Tag Archives: Power

Shitload of planners @ Dunedin #conferencejunket

Over the rainbow - NZPI Conference 2016 - Dunedin (12-15 April)Official Image: NZPI Conference 2016 (12-15 April), Dunedin

“Power attracts pathological people. It’s not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the pathological.” –Frank Herbert

One for us, and them:

From the archives at Bonner & Partners (USA):
It’s about something that affects us all in ever greater measure – the arrogance of central planners.

From BB’s Diary:
Bill Bonner, Chairman – April 13, 2016

WHY ALL CENTRAL PLANNING IS DOOMED TO FAIL

We’re still thinking about how so many smart people came to believe things that aren’t true.

They believe they can manipulate the future and make it better. Not just for themselves… but also for everyone else.

Where did such a silly idea come from?

After the Renaissance, Aristotelian logic came to dominate Western thought. It was essentially a forerunner of positivism – which is supposedly based on objective conditions and scientific reasoning.

“Give me the facts,” says the positivist, confidently.

“Let me apply my rational brain to them. I will come up with a solution!”

BEYOND THE HERALD’S CRY

This is fine, if you are building the Eiffel Tower or organising the next church supper.

But positivism falls apart when it is applied to schemes that go beyond the reach of the “herald’s cry”.

That’s what Aristotle said: Only a small community would work. Because only in a small community would all the people share more or less the same information and interests.

In a large community, you can’t know things in the same direct, personal way. You have no idea who made your sausage or what they put in it. You have to rely on “facts” that are no longer verifiable by direct observation or personal acquaintance.

So it’s hard for people to work together in the same way.

In a large community, central planners’ “facts” are nothing more than statistical mush, wishful thinking, and theoretical claptrap – like WMD, GDP, the unemployment rate, and the Übermensch.

Large-scale planning fails because the facts upon which it is built are always unreliable and often completely bogus.

It fails also because people don’t really want it.

HIDDEN AGENDA

In a small community, the planners and the people they are planning for are close enough to share the same goals.

But in a large community, the planners are a small minority.

And in a large community, the planners usually have their own agenda… often a hidden one.

They call for stricter law enforcement… while getting campaign contributions from the prison industry. They seek a cure for cancer… and depend on the pharmaceutical industry for job offers. They promote a united Europe… and hope to be its head man.

Large-scale planning provides almost countless opportunities for corruption. But it’s not the dirty dealing that dooms it. It is that the planners don’t know (or care) what people really want… and don’t have the means or the information necessary to achieve it anyway.
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Infrastructure ‘open to facile misinterpretation’…. or local ignore

infrastructure-development [openspaceconsult.com] tweakedby whatifdunedin 1

Academic Paper/Article via Academia.edu
December 24, 2015

Paradoxical Infrastructures: Ruin, Retrofit and Risk
Cymene Howe – Rice University, Anthropology, Faculty Member
Corresponding Author

Co-Authors: Cymene Howe, Jessica Lockrem, Hannah Appel, Edward Hackett, Dominic Boyer, Randal Hall, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, Albert Pope, Akhil Gupta, Elizabeth Rodwell, Andrea Ballestero, Trevor Durbin, Farès el-Dahdah, Elizabeth Long, and Cyrus Mody

ABSTRACT
In recent years, a dramatic increase in the study of infrastructure has occurred in the social sciences and humanities, following upon foundational work in the physical sciences, architecture, planning, information science, and engineering. This article, authored by a multidisciplinary group of scholars, probes the generative potential of infrastructure at this historical juncture. Accounting for the conceptual and material capacities of infrastructure, the article argues for the importance of paradox in understanding infrastructure. Thematically the article is organized around three key points that speak to the study of infrastructure: ruin, retrofit, and risk. The first paradox of infrastructure, ruin, suggests that even as infrastructure is generative, it degenerates. A second paradox is found in retrofit, an apparent ontological oxymoron that attempts to bridge temporality from the present to the future and yet ultimately reveals that infrastructural solidity, in material and symbolic terms, is more apparent than actual. Finally, a third paradox of infrastructure, risk, demonstrates that while a key purpose of infrastructure is to mitigate risk, it also involves new risks as it comes to fruition. The article concludes with a series of suggestions and provocations to view the study of infrastructure in more contingent and paradoxical forms.

