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An interesting article on LinkedIN from Don Peppers – where he discusses how the ‘speed of light’ rigs the stock market.

In many ways, it has always been the case that getting information ahead of anyone else provides an ‘unfair’ advantage – that is after all how Nathan Rothschild grew his family fortune significantly when his personal network delivered the result of The Battle of Waterloo fully 24 hours ahead of the British Government’s own messengers.

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            <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/15/balanced-debate-jeremy-corbyn-labour-media-attacks?utm_source=esp&amp;utm_medium=Email&amp;utm_campaign=The+Best+of+CiF+base&amp;utm_term=143964&amp;subid=13238355&amp;CMP=ema_1364" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A great piece by Owen Jones in The Guardian</a>, regarding the ongoing onslaught on Jeremy Corbyn by the media and the 'elite'. Bernie doesn't have it quite as bad here in the USA, since he hasn't yet got to that dominant position of 'numero uno'. Then again, he might never - <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/12/11/abc-world-news-tonight-has-devoted-less-than-on/207428" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">as long as the US media treats him this way</a>.<!--more-->


Does that ratio seem out of whack? That’s the ratio of TV airtime that ABC World News Tonight has devoted to Donald Trump’s campaign (81 minutes) versus the amount of TV time World News Tonight has devoted to Bernie Sanders’ campaign this year. And even that one minute for Sanders is misleading because the actual number is closer to 20 seconds.

But. To my point. Reading the article in the Guardian, I was reminded so very much of the fictional story ‘A Very British Coup’ – which is actually very close to some of the (conspiracy) theories behind Wilson’s resignation in 1976. The question needs to be asked, is Chapter One in the Playbook ‘Character Assassination ?

What character assassination ? Try this from The London Times (1) …

The new Labour leader treated himself to a black cab at his home yesterday, abandoning the Chairman Mao-style bicycle his neighbours always see him riding.

This is a quote from this article, which is headlined (Andrew) “Marr is snubbed for a day at the church”

Sorry – how many communists prayed at church on Sundays ? And snubbed. Really ? A journalist is so important that the UK’s opposition leader should jump, drop everything just to do his show? I am a fan of Marr – but surely we have our priorities a little confused ?

(1) For readers not familiar with The London Times - it was a bastion of truth in London and the UK for two centuries. Then it was bought by Rupert Murdoch in 1981.

            With the USA in one corner, we have Bloomberg reporting that '<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-18/n-y-prosecutor-calls-for-phone-access-in-wake-of-paris-attacks" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Apple, Google Urged to Crack Encrypted Phones in Terror Probes</a>'

With Europe in the other corner, we have The NYT reporting that ‘Europe, Shaken by Paris Attacks, Weighs Security With Privacy Rights‘, which includes this paragraph … Continue reading

            The juxtaposition of the following two stories is interesting.

I often read about the lack of consistency of how the ‘law’ treats people. A common theme is that there is one for the rich, one for the poor. I see it more as you are ‘with us’ or ‘agin us’ .. and then certain people are picked on in certain cases so that ‘they can me made an example of’. So it was with interest that these two articles appeared on the same day in the UK’s Guardian Newspaper.

Hillary Clinton’s email server connection was vulnerable to hackers. As far as I have read, she wasn’t hacked. In fact even the headline says ‘vulnerable’. But that doesn’t stop the rampant outrage. Meanwhile, it does seem to be increasingly accepted that the investigation into Hillary is essentially an attack to undermine her run for President. (Just like Bengazi) Continue reading

            <a href="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/British-american-flag.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5091" src="http://beyondbridges.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/British-american-flag.jpg" alt="British-american-flag" width="430" height="225" /></a>

I am an English. I moved to the US in 1990. I am still a ‘resident alien’ as the US government affectionately refers to me. Other than that one fact – and my accent – everything about me passes as American. I pay taxes, think in dollars, work here, own property here …. oh, hang on – one more thing – I can’t vote. I seem to recall something about ‘no taxation without representation’ back in the day, but so much for that.

