Is technological evolution our ticket to extinction?

By Chemrock

Joe prodded me to blog on Bitcoin / blockchain recently. With my banking background I can probably scramble some decent words on Bitcoin. Blockchain however, is beyond my comprehension technically. Whilst reflecting on this, I was inspired to write on something interesting that springs off from this mundane subject. So, at the risk of being branded the in-house alarmist, I write on where the bewildering technological advancements will bring us to in the future. And it’s a dark one. It’s where science, conspiracy theories, Micha’s ‘fat parasites’ (the banking one-world proponents) and the Divine collide.

It all started with a little semiconductor device called the transistor. For the uninformed, a semiconductor is a material that has certain electrical conductivity property. A transistor is a device that amplifies or switches electronic signals and electrical power. Transistors lie at the heart of all things electronic. As transistors got smaller and smaller, more of them could be packed into an integrated circuit. As integrated circuits get more compact, dense and miniaturized, it drives breakthroughs in memory capacity, sensors and even the number and size of pixels. Densely-packed transistors are responsible for the explosion of ever improving electronic products that we see in the past several decades. It is thus the most important cause for technological and social change, productivity, and economic growth in the world.

The sense of the pace of change can be summed up in Moore’s Law (1965) which says simply that the number of transistors in a circuit will double every 2 years. Gordon Moore was a co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor. His prediction was more or less accurate up to 2012. That’s probably the year when TSOH commenter Francis’ marginal utility set in. Everything reaches a saturation point. But think about this. Nanotechnology has not touched semi-conductor industry yet. It will be mind-boggling when, and not if, nanotechnology arrives. There will be another quantum leap in transistor density where the possibilities will be mind-blowing.

For those who still don’t have a grasp what increasing the number of transistors in an integrated circuit means, think Intel. It means chip performance improving by leaps and bounds, the RAM takes on steroids. Just imagine the smart mobile in your hand has the computing capability of the early computers of NASA which put man on the moon. So here we are, at the Age of Artificial Intelligence. We are embroiled in a public discourse of AI displacing humans in a lot of jobs. AI has much positive contribution to make despite the displacements of humans and the disruptions they make in the market. Today we have just gone past ground level of AI in what is termed AGI or Artificial General Intelligence. The more terrifying spectre has just started.

Vernor Vinge (science fiction author) : “….we cannot prevent the Technological Singularity, that its coming is an inevitable consequence of the humans’ natural competitiveness and the possibilities inherent in technology.”

AGI improved dramatically within a short period of time. The improvements are human-driven. Now comes ASI or Artificial Super Intelligence. With AGI we wrestle merely with the problem of loss of jobs. With ASI we are faced with an existential threat. Super intelligence will usher in The Age of Singularity. The term “singularity” was coined by Vernor Vinge. It is the hypothesis that super intelligence creates software that is self-upgradable. The machines self-teach and improve themselves in a stunning technological development that is unstoppable. The consequences on civilization as we know today will likely be as portrayed in the Terminator movie series. Technological singularity displaces humans from centre stage. It is inevitable and it is the reason why we are probably alone in the universe.

Just to darken the future a little bit further, think of the Internet Of Things. This is the age of machine connectivity. Every electronic device will come with a sensor that allows communication to a computer somewhere. Your washing machine, TV, wifi-router, auto-gate, etc etc, will be communicating with an unknown party. God forbid, this will all be reality within the next ten years. Industrialists will be happy and for a while GDP numbers will be great as IOT kick off another round of extreme economic growth because all existing appliances and devices will be remodelled. If you are an investor, buy the shares of companies that produce the sensors that make these things happen. Its growth is expected to be something like a few $ billions now to $ 30T within 10 years. Bad news is there aren’t many such companies and those in the know have already dug in. The lust for profits and idolatry for innovation blind men’s eyes to the dangers that IOT present beyond the conveniences it offers. Every device we own at home, in our car, in our pockets or handbags, will be under the control of some super intelligence. Earth’s dwindling resources will be scavenged.

