With Stars Upon Thars : SIOS and Infocap Flow [MT113]
Ben Franklin Centre for Theoretical Research
PO Box 27, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia.
When the Star-Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts,
Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,
They never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches
They left them out cold, in the dark of the beaches.
In his book The Sneetches and other stories, Dr Seuss tells a nice little story about some
interesting creatures called the Sneetches
There were, in effect, two different races of the Sneetches. The Star-Belly Sneetches
looked identical to the Plain-Belly Sneetches except that they had bellies with stars; the others
had 'none upon thars'.
Of course, with a purely trivial difference like this, there should have been no difference
in treatment of the two. But, as is the way of the world, there was. There was Discrimination!
The star-belly sneetches were very stuck-up, refusing to talk to their plain-belly relatives, the
star-belly children wouldn't allow plain-belly ones to play in their ball games, and of course
the plain-bellies missed out on all the social events too.
That was, until along came Sylvester McMonkey McBean and his wonderful machine for
fixing stars upon bellies at three dollars each. The original star-bellies were, of course, soon
aghast at no longer being able to tell the elite apart from the rabble.
But never fear, McBean came up with a second machine for removing stars from bellies
-- at ten dollars each this time. Through the machine went the star-belly sneetches, then the
plains, then a frantic rush through star-on and star-off machines until . . .
. .when every last cent of their money was spent
The Fix-it-Up Chappie packed up and he went
And he laughed as he drove in his car up the beach
"They never will learn, no, you can't teach a Sneetch!"
As with many Dr Seuss stories, this one has a message. People have a natural tendency
to look for features which distinguish 'their' group from the others, to look for some characteristic of skin, height, hair, clothes, speech, or behaviour which will signal "he is one
of us" or "she doesn't belong". And all efforts to hide or eliminate such differences tend to
become negated -- the group then just looks for some other distinguishing mark. Only those
who trade on the equalizing mechanism get rich.
Us and Them
We looked at this sort of thing elsewhere, in MT104. There it was suggested that all
systons naturally develop the ability to distinguish their own members from out-syston
entities, this mechanism forming part of the immune system and 'skin' of the syston. That the
operation of this skin or boundary function is an essential part of successful syston functioning
(Proposition 104A). That this skin/immune system can reject more than is desirable for the
ultimate good of the syston, a syndrome assigned the name SIOS (Proposition 104C). And
finally, in an attempt to set a possible criterion for determining when the immune reaction
moves over from beneficial to harmful, the suggestion that this point is reached when a syston
rejects more than the minimum needed to hold the syston together as a functioning entity
Now we are at a point where we can look more closely at the nature of the syston skin, and
attempt to work out whether actual present-day examples of this skin's filtering action are
likely to be to the syston's ultimate benefit or harm. We can also look at various syston
operations to decide whether they are immune functions or not.
There is an assessment which will become immediately apparent to the reader. The present
MT analysis will inevitably conclude that most systons operate immune reaction levels far
above the most beneficial, they are working well into the red on the SIOS gauge. This is
particularly true if Proposition 104D is accepted.
Moreover, many of these immune reactions are not even recognized as such, or if they are,
what MT would regard as excessively high levels are taken as natural and for the common
good. Even when high SIOS levels are recognized, which means that there is recognition of
overt discrimination occurring, actual application of laws and regulations by governments is
often most convoluted and backhanded, with the effect of pretending discrimination does not
exist where it is rampant.
And more common still is unrecognized discrimination, favouring systels and systons
closer to your own without any clear realization that this is occurring. People who pride
themselves on their lack of bias and prejudice -- and who may be publicly recognized and
applauded for their stance -- can still be subject to this.
The general perception of bias and prejudice in human interactions is that it is Bad. MT
looks on and analyses, views the whole picture from without, and makes comment but no
Look for the Birthmark
Beginning in the late 1960s, the Government of Western Australia ran an advertising
campaign on television and elsewhere, urging people to "Look for the Birthmark".