I was struck today by this article in the Guardian about Emily Blunt, where she was apologizing for poking fun at her American citizenship. This after being attacked by rightwing commentators – you know who they are – and if not – they are named in the Guardian’s article (they are the usual idiots that don’t understand humor).

Still – to my point, the quote below leapt off the page to me.

“I had to renounce my Queen. The thing that’s weird is I do get to keep both my British citizenship and this, but you have to renounce her. But it’s kind of typically American – not to be rude. I had to renounce her in the room but I don’t actually technically renounce her. They were like, ‘just say it, you don’t have to mean it but just say it’.”

All Most Americans I come across can’t understand why I wouldn’t just ‘become American’ – after all – I don’t have to renounce my UK citizenship – isn’t it easier. No. Not really – and this quote exemplifies why. I am not exactly a royalist – but I question how you can serve two nations. We jokingly refer to the UK as the 51st state of the USA – and certainly Tony Bliar (sic) demonstrated that in spades over Iraq. I can’t.

Moreover – if you are American – and reading this – how do you feel that people swearing in as citizen’s of America just have to ‘say it’ – not ‘mean it’.

Is that only if you are English (as part of our ‘special relationship’) – or does it apply to any nationality. A citizen of Aghanistan can only get into 23 countries visa free. With a UK passport – and in fact a US passport – you have access to 174 countries.

You read it here first – when you commit to America – you don’t really have to. They are only words. Doesn’t work for me … how about you ?

The human world, like physics, can be reduced to four fundamental forces: culture, politics, war and business. That is also roughly the order of decreasing strength, increasing legibility and partial subsumption of the four forces. Here is a visualization of my mental model:


[ Source : Venkatesh Rao : Ribbon Farm, via Stowe Boyd ]

It is a great article – click through and take a read. Since Stowe Boyd provided a link to this article in his feed, I now have added Ribbon Farm to my RSS Feed. But – as I read it, it reminded me of something I read on Wikipedia a couple of years ago. So I went to do some digging. This is what I came up with.

Bottom line – back in the 50s Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar developed this theory – which was then expanded in the 70s by Ravi Batra and then again since the 90s … Johan Galtung and Sohail Inayatullah – amongst others have taken a crack at building on the shoulders of giants.

This graphic is the key …


… where I see 4 specific roles for people …

  • Warriors
  • Intellectuals
  • Acquisitors
  • Laborers

Is it just me – or do you also recognize a merging of very similar ideas. Coincidence?

  • Warriors map to War
  • Acquisitors map to Business
  • Intellectuals map to the Cultural / Political spectrum

oh – and the ‘laborer’ – translation the majority of humanity – well we are

  • the voters
  • the workers
  • the soldiers

Something gotta change … #VRM


            <blockquote>David Cameron wasn't rude about Yorkshire - he was right ....

… It’s not that surprising. Pit a bunch of Yorkshire folk against outsiders and they’ll all chunter on about how chuffing brilliant God’s Own County is. Put a Bradfordian, a Sheffielder, a Yorkie and a Leeds lad in the same room, however, and they’ll argue about their football teams, the relative quality of their beer, the beauty of their landscape and women, and everything in between. Often all that will unite them is a shared disdain for Hull.
Love that last line ….

[ Source : The Guardian ]

            <blockquote>"Privacy isn’t dead, but we are at a crossroads where the impact of new technologies combined with an antiquated and corrupted legal system and power-hungry companies and governments has placed our individual privacy at great risk to government overreach, unethical corporate spying, and straight-up thieves.

At this juncture we must make real choices and put real pressure on our elected officials and the companies we do business with or face a future filled with potential oppression.
So where is all the activism?”
Great words … sad words – but great words. *They turned up in an email today as I was sorting some files out. I can’t source them unfortunately … but me ? Me – I am off to find me some activism.