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Summaries

by Alan F. Kay 2006

Summaries are updated on this page as required (probably monthly) resulting from major external events or the availability of new, interesting, pertinent and valuable information

 

#1 Cutting Government Secrecy. Potential conflicts of interest between government officials and media organizations can be used by the organizations to garner more subscribers and listeners by adopting policies that increasingly shine light into the darkness of excessive government secrecy. A few media organizations begin to adopt such policies while suitably protecting themselves. Slowly more organizations follow suit for competitive and other reasons.

#2 Public-Interest Polling can bring the whole public into the number-one national sport, the power struggle of the four "estates", administration, legislature, judiciary, and news media, formerly called "the press". The public becomes the fifth estate and ultimately the dominant player. Subject to the concerns expressed in the #2.3 Summary, democracy in the US will no longer hang by a thread, but will be a new beacon and a new standard for democratizing the world.

#2.3/2.3a Year 2000 and Earlier National Campaigns show how public-interest polling findings could have won elections. Since election year 2000 this has no longer been true. The public's election desires are now trumped by corrupt vote prevention and fraudulent vote counting, best illustrated by the Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004 presidential elections, and the California 2003, governor recall election. The efforts by me and collaborators to produce "Predictions Enhancing US Democracy" shifted over to three Solutions that appear in V. Election Fraud, #13-#14-#15. There is so much money available from corporations and wealthy individuals (see the Vicious Circle Chart, home page) and so many easy opportunities for suppression of voting in poor/black precincts/zip-codes that pursuing honest vote counting has become one of the most important opportunities for restoring democracy now at risk, better than helplessly witnessing the US succumb to one-party rule or fascism.

#3 Builds peace by facilitating UN Security Council (SC) use of NGOs to build trust and resolve country conflicts-of-interest by risk mitigation and cooperative initiatives that have demonstrated success.

#4 UNSIA, is a proposed for-profit UN agency that works as an arm of the UN Security Council (the SC). The General Assembly authorizes the Agency's Charter, approves its business plan, and thereafter oversees its Charter conformance. The Charter allows UNSIA to receive revenue only as fees and only for producing detailed protection agreements effective upon an SC endorsement. Each agreement is unique. Agreements provide specific interventions on behalf of a protection-seeking country that makes payments to countries that offer such support. Payments cover the cost of protective intervention services. The support countries intervene when the protected country faces attack or harm but only whenever, and to the extent that, such services are specifically called for by the agreement. UNSIA has the responsibility to discuss possibilities with all potential parties leading to a draft agreement that is sufficiently fair, detailed, and clear to produce a final, operational agreement endorsed by all three parties (the protected country, the support countries, and the SC). Thereafter, UNSIA has the responsibility to alert the three parties promptly whenever action by any party is called for and to make sure that all parties honor their obligations and perform as required by the agreement. Failure to perform agreement obligations by any party thereto, at the SC's discretion, can lead to SC sanctions and possibly, ultimately propel the SC into putting together a new group of countries that will furnish the protection called for in the agreement. With the SC's symbiotic backing of UNSIA, whenever a country understands that it might realistically be benefited by a good agreement, UNSIA (a) can get the country to pay for a study of what protection is reasonable from the country's viewpoint, considering costs, benefits, and SC attitudes and (b) can impose on the country to pay UNSIA's costs for negotiating an agreement that satisfies all three parties.

#5 War on Terror, for a time also called the "Long War". Since "terror" is defined as "extreme fear", this war is more accurately named "the Extremely Long War". Still the most accurate name is "Perpetual War". Why, perpetual? Very simple. Defendants in a US war against terrorists, must be wiped out to eliminate all terrorists. Since US warfare creates at least some new terrorists, the war itself creates a never-ending stream of terrorists, generated not only by Muslim extremists but by Americans like Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczynsky, the Unabomber.

The 9/11/01 attack should have been treated as a heinous crime, not as an al Qaeda declaration of war. Globally cooperative with -- and just after 9/11 highly sympathetic to -- the US, Interpol and dozens of criminal justice organizations would have enabled the arrest of Osama bin Laden and other Qaeda functionaries. The Taliban, our allies during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and thru 9/11/01, considered arresting Osama and turning him over to a third country, a possibility nixed by President George W Bush.