The 'Birthmark' was a trademarked logo in the shape of a stylized outline of Western Australia. Producers of goods within the State were encouraged to print the logo on their
products, 'foreign' manufacturers from outside the State were not allowed to do this.
What was the basic rationale behind this campaign? There can be little doubt that the WA
government of the day was working on the unstated but fundamental assumption that it was
Better for the State if more of the goods consumed here were produced within the State's
borders rather than outside them. This viewpoint would be widely regarded as self-evident.
A Matter of Chance
Mention has already been made in MT111 of the challenge of a Japanese company
to the WA Government over the percentage foreign ownership permitted for the Burswood
Island Casino in Perth. This casino was established under a specific Act of the WA Parliament,
and this Act laid down a maximum percentage of foreign ownership which was permitted.
As the years wore on, changes in share ownership occurred which, it appeared, led to the
maximum foreign ownership level being exceeded -- there was, after all, no mechanism for
checking percentage 'foreign' ownership of new buyers. Not much was done about this, in
effect it was left to the relevant government minister to do something about it, if thought wise.
The linear view of this matter might well be that the Minister was culpable in allowing
breaches of the law to occur, if in fact they had.
The MT view of this matter would be quite different. In this particular instance, the MT
deduction would probably be that it was undesirable that action in the matter should be left in
the hands of an individual, the Minister concerned. Instead, it would be better for the WA syston
if the matter was divorced from individual control, if it was subject to 'arms-lengthing',
in the phraseology which used in MT120.
But at a far higher level than this parochial incident, there is a basic general principle to
be formulated. The 'Look for the Birthmark' campaign had as a basic assumption the view
that it would be better for the State if more of its trade was within the local syston rather than
circulating among wider systons, that is other Australian States and other countries both. The
casino legislation had as its basic assumption the view that it was better for the State if 'foreign'
ownership of certain operations was limited, or at least 'controlled'.
There is nothing in the Matrix Thinking approach which gives any support to these basic
assumptions. Instead, the reverse is true. We can formulate the MT derivation in a basic
Proposition 113A*****. A syston will be ultimately disadvantaged if there is
discrimination between the different systels operating within it
This is one of the most important Propositions in this whole suite of articles. If accepted as valid, its
implications ricochet throughout the whole of Society, throughout all the human-occupied
Matrix. So it deserves some comment and discussion here.
First, 'discrimination' is used here in its normal meaning, that of different treatment of
persons involved in some undertaking for reasons unconnected with their roles in that
Second, the Proposition does not say that some people will be disadvantaged if others are
given an unfair advantage. This latter view may well be true, it is a normal linear expression
of "A fair go for everyone", or "Equality within the Law" and such. But it is not what the
Instead, this Proposition suggests it is disadvantageous for the Society which contains them
if there is discrimination among people. It is a view which may find ready acceptance, as it
is close to current views that discrimination is morally bad, but that is not quite the same.
Third, note the use of the word 'ultimately'. It will often be the case that some action taken
by a syston will be disadvantageous in the short term, but beneficial in the long. Examples are
in the reunification of the two parts of Germany, and in the splitting up of the Soviet Union.
It would be my guess that both these, diametrically opposed, actions will be to the eventual
benefit of those involved, but the short-term pains are very obvious.
Of course I have a bit of a let-out in this assertion, in that if things don't in fact improve,
I could just say the time involved wasn't ultimate enough. So I will box myself in a bit, and
say that in this context, 'ultimate' means not longer than the average half-life of that sort of
syston (MT105) or not longer than half the syston cycle time (MT118).
Fourth, the proposition does not distinguish between positive and negative discrimination,
it suggests that all forms -- for example giving special rights to some Australians solely
because they have a proportion of aboriginal ancestry -- are disadvantageous to the syston.
Once again, even people who consider themselves unprejudiced and non-discriminatory
are still likely to have difficulty in accepting instances of affirmative action as being
undesirable. This Proposition -- and in spite of its power and capacity for aiding decision-making,
it is still at this point only a proposition -- is one with very major implications.