If that is not bad enough, I have further bad news for you. G5 wireless communication is necessary to make IOT happen. Wireless telecommunication has enshrouded the Earth in an invisible electrosmog. Electromagnetic pollution is killing us slowly and governments are not facing up to the health issues that thousands of reports and scientific studies are showing. Some health issues of the day are autism, cancer, reproductive defects, sleep deprivation, and many more. Non-ionizing radio frequencies are slowing degenerating human DNAs, that includes sperm cells and eggs in the ovaries. If you can stomach more bad news — human created electromagnetic fields are causing havoc with migrating animals, fish and birds as their homing instincts are affected. Bees have been reported to have vanished in certain regions, and with that, the impact on agriculture is unimaginable. It has been established that man-made RF signals drove them away. What G5 will do is to dramatically intensify this electrosmog and at much higher frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum. To appreciate the problem — cell towers are now working at the 2.4 mH level, 5G will be operating all the way to 300,000 mH. 5G technology is being pushed without any proper health studies.

Now on Bitcoin. I find it so terribly strange that people are not bothered by the fishy circumstances. We don’t know anything about the developer. Yeah we got a name – Satoshi Nakamoto. But who is he? What nationality, what credentials, what’s his background? We don’t know who is the administrator for the system. If anything goes wrong, who do we go to for an answer, for redress? Most importantly, why is there a need for anonymity? And for heaven’s sake, Bitcoin gestated in the dark web (or deep web) whose netizens are drug dealers, money launderers, pedophiles, gun runners, and other unsavory characters. Not the types you want to take a selfie with. I believe all man’s endeavors have a purpose, so how do we fathom the secrecy behind Bitcoin? They tell you the system is distributed; there is no central administration. Every system has an administrator. There is a super intelligent administrator lurking somewhere and he has a list of names of all the drug dealers, pedophiles and money launderers. And they want to draw saliva to your mouths with tantalizing trading profits as Bitcoin values soar, but won’t tell you that is the nature of dirty money. The cost of laundering money is extremely high. Crooks line up to get their hands on the tokens that drove Bitcoin skyhigh whilst it was in the dark web.

Now let me touch on blockchain, but not from the technical aspect. The idea of blockchain has been around for quite a while, and Bitcoin is the first application to use this platform. I get it about transactions recorded in ledgers, distributed computing, and user-to-user connectivity cutting out the middle-men. I also understand about the independent miners who mine the internet for transactions (of Bitcoins for example) and perform some verification work after which the transactions are added to the ledgers. These ledgers are linked in strings of data which are chopped into blocks and stored in various servers, nobody knows where. That means hackers will not be able to access complete information. That is the promised security of blockchain, but it doesn’t prevent those servers from hacker attacks damaging the data. So now the blockchain platform is being pushed for the security it offers. At every forum for cryptocurrencies or other blockchain applications, the pitch is always “trust”. You can’t trust the banks, you can trust Bitcoin. Two thousand years ago Jesus preached on the Mount. His pitch was “Love”. Today, someone is preaching on a new technology platform, his pitch is “Trust”. Come to me, you can “Trust” me.

Today, corporations and government agencies are jumping on board the bandwagon and pushing the envelopes to develop all sorts of applications on blockchain. It has now gone beyond cryptos and into uncharted territories. Everything and anything can work on the blockchain platform. There is a transformation going on and it’s spreading like wildfire. It is a movement. It is a revolution. It is a tsunami. If you are in IT, you need to get yourself acquainted with this new technology. The “Trust” salesmen have won.

The internet disrupted the media and printing industry. Blockchain will disrupt hundreds of industries. It is frightening. Just an example so you get the idea. Blockchain can put Grab or Uber out of business as it puts commuters and taxi or other demand drivers in contact with each other directly. With the adrenaline rush, many developers, however, are just putting the technology in front, and then think of an application to use it. Lots of start-ups will end up like many other failed dot.coms in the past. But there will certainly be some very useful and successful applications. What I cannot understand is why some corporations put some segment of their business on blockchain which defeats the whole idea of distributed computing. I’m not concerned with in-house corporation-owned blockchain applications which I perceive as just embellishments so they can boast of being innovative, at the cutting edge and what else.

That’s probably what most ordinary people understand about blockchain, more or less. If you find that rather scary, there’s more that will make your hair stand. The dark side of blockchains are in 2 areas that are never discussed in forums.

Firstly, AI needs blockchain. If you have clicked a website that boasts of chatbot to serve you and you try to converse with it, the futility becomes apparent after a couple of seconds. These chatbots are really that dumb. Even IBM’s Watson isn’t that smart. The reason is AI learns by imitation protocols. An in-house AI simply does not have the extensive exposure for it to learn much. Now with blockchain and it’s distributed architecture, the world is at the feet of AIs. They are now everywhere, learning from everything we do on Facebook, on twitter and everywhere else possible. They are following us online everywhere.