In WWII Americans behaved fearlessly. The tone seemed set by Franklin D Roosevelt's inaugural highlight, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself". Years later George W Bush's behavior has tested and confirmed FDR's statement. Bush has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to create government functions that push the nation into becoming ever more fearful of extreme fear.

#6 Betternet. A network of initially independent networks that might ultimately be able to replace the Internet, Betternet has the great advantage of largely being free of spam, worms, viruses, denial of service, and spyware. Such a network's users are largely very active in a specific market buying and selling or engaging in other transactions that users want to respond to. One network's hardware and software may be very different from another's, but the revenue-to-cost benefit-ratio arising from Metcalf's Law compels them to link together as soon as there are transaction values for some of the users of the larger linked network. When a network chooses to link to other networks participating in Betternet, it must conform to strict protocols, set up in advance for all networks. These protocols allow full mutual compatibility in a fixed (initially small) set of message types, including features such as (a) rejections of messages not-compatible with Betternet protocol, (b) user identification codes, unique across all networks, that also show users of each network what other networks its users are linked to, (c) for users of all linked networks the processing, storing, and other treatment of data submitted by the user of one network available to users of all linked-networks and (d) permitting the creation of new data accessible and saleable to others, even markets beyond Betternet users.

The reason Betternet is so beneficial can be made clearer by an analogy. Consider activities conducted by, or to, or from, the financial industry, including inquiries, bids/offers, transactions, and settlements, and all information offered or requested by those in, or dealing with, the industry all on a single network, like the Internet, but with one important difference.

Suppose, hypothetically, that there were no organizations working for customers -- no brokers, no dealers, no investment advisors or managers, no media people providing financial advice for the general public, no organizations in the financial industry to serve customers generally those not in the industry. Let's call them all middlemen (forget that the term is often considered pejorative.). So with this language our hypothesis is that there are no middlemen. That would mean that there would be no competitive human beings in business and highly motivated to be successful, short and long-term, by working for people that work in other businesses and industries than financial and have jobs and other tight time constraints, so they cannot participate knowledgeably in bonds, stocks, and all other financial instruments unless they use these middlemen.

The Internet was established in a way that such middlemen are squeezed out by the leading organizations in all industries, which naturally have a conflict of interest. Their first choice is success in their industries. Their second and lower priority-choice is satisfying their customers.

Exactly the way such expensive and grievous limitations to the Internet as bugs, spam, denial-of-service, identity stealth, and crime, would be largely eliminated by the motivation of Betternet network owners, who are the "middlemen" in Betternet, to satisfy their customers and prevent the problems of the Internet by the design and operation of their networks. In addition, within Betternet each network owner would also be motivated to link to and consolidate with another network as soon as there were benefits to the customers of each of the two networks to do so.

#7 FXTRSSM Describes the development, structure, operation and practice of a Foreign Exchange Transaction Reporting System that enables a Central Bank to offer a marketplace for purchase/sale of its own currency in exchange for foreign currencies. The market will be more efficient, fast, stable, transparent, and rational for all participants over the full range of transaction sizes from small retail to the largest institutional trades. Additionally it is designed to be the best operating system for the Central Bank under all market conditions including the rare situation when a country's currency is under attack by speculators collectively worth hundreds of billions of dollar equivalents that can enormously damage a country's economy not using FXTRSSM.

#8 Truth in Advertising The purpose of this Solution is to lower environmental and social costs by relatively small and painless (even pleasant) changes that yet have enormous potential leverage for transitioning our growth-based economy into longer-term sustainability. Under the proposal, companies would be required to set aside a small adjustable percentage (capped and averaging less than 3%) of their TV advertising tax exemption to fund non-profit, certified, qualified, public interest TV and radio producers to produce and air supplemental counter-advertising that relates to and broadens the messages and the views promoted by company spots. Features of the proposal encourage, motivate and help promote good faith compliance with its truth-in-advertising purpose by both advertisers and producers.

