and f\hbox{}igure out how we're going to treat them. Food
+isn't scarce, but there's a limited amount of bauxite in the world and thus a
+limited amount of aluminium. Likewise, things can be abundant globally but
+scarce locally. Either way, taking stock of the exotic objects and the scarce
+goods is important if we want to make the most of them and benef\hbox{}it those
+who need them to the greatest degree.
+But while we think of everything as scarce, we're going to waste a lot of
+ef\hbox{}fort on trying to overcome scarcity that has been artif\hbox{}icially
+generated, which is stupid.
+The lesson to take from this is that we've been doing things in a way that is
+manifestly stupid and there are innumerable examples in existence of how to do
+things better. Conservatism will only bring a people so far, and we're past 
+that point already. We've been crossing increasingly rickety bridges as we get
+to them for far too long, and it's about time we burned them down and built new
+ones to better places.
+\section{Act 3. F\hbox{}ive steps, a spin, and a new tomorrow}
+The foundations for the current society are the myths that underlie our entire
+economy, the lies that structure our mental models, that guide us through the
+state space. That without a centralized government our civilization will
+fragment into particles and humanity will devour itself in a war of all against
+all, and that without regulations on the distribution of goods we will consume
+faster than we can produce and exterminate ourselves.
+These myths have been compounded, mostly in good faith, by consolidation of
+power and legislative systems that diminish people's ability to self-governance
+on the one hand and ef\hbox{}fective utilization of resources on the other,
+ef\hbox{}fectively the opposite of what these systems were meant to prevent.
+The system we live by has f\hbox{}ive core institutions that I'd like to address
+here brief\hbox{}ly.
+The f\hbox{}irst of these is the monetary system. We live by a monetary system
+that has, as Bernard Liataer pointed out\footnote{See \textit{The Future of
+Money} by Bernard Liataer.}, four core features: money is created out of 
+nothing and has no material backing, money is created as a result of loans
+between banks, currencies are def\hbox{}ined geographically, and interest is
+paid on loans. These features mean that the sum of the entire monetary system
+(all debit plus all credit) is much less than zero, and it grows smaller
+constantly. There is no way to repay all the debt in the system, and as a 
+result money itself becomes a rival good – we are playing a game where the goal
+is to pay all debts.  In this game, to lose is to go bankrupt. If many
+bankruptcies occur simultaneously we suf\hbox{}fer a Markovian explosion of
+sorts, called a depression or crisis.
+The second of these institutions is our economy. This is dif\hbox{}ferent from
+the monetary system: the monetary system is the means for exchange, while the
+economy is the exchange itself. Because the means for exchange are rival goods,
+the economy adapts by assuming rivalry and scarcity in all goods even when 
+there is abundance. Competition replaces cooperation as each strives to pay
+of\hbox{}f his debts, and companies and individuals use missing information –
+that is to say, secrecy – to their advantage, to increase their chances of
+winning, to get the competitive edge. Secrecy causes an inability to accurately
+measure the state of the economy, an inability to relatively estimate demand 
+and supply, so all companies guesstimate their production requirements and
+invariably squander resources as a result. Companies are then punished for this
+by the legislative system for certain types of waste while other types of waste
+are not punished.
+The third system is the legislative system itself: Small groups of people make
+decisions about a set of rules that guide societies through the state space, 
+and all are made to comply. The law represents the needs of the most
+inf\hbox{}luential persons in the economy and legislation is guided by their
+need to not go bankrupt. With every law which is passed, the Hobbesian lie is
+strengthened, and the capitalists reinforce their insurance policy at the cost
+of the poor.  Instead of the legal system being a small set of simple rules 
+that everybody can agree to, it has become a behemothic beast, our very own
+The fourth system is the executive authority system. A small group of people is
+selected to make decisions about the execution of all the ideas they have about
+how society as a whole ought to be run, and this authority reaches to every
+niche of society. With regulations and exact control individuals are made to
+suf\hbox{}fer their own individuality, trapped within a vicious cycle produced
+for that very purpose in concordance with the Malthusian and Hobbesian
+F\hbox{}inally, the judicial system has been erected to divvy out punishments 
+to those who act against society, even in some cases for its own good. The
+executive authorities select judges who make decisions about how arguments
+should be resolved and these decisions, in many countries, become quite as
+authoritative for future discourse as the law itself. Judges have become monks
+who none may question.
+This may be done dif\hbox{}ferently.
+\subsection{Identity infrastructure}
+For our future society we must recognize that at our civilization's core are
+individuals, not rules or money. People are the most important aspect of our
+reality and everything should be based upon our needs.
+The cornerstone of being attributed to the ``people'' group is currently the
+acknowledgement of the government and the owners of banks and corporations of
+one's existence, which is frequently circularly dependent, which gives one
+access to the institutions listed above. A national census, a registration
+of\hbox{}f\hbox{}ice, the publishers of bank accounts, birth
+certif\hbox{}icates, passports and drivers licences, these are the
+identity-management organizations of our society.
+Understanding that identity underlies everything we are and everything we do is
+paramount, without that understanding we are bound to remain in the current
+system indef\hbox{}initely.
+So I suggest a new system, one in which the individual is the alpha and the
+omega, and greed and the production of artif\hbox{}icial scarcity is not
+Step one is to alter the identif\hbox{}ication system. Rather than being
+identif\hbox{}ied as members of society by a centralized institution, embroiled
+in bureaucracy and haphazardly associated with the truth, we can use friendships
+as def\hbox{}initions of identity. One's identity can be def\hbox{}ined by one's
+friends more accurately than it can be def\hbox{}ined by an institution. This is
+the philosophy of Ubuntu: ``I am who I am because of who we all are''. To
+accomplish this we are going to need a bit of mathematics and a bit of
+Michael Gurevich, Stanley Milgram, Benoit Mandelbrot and others\footnote{See
+\textit{The Small World Problem} by Stanley Milgram. It should be noted that 
+the idea has been largely debunked in its original form, but the level of
+interconnectivity between people is still very high.} have suggested that in
+human society connections between people are so dense that the longest path
+between people is six steps. Malcolm Gladwell\footnote{See \textit{The Tipping
+Point} by Malcolm Gladwell} has expanded on the \textit{six degrees of
+separation} idea by identifying certain individuals as connectors – socialites
+who are more accomplished than others in creating and maintaining connections
+between people and who act as social hubs. Although the idea has been largely
+debunked it still remains true that the maximum number of connections between
+people appears to be a relatively low number. This matters when we consider the
+social network.
+A graph is def\hbox{}ined mathematically as a collection of vertices and edges.
+If we let the vertices be people and the edges be friendships or acquaintances
+between people, we call it a social network. The maximum number of connections
+in a graph is def\hbox{}ined by the formula n(n-1)/2 for a graph of n vertices,
+which basically means that for a graph of two vertices the maximum is one
+connection, for three vertices the maximum is three, for four vertices the
+maximum is six, and so on. For 150 vertices you have a maximum of 11,175
+connections, for 300,000 vertices there are roughly 45 billion connections at