mercoledì, dicembre 08, 2010

Su Wikileaks - varie e non troppo eventuali

Non ho molto tempo per mettere in ordine i pensieri e gli spunti interessanti e passerò i prossimi giorni in viaggio.
Provo comunque a lasciare qui qualche traccia, sperando di avere tempo di scrivere qualcosa in seguito.

Julian Assange, The truth will always win:
WikiLeaks coined a new type of journalism: scientific journalism. We work with other media outlets to bring people the news, but also to prove it is true. Scientific journalism allows you to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on. That way you can judge for yourself: Is the story true? Did the journalist report it accurately?
Democratic societies need a strong media and WikiLeaks is part of that media. The media helps keep government honest.

Todd Gitlin, Everything Is Data, but Data Isn’t Everything:
If the database is the shape of knowledge in our time, then the definitive act of mediated communication is the data dump. So it is not surprising that the generation that has made the mash-up its prime aesthetic form has produced the data dump. But to put it this way is not to congratulate Wikileaks—at least not without considerable ambivalence. It’s to lament the coming of a certain—shall we say generational?—style of exposé. Wikileaks is the Facebook of whistle blowing.

Clay Shirky, Wikileaks and the Long Haul:
Like a lot of people, I am conflicted about Wikileaks.
Citizens of a functioning democracy must be able to know what the state is saying and doing in our name, to engage in what Pierre Rosanvallon calls “counter-democracy”*, the democracy of citizens distrusting rather than legitimizing the actions of the state. Wikileaks plainly improves those abilities.
On the other hand, human systems can’t stand pure transparency. For negotiation to work, people’s stated positions have to change, but change is seen, almost universally, as weakness. People trying to come to consensus must be able to privately voice opinions they would publicly abjure, and may later abandon. Wikileaks plainly damages those abilities. (If Aaron Bady’s analysis is correct, it is the damage and not the oversight that Wikileaks is designed to create.*)
And so we have a tension between two requirements for democratic statecraft, one that can’t be resolved, but can be brought to an acceptable equilibrium. Indeed, like the virtues of equality vs. liberty, or popular will vs. fundamental rights, it has to be brought into such an equilibrium for democratic statecraft not to be wrecked either by too much secrecy or too much transparency.

Micah Sifry, After Wikileaks: The Promise of Internet Freedom, For Real:
The conflict between Wikileaks and the U.S. Government reminds me of something we've been experiencing for some years now in the private sector of corporate activity and social enterprises. Lots of hierarchical, top-down, closed fortress organizations have been discovering that they need to open up, accept that the internet is dispersing power to the edges and into the hands of free agents, a.k.a. the people who used to be their audience. Think of how internal bloggers like Robert Scoble helped open up and humanize Microsoft's evil empire, or how angry consumer virtual flash-mobs like the one that rallied around Jeff Jarvis's "Dell Sucks" blog post confronted and pried open Dell. Or how netroots bloggers made Howard Dean the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, or how networked "Tea Party" activists generated successful challenges to eight Senate candidates endorsed by the Republican establishment in DC. Smart organizations have embraced these new forces and been improved in the process.

lunedì, dicembre 06, 2010

Un paio di riflessioni critiche su Wikileaks

Due persone di cui ho molta stima hanno scritto di Wikileaks, rilancio qui i loro post. 

Cinque rapidi punti evidenziati da Micah Sifry (qui sotto il punto 4):

People who think that more transparency will lead to the hiding of secrets deeper in the bureaucracy, and that as a result we will know less, not more about the workings of government or the powerful have got their heads screwed on backward. By that logic, we should require less public disclosure of what the government does, not more. Why ask campaign contributors or lobbyists to disclose any of their activities? In fact, when people think what they're doing ~might~ be subject to public view, their behavior generally changes for the better. Thus the overall value of Cablegate--exposing a great deal of the world's sovereign powers to a harsh new level of public scrutiny, and warning them that more such scrutiny is always a possibility in the future--should, on balance, lead to better behavior.

Alberto Cottica prende posizione in un lungo pezzo che vale la pena leggere:
Dico che WikiLeaks è orientata al bene comune perché la sua attività non è rivolta contro gli stati i cui documenti riservati va diffondendo. Al contrario, Julian è convinto di essere loro utile: informando i cittadini su ciò che davvero succede si irrobustisce la democrazia. Mettendo più teste a pensare alle scelte fatte in passato, si rende più probabile fare scelte più sagge in futuro. E dico che mobilita l’intelligenza collettiva. perché non pretende di spacciare “la verità”: cerca piuttosto di fornire materiale grezzo ai giornalisti, ai magistrati, ai cittadini interessati, e in prospettiva agli storici. La verità storica non sta nel singolo documento, ma nell’interpretazione condivisa del totale di questi documenti che emergerà dal dibattito. WikiLeaks si limita a trasferire documenti riservati nel pubblico dominio, e lascia poi all’intelligenza collettiva di cui parlo nel mio libro di ricostruire un quadro della situazione. E se giudica che un documento riservato possa mettere in pericolo vite umane si autocensura e non lo diffonde: è successo in passato per documenti sulla dislocazione delle truppe americane in Afghanistan.