#9 Reducing Government Corruption Whenever wealthy individuals, or their agents, e.g. lobbyists, seeking access to national political leaders for tax relief, easing of regulations, opportunities for lucrative contracts, etc., are invited to an event (including meetings, conferences or other occasions) (a) in the White House, the president, and (b) in the Washington DC area and on junkets (trips more remote from Washington) the president and congress members, must invite on the same basis as the participating wealthy and their staffs an equal number of people from non-governmental organizations (NGOs). To be eligible for such invitations, (a) organizations must receive less than 5% of their revenue from corporations and (b) the organization's people so invited must be knowledgeable in one or more of the issues that may reasonably expect to be discussed during the event. Neither the people who are invited nor their organizations shall be asked or expected by the event sponsors to make campaign contributions (or donate money that benefits the president or legislators, their families, campaigns, charities, etc.). All invitees must be treated alike and have access to the event equal to and on the same basis as participating corporations have. This Solution has features for overseeing the proper treatment of NGO event participants and to plug potential loopholes in the process.

#10 Reducing E-Commerce Corporate Corruption. Opportunities for monopolies by e-commerce corporations may require action by the office of the US Attorney General more frequently than generally understood. The anti-trust legislation enacted to curb the trusts a century ago needs updating, as illustrated in #10.1 where outdated anti-trust law led to sub-optimal treatment of both Microsoft and the public that could have been ameliorated if the Attorney General had the authority and the will to apply fair and understandable consumer fraud sanctions.

#11 Reducing Market Failures  Believers in free markets assume that -- as markets become more free -- competition increases forcing competitors to increase efficiency, improve product values and reduce prices, all summarized as lowering consumer prices. Put another way, market failures occur when markets are not free enough and government restrictions are too severe. The best and simplest way to understand why market failures are almost inevitable, is the Vicious Circle Chart. Other important ways are non-traditional adult education and curtailing the "entrepreneurs free-ride" in #11.1.

#13 National Election System. This total revision of US election processes was fully developed by February 2001 with everything needed to cover the problems as they emerged after the Florida 2000 presidential election with some surprising pluses justifying a major effort. Insufficient attention to the effects of military, absentee, early, and provisional ballots, re-gerrymandering district lines to cut through precincts, complex rules on registration effectiveness, etc., suggested alternatives, expressed in #14 after the 2002 election and in #15 after the 2004 election.

#14 Colleague Concept. Encourages states individually to lobby Washington through persons (called "colleagues") selected state-wide by sortition (like jury selection) supplementing and working under elected representatives to gain attention to the state's legislative needs, while their elected officials focus on considering and earmarking district needs. As the colleagues prove their value to states the sortition process is refined and strengthened (in part by the teaching of public-interest polling) so that colleagues collectively reflect the diversity of the people of the state and have learned to be more effective while remaining non-political. In time versions of a constitutional amendment are proposed by states that representatives be selected by sortition, bringing into the House the potential of a still wider diversity of regions of the country. The constitutional amendment becomes effective when the legislative arms of of the states twice agree upon a single version of the amendment. Washington might be disturbed by this development but there is little that it can do about these state initiatives to stop this method of amending the US Constitution.

#15 Federal Election Reform. The idea here is to bring "exit polling" into the precinct on election-day. When voters submit their ballot choices from among all the national, statewide, county, and local candidates, referenda and the like (called a "full-ballot"), before leaving they must confirm their votes for the national candidates on a "short ballot". If they do not do so accurately they could be fined. At the short ballot election all voters receive a voting slip that they can use to make sure that their votes for national candidates appears correctly on the precinct tally sheets and nobody else can identify their choices from that sheet or from their voting slips. The aggregation of the tally sheets is widely available in the next day or so, at prominent, easily accessible places, such as local school, library, city hall, newspaper window. This security measure was also used in #13.

The important idea here is that if any of the candidate short ballot totals, say the count for president, differ from the corresponding total of the full ballot, the second election is deemed correct, the national candidate totals of the full ballot are discarded as far as affecting vote totals, and the providers of the full ballot voting machines could face criminal charges, particularly if any of the differences are large.

#17 After Conviction. Makes the case that after sentencing, a criminal's incarceration should go through three phases in sequence: punishment, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. If properly handled, when the sentence ends, a released prisoner has a better chance of becoming a re-habilitated good citizen and the criminal justice and imprisonment systems themselves will work better. Although some state commissioners of criminal justice have over time tried to adopt a phased approach, they find obstacles, such as (1) there is not enough funding of criminal justice to make any changes and (2) prison guards and other system employees need to believe that any improvements of the system should start with improvements in their own pay, duty and benefits, not to goodies for criminals.

 

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