Certainly the implications bear thinking about. On the local scene, these implications
would include that discriminating against foreign companies, or officially encouraging local
purchasing, is actually to the disadvantage of the State.
Time now for me to retreat behind the barriers, perhaps?
When the Lines are Down
We have looked, then, at efforts which syston governments have exerted to influence
movements within and through their boundaries. Let us now look at the nature of some of these
movements, starting off with the movement of what I have suggested is the basic substance
of Society -- Infocap.
'Freedom of Information' is generally recognized as a vital component of a well-functioning
society, and all the various forms of information and communication are certainly
central to modern life. It is interesting to look at the various official and unofficial barriers to
infocap flow which have arisen in the past and the present.
At the start of MT111 there was a little parody of the FIRB, which was meant to bring
out the folly of attempting to restrict the flow of ideas between systons. The flow of ideas is
a very interesting topic on which analysis has already begun (see, for example, Henson
[Reference 8]). In this analysis, individual ideas are treated as similar to genes, and called 'memes'.
The study of their propagation and flow is called 'memetics', and the analysis used is based on existing principles of epidemiology, the study of the propagation of diseases through a
Another approach with potential for expansion is that used in Christopher Alexander's A
Pattern Language [Reference 2]. In this book, which is intended to provide a working structural
apparatus for the design of buildings, towns, and all levels of human settlement, individual
concepts are represented as 'words' of a 'pattern language' which is the design apparatus itself.
Each word is a stripped-down concept, and the 'grammar' of the language defines the
relationship between the concepts. For example, one concept is called 'Neighborhood
Boundary', and the book notes that "if the boundary is too weak, the neighborhood will not
be able to maintain its own identifiable character".
In the discussion of this particular language element, the book notes that "the cell wall of
an organic cell ... is not a surface which divides inside from outside, but a coherent entity in
its own right, which preserves the functional integrity of the cell and also provides for a
multitude of transactions between the cell interior and the ambient fluids". The parallel
between this treatment and my own representation of 'syston skins' will be obvious.
In both communist and totalitarian states, repeated attempts have been made to restrict the
flow of infocap in the past -- jamming radio broadcasts, banning publications and magazines
from abroad, censoring or prohibiting publications within the country, and so on. This is
generally regarded as Bad.
Nevertheless, similar instances of infocap restriction occur within systons which regard
themselves as democracies -- censorship on the grounds of 'public decency', withholding of
news 'for security reasons' in times of war, cabinet minutes and correspondance kept secret
'in the public interest', and so on.
From the MT viewpoint, unrestricted flow of infocap would be regarded as basic to the
well-being of systons, since synenergy or infocap flow is the basic force which 'quickens' an
otherwise crystallized-out or latent syston. This brings us to another fundamental Proposition:
Proposition 113B****. Any artificial restriction on the flow of infocap through its
boundaries will be disadvantageous to a syston
And a further similar but distinct one:
Proposition 113C****. Any artificial restriction on the flow of infocap between its
systels will be disadvantageous to a syston
Obviously these Propositions are very broad, with major implications. A look at
MT116, on syston government, does bring out some limitations on this broadness.
In both these Propositions, 'artificial' means imposed through some law or regulation, or their
Nevertheless, the broad thrust of both these Propositions may be generally accepted, albeit
with some reservations. In the current ethos, it is not right to keep people ignorant of what is
going on, without very cogent reasons.
In the MT approach, infocap is a generalized term for many different categories of a
substance which we are regarding as describable by generalized rules. One of these categories
of infocap is money or capital.
The meaning of 'money' can be considered in more detail elsewhere, but here it is used in the generally accepted sense. If we then apply Proposition
113B to the case of transferring capital from Australia to overseas, or that of foreign owners
buying Australian assets, the fall-out between current practice and MT derivation will be very
As regards 'taking money abroad', this is an area which many governments have tried to
restrict quite closely in the past, both in the area of money value and that of actual currency
notes. Presumably they have done this in the belief that it was for the good of their country.
Even today, Australia imposes limitations on the amounts which a traveller can take out the
country in Australian banknotes, and most other countries have similar rules. The United
States is perhaps the most prominent exception.
