Screaming Planet

Where old bloggers come to die.

Behind Closed Doors

Posted on | March 17, 2009 | No Comments

Well now.

I got kicked out of the Internet Veterans Club today. Implicitly. I just couldn’t resist commenting on a bit of news I ran across this morning.  Lapsing into arguing with imaginary people on the Internet is a bad sign, especially after holding out for so long, but I fear my inner sixteen-year-old simply had to burst out after this horrible synchronicity flash.

Rambling randomly? No, I’m not.

The thing is, a couple of weeks ago I read a non-fiction book. Now, this doesn’t happen often, I am a voracious reader with at least a book per week, but the ratio of fiction to non-fiction leans heavily towards, well, what Gabe terms the Holy Trinity. Lately I’ve slightly upset this balance, what with my current filling in the bits that were unintelligible in the previously poorly-scanned pirate e-book copy of Guns, Germs and Steel, and my reading through a mighty interesting book called Democracy and Regulation.

How and why I came to read this book, so remote from my usual fields of interest, is irrelevant, what is relevant is the bit of information that the English translation of this newspiece fails to note: negotiations to be conducted behind closed doors. Supposedly to stop “lobbies and interest groups” from interfering with the decision making. If there is one thing I’ve come away with from Democracy and Regulation (and there isn’t just one – the book is chock full of interesting details, provided you disregard the slightly kooky near-illuminati-ish chapter near the end) it’s that secrecy in government regulation, especially when dealing with the IMF or the conspiracy-kook favorite World Bank, never works. It did not work for Rio de Janeiro. It did not work for Johannesburg. It did not work for Ghana. It did not work for Dabhol. I will not even link to the shit that went down in California. The examples are, as it’s so fun to say, legion. Counterexamples are few. If any.

So, stupid or malicious?

Considering the player profiles, I’d say stupid is not the likely option.

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    Written in minutes and fact-checked in seconds via Google. May contain unsafe levels of self-righteousness. Past cleverness is no guarantee of future results.
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