It all started at 04:00, Google started their announcement of Google Home (which blew me away and that is a rare thing) and Google Pixel, which instantly proved my telecom issues of mobile phones and memory. Shortly after that George Monbiot gave me ‘Lies, fearmongering and fables: that’s our democracy‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/04/democracy-people-power-governments-policy). It is an excellent piece, because it made me ask questions of myself and how I saw things. I have never proclaimed to have all the answers, I give insights and I oppose other views without personally attacking them. You see, many disagreements are not always on the facts, but on the points of view, usually that view is laced in a perceived (non-)factual interpretation of what we observe. So let’s take a look.
You see, when we get to “Democracy for Realists, published earlier this year by the social science professors Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels, argues that the “folk theory of democracy” – the idea that citizens make coherent and intelligible policy decisions, on which governments then act – bears no relationship to how it really works. Or could ever work“, now, we can accept that, or we can consider another option without stating that this view was wrong, because it isn’t.
You see, this is what happens ‘citizens make coherent and intelligible policy decisions‘, which leads to ‘on which governments then act‘, yet the reality is that ‘coherent and intelligible policy decisions‘ tend to be made through the information given to us by the news and by the newspapers, yet too often they do not completely inform, they voice too often the point of view that a government (or benefiting party) wants us to see (or obscure). For example, the previous government of the Netherlands with their approach to ‘managed bad news‘. I wrote about those events in 2013 and 2014. Why what this happening? Well, I was clearly aware of a non-reality of their overly positive news on how commerce would improve, pretty much all the Dutch shared that sentiment and a real revelation would have meant harsh cutbacks, yet that government did not want to do that, so the Dutch were informed of overly positive news, and after the spending date, the NOS started to ‘release’ (read: voice) news regarding setbacks. Not all at once, but step by step by step. So what we perceive to be ‘intelligible’ is nothing more but a reaction to what should be regarded as ‘misinformation’. My defence here was that I foresaw the not so good economy. I (with no economic education) was off by 0.4% (too negative) and the economic experts on high incomes were off by 0.9% (too positive). I’ll let you decide this one!
The next quote is even better “In reality, the research summarised by Achen and Bartels suggests, most people possess almost no useful information about policies and their implications, have little desire to improve their state of knowledge, and have a deep aversion to political disagreement“, now, there is one part that is an absolute given in most occasions ‘most people possess almost no useful information about the implications of policies‘, that is one truth that is undeniable, even the more alert and aware people tend to miss things there, because, unless you are not part of it, you tend not to be fully in the know. It is almost a non-issue, yet the other part of policies is because getting a politician to sit down and explain it all is usually and equally a non-option, the more relevant info the politician has, the less likely it will be to find him available to explain it all. The best example would be the global collection of ministers of defence. Now, I am not talking about the hush hush stuff, because it would be a low and simple blow to get towards the classified stuff. No, I am talking about the large open things. So let’s state a NATO member, its Minister of Defence and Raytheon agreements. Some news now only 14 hours old (at http://www.army-technology.com/news/newsraytheon-to-upgrade-antpy-2-radars-with-gan-technology-5021950), seems to give NATO (initially just the US) with an advantage. So the quote from Dave Gulla who said: “GaN components have significant, proven advantages when compared to the previous generation GaAs technology“. Yet, when we take a look Patent US 6586778 B2, (at https://www.google.ch/patents/US6586778), we see “A gallium nitride layer is pendeoepitaxially grown on weak posts on a substrate that are configured to crack due to a thermal expansion coefficient mismatch between the substrate and the gallium nitride layer on the weak posts. Thus, upon cooling, at least some of the weak posts crack, to thereby relieve stress in the gallium nitride semiconductor layer. Accordingly, low defect density gallium nitride semiconductor layers may be produced. Moreover, the weak posts can allow relatively easy separation of the substrate from the gallium nitride semiconductor layer to provide a freestanding gallium nitride layer“. At this point I would initially state ‘Oops!’, yet that is not the issue, because there is a patent, means that there is a solution. The issue is not the fact that there is a solution, but that the solution is patented, in addition, we see an august article (at https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160801093236.htm), which gives us the summary of “From 2020 the 5G mobile standard is aiming to transmit data rapidly and energy-efficiently. For that purpose researchers are developing new power amplifiers based on the semiconductor gallium nitride“. So now we have an old fashioned horse race, because did that Minister of Defence realise that Raytheon is relying on parts that will drive the costs through 5G needs sky high? So, we are a looking at something that has an optional growth opportunity of close to 50,000% (blatantly extremely speculative by yours truly), so how will that drive the prices? In the UK who will get the sharp component deal, those servicing 68 million mobile users, or that one ministry of Defence? #JustAsking
So here you see information in action. Moreover, from my point of view, it is speculative as well. My speculation is that the Gallium Nitride (GaN) will grow so fast in demand that it will drive up prices fast and near exponentially (and with that the margins they had). Is that speculation so far out of bounds? You only need to remember the 4G rush to know that I am right. And if the patent has any real impact until 2023 as conditional initial end date, then North Carolina State University could end up with both the Angels share and the Devils Cut, which is a nice deal to begin with (for them that is), yet for the rest, it will drive prices up fast and by a large amount. Was this considered and is my view right or wrong?
So this technology war is not over, not by a long shot.
Now this is just one instance, for one nation. And when we ignore classified materials, how many issues play in this alone and where have we not looked? Now, we cannot expect that all issues were dealt with in the initial approach, but when we see that these issues are now undertaken and there is no direct solution, how much higher will the cost be in the end? So, without these facts, would the other NATO members dump the Raytheon upgrade? Is the upgrade mandatory, or even perhaps, my point of view is wrong. The last one is still valid, yet in my defence, what happens when there is suddenly a shortage of something? Show me one instance when the price of the goods were not spiralling upwards. I remember the chip war and the memory bank war. In those days, those critters were on a day price, it was like buying a lobster for Pete’s sake (not the other Pete, because he is a Vegan).
Yet part of my views are seen in “Direct democracy – referendums and citizens’ initiatives – seems to produce even worse results. In the US initiatives are repeatedly used by multimillion-dollar lobby groups to achieve results that state legislatures won’t grant them. They tend to replace taxes with user fees, stymie the redistribution of wealth and degrade public services. Whether representative or direct, democracy comes to be owned by the elites“, Geoff deals with lobby groups, which is what I raised too, yet in my view, I looked at the (miss)-presented side and in the past, just a few days ago, I raised the incapability of tax reforms, all over Europe for that matter. It seems that taxation is a pox on both houses, this whilst both sides know it is essential, yet from 2013 onwards the US has done so much to utterly stop the essential overhaul from happening.
So, I loved the article because it showed for the most my point of view (as I have stated it for many months), from another viewpoint, which is always nice. An article that should wake us up not to the lack of Democracy, but to the realisation how democracy is shaping us all to no longer seek it and spearhead the presented needs straight into the direction that helps big business the most (for now). So did we elect the wrong politicians, or were we only given the media that made us choose the individual currently in charge? Here I now look towards the dozens of morning shows that ‘do’ the news on a local level, but sugar coat a massive part outside of those few minutes on the whole and half hour to push opinions and interpretation of events, ‘guiding’ us towards a choice we could have avoided. As media changed so fast, whilst we did not keep up, we saw our fenced pasture change into a maze of fences and no way to see where the exit is.
This democratic world reminds me of the wisdom seen on a card: “and God promised men that good and obedient wives would be found in all corners of the world…then he made the Earth round…and he laughed and laughed“, which reverberates here too, ‘as democracy reached all corners of the earth’, you get the idea!