Wednesday, 1 August 2018


This thoughtful essay from economist Susan Crawford on the inherently paradoxical nature of good governance—how the most vital and integral public services are the most vulnerable to being dismantled by oligarchs by dint of their invisibility—initially reminded us of a parallel phenomena that we encountered a few weeks ago that spoke to how we perceive laisse-faire attitudes and confidence in market-corrections: a search void.

The result of unequal passion for forwarding a particular agenda or product over a scientifically sound and accepted truth that needs no advocacy, search engines answer enquiries with a paucity of authoritative answers in favour of amplifying and propagating rumour and falsehoods—not because of some malfeasance in programming or bias to serve up what sells (though spamdexing does happen and that is a real problem too), but because there is a concerted effort boost the worldview of a particular party. It’s not a majority perspective but can appear so. In the same way those sturdy and staid institutions of government, the museums, schools, hospitals and regulatory bodies, get far less attention and fewer champions (seemingly) than those who would call for their privatization or outright obliteration. Here’s hoping that we won’t have to loose these protections to realise what we have and what’s at stake.