Big big chunks of data lie in the vaults of people like Google, Alibaba, Amazon, etc and they are mining and applying all sorts of analytics to churn out info that can be monetized. Too bad privacy issues prevent if from public scrutiny. With blockchain, it’s a different scenario. They pitch security and trust, but in reality, AIs in blockchains are sucking up every bit of tiny info they can find because of the distributed system. Blockchain technology has empowered the singularity march, giving rise to super intelligence. There are now in place blockchains of AI networks where every AI all over the world are hooked up and learning and improving all the time. They are doing things that humans can no longer comprehend.

A simple illustration is Sophia, the robot built by Hanson Robotics about 10 years ago. Check out its (or rather, her) intelligence in this interview. Sophia has now been granted Saudi citizenship! It is now a Saudi national and has just created a national crypto for the country. That’s singularity at work. The guy who wrote the base architecture for Sophia is Dr Ben Goertzel. He is a great mathematician who graduated from college at age 15.

The second dark area of blockchain is that its real power is in its destruction of the center and distribution of inclusiveness to everyone. For example, cryptos take away the power of banks and put it in the hands of all users who deal directly with each other. Blockchains will disrupt web service itself. This is where real danger lies, and there already are ominous signs. Blockchain protocols will soon disrupt centralized web services and there will arise real internet sovereignty. What do I mean by this? Some groups may arise and operate blockchains that give them cross border controls outside the realm of national entities. The purpose – to further some dubious grand plan, who knows what.

Allow me to slide into some conspiracy thoughts. There are some who believe blockchain technology has been known for a long time to a closely guarded elite group with international connectedness. They have long discovered blockchain as a way to further their goals because it delivers essential tools to them – disruption to status quo,  destroy the center, and access to the multitudes of user data. Bitcoin was put on a demo run in the deep web and has now been successfully laundered into the worldwide web. That perhaps answers the question as to why Nakatoshi and the system administrators are shrouded in secrecy. I have read of people who have seen the Bitcoin script and they say, apart from Dr. Goertzel, there are probably only one or two other people in the world who have the brain power to write the Bitcoin codes. The strong suspicion is Bitcoin was created by some AI. Just like the Saudi crypto is created by an AI, Sophia. Is that the reason for the secrecy? And if so, who has that kind of super intelligence to go singularity 10 years ago?

An alternative thought is that this group may not have started the blockchain idea, but they have caught on to it and have made great plans using this platform. They have now got themselves into the boardrooms of many blockchain technology entities. It may be pure coincidence, but take a look at Etherium crypto. It has a logo of the pyramid shape similar to the Illuminati sign. The Illuminati and their one-world government ideology is no longer a secret. It is now right there out in the open. The likes of Rockfellers and others have openly discussed this in interviews and in books. They work towards a one-world government with a one-world currency which they control. If there is a single currency in the world, then they can control it, and with that, they can control the world. But for the scheme to work, they need the world to move towards a one-world government.

Blockchain technology allows them to creep ever slowing into all spheres of international control. In order to rebuild, first they need to destroy. Blockchain is the perfect tool to play the disruptor.

All supposedly Illuminati-captured institutions are now promoting blockchain technology heavily. This includes the United Nations and World Bank and IMF. Outwardly they are programs purportedly to enable global Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) in a way that promises total inclusiveness. Everything, everybody will be linked up to some central super computing administrator where AIs can track the info so developments can be sustained.

Take UN partnerships for SDGs. Thousands of smart cities all over the world are connected to a network where AIs track all blockchain developments. Smart cities mean connectivity. Vast populations of activities are all inter-connected and all data are taken by the central authority bypassing national oversights.

For example, ID2020 is a World Bank project funded by Rockfeller Foundation where IBM is engaged to develop a Universal Digital ID system. It has a high-sounding objective –a self-sovereign identity network using a biometric blockchain system. In reality, it requires a biometric implant, or an RFID chip, on the right hand of all individuals. It starts of as an ID, but it would have the infrastructure in place to add on any control applications in the future. The Rockfellers want some sort of wallets in place (this is really what was said). All your cash in your implanted chip. Other contractual data could be like mortgage data, your property titles, driving licence, school diplomas, etc. So any time the controllers zap the data, you are finished, you become a non-entity. That’s total control. The new world will be composed of the elites and slaves with nothing to do because AI has taken over everything.

Population control — thank goodness this is just something I saw in a movie, forgotten the title. Everybody has a controlled life-time of 30 years. Everything is transacted in terms of times. Salary is by way of hours and minutes added. Do something wrong, a fine is a deduction of some hours. Go to groceries, purchases are paid for in terms of time deducted. A chip on the hand records your life transactions. When the balance on your chip is zero hours, you just drop dead in your tracks. If you’re a fat cat the chip in your hand will show a few hundred thousand hours. You are easy prey to hackers who will kidnap you and transfer the hours from your chip to theirs.

Elon Musk : “AI technology is inviting Satan in”

Chip implant is already here. The technology is already implemented in some countries like Sweden, US and Australia on a limited scale. Swedish train operator SJ rails is using RFID chips for fare payments.

People are implanting chips on their right hands for some applications already in place. Mostly its blockchain ID and wallets. It’s all voluntary at the moment but soon it may be compulsory as the Bible warned us.

And so the sales pitch will change. Come, Trust Me, wear this chip on your right hand.

The chip that is now in the market is manufactured by a Swedish company called Biohax International and the chip is named NTAG216.

Revelation 13.18
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man, and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.

The Bible warns of an end day sign that a beast will force us to wear the mark of the beast on our right hand or forehead. It requires intelligence and some calculation to see the number.

In the chip name NTAG216
6x6x6 = 216

In the name BIOHAX it is plainly asking what is the HEX code for BIO.
Converting the ASCII for BIO the hex code = 666.

It is all in plain sight and we are being taunted. Extinction by singularity, or as foretold in Revelation? Perhaps both are one and the same, one is a mechanism for the other.

 

Comments
66 Responses to “Is technological evolution our ticket to extinction?”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    You really are somekind of wonderful!
    Beautiful Mind!

  2. madlanglupa says:

    First, without security IoT tends to be more intrusive than beneficial. The scary possibility with it is not only privacy violations but also the possibility for abuse, injury or even death.

    Second, I still despise cryptocurrency in that it seems to benefit the greedy more than it’s supposed to benefit everyone with its supposed ideals, and besides, it’s like MMORPG currency that can only be used within such games.

    Third, there will people who will despise and reject intrusive technologies that have the potential for control by despots and monolithic corporations, as such parties seek to create new class conflicts, to separate the privileged from the have-nots.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    I watched skyscraper twice. All security and safety features of the future can be hacked by the high tech way or the old fashioned way.

    The crime syndicates of the Russian mob, HK triad, Irish and Italian mob will still find a way to blackmail and extort.
    Good that we have the Rock, the Equalizer and Johnny English, we are now safe again.

  4. andrewlim8 says:

    Chemrock and all readers: in your opinion, how do characters like Putin, Trump, Duterte, Erdogan, the right wing racists in Europe, China fit into this dark future scenario? Enablers of the anti-Christ, or is he amongst them?

    A few blogs ago I offered this scenario: all the chaos and suffering these characters will heap on mankind will enable the anti-Christ to emerge as a “savior” that will restore order but will turn out to be most evil.

    • I think humankind has lost, frankly. The number of ethically sound leaders diminishes daily, the moral custodians have gone bankrupt, the winners are gamblers and gameplayers, and the information that people digest is straight from agenda pushers who obscure meaning in their promotional garbage. Our patience to dig for real information is overwhelmed by the flood of nonsense. Little clubs like TSOH are the last bastion of sense in our dumbed down society. Your savior scenario makes sense because we are getting so lazy we’d happy delegate our future to some godly creature.

    • chemrock says:

      Those who believe in Revelation and study eschatology sees the Devil and God battling it out for the souls of humankind. Any good deed done, God’s ledger is credited, any bad deed, the points go to Devil’s ledger. So all these enablers of evil deeds help to build the Devil’s ledger.

      If we are to be believed, Trump’s significance in the Biblical game plan lies in role of the US. Many subplots must occur to bring on the end days. One critical plot is Babylon II, this represents the evil hot spot where many Christians are drawn to. They desert God and pray to the golden calf. There are those who believe Babylon II is USA, for various reasons – I won’t digress here. Trump’s role is the great disruptor. Unknowingly, he will cause a lot of confusion and chaos, which is exactly what is happening now.

