Building A Better Anonymous: Separating The Philosophical From The Practical
So, here’s my thing…
Ok, so here’s my thing.. This notion of building a “better” anonymous is right up front, doomed to failure. As notions go it is a very altruistic one that I think Brian and Josh have thought about quite a bit, but, like many who get wrapped up in the grey areas of philosophy and semantics, they too got lost in the woods and could not see the forest for the trees in the end. Evidently Source Boston had them keynote the show with their talk on making a better, more accountable, and false flag “mostly” free Anonymous that stems from their series of “Building a Better Anonymous“, a series that I actually helped with a bit in the background
(shhh don’t tell anyone.. oops)
The case that they make is an interesting one but from my point of view fails to deal with the concept of human nature that will inevitably be the downfall of any such association, group, collective, or whatever else you would like to call it. Human nature, (i.e. the problem between the chair and the keyboard) will always win out because, you guessed it, we are “human” and we have foibles, wants, desires, and of course and ego. These things all make us do things that are counter to the best laid plans of mice and men (aka a charter of standards and behaviors) and will, in the end, cause some to draw outside the lines of acceptable practice.
This means bad actions from bad actors within the fold.. Or, as in the case of the flawed idea of “Anonymous” as an action, will allow for bad actors to take up the nome de plume of “Anonymous” and do things counter to their ideals but still leave the stench and onus on them as the Judas goat. Boiling it down to a simplistic statement for me kinda encapsulates the whole issue of “Anonymous” which means “unknown” by and of its premise, cannot at any time ever, be considered a movement/group/collective etc that will never be used as the scapegoat for bad actors. Nor will it ever mean that bad actors will never get into the fold and destroy things (like a reputation) from within.
And here’s the statement: “One cannot be Anonymous and expect to change the system for the better. If you have a problem with the system (see above poster) then you must be a known quantity”
Josh and Brian speak of charters and standards of action, but there can never truly be accountability as long as those who claim to be advocating those standards hide behind anonymity. When you are anonymous, you lack accountability and thus, the ego and other human natures allow you to do whatever you like. Speaking of human nature, let me direct you to some movie references that they make and where the human nature portion has been stripped from the argument.
The hitman/cleaner in “Léon: The Professional” had a rule; “No women. No kids.” (Leon follows this so good on them)
In Fight Club: “The 1st rule of Fight Club is, do not talk about Fight Club”. (Fight club spreads because people cannot shut up)
In The Transporter, “Rule #3: Never open the package.” (You guessed it.. HE OPENED THE PACKAGE!)
So, out of three examples there, one was ok. But you are seeing my drift there are you not? Human nature will be the downfall of all the grand plans and schemes we have. It’s our nature to do things in our own self interest more than follow guides or charters. If that were not the case, we would not have crime and prisons right? This is an all too convoluted space to be working in and assume that by laying down some “law” (charter) that everyone will follow it AND that the inevitable others who do not, will not affect the whole by their actions. Add to this the notion of something like Anonymous, who’s actions claim to be anything from lulz to moral actions, and you have a great swath of FAIL that will happen.
It’s all well and good to quote Hobbes, but perhaps you might want to read Plato instead?
In the end, I think it better that the use of “Philosophical Realism” be applied to this problem rather than the altruistic beliefs that have been espoused by Josh and Brian. I would also hasten to add that the cognitive dissonance, to use the turn of phrase used, of trying to contain or direct “Chaos” is just not plausible from any realistic standpoint and thus moot in my opinion. If you like a movie/book reference, lets go to one of my favorites “Jurassic Park”
Dr. Ian Malcolm: If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, expands to new territories, and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, ah, well, there it is.
What Ian is saying is very appropriate to this argument being made by the authors of “Building A Better Anonymous” In my case though, I would change life to “human nature” but, you get the point don’t you? Life is chaos and human nature is also a form of that as well. We are unpredictable animals and our actions, like those with Anonymous, are really quite unpredictable and not very controllable. Just look at what has happened since Anonymous came out, we had Lulzsec, Antisec, and now a host of others taking the model that Anonymous put out there unfinished, and have been wreaking havoc.. In the name of what really? Because they can?
No, this is a failure to launch in my opinion and Anonymous’ cat is out of the bag. The genie is out of the bottle and you cannot put it back in with a charter as the cork.