This website as a graph, via Webpages As Graphs
I went to a thing by Transparency International. The chair obfuscely said that conversation was off the record, which was odd for a session on right to information. JC Weliamuna’s presentation was very interesting, however, and he seemed fine with people sharing his ideas and words. Weliamuna talked about the agency model of government and a court case which said that right to information was part of right of thought. Both very interesting ideas. While doodling I thought of something of my own, which was that you can either control or flood information, either having the net effect of people not caring (and leaving you alone).
Weliamna told a story of an illiterate woman asking for the right to information. “I can’t read,” she said, “but when I tell my child to go to the store I can check how much money he spent.” In this sense, politicians are agents we send to conduct our business in the capital. Only, over time, they’ve begun to think they are the agents.
My only issue is what about the Chinese Agent model? In that case, the government is an agent tasked with economic growth, anything they take or destroy along the way is OK as long as they get that job done.
Journalism As Estate
This was touched on, but the panelists each said that right to information was not journalists, though those are the people who tend to come to sessions. Journos are part of the system, in their own way, and many operate in an access economy rather that one with a free flow of information. This can be corrupting, as WikiLeaks doing the newspapers jobs for them shows.
Right To Think
Weliamuna cited an interesting Sri Lankan case which seemed to say that freedom of speech/thought included getting information to think about. I think this makes sense, but it’s a very psychologically heady concept to come out of the courts.
While doodling, I drew an ocean of not caring and a line in between. ‘Control’ was on one side and ‘Flood’ was on the other. The idea is that you can release no information and be safe or release a crapload and be relatively safe as well. On either side, people don’t care. If you release all you obviously have to behave better and people will wiki wiki dig through the dirt. But it is interesting in the sense that we now have people that release sex videos (way too much information) and go on to quite respectable careers. It is possibly to navigate this new world of more privacy and less information, but it will be more easier done by younger generations with more maleable brains. But I digress.