I've suggested (& published in 21 journal papers) a new theory called quantised inertia (or MiHsC) that assumes that inertia is caused by relativistic horizons damping quantum fields. It predicts galaxy rotation, cosmic acceleration & some observed lab thrusts without any dark stuff or adjustment. My Plymouth University webpage is here, I've written a book called Physics from the Edge and I'm on twitter as @memcculloch

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The web can set us free

The way a democracy is supposed to work is that we vote for the politicians we trust to make decisions for us, so we don't have to walk around all day agonising over whether tax money should be spent on roads or plumbing and we can think about more interesting and creative things instead. I would like to argue, as many are now also doing, that democracy does not exist in most of the western world and we have governments (in the UK of both main parties) who are not making decisions to benefit the people who voted for them, but to benefit big business. I'm sure others are better qualified to prove this, but I see the problem too and this blog is all I can do about it right now. What convinced me, among other things, are the following:

1: Iraq. I took part in a couple of huge, noble but futile marches in London against the Iraq war. The UK and US invaded Iraq anyway. I don't think there is much doubt that this war was crooked & financially driven. There are myriad reasons connected with oil & finance, eg: in 2000 Iraq converted its oil transactions from the dollar to the Euro. After the invasion they were moved back to the dollar. Transactions in its currency give the US financial leverage. Iran is also now trying to move from the dollar to the Euro.

2: NHS. The UK's National Health Service (NHS) was set up by an exhausted, bankrupt but egalitarian UK in 1948 and the government then promised to support 'all' from the cradle to the grave funded by taxes. This promise of support was diminished in 2012 by the HSC Act and of UK politicians voting on this Act 25% of them had shares in private medical companies (see Marcus Chown's twitter feed). This is so much of a scandal that people should be screaming about it, but the media have not mentioned it. The NHS is arguably the noblest thing any government has done for its people. Ill health is usually a case of bad luck and the NHS represents the great idea that someone should not have to be destroyed financially because of bad luck. Now, the UK government have started a process by which private companies will profit from our bad luck (lucrative, as there's a lot of it about) and also profit from the infrastructure that our taxes have set up. They will start small, but it could be the thin end of a huge wedge and eventually sickness could mean bankrupcy too. It is not inevitable yet, and some are fighting to stop it (eg: the National Health Action party).

3: NSA. It was bravely revealed by Edward Snowden that the UK & US governments have been spying on all governments and all peoples around the world (the US, against their own people & Constitution). The military, financial and other advantages this gives are obvious. What is also revealing is that a few days later Western European countries grounded a Bolivian plane because they thought the man who told them they were being spied on was about to overfly them. This shows they are more concerned about the opinion of the US than the privacy of their own people. Only Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua (& Russia, with a caveat) have had the courage to take action to support Snowden.

In the UK, the government is benefitting from an old fashioned illusion that the law abiding public is supposed to do what the government says. Not so: the government is supposed to do what the people say and they are not. Voting for a different party might fix the NHS (Labour has promised to repeal the HSC Act..) but it does not solve the overall problem because there are politicians in all the main parties connected to big business (I'm sure there are clean ones too).

It seems to me that we need to change the system so that politicians & the media cannot be influenced disproportionately by big business, make a law that politicians must have a 'normal' job before becoming MPs so they know the real world, strengthen journalists and protect free speech about all topics (what is not discussed openly eventually explodes as violence) and bring in direct democracy, as in Switzerland.

The internet (where spying can work both ways) is helping us to do this already. Assange's Wikileaks has shown us what governments are doing with our taxes and Twitter has enabled ordinary Turks, Egyptians and Brazilians to co-ordinate and challenge entreched powers in a way that unions once did. If we protect the web, it could free all of us in the way Gutenberg's printing eventually freed people from the absolute control of Kings and Popes (this freedom started the scientific revolution) but it will require a peaceful, but emphatic, persistence that the plutocracy must end.

The www, wikileaks, twitter, Assange, Greenwald, Snowden and Manning, and others like them are the keys to this societal shift. If they are supported then our civilisation will be truly enhanced. If they are silenced we will have lost this chance.

"The world is what we make of it" (Carl Sagan, Contact).

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