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The Coming Cyber-Dystopia

I watched a video on You Tube the other day that still has my head spinning.  It was titled “5G and AI Everywhere:  2030 Will Be A New World” featuring Glenn Beck interviewing investment consultant Jeff Brown. You can find it with a quick search online.  

We are on the brink of massive and disruptive change, and it directly affects both Asatru, or native European spirituality, and the future of the European-descended peoples.  It also affects every human being on Earth, regardless of race, religion, creed or culture.  This is big stuff, and we need to start figuring out how to deal with it now.

The first topic was quantum computing, since that’s the development that makes the rest of this possible.  Consider this:  The present, first-generation—and pretty much experimental—quantum computer is about the size of your standard refrigerator.  The largest existing ordinary computer array is the size of a football field.  Recently, each computer was given a very complex problem… The quantum computer solved it in two hundred seconds.  The massive regular computer never finished it; analysis showed it would have taken  considerably longer—ten thousand years, more or less.  

Now, guess who owns that computer?  Google.  Yes, that Google, the one whose officer is on record as saying they will do everything possible to keep Trump from winning the 2020 election, and boasts that they can swing sixteen million votes with their algorithms even with current technology … The same Google whose current head of engineering is Ray Kurzweil, who boasts of a future in which man will merge with machine, and eventually the entire universe will be one conscious computer, with world after world around even the distant stars transformed into computer substrate.  (I know how crazy that sounds, but he’s on record as as saying this—feel free to check him out.)

On a slightly more comprehensible level, and in a much, much nearer future    five years or so?    you’re looking at a world in which Alexa has morphed into an AI-powered personal assistant…one which knows you literally better than you know yourself and which will not just respond to your requests, but will actually anticipate those requests. The example given was something like this:  You’ve had a hard day week at the office.  You think, hey, the wife and I should fly to Hawaii.  You tell your personal assistant to get you reservations—to find out that they’ve already been made!  So … whose life is it anyway?  Do we really want that kind of relationship with our machines? How will that change us as humans?  

So let’s look a little farther out, say ten or fifteen years, and envision a world of driverless cars.  Elon Musk’s company has already logged a billion hours—yes, literally—of road time with the human drivers sometimes sound asleep.  Now picture the highways of the future, multiple lanes of self-driving cars, all moving at speeds much higher than today’s speed limits.  Each car will of course be equipped with sensors that know just where adjacent cars are and what they’re doing—but that will quickly evolve into a computer-controlled network that will know where ALL the cars are, what they are doing, and—who is in each car.

Process that for a moment:  Real-time knowledge of where every car is, and who is in it.  The system, and the state, will know way, way more about you and your movements than it needs to know.  Privacy?  Forget it!  A dimly-remembered echo of the past.

Brown and Beck dropped a third bomb that raises my hackles, and it will probably come to pass before the automotive scenario described above:  The United States government may well abolish cash and initiate a mandatory cryptocurrency for all transactions.  This would be great for the Internal Revenue Service—they would have a complete record of all your income, expenses, donations, and the like starting from day the system took effect.  It, like the other developments described in this blog, would also be another nail in the coffin of our privacy, our sovereignty as individuals, and ultimately of our freedom. 

If you think I am some cranky Luddite, think again.  I have been an advocate of science and technology since before I could read—my mother, at my request, read books on astronomy and space travel as a young child.  Later, I discovered science fiction and immersed myself in the classics—Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and the rest—when I wasn’t building model rockets or trying to find a method of faster-than-light propulsion.  I still love these subjects.  But I also love freedom, and my humanity.  I will fight and die for these things.  And everything I know and feel tells me that this impending cyber-distopia cannot be allowed to happen.

So what do we do?  I have given thought to a few items which, I think, point the way to a course of action.

First, I do not propose turning my back on technology.  Instead, I think we should get engineers—people who share our values—working on ways to make some of these developments “privacy friendly.”  Many of these schemes are beyond repair, but simply by not collecting unnecessary data some  projects may be salvaged… Of course, it would help if the National Security Agency was not collecting pretty much literally every bit of electronic data produced in the Unites States. (Dismantling the NSA and delegating its legitimate duties to other agencies is something that should be on our agenda.)   

Second, we need to deprive the State of as much of our data as possible.  A few obvious measures everyone can take include paying for things with cash, using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) when accessing the Internet,  drastically reducing your social media interaction, NOT installing appliances that spy on you, and using Faraday bags so your phone can’t monitor you twenty-four seven.  In fact, you should give your friends Faraday bags for Yuletide and birthdays—and tell them how to use them!

Third, we need to understand that it’s not just the government that is working against our freedoms, but the corporate giants as well.  Support political action to reign in BOTH intrusive government and nosy corporate entities as well…. For years, Google’s motto was “Don’t be evil.”  Now, evil is an integral part of their business plan.

If we are going to have a government, and a society, that treasures the values handed down to us for thousands of years, we have to defeat this threat.  We CAN have advanced technology, to include quantum computing and even artificial intelligence so long as we are indisputably in control of it  without giving away our freedoms.   The choice is ours.  We must choose wisely!

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