Reflections on the Ecuador Initiative — Open Source Everything Combined with Ethical Evidence-Based Decision-Support 1.1
This endeavor could be world-changing, first in Ecuador, then across South America, and ultimately around the globe starting with the BRICS and the rest of the Southern Hemisphere.
I am deeply honored to have been invited to contribute a few thoughts.
Below is my primary graphic that speaks directly to the two things that are missing from the project — a comprehensive embrace of Open Source Everything (OSE); and a coherent approach to decision-support across all mission areas and at all levels. After the first graphic, below the line, are several of my long-standing intelligence renaissance graphics with a few words about their applicability to Ecuador Initiative, a Presidential endeavor.
As this graphic, building on the complex vision of the entire team, shows, there is a need for a larger construct that both blends together all that is being done in the relatively isolated domains, each with their own project manager, and that also serves as a service of common concern, doing research and providing ethical evidence-based decision-support to each of the project managers as well as all others.
The central precept, from my book THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth, & Trust (North Atlantic Books / Evolver Editions, 2012) is that one must embrace all of the opens together. They are a “package deal.” Hence this interpretation of the President’s vision adds the essentials for doing open source information-sharing and sense-making across all boundaries.
In that context, it adds the needed function of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), the revolution I led prior to becoming enthusiastic about a complete liberation of the public from the industrial era elites that are corrupt and that are destroying our commonwealth.
Central to our achieving a SUSTAINABLE revolution is the embrace of “Open Source Everything.” This is the only affordable, inter-operable, and scalable means of achieving revolution in the 21st Century. While these circles are focused on the external world and the “how” of doing things, their utlimate focus is on the mind of man — on making life-long education free, broad, and deep for every citizen.
This is the national, regional, and global frame of reference. Justice can only be achieved when we have the truth — the entire truth including the true cost of all behaviors, policies, products, and services — on the table. The Way of the Truth is righteous and essential. Today Ecuador and most other countries are being destroyed by predatory capitalism, unilateral militarism, and false notions of democracy — virtual colonialism — in which corrupt elites (including over 40 dictators) are “blessed” by the USA as long as they collaborate secretly in the looting of their respective commonwealths. Truth is both a defense and an offense.
No matter how worthy any initiative might be, it is destined to fail if it does not enjoy continuous support from a holistic analytic model that is able to provide each project manager with a 360 degree view of needs, costs, and possibilities. In this chart, the ten high level threats to humanity as identified by the United Nations High-Level Panel in 2004, in connection with 12 core policies identified by Earth Intelligence Network, are used to show three vital aspects of decision-support needed by the Ecuador Initiative, in my view:
01 Future-Proofing a country is largely about addressing the top three threats – poverty, infectious disease, and environmental degradation.
02 The West is part of the problem because the West is owned by the 1% and the 1% want to focus only on terrorism and war, because both of those concentrate profits at the expense of the public. Education, Family, Justice, and Society are the engines of a propserous nation at peace. Armed with education and protected by Justice, a public can create infinite wealth and a healty society.
03 Future-Proofing demands that the yellow circles be addressed as priorities, using the green bars as areas of emphasis where Presidential attention can make a difference.
No government initiative can succeed — or be sustained — without the full collaboration of the other seven “tribes” of the information world. The government in the 21st Century is a beneficiary of the information work of all others– it is a minor player — not a benefactor and certainly not the leader. We must harness the distributed intelligence of the other seven tribes, focusing not on the internal (yellow), restricted (orange), or secret (red) information, but instead focusing on the Information Commons (green) that is today a tower of Babel for lack of open source standards. An Open Cloud within Open Spectrum, combined with Open Electronics and Open Mesh, are essential to making broad and deep information collaboration possible across all eight tribes.
Being willing to share is not enough. Occupy — and the Arab Spring — both failed for lack of structure. In order to empower the public, one must create public intelligence (decision-support) in the public interest. 24 volunteers who created the Earth Intelligence Network and its foundation concepts grasped this fundamental. We require a participatory public intelligence agency; a participatory public policy network; a participatory public budget network; and ideally a participatory public Game, initially national, then regional, then international. One reason I support CELAC over the OAS is because I believe CELAC is capable of addressing the needs of the south rather than pandering to the needs of the north. A Multinational Decision Support Centre funded by Venezuela and perhaps located in Panama, could very rapidly extend the concepts being proven in Ecuador to the rest of the Americas.