Introduction
Breakdowns and blackouts, pipeline politics, and new demands upon energy and resources have surfaced infrastructure in surprising ways, igniting conversation about social and material arrangements that are often left submerged, invisible, and assumed. In recent years, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the study of infrastructure in the social sciences and humanities, following upon foundational work in the physical sciences, architecture, planning, information science, and engineering. While the popular imagination might recognize infrastructure as the mundane mechanisms within, beneath, and supporting the maintenance of quotidian life, many scholars have foregrounded the agency, performativity, and dynamism of infrastructure.

Infrastructure is not inert but rather infused with social meanings and reflective of larger priorities and attentions. To further engage these novel lines of inquiry, a group of scholars gathered at Rice University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences for an extended roundtable discussion. We came from a variety of academic institutions and positions in the academy (ranging from senior scholars to PhD candidates), and our group reflected a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds (American studies, anthropology, architecture, history, science and technology studies, and sociology). Our objective was to break down some of the scaffolding that upholds disciplinary boundaries. To embrace a starkly infrastructural metaphor, we were interested in “bridgework”, not just to move from point A to point B, but to hold us in suspension for a time so that we might inspect the mechanisms that drive our intellectual work and scholarship.

Infrastructure, which epitomizes the conjunction of material forms, expertise, social priorities, cultural expectations, aesthetics, and economic investments, seemed to us to be the ideal rubric through which to enrich our thinking, as well as a social object that necessitates a multidisciplinary approach. A collaborative conversation would help us to disentangle theories, concepts, and methods from their usual paradigms, permitting them to “recombine” in novel ways (Hackett and Parker 2014, 12). Our conversation was animated, in part, by other “turns” in the humanities and social sciences, including new materialisms, posthumanisms, and ontological approaches. Walking through the dynamic scholarship on infrastructure that is being published in the human sciences, we were struck with the definitional capacity of the term itself. Infrastructure is material (roads, pipes, sewers, and grids); it is social (institutions, economic systems, and media forms); and it is philosophical (intellectual trajectories: dreamt up by human ingenuity and nailed down in concrete forms).

Infrastructure has a capaciousness and scope that makes it both an infinitely useful concept and a concept that is open to facile misinterpretation or to being encumbered by overuse.

Our purpose was not to produce yet another definition of infrastructure (although at the end of this essay we do offer a few potential classifications). Instead we gave our attention to questions such as “What is generative about thinking with and through infrastructures at this historical juncture?” And “How can the multiple and diverse understandings of infrastructure across the human sciences mutually inform and enhance one another?” Simply put, we wanted to unravel “why now?” and “where do we go from here?” Our hope was to work toward “explication” (Latour 1993; Sloterdijk 2009), knowing that infrastructure has moved from the background to the foreground, while remaining intent on questioning why that is so. This collective essay gathers the themes and insights that echoed throughour conversation. These issues were resonant points of return because they revealed the relational and ambiguous elements of infrastructure to produce contradictions and unevenly felt consequences in the lives and places they contact. We have codified these apparent paradoxes, broadly, into topical domains of ruins, retrofit, and risk.

To read this article and other academic papers subscribe to Academia.edu (Weekly Digest).

drawing [floodofideas.org.au][floodofideas.org.au]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image (top): openspaceconsult.com – infrastructure development [tweaked by whatifdunedin]

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Publicise: laudafinem.org

23 April 2017
Note: Lauda Finem’s url with dot com has changed to dot org, as a result the post title and link references below have all been changed.

Received from Dunedin businessman
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 at 4:42 p.m.