So MT would regard restrictions on the movement of paper money as relatively pointless
for all concerned. However, recent developments in communications and computers have
made the whole thing more or less irrelevant.
In the Kruger National Park
A few years ago I spent some days in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. There,
the animals exist in an open system, it is the people who are confined within their vehicles, or
within the few strongly fenced camps which have been carved out within the wilderness.
One evening, after a day in which we had seen hippos cavorting in the river, wild dogs and
jackals trotting through the undergrowth, hyenas and vultures feasting on the residue of a lion
kill, and baboons fooling around on top of our vehicle, we approached one of these isolated
camps, miles away from civilization. There was adequate accommodation, in the form of
circular thatched-roof huts called rondavels. And between two of these huts stood an
automatic teller machine.
I tried a credit card with it, without success -- it acknowledged me, but didn't recognize
my account. Of course, South Africa is one of those countries with quite strong restrictions
on movement of funds. But it must have worked with some cards, else there wouldn't have
been any point in having the machine there -- and I did see others getting money from it.
Put It on My Card
There is no doubt that the advent of international credit cards has changed the face of
modern commerce. Send a fax to Washington, phone up a firm in London, and say "Put it on
my card". Cross one international boundary after another, move out to the wood-carvers'
village, don't bother about the local currencies, just hold out your card.
Behind this ease of use of money, of infocap, lies a vast, complicated and intertwined network of communication channels and computers, working, checking, verifying, dipping
into the records of this account here, that account ten thousand miles away. It works 24 hours
a day without rest, and is distributed around the globe, perhaps the closest approach to date to
a true artificial syston. Who owns it? That's a hard question. Perhaps it owns itself.
Hard on the heels of this money-based global polyp comes another one, with tissues of
optical-fibre cable, rather than copper wire. Here is a creature which will dispense infocap
dollups more highly valued than money -- entertainment, instruction, information. Will there
still be a sales tax on video tapes, when you can just download a film from Argentina to suit
your Spanish guest? Will you be one of the thousands tapping into the video camera on the
remote Pacific island, watching the rollers break, hour after hour?
Take a Theoretical Look
Perhaps at this point we might divert for a moment to look at another aspect of inter-syston
infocap flow. That aspect is one which can go toward the assembly of MT theory.
It seems to me that all the conscious efforts of governments to restrict the flow of infocap
into and out of their syston are largely ineffective. In practice, if there is a natural disaster
somewhere, or if a government project crashes, news always leaks out in the end. If there are
restrictions on taking money abroad, there are always ways round these restrictions which
people find and use. Usually, the only effect of such restrictions is to slow the flow down
We have seen that in recent years, the flow of money through syston boundaries has been
greatly eased by the development of international credit cards. In a similar way, the flow of
news and other information has been hugely facilitated by the introduction of fax machines
and the Internet -- not only written matter, but photos too speed around the world, to appear
in your newspaper within hours. The whole situation has changed, not in degree but in kind,
with the quantum leaps in telecommunication facilities based on communications satellites
and optical cables.
Applying a little MT analysis, it is as if an 'infocap pressure head' builds up behind the
synenergy barriers, and these barriers are inevitably somewhat permeable, so that eventually
most of the infocap leaks through.
Proposition 113D**. Syston boundaries are always somewhat permeable to infocap
Another Can of Worms
All right, we have looked at infocap flow between and within systons. Now to open another
can of worms altogether, and look at the flow of systels within and between systons. We are
talking about restrictions on internal travel and settlement, and about migration.
First, internal movement restrictions. In the western world, such restrictions are generally
viewed as quite unacceptable, a mark of a totalitarian or communist regime. And there are
relatively few instances to point to in the west -- Australia, for example, does not permit its
citizens to settle in its Norfolk Island territory without permission. And the practice of requiring overseas-trained doctors to take up work in remote and unpopular parts of the
country has virtually ceased, although the willingness to do so could still figure in approval
of a migration application.
Obviously the position was very different in other parts of the world, such as in the former
Soviet Union. Not only were major parts of the country closed off, but permits were required
to move to the city or to work there. In the West, these restrictions would definitely be thought
of as Bad.
Let My People Go . . .
What about restrictions on people leaving the country, whether for a trip or to emigrate
permanently? Again, in the West such restrictions would be viewed as bad. They would be
regarded as particularly outrageous if applied in the form of Exit Visas for foreign citizens to
leave a country, as in the case of Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War. Holding foreigners charged
with crimes within a country would, however, be regarded as acceptable -- provided that they
were not treated any worse than a local citizen accused of the same crime would be.
How about allowing your own citizens to leave? Again, this was an area where the old
Soviet Union was regarded as behaving badly. Large numbers of potential emigrants, the so-called
'Refuseniks', built up in the USSR even though they had an assured place to migrate
to. And often unreasonable restrictions were imposed -- "Repay the cost of your education,
which the State provided", for example.
In the Philippines, a country striving towards democracy but still well behind other places,
there was class-based discrimination in migration. Poorer citizens were permitted, even
encouraged, to go abroad and work in menial jobs in other countries, such as in the Persian Gulf
states. They sent foreign currency back home, and few of these 'guest workers' could obtain
citizenship in the countries where they worked, however long they stayed there.
Of course rich Filipinos could go where they liked, greasing palms if necessary. With their
fixed assets at home, they were unlikely to want to emigrate anyway. But the middle class,
younger engineers and academics who were viewed as economic assets to the country, often
had great difficulty if they wished to emigrate.
To qualify for its 'Most Favoured Nation' status, a status which allows a country to export
goods into the United States under favourable terms, the USA has a formal requirement that
the country involved allows its citizens to leave if they wish to. This applies, for example, to
China -- China had to officially accept this condition to retain MFN status.
Here is an instance where MT analysis would correspond to current sentiments. Stopping
your people from leaving the country would be a restriction which would be hard to justify,
and one unlikely to serve the country well.
Proposition 113E***. Artificial restrictions on the movement of systels out of a syston
will not advantage the syston itself
Let My People Go . . . (Again)
Proposition 113E may be acceptable as reasonable, if not especially important. But what about when we do the usual MT generalization, applying it to all systels?
In particular, what about the case of areas of a country which wish to secede, either to set
up as an independent country or to join another one? The State of Western Australia, for
My own view is that it is very important that a secession of this type be clearly available
for use by any section of a syston under reasonable conditions of numbers, referendum and
timing, so that, for example, a sub-syston could not be prevented from seceding if, say, 67%
of the population of 100,000 or above wished this and maintained the wish for 3 years --
secession would automatically occur.
Not only would this be in accord with ideas of fairness and equity, it would also force the
main syston government to give proper regard to areas within its boundaries, if it did not wish
them to Vote with Their Feet.
Of course this MT 'Principle of Guaranteed Secession Right' is already accepted for most
systels -- you can resign from a club or the board of a business company as you wish, provided you comply
with standard 'exit conditions' or contract arrangements. This Principle will be a vital factor
in the MT design tools applied to such things as political systems.
Who Let Him In?
Now to the most controversial aspect of all: immigration controls. This is the aspect of
syston management and SIOS expression which arouses the most feeling of all among the
general populace. It is certainly not an area where, at least today, any major consensus could
be hoped for.
Strangely enough, the actual data and conclusions accumulated on this matter are not
generally challenged. Study after study has shown that the longer-term effects of massive
immigration into a country are clearly beneficial. Trade and cultural activities all expand, diet
becomes more varied, local language and business skills gained with the new migrants are all
That's just some of the first-order improvements. Other studies have shown that once they
become well established, migrants also markedly increase exports, as they inevitably seek to
maintain links and trade with the places and people they left behind. They quite naturally seek
to see their former compatriots gain from aspects of trading or services which they have
mastered in their new country, and which they see as useful for their old.
Of course this is entirely what MT would expect. Immigration brings in huge amounts of
synenergy, what might be regarded as 'live' infocap rather than the 'dead' form involved in,
say, injecting a lump of money.
