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<nettime> "Data.gov & 7 Other Sites to Shut Down
Rob van Kranenburg on Sat, 2 Apr 2011 23:50:20 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> "Data.gov & 7 Other Sites to Shut Down

Hi all,

I can't resist a good quote from Oh Brave New World:

'Art, Science- You seem to have paid a fairly high price for your
happiness', said the Savage, when they were alone. 'Anything else?'
'Well, religion, of course,' replied the Controller. 'There used to be
something called God -... Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

We believe that influence is the ability to drive people to action --
"action" might be defined as a reply, a retweet, a comment, or a click. -

Announcer enters the stage: breaking news from the house of Power:  I am a
Rock, I am an Island

Bystander: Can you define power?

Street cleaner: The claim of states to rightfully assign arbitrary numbers
to people, animals and plants and lampposts wedded to the claim of
corporations to arbitrarily assign copyright and intellectual property
over simple blocks of data that were simple noise, freely booming loud to
all. Power is to hold the decision to decide what is data and what is
All power is temporary.

Announcer enters the stage: Well, this is the breaking news:

"Data.gov & 7 Other Sites to Shut Down
After Budgets Cut
By Marshall Kirkpatrick / March 31, 2011 2:45 PM / 30 Comments
Two years ago the incoming Obama administration launched a  number of
ambitious websites (http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives
/datagov_finally_launches_looks_nice_but_short_on_d.php) , most  notably
Data.gov (http://data.gov) , that were dedicated to offering public and 
government data to the outside world. The stated intention was to foster
transparency  and offer a platform for the development of new software and
services. It appears  those experiments may be over for now.  Today the
Sunlight Foundation (http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2011/03/31/budget-
and Federal  News Radio
(http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=35&sid=2327798) reported that the 
public projects Data.gov, USASpending.gov, Apps.gov/now, IT Dashboard and 
paymentaccuracy.gov as well as a number of internal government sites
including  Performance.gov, FedSpace and many of the efforts related the
FEDRamp cloud  computing cybersecurity effort would be taken offline in
coming weeks due to budget  cuts by Congress. Perhaps things like
electronic government, software platforms and  public accountability were
just fads, anyway.

Update:. We're hearing from several places that there's a potentially
viable effort to  save these sites and organizations. Here
(http://bit.ly/i16ldO) is one perspective on that and you can also see the
Sunlight Foundation's Save the Data 
(http://sunlightfoundation.com/savethedata/) petition.  Data.gov & 7 Other
Sites to Shut Down After Budgets Cut
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/datagov_7_other_sites_... "

Chorus: So what are we looking at here?

"What we are looking at here is the decline of imperial powers which had
once stretched around the globe. In these circumstances, the inquisitorial
bureaucracy which we have observed, bedevilled by minutiae which by any
objective standards are meaningless, seems incomprehensible. Yet the
emphasis on the steady accumulation of pieces of paper betrays a mentality
unable to deal with the reality before it: the reality was of an empire
and society in precipitous decline: unable to face it, the inquisitorial
mentality took refuge in useless documents designed the honour and
nobility of the nation.

In such circumstances opinions which diverged from the chosen picture of
reality were unwelcome. The truth perhaps hurts most - and provokes most
anger in - those whose are increasingly distant from it. Thus in Spain in
particular the broad current of European though groping towards the
Enlightenment in the latter 17th century was unpalatable and had to be
prevented from polluting the nation. The movement of scientific enquiry,
raised on the shoulders of Bacon, Desc artes, Locke and Spinoza, was a
direct challenge to the inquisitorial world view. The Inquisition could
sense from afar that there was an ideology which could deal it a mortal
blow in a way that the conversos and the moriscis never had.

The Inquisition was right to be suspicious, for some of the more
importnant roots of this ideology did indeed penetrate back to the very
people whom the inquisitors had pursued remorselessly for so long, the
conversos. The development of the scientific world view was in fact deeply
connected with the waves of persecution which the Inquisition had first
unleashed in Spain at the end of the 15th century, 200 years before this
era of decline." (Green, Toby. Inquisition, Reign of Fear. Pan Books,
2008, p. 257)

Bystander: Oh my, I think you are a few hundred years off! ha ha

Street sweeper: After all, it is quite logical that these programs would
stop. At one point you run up against a wall when you ask for opening up
databases. At that moment you will hear that this particular kind of data
cannot be 'open' or 'disclosed'. After two years of opening up what can be
opened up according to 'officials' you seem to hit a glass wall. That wall
is 'state interest'. Then we ask: Hey but aren't we the state? Ah not
quite, it seems.

Just keep asking and the beast will eventually have to show itself.

Singer: (Van Morrison: paraphrasing:

You can take all that data from the USA
put it in a big brown bag for me
sail it right round these seven oceans
drop it straight into the deep blue sea

she's as sweet as Tupelo Honey
just like honey baby from the bee

you can't stop us on the road of freedom

and while you at it closing all your fences, leave the lights on in
Bradley Manning's cell and give him a good nights sleep

then go look for the bees

they are leaving

salut! Rob

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