Sand in the gears


Such prosecution in youth is a defining peak experience. To know the state for what it really is! To see through that veneer the educated swear to disbelieve in but still slavishly follow with their hearts!… How well you concealed your disbelief in Saturn’s rings — even from yourself! So too with your belief in the mendacity of the state. True belief begins only with a jackboot at the door. True belief forms when led into the dock and referred to in the third person. True belief is when a distant voice booms ‘the prisoner shall now rise’ and no one else in the room stands.

That’s from a selection of Julian Assange’s correspondence from 2006 and 2007. There are entries and mini-essays on all manner of topics, from Fermi’s paradox to dieting, made interesting not merely by subsequent events. Their author strikes me as sympathetic.

Also included are some analyses of his (here; slightly different here) on ‘authoritarian state conspiracies’ as connected graphs: structured populations of nodes, linked by paths along which information flows in different quantities and with varying probabilities.

The following may be taken, I think, as a programmatic statement of WikiLeaks’ aims:

When we look at a conspiracy as an organic whole, we can see a system of interacting organs, a body with arteries and veins whose blood may be thickened and slowed till it falls, unable to sufficiently comprehend and control the forces in its environment.


We can deceive or blind a conspiracy by distorting or restricting the information available to it. We can reduce total conspiratorial power via unstructured attacks on links or through throttling and separating. A conspiracy sufficiently engaged in this manner is no longer able to comprehend its environment and plan robust action.


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One Response to “Sand in the gears”

  1. Thinking about Cablegate « Churls Gone Wild Says:

    […] Churls Gone Wild Some churls are bigger than others « Sand in the gears […]

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