Feeds

Minister goes mad for Web 2.0

Miliband drinks the Kool Aid

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Miliband lauds OhMyNews, the Korean "citizens journalism" site. But OhMyNews, as Koreans know only too well, is a nasty, partisan political operation - a kind of Fox News - that only flourishes because it doesn't pay its volunteer contributors. It profits from what's called "digital sharecropping". If this is a new spirit of volunteerism, then so is the Church of Scientology.

As for new modes of production, or a new spirit of sharing, Miliband makes a very common mistake. What we're experiencing is an explosion of low-cost recording technologies. Much of what they record - and what Google indiscriminately caches, like a listening bug in the corner of the room - was never intended to be recorded. Much of the rest was never intended to be "published" - merely spread among one or two family members or friends. The internet has given us "a telephone network with pictures", if you like, which we can all put to use. But to describe this as a new form of production is like claiming that the listening device is creating the conversations it records. Once one has made that mistake, it's very difficult to see things clearly again.

No wonder the Rt Honorable Member for Google (South Shields) is confused, for when some people fall into digital utopianism, they fall in all the way - and when they bob back to the surface, it's with what looks like a shiny, new, off-the-shelf belief system. From then on, it's hard to persuade the sufferer that they're fantasising about the world. Miliband has a fantasy version of technology, breaking off only to plug his "carbon trading calculator".

David George Millibourne

In keeping with the Web 2.0 rhetoric, Miliband's is religious. Take this purple passage:

Instead of citizens acting in isolation, unsure of whether their actions are reciprocated by others, feeling powerless in the face of large organisations and global change, citizens can feel part of a bigger project. They can create a shared willingness to act, their preferences can be aggregated, and can give rise to collective action as well as collective discussion.

And life has meaning again. We'll check the video at some point - and see if there were any hallelujahs.

But for a moment, let's take the Minister at face value. What politicians like Miliband and the Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne - another web fantasist apparently cloned, as you can see, from the same incubator (Millibourne Industries?) - are describing is how they see society ordered. It's technocratic, and the role of the politician in this machine vision is merely to provide lubricant for the great, benevolent actors.

Unfortunately, the near-identical policies of our parties are designed to make life easy for them. Planning controls are dropped and democratic checks and balances are discarded to ease the path for who really runs the country - Tesco, Google (a newcomer), and the nuclear industry.

With so many teenagers pouring out their most intimates on the web, into MySpace and Facebook, some press pundits are wondering if these careless candid thoughts will one day come back to haunt them when they're running for political office. These pundits have got it wrong. It's not their adolescent indiscretions, but the things they said last week that we should take notice off. Especially when they start acting like teenagers. As our "future Prime Minister" just has.

Empowering comments welcome. ®

Related link

Miliband goes mad

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.