As the end game begins for NATO and the US in Afghanistan, and as the potential mineral wealth of that unhappy land is revealed, one confronts despair when contemplating the fate of the Afghans. With the Taliban poised to move once more into the coming power vacuum and exploit a resurgent drug trade as well as establish a protection racket parasitic to the future mining industry, one looks for some glimmer of hope for the Afghan people.
After all, Afghanistan has never been conquered except by the Mongols. The much decentralized, tribal society that makes them vulnerable to decentralized gang rule has confounded each centralized invader who attempted to bring about their own version of order. Is there hope that the Afghan people will be able to expel the Taliban as they expelled the others? After all, the first government of the Taliban was not overthrown by the Afghans themselves, but by military invasion with the passive consent of the Afghan people.
Now, with the outside military forces beginning their final period in-country, and with little if any evidence of a viable government staffed by officials who will not bolt the country with their pockets stuffed, what can give the ordinary Afghans the means to resist as they have resisted other occupations?
The answer, I believe, lies in the essence of government. Government operates by communication. People in government gather, refine, transmit information, both from the populace to the seat of power and in reverse after policies and laws are defined based upon the information gathered. People have political power to the extent that they are included in this process of information flow to the exclusion of others.
Radio Netherlands show “The State We're In” segments about 300-700 Vietnam MIA's & POW's left behind + Skiptracing & Personal Data Access.
Comment: In regards to personal data, of interest here would be campaigns promoting the idea and legal process of “owning” our data, or, “owning our own data” while redefining “ownership.” We may see a day (hopefully not) when everyone has an i.d. webpage showing profile info and other data that can be brought up by anyone. Your URL will be asked for along with your social security number. Yes, researchers/investigators can cultivate information on people but having a mandate for webpage profiles is another matter.
This is the seminal work in what the author has long named “information mapping.” Posted as a public service with permission of the author, under Creative Commons license. No commercial exploitation is permitted without documented consent of the author.
Book intended to be read two pages at a time. The author suggests printing by the chapter, and then reading with even pages to the left and odd pages to the right, two pages at a time.