A recent article in a South African citrus journal pointed out the great changes which have
occurred in fruit marketing in Britain over the last thirty years. The changes during this time
were ascribed to the "tremendous immigration to (Britain) from all over the world, and that
the British have gone abroad on holidays in enormous numbers for the first time in their
Of course, tourism is very often the precursor to migration. Travel to different places
around the world, and inevitably you will come across places which make you think "I would like to live here : if I could afford it/ when I retire/ if my mum could come too/ if they would
let me stay/ ...".
And sometimes the urge to live elsewhere is actually a very noble, helpful one : "The lives
of these people would be so much improved if only I could put in a decent water supply/ when
my kids are older, it would be great to spend a couple of years here and fix up all their dreadful
teeth/ if only they installed the simple computer system I developed, they could save half their
costs and avoid so much misery".
In MT terms, tourism represents the same sort of valuable synenergy flow as does
migration. The bringing-together of different forms of infocap allows them to breed, to give
a result superior to the simple sum of the components. Like making a great thick soup, mixing
the bits together gives a result nicer than any of the individual foods, and yet the result is not
homogeneous, diversity is actually enhanced rather than diminished.
If migration is so good, why are there so many restrictions on it? Why can't anyone just
move to where they wish and live there?
There are many answers to this question. The MT analysis answer would be that these
restrictions are a normal expression of SIOS, the excessive fear and dislike of systels who are
different. And there is also the point that such restrictions continue to exist, because they can
actually be enforced to some degree or other.
The point was made right back in Propositions 103C and 103D that what we might call the
'systonization of society' has accelerated enormously in recent history. Two hundred years
ago, if you wanted to live on a different part of the globe, and could afford to get there, you
just went. You might encounter many difficulties -- hostile tribes in the wilder parts, vicious
diseases or religious exclusion in more civilized areas -- but your difficulties were generally
not bureaucratic ones.
Nowadays the drums are a lot tighter than they were. Consider the following article.
Fig. 113.1. (West Australian, 1991 March 2)
Where the Gardener Went
My personal feeling is that the article in Fig. 113.1 was both very saddening, and a shocking
reflection of the unpleasant face that Australia is currently presenting to the world. All the
cruel and unfair practices which Australia was notorious for in the bad old days of the White
Australia Policy, and which the officials assure us are long gone, are once again with us in
force, in a more sophisticated and suave form.
Earlier this year I noticed that I hadn't seen the gardener around for some time at the place
where I work. He was a nice, hard-working fellow with an English accent. When I asked
around, I was told that two large gentlemen from the Immigration Police had removed him --
apparently he had overstayed his visitor's visa.
Apparently he had been doing all the right things, like putting in his income tax return, and
so on. In fact he had actually been tracked down through his tax return -- a disquieting thought
for those who believe in the privacy of such returns.
This was a quiet event which would not arouse any public comment. A far more public
event, unresolved for many months, is the case of a group of 86 people who, in 1991, sailed
from China to Australia in a small boat. They came to land at a remote spot on the Kimberley
coast of WA. After weeks of trekking through the bush, clubbing crocodiles and snakes to
death for food, the first of the party reached a remote Kimberley cattle station.
Then followed days of air searches for the remainder of the scattered party, some of whom
were injured -- the last two found were near death. The nation heaved a sigh of relief when
the last were found, still alive.
At the time of writing, all these Chinese are still locked in a detention camp in the
Northwest, more than a year after they got here. This is in spite of many impassioned pleas
from church and social groups, and undertakings to support these people if released to the local
community. In spite of numerous legal battles with Mr Hand's Ministry, with one court action
stymied by Mr Hand enacting a change in the law to prevent it.
Look again at the news article, and the numbers involved. Mr Hand proudly notes that he
has trebled the number of compliance officers to find and expel illegal migrants. Around 600
people, around one-third of a hundredth of one percent of the population, have been ejected.
Is the huge expense of such actions, and the devastating fall in Australia's reputation
overseas, worth it to maintain Mr Hand's Will To Order? I think not. I think Mr Hand has
looked at the gardener's belly, and cried "Look! He has No Star!".