In 1985 a handful of people knew with great conviction that eighteen functionalities are needed on any citizen’s desktop if they are to be effective members of 21st Century society, contributing their unique sensibilities to the collective intelligence process (see Computer Aide Tools for the Analysis of Science & Technology). In the 1990’s TOOZL was created as a free flash drive tool-kit. Today we have CrisisMappers and some hugely successful advanced in humanitarian Information and Communications Technology (ICT) be we still do not have a public intelligence tool-kit. All of these capabilities are almost immediately deployable in isolation — and many other IO tools exist — but no one has put them all together along with an Open Cloud, Open Data, and Open Standards including Open GEO.
A structured process for doing four levels of research is essential to all forms of education, intelligence (decision-support) and multi-disciplinary research. Jan Herring, the first US National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Science & Technology, created this graphic. We still do not have this today because no nation is a “Smart Nation,” a concept I wrote about in 1995. A national commitment is needed to an Open Source Agency and network that can achieve the objective of sharing all information in all languages with all citizens, as needed.
This one graphic represents the contributions of many others, in particular the 24 volunteers who created Earth Intelligence Network. Education, Intelligence, and Research are the soul of the Smart Nation. Hybrid Transparent Governance, True Cost Economics, Whole Systems Thinking & Understanding, and Collective Intelligence are the methods by which we achieve a prosperous nation at peace, a prosperous region at peace, a prosperous world at peace.
In my view, the “missing piece” in the Ecuador Initative is a university-based School of Future-Oriented Hybrid Governance that creates a Center for Comprehensive Architecture against which all of the individual pilot projects can be tested for harmonization with one another; a Center for Public Intelligence that implements the Herring Triangle as well as a national call center and diaspora network to educate the poor “one cell call at a time” while also answering any request for ethical evidence-based decision support from anyone (priority of course to the project managers within the Ecuador Initiative); and a Serious Game that first integrates foundation ideas such as MuSIASEM and Passive BIBO Currency.
APPENDIX A: Humans Rule – Computers are Tools
As much as I believe in the importance of Open Source Everything as the technical solution, I find it helpful to always emphasize the importance of humans. Crowd-funding, crowd-seeding, crowd-sourcing, and crowd-solving are all rooted in the infinite imagination and intelligence of the public. Here I offer just three graphics that have influenced me deeply over my life.
Information and Communications Technology ICT) must never be allowed to displace the human. As Paul Strassman likes to say, ICT makes bad management worse (and more expensive and more dangerous). The human factor is the fundamental factor, how ICT is developed must follow from that, or we end up with what we have in the West today, massive wasted investments. NSA, one simple example, is costing $25 billion a year including Cyber-Command, and is absolutely worthless in relation to decision-support. ICT is science – it must be guided by the humanities and have a human purpose.
At the national level, focusing on how a national executive might create decision-support by leveraging the humans that are employed by the government, it is very important to put spies and secrecy in perspective. I personally feel that spies and secrecy should never be more than 20% of the total government budget as spent on humans, and probably closer to 10%. More importantly, all of these humans must be harmonized with one another, and not allowed to stay isolated in their various compartments. Finally, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), of which I have been the champion for the past 25 years, must be seen as a human source, not a technical source.
Finally, the key slide from Charles Hampden-Turner’s RADICAL MAN: The Process of Psycho-Social Development, a graphic that was vital to my understanding of revolution and my creation of the original analytic model for understanding why humanity rebels and what that can teach us about good balanced governance that remains legitimate in the eyes of the public. I include my own graphic below, the items in red are the revolutionary preconditions that exist today in the USA.
A government is legitimate if it is steering the nation in a balanced fashion. The concentration of wealth is the single largest cause of revolution but there are many others. When governments are perceived to be corrupt and in the service of multinational corporations and foreign powers whose only interest is in looting the natural resources and exploiting the people, without respecting and rewarding the value created by the people, it is time for a revolution.
APPENDIX B: Creating a Smart Nation – Innovation with Integrity
This is how I see the way ahead. At the technical level we must embrace Open Source Everything. At the tactical level we must engage and empower our citizens, harnessing their collective intelligence, to discover and disseminate true cost information about everything. At the operational level we must bring together the eight tribes — each project manager should have one person from each tribe as their ambassador back to that tribe. At the strategic level — the Presidential level — there must be a strategic analytic model that integrates the ten high-level threats to humanity with twelve (or more) core policies. A clear understanding of the value to Ecuador of, among others, Brazil, China, India, and Indonesia, would be helpful. Finally, rooted in the achievement of the first four levels of accomplishment, Ecuador becomes a Smart Nation by fully integrating education, intelligence (decision-support) and research such that the nation is one — one mind, one heart, one soul with infinite diversity, infinite wealth, and infinite positive influence on all others.
SELECTIVE PRIOR WORK: