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Dec 3, 2010

WikiLeaks — time for a register

What is required now is a sign up registry for the two complete logs (with Cablegate still to come), by which media outlets, journo schools and individual groups could sign up to cover manageable chunks of the material, and then link back whatever work they get out of it, to the register.

The first four stories on the UK news tonight were all either created by, or transformed by, the WikiLeaks Cablegate releases.

The governor of the Bank of England has been revealed as no benign public servant, but a player, trying to push the incoming government towards a harsher, more purely Thatcherite economic policy, and worried that they lacked the guts to do it; the Sri Lankan President was greeted with a huge demonstration supercharged with revelations of government involvement in massacres of Tamils; the “special relationship” is being battered by revelations of non-reciprocity on extradition, spy flyovers and the like; and even the separate news of Russia’s winning the 2018 World Cup was set in the context of its utter corruption — something that many people now felt they knew as much about as the elite, dictating the policy we should take towards them.

How long this will go on no-one knows. But while it does, power relations are being subtly transformed in ways that may have effects for some time to come. Once WikiLeaks manage to secure service, and eventually place the Cablegate logs online, there will be three huge volumes — the Iraq logs, the Afghan logs and Cablegate — which effectively constitute an alternative history of the present.

But simultaneous to that begins the third level, which is the gradual and systematic interpretation and synthesis of it. WL has done some of this already, data-mining for comprehensive body counts etc, and groups all over the world are taking separate chunks of it, but what is required now is a sign up registry for the two complete logs (with Cablegate still to come), by which media outlets, journo schools and individual groups could sign up to cover manageable chunks of the material, and then link back whatever work they get out of it, to the register.

The register — which could have multiple indices, so that for example the Afghan log register could be sorted alphabetically, by zone, by event type, etc, as the log itself is — would not be prescriptive or exclusive. Multiple people could sign up for the same patch if they wanted, but the effect would be for people to sign up for blank spots and fill it out.

From that register, a second level interpretation and synthesis would come, of thousands of reports in different forms — and they would in term form the platform for a third level whereby meta-analyses and studies could be done. These would include cross-referencing between the different logs, to build up a larger picture.

Quite possibly, I’ll now be told there is such a thing, and pointed to it.

If there is, it’s not clearly visible. And if it were done, not everyone would wish to openly be a part of it. But it strikes me that it’s the essential corollary to creating a countervailing informational power, which is WikiLeaks aim. Effectively a multiply-sourced, alter-interpretation would start to reframe reality in ways that “critique” itself is not able to do.

The abysmal nature of mirrors troubles us. All will be Tlon.

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40 comments

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40 thoughts on “WikiLeaks — time for a register

  1. puddleduck

    God bless Iceland.

  2. shepherdmarilyn

    Ecuador has offered him sanctuary to spit in the US eye. I think Australia’s reportage has been beyone woeful, they are only interested in helping the government destroy Assange.

    Just like they have with Hicks, Habib, Jack Thomas and other poor sods.

  3. klewso

    I find it odd that conventional “specialist” journalists, working in these fields with their connections and “ears” didn’t know anything of what these revelations have exposed – or if they knew, they weren’t telling (as if any such “data” was “Need to Know” as opposed to anyone else’s “right to know” what the powers that be actually get up to ,while being so well paid, for what the actually do?)?
    Maybe that’s what’s so far up so many collective noses?

  4. Venise Alstergren

    By the time Senator Conroy has imposed his internet filter no Australian will be able to access this sort of information. Which hits that idea over the head in Oz. Of course, if we Australians allow him to get away with it, in the name of protecting Oz kiddie widdies from porn, then we will have lain on a wooden cross and asked the executioner to crucify us.

  5. Rena Zurawel

    KLEWSO
    Didn’t you know that our ‘investigative’ journalists write with a prompter?.

    Out of many articles written about anything, there is one I would never forget (nor forgive):
    I think it was in Sunday Mail, about dr. Haneef trying to blow up a highrise in Gold Coast. I am not sure whether that was supposed to be a Q1, but there was a photo of dr. Haneef looking at a highrise as a proof of his intention.

    On another occasion, a young journo told me that she loved South America so much that she was studying Spanish language because she wanted to work in Brazil.
    Ever since I lost all my faith in journalism.

  6. jungarrayi

    Talk about a classic “shoot the messenger” scenario.

    The noises coming out of the “authorities” really are a case of “thow doth protest too much”.
    It’s a bit like talking about “people smugglers” instead of refugees.
    The evil “leaker” rather than the material being leaked.

    As for Guy Rundle’s suggestion, brilliant!
    A bit like such as the International Year of Geophysics or the Genome Project.

  7. John Boyd

    I say again, can’t we get away from the moronic use of the suffix ‘-gate’ to indicate some sort of wrong doing?

  8. AussieBonzaMate

    Maybe contact WikiLeaks as this was tweeted 29/11/2010.

    wikileaks: Tomorrow we will provide information on how other media groups can apply to for embargo access to #cablegate info.

    URL: http://twitter.com/wikileaks/statuses/9003850094608384

  9. JakeS

    There’s the beginning of something here: http://cablesearch.org/

    The problem I see is that as the attacks on the wikileaks website continue it will have to fragment across the net in order to survive. That open the possibility of falsified cables. In fact I dont know why the US didnt go down this route – make multiple copies of wikileaks with different content and then just claim that its all a big crock.

    In the meantime its nice to see the f**kers squirm

  10. nicolino

    Apropos the Governor of the Bank of England’s “let them eat cake” statement. That’s a bit rich coming from a banker when it was those sods who started all this.

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