Dec 10, 2010

Tipping Points, Global Wars, and Secrets Revealed

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

The Time Monks seem to be leaning towards the WikiLeaks phenomenon as a major component of the tipping point. George Ure posted a note from Clif High regarding the "global war" language that was in the forecast for this period. (I, for one, was just not feelin' either the Iran or the North Korea panic. I just haven't felt like either of those looming crises was about to go off. But that's just me.) Anyhoo, it turns out the linguistics were probably predicting the escalating situation with WikiLeaks.

Lingo-Lango: First thing to notice today is a note from Clif about how language is filling in all over the place about what we’ve had in linguistics as ‘globalrev’ and ‘secrets revealed’ for quite some time now…
“dude…the NBC news and the ABC news and CNN are all now using our ‘global war’ language! only it is about the cyber wars against MC and visa! but the linguistics are there.

this is a big ass hoooray IF and it is the BIG IF….it does not turn out to be a wide meme.

HOORAY, i think? later..”
The “Hooray!” reference?  Better in our work to get just words rather than glassmaking mushrooms popping off, so this is a good thing….really….

Yes, I think we can all agree that a cyber war is better than a real, actual war in the "meat world." As the wife of a Marine, I very, especially prefer the former. Which is not to say that this couldn't get really ugly and inconvenient. For one thing, Ure recommends preparing for options to electronic banking. One reason I never agree to paperless billing is that I'm quite aware of how vulnerable the virtual world is to disruption. When in doubt, create redundancy.

Ure indulges in a bit of speculation on how strange things could get on teh internets as governments fight for control. (See here and here.) But this, in particular, jumped out at me.

But what it brings is this huge wryrony to the WikiLeaks discussion:  The web may already be moving beyond government control, since in a very real sense, the global economic system could be held hostage…

So when a reader send this:
“George, The BBC’s technology reporter, Maggie Shiels, said in her WikiLeaks report on Wednesday, “WikiLeaks themselves have said they’ll continue leaking the documents and, if you want to stop us, you’ll probably have to shut down the Internet.” –BBC World News, December 8, 2010″

Could we be looking at another Time Monk prediction coming into focus? Could WikiLeaks be a precipitating factor in the "data gap," otherwise known as the possible internet shut-down?

For my part, I've been watching the fall-out with increasing amusement. I'm pretty convinced now that the earth giving up one of her secrets thing I was getting pertains to WikiLeaks. As I said here, it's not that anything revealed so far has been earth-shaking. Most of it isn't so much news as confirmation and back-story. That even includes this horrible tid-bit about how our tax dollars line the pockets of a military contractor that employs and enables pedophiles. The "dancing boy" scandal is old, if disturbing, news, but that our ambassador was involved in quashing the story to protect "lives" is a new wrinkle.

I hadn't grokked until I read it in Ure's blog that "secrets revealed" was also a meme in the webbot linguistics but it affirms my own sense of things. What has emerged, in my opinion, as the most fascinating part of the WikiLeaks drama is how aggressively governments, ours and others, have gone after them. They are really in a tailspin. And even though the airing of all that diplomatic laundry has exacerbated tensions between all these countries, they seem to be bonding over the mutual desire to stuff the genie back in the bottle. The need for governments to work in secret -- even as they rifle through our emails, listen to our phone calls, and strip search us at airports --  trumps even the worst international disagreements. I also have to wonder if they know something we don't yet about how serious and shocking future revelations may be.

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