Re: laudafinem.org

Hi Elizabeth, do you know the above website? They are an Australia-based blog site that seem willing to print ANYTHING! It might be a valuable tool to use in conjunction with your own wonderful site …. Maybe you could offer a link to publicise? It would be a safe place to post anything that could otherwise get you sued. It already has quite a bit of NZ stuff. Maybe useful also to some of your bloggers etc.
Regards….

superpower lab-initio.com nz103 (Stieg Larsson and David Lagercrantz Millennium Series athrillaweek.com Nicks Pics)

LAUDA FINEM
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Australian anti-corruption and injustice watch-dogs

█ Categories at laudafinem.com:

Corporate fraudsters
http://laudafinem.org/category/corporate-fraudsters/

New Zealand Corruption
http://laudafinem.org/category/new-zealand-corruption/

Videos
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Editorial
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beyonceVEVO Published on Nov 24, 2014
Beyoncé – Mine ft. Drake
BEYONCÉ Platinum Edition.
Music: “Superpower” by Beyoncé (Google Play • iTunes)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: Stieg Larsson and David Lagercrantz Millennium Series athrillaweek.com Nick’s Pics [via lab-initio.com – nz103]

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Helen Clark’s statement on International Women’s Day 8.3.15

Helen Clark [intheblack.com] [InTheBlack.com]

Helen Elizabeth Clark, ONZ SSI (born 26.2.50) became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in April 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. She is also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues. Prior to her appointment with UNDP, Helen Clark served for nine years as the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999 – 2008). Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international, economic, social and cultural spheres. >> More

Helen Clark: Statement on International Women’s Day
New York, New York

8 March 2015

This week, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which remains the world’s best blueprint for achieving gender equality and empowering women. The review of this visionary roadmap, adopted at the Fourth World Conference for Women in 1995, is an opportunity to celebrate the world’s progress toward ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls, and also to renew and reinvigorate commitments to achieve gender equality.

One of the great achievements of the Beijing Platform for Action was the clear recognition that women’s rights are human rights. Since that historic gathering in Beijing, when 17,000 participants and 30,000 activists gathered to voice and demonstrate their support for gender equality and women’s empowerment, there has been increasing recognition that gender equality, in addition to being a human right, is also critical to making development progress. If women and girls are not able to fully realize their rights and aspirations in all spheres of life, development will be impeded.

Twenty years on, we can see both progress and challenges in the twelve areas of critical concern laid out in the Beijing Platform for Action. Gender parity in primary education has been achieved, but completion rates and the quality of education are not high across all countries. More women have been elected to public office – about 21% of the world’s parliamentarians are women, up from about 11% in 1995 – but we are still far from parity. More women than ever before are participating in the work force, but women generally earn less than men and, in rich and poor countries alike, carry a disproportionate burden of unpaid care work which deprives them of time for valuable pursuits like earning money, gaining new skills, and participating in public life. And, while more laws exist to protect women from violence, sexual and gender-based violence continue to occur on every continent and in every country, often reaching horrific levels where there is war and conflict.

Fortunately, there is encouraging momentum not only to renew the promises of Beijing, but to address issues which were not in the spotlight in 1995, such as the need to ensure women’s participation in responding to climate change, building peace and security, and helping their countries recover from crises. These issues are central to UNDP’s efforts to help partner countries build resilience to sustain development results. By promoting gender equality and empowering women as agents of change and leaders in the development processes which shape their lives, UNDP envisages a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient world.

Today is International Women’s Day, which this year is devoted to the theme, “Empower Women, Empower Humanity – Picture It!” Join me in supporting this call to fulfill the promises made in Beijing 20 years ago, and to realize a world in which every woman and girl has the opportunity to fulfill her potential and enjoy equal rights and status.

[ends] Link

Leadership Strategy Business
█ Interview by InTheBlack.com (1.2.14): Helen Clark is UN-daunted by the need to change

█ Follow Helen Clark on Twitter @HelenClarkUNDP

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Unhappy, ruined #overpoweredbythugs

Received from Anonymous
Sat, 19 Jul 2014 at 10:11 a.m.

wilson_j (1)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Comics: The Oatmeal

The Oatmeal - making things 2014 (1)15.11.12 http://theoatmeal.com/comics/making_things

The Oatmeal (2)

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Oatmeal
Twitter: Follow Matthew Inman @Oatmeal
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theoatmeal

### SmartPlanet.com 14 Oct 2012
Q&A: The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman talks crowdfunding, creativity
By Molly Petrilla
Creator of the popular humour website The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman recently turned his talents toward philanthropic crowdfunding, raising $1.37 million for a new Nikola Tesla Museum. Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
… with thanks to another of my nearby inspirations :)

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