"Slovenia's ambassador to Japan, Helena Drnovek Zorko, writes: 'I signed ACTA out of civic carelessness, because I did not pay enough attention. Quite simply, I did not clearly connect the agreement I had been instructed to sign with the agreement that, according to my own civic conviction, limits and withholds the freedom of engagement on the largest and most significant network in human history, and thus limits particularly the future of our children."
It wasn't immediately clear if she could cover it up by claiming "Carelessness" when the much darker option is that she could have signed it to receive all of the power, then simply lied about the reasons. Yes, perhaps sometimes "stupidity is just stupidity", but I feel we are entering a period of politics in which we must always assume malice. Then when you rule out malice, assume corruption. Then when you rule out corruption, assume greed. Then when you rule out greed, you've spent enough time that by now the malice actually showed up after all.
Then if you rule all that out twice, you get to consider someone stupid, at which point you get sued for slander/libel.
Let's say corruption is "correlated with greed". I would like to point out the class of greed that operates flawlessly legally, like Chinese labor rates and Foxconn (sp?) hiring *100,000* new workers who are *glad* to go there. As legal as it gets - and the offshoring greed is immense. 100,000 workers is something like 1/2000th of the entire working US population. (Your numbers may vary.)
Yes you can rally people both around malice, and against malice. K Street in Washington is rallied around malice. The Internet Blackout Day against SOPA was rallying against malice. The trouble is, the people perpetrating the malice are signing documents like "privacy makes you a terrorist", which doesn't leave a lot of legal ways to respond.
Your next thing about hating and herds is called the Prisoner's Dilemma. The "1%" are all in the same 100 lunch clubs, they have it all orchestrated on their side. The 99% then squabble among themselves, trying to fix it all, but ... well, ... it's harder to both orchestrate by the numbers, and with plenty of disadvantages to boot. Occupy Wall Street was laughed off by the media but it was one of the Protests of the Year, followed by (yes, mild) Internet Blackout Day. The fundmental problem is how to "beat the Prisoner's Dilemma so that we gain force in unity."
As for "construed as evil", corruption is the social version of "division by zero". An amusing thought experiment would be to point a gun at a mathematician's head and give him a flawed proof of something absurd. It contains a Division by Zero. Of course he will protest. "Do it." "But it's illegal!" (Gun Goes Click.) "Okay!" "Now sign the proof."
Once you cross the line it becomes Alice in Wonderland, at which point it doesn't make sense to bother caring anymore. Life becomes a Canary Test. "Today I was not abused by either the Govt or a Corp."
When I said "class of greed that operates flawlessly legally", I was talking about about the Executives of corporations clearly demonstrating greed by using loopholes etc, such that they didn't cross the legal line, but are acting maliciously against better humanistic interests. I'm the first to admit Americans have a fine standard of living, and the "outsource countries" are in conditions we wouldn't tolerate.
I drew a distinction between corruption that blatantly (seems to) defy the law, vs immoral actions that are technically in the letter of the law. If the corp found a loophole, they're safe until someone fixes the bad law, vs (seemingly) clearly breaking the law, and then the "influenced" judge magically just throws out the lawsuit/finds for the 'wrong side' with a Nelson HaHa like the IP proceedings of Texas.
"Professional means of influence" - that's the slippery part right there. Generally speaking, that influence consists of "I'll give you money, you write me a law, my boss pays me my cut of the profits he makes with the new law." That's the entrenched Good Ol' Boy network that's going to be hard to unravel.
The Prisoner's Dilemma is about a "short term" "narrowly rational" decision based on not trusting the other people to have enough synergy to push through the best solution for all. It's clearly about the lack of communication aspect, and I like your part about binding leadership. In the classic 4-square dilemma, both players end up in the "mildly crappy" scenario because they expect the other person to make an equally individualistic choice, when the best result "on the game board" is both players win and neither loses.
In the voting world, for once we managed to show that kind of unity to slow down SOPA, and the Euro countries woke up and are slowing down ACTA. Not perfect, but for once we made a start. For me, that's the true purpose of Social Media, it's the only cross-location communication method that lets the masses have the same amount of orchestration as the Washington crowd.
I have dreamed of a project of a site/system that takes every piece of legislation line by line with a social Like and DoNotWant, with comments, and maybe MetaMods, etc. Then that "minivote" becomes *applied to political action*. "Because the following Reps/Senators approved/voted down this bill, my opinion is to Like or DoNotWant that politician by X amount, and after some threshold, that means I will not vote for you next term." Voters would take the summary data to the polls with them, "remember you hate this guy because he did this and this and this."
So if a politician is willing to risk his job for x votes, "have at it, but you know what's coming".
As for the Canary thing, I can't recall exactly where I heard of the idea, maybe Bruce Schneier, but here's a close analogue. From this site about another topic, http://blog.urbaninsight.com/comment/1506 [urbaninsight.com]
"Binary Canary is a web service that continually checks to see if a website is online and sends out alerts when it's not."
That was my point - It's a service that requires routine successes to stay silent, such as refreshing a page, and then when the action is not performed, (presumably because the operator is in custody) the Canary server sends out an alert. Yes, of course it's prone to Operator Forgetting, but for the highest levels of danger, the operator wouldn't forget, so when the Canary 'dies', people know that $hit Just Got Real.
This incident made a lot of people on the message boards bitter, because "not all mistakes are created equal". We're bitter because 40-60% of the Slashdot Nerd News site knows more of the content of one of the nastiest treaties ever, than ... wait for it ... an Ambassador.
Sorry, that's just terr... er ... scary.