New Zealand Time – September 27, 4:11pm
Not quite … but a captivating title, no?
Back to the topic at hand, which is detailed by the BBC article NZ police let public write laws. For the uninformed, a wiki is best defined as website that is a collaborative effort of many. The most popular ‘wiki’ out there is certainly Wikipedia. The link actually heads to a Wikipedia article about … ‘wiki’. Hopefully by doing so I’ve not created some sort of paradoxical-internet-black-hole. To quote the BBC article:
The “wiki” will allow the public to suggest the wording of a new police act, as part of a government review of the current law, written in 1958.
Police say they hope to gain a range of views from the public on the new law before presenting it to parliament.
Now, anyone with internet access can modify this police act. My instinctive thought upon hearing of this, was that like a bursting dam people from around the world would crash upon the wikiACT (as I shall refer to it henceforth) and abuse it for comedic and otherwise inappropriate purposes. Not an unreasonable frame of mind. The counter-argument is that be allowing anyone to freely edit something online and thus freely abuse this ability, people will also freely police such websites. Another reasonable idea. Wikipedia, for instance, functions fairly well based on this principle. Abuse is present, but people who devote their time and effort to the notion of a free, dynamic encyclopedia do their best to keep the abuse in check. While I won’t start debating whether Wikipedia is a true encyclopedia or not, it is in the very least a great, free online resource.
This Act shall be known as the New Zealand Police Act of 2008.
This Act shall be known as the Robots in Disguise Act of 2008.
This Act shall be known as the New Zealand Kill Whitey Act of 2008.
This Act shall be known as the New Sealand Police Act of 2008
…the commencement section of the act has stated…
For within these wikis was bound the strength and the will to govern each nation.
But they were, all of them, deceived; for another wiki was made. In the land of New Zealand, in the fires of Mount Doom, the Dark Lord Helen Clark forged, in secret, a master wiki.
And into this wiki she poured her cruelty, her malice and her will to dominate all life.
One wiki to rule them all.
One by one, the free lands of earth fell to the power of the internet.
This Act shall come into force on the day after the date on which it receives Royal assent.
This Act shall come into force on the day after the date on which it receives a nice romantic meal, followed by a long walk down the beach at dusk.
…and the section on bounty hunting has informed me with the following…
If police did their job of catching criminals instead of people who slipped 10kph over the speed limit then a modern society would not need Bounty Hunters.
…and now to a more legitimate ongoing discussion about the merits of bounty hunting.
The ‘abuses’ come and go (some of which were quite humourous), and at the end of the day it is interesting to see such a concept being implemented for a fairly serious use. While bottlenecked perhaps by an individuals ability to connect to the internet and properly use their computer, a project such as this is giving people fairly immediate and direct input that normally isn’t available ( or easily available ) to them. As long as they don’t just print off and staple together the wikiACT of course.
On that note my personal favourite is either the Lord of the Rings version of the commencement, or the dinner-and-walk-on-the-beach commencement.