This Syston IS an Island
The only nation which has a whole continent to itself, Australia prides itself on its secure
boundaries. Of course, in a parallel to Proposition 113D, no nation-syston has completely
impermeable boundaries, nor would MT suggest that it would be desirable if it were.
In fact, from the MT viewpoint the tightness of our boundaries is actually a disadvantage
in enabling such a tight control on systel flow. Nowhere else is there the possibility of such
rigid control, nor the will to enforce it.
Look now at the United States. From once being a land calling out "Give us your Poor ...", the USA has since tightened up considerably, although it is still the Mecca of prospective
migrants worldwide -- more on this can be seen in MT115. And with far more open land
and sea boundaries, the USA has taken in not thousands, but millions of 'illegal' migrants. It
may not have done this enthusiastically, but its level of compassion and realism has been far
ahead of that of Australia.
Of course, this has resulted in problems. More than half the population of Miami, in
Florida, were born in Cuba. More than 40 percent of the population do not even speak English,
In Britain during the 1950s there was a huge influx of immigrants, particularly from the
West Indies, India, and Pakistan. Naturally enough these various ethnic groups tended to settle
in particular parts, and in some areas they came to form the majority of the population.
This did lead to problems, not overt discrimination matters necessarily, but strategic
problems. For example, in some London suburbs close to where I lived, two-thirds of the
young children entering primary school were recent migrants from India. Of course most adult
Indians can speak English, but these were children who had learnt to speak an Indian language
from their parents at home.
Now these children had to learn to read, to read English, a language they did not even know.
It could be an immense problem. Of course the authorities could bring resources to bear on
the problem, say by taking on Indian-speaking teachers to bring the children's English up to
speed, and they did what they could. But what were the lost one-third, the local English
children, to do in the same class at the time?
There were also moral dilemmas. When I was about to migrate to Australia in 1964, the
house I had been buying was in a suburb in which Indian migrants had started to buy and live.
There were none in my street. There was the normal anti-migrant bias in the area, and my
neighbour pleaded with me not to sell my house to an Indian -- it would lower house values,
and he would have to put up with the results of cramming perhaps three Indian families into
the house, while I was well clear.
I did my best to satisfy him. The problem was, no English person would consider buying
a house in that suburb then, because it was considered in the process of being 'taken over by
the Indians'. Instead, they would look in another suburb -- that was free choice. In the end,
the house went to an Indian buyer -- there were no others in the market, and I needed to sell.
All Things Pass
But all things pass. A generation on, most of the population speak the same London accent,
only old Granny in the back room reminding them of the difficulties of those from another
culture, another time and place. Those poor children trying to learn to read a language they
could not speak are now running banks and businesses, or treating patients of all the skin
colours going. When the old Indian fellow with rheumatism problems is brought in, the local
doctor feels grateful he can grope back into his ethnic past to find the words to console him
At home, his English-born wife has been shopping and bought sweet potatoes at the local
supermarket to eat with the evening meal. His sons are on the way home from the local basketball match, they have bought some curry puffs from the local fish-and-chip shop, and
are gazing uneasily at some dark old gentleman who is asking them directions in a language
they know not one word of.
And so the last Proposition of this article:
Proposition 113F***. A syston will be advantaged by the highest possible immigration
rate it can cope with
Think about it, Mr Hand.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
(Full list of references at MTRefs)
. Christopher Alexander. A Pattern Language. Oxford UP, New York, 1977.
. Keith Henson. Memetics and the modular mind. Analog/ 1987 Aug :29-43.
. Dr Seuss. The Sneetches and Other Stories. Collins, London, 1961.
Go to the "Matrix Thinking: How Society Works" Home Page
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Version 2.0, 2004, PDFs etc on World Wide Web (http://www.aoi.com.au/matrix/MT.htm)
Version 3.0, 2014 Jul 8, Reworked from chapter 113 of "Matrix Thinking" as one article in a suite on the World Wide Web.