& 7 Other Sites to Shut Down

‘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 noise.
All power is temporary.

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

“ & 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 ( /datagov_finally_launches_looks_nice_but_short_on_d.php) , most notably ( , 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 ( technopocalypse-deepens-transparency-sites-will-go-dark-in-a-few-months/) and Federal News Radio ( reported that the public projects,,, IT Dashboard and as well as a number of internal government sites including, 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 ( is one perspective on that and you can also see the Sunlight Foundation’s Save the Data ( petition. & 7 Other Sites to Shut Down After Budgets Cut… ”

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, Descartes, 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 important 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, stop leaving the lights on in Bradley Manning’s cell and give him a good nights sleep

then go look for the bees

they are leaving