The State of the Data

A State of the Data

Education confers enhanced technical ability to utilise data resources in an intelligent way to build, create or design, or resolve conflicts of interest or opinion.

We are said to be traversing an ‘information age’. An endless fount of educational techniques for literally anything you can think of is possible on the internet. It may be only in theory, but the theoretical possibility is superior to a lack thereof.

The information age is characterised by some novel features; information can be formatted digitally; information is instantly transferrable; audial and visual digital information can be manipulated with virtually total control; the storage of information is getting greater, the proliferation of information is getting wider, the speed of information is getting faster and the resolution of information is getting higher-definition.

The ‘state’ is a constitutionally sanctioned concept which refers to a government and its territory as a single entity, with some form of sovereignty, laws, and coercive capability to enforce those laws.

If it’s occasionally morally justifiable to disobey state law as a matter of individual conscience or personal choice, shouldn’t we question how it is lawmakers have authority in the first place?

Are the stable doors of officialdom open to those who make the boldest claim to run the establishment - those who carry the biggest stick?

‘Hold your horses - other people much cleverer than you figured all that out donkeys’ years ago.’ But I’m no ass, even if the law is one. ‘Do this.’ Why? ‘Because I told you to’ is no argument.

How many exceptions are satisfactory for the rule of law to be considered less than adequate in principle? Legality is drawn out of ethical study, which is understood in the context of changeable circumstances, and human perspectives on justice and equality. It’s less a case of discovering counter-examples in the process, more the issue that every example is usually controversial one way or another…else there is no contesting the outcome.

Law might be the crowning achievement of moral wisdom gathered over millennia, yet it’s still a pillar of the constitution we’d really rather wasn’t there…would that we had progressed to a point where there is no incentive whatsoever to break any laws…hence their non-existence!

Confronted with a situation where the purpose a particular law serves is not made clear, and you positively disagree with that law, and bearing in mind what you think about the state of politics now, would you necessarily just follow it in lieu of using your own common sense judgement?

The dogmatist is inclined to argue: even if there are exceptions to the rule of law, yet society would be rendered anarchic (in a bad way) without some important guidelines. Don’t let this swing go unchallenged; ‘guidelines’ is a severe demotion of ‘the authority of law’. A physical law could reasonably be argued to be precise and objective. A law built out of concern for human affairs is subjective - which seems to be the way it is and should be. State law is no trophy. It’s a symptom of misadministration, isn’t it? If it worked perfectly, it would be invisible.

Civil disobedience is ethically justifiable under circumstances where the law or its implementation is in error; ethics underpins the institution of the legal system; we and the lawmakers stand on the same footing in regard to the substance underpinning a judicial ruling.

It doesn’t make us right of course. It doesn’t make them wrong either. Still, we need free will to make ethical choices foundational to the entire concept of law, so the law is in essence a reference point, and in an important sense not the final say. Its expression has to reflect the contingency of everyday circumstances.

The ‘computer age’, if I can refer to it as that, brought the virtual universal accessibility of the internet - an accelerated way of communicating information on a massive scale, allowing more freedom and flexibility to educate, train and occupy, and pursue whatever interests motivate us.

States and their governments are increasingly less relevant to the actual running of society. An instruction no longer has to come down to you from on high through a lengthy process of administration. The media is progressively moving opinion and comment to your…well, whatever you’re looking at now.

The message of the prime minister of Great Britain is available direct to your eyes and ears. You could even learn the public reception and scrutiny of a world-wide cross-section of online pundits…as she’s talking.

Statesmen with their private dealings, in the eyes of the citizens, have increasingly become the focus of criticism, relative to a veil of secrecy clung on to by the establishment - like an architect sticking up for her original design out of self-righteousness, even though the property is visibly crumbling. The world wide web is gradually dissipating the monopoly of media and communications, and throwing politicians’ esotericism about the ‘official story’ out of sheltered accommodation.

Just as the state might bypass the citizens, so we are increasingly able to bypass the government. This shouldn’t be controversial to anyone who doesn’t stand to lose money or power out of the defragmentation of an inherently flawed system - a system whose incumbents tend to make it larger and more bureaucratic, when the objective ought to be zero interference. With the onset of the information age, genuine independence from the need for state control is fast becoming a real prospect.

Why would you ask an MP how to resolve conflicts of interest when you can ask a hack in a state with a chip resting on his shoulders, hands hovered over a laptop keyboard in the middle of the night, latching onto occurrences of inspiration out of a convoluted narrative and tapping them in, a conjecturer at the edge of the political stage, wielding a word-processor and an internet connection, and driven by an egotistical passion for getting his point across…?(!)




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