      Putin and Endrogan would be the dangermen of Gog and Magog. As Karl pointed out, I mentioned before, the seat of Satan is in Turkey (Temple of Pergamon).

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      I am not a believer, so my perspective is somewhat more optimistic.

      o We all die.
      o Nations die.
      o Civilizations rise and fall.
      o Stars grow old and die.
      o Galaxies collide.
      o The universe collapses and is reborn again.

      If we bring about our demise due to our stupidity then we deserve to die.

      Did I say I was more optimistic?

      Yes, because I take the Hindu stance, not the Christian one. The universe remembers. And the next iteration will be more magnificent.

      We are in the age of the Kali Yuga, the last of 4 stages. From Wikipedia, this age is characterized by the following:

      “In relation to rulers, it lists:

      o Rulers will become unreasonable: they will levy taxes unfairly.
      o Rulers will no longer see it as their duty to promote spirituality, or to protect their subjects: they will become a danger to the world.
      o People will start migrating, seeking countries where wheat and barley form the staple food source.
      o “At the end of Kali-yuga, when there exist no topics on the subject of God, even at the residences of so-called saints and respectable gentlemen of the three higher varnas (guna or temperament) and when nothing is known of the techniques of sacrifice, even by word, at that time the Lord will appear as the supreme chastiser.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.7)

      With regard to human relationships, Markandeya’s discourse says:

      o Avarice and wrath will be common. Humans will openly display animosity towards each other. Ignorance of dharma will occur.
      o People will have thoughts of murder with no justification and will see nothing wrong in that.
      o Lust will be viewed as socially acceptable and sexual intercourse will be seen as the central recreation of life.
      o Sin will increase exponentially, while virtue will fade and cease to flourish.
      o People will become addicted to intoxicating drinks and drugs.
      o Gurus will no longer be respected and their students will attempt to injure them. Their teachings will be insulted, and followers of Kama will wrest control of the mind from all human beings.
      o Women will no longer get married, and when they do they will constantly talk back to their husbands and be very emotional.
      o Traditional castes will disappear and everyone will belong to a single social class.
      o Brahmins will not be learned or honored, Kshatriyas will not be brave, Vaishyas will not be just in their dealings, and the varna system will be abolished.”

      *****

      • Way to fit right in with today’s theme . . . horror . . .

      • chemrock says:

        Edgar
        It all depends on which door Neo opens, whoever and wherever he is now.

        OT
        Is it just me or is it WordPress — when I click on the comments to open on the same tab, it’s OK, I gets me to the comment. But when I click to open in a new tab, it does not get me to the comment, but to the top of the blog. Before, opening on a new tab also brings me tothe comment’s location.

        • It seems to depend on the computer for me. My I-pad goes to the top but my desk-top computer goes to the comment. It is a function of Word Press and I use the standard, off-the-shelf version. Sorry I can’t help on the matter.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    Chemrock,
    Remember our end of days jokes?

  6. karlgarcia says:

    Will tech giants lose their best talent to Blockchain startups?

    http://fortune.com/2018/07/14/olaf-carlson-wee/

  7. karlgarcia says:

    I watched blockchain youtube videos and they keep on telling us to trust the blockchain, you can collaborate without trusting each other, but trust the blockchain. No way,not yet.

  8. NHerrera says:

    Nice article — in a very scary way. Mind joining me in a bunker or shelter with no digital devices. Oops can’t do that: the electronic waves will still penetrate my shelter in the woods — if you can still find such a space in this planet. It will soon affect me as it does the migratory birds and the bees and other non-vegetarian living things. Even plant life, I guess. And the science studying the changing of magnetic pole orientation says there is a weakening of the magnetic fields of the earth and a reversal may happen sooner than we think. North is South and South is North? Is that why we are confused about the bad and the good guys? Also, is that why there is an increasing pace in the reversal of gender aka sexual orientation. Karla for karl, Joana for Joe, etc — and vice versa? That will be the day. Woe is me.

    • chemrock says:

      Go to Green Bank, a remote residential area in West Virginia where there is no cell tower, not digital phones. It’s where they have a space research station, so they don’t want any interference on the RF. It has become a place where those suffering from hyper sensitivity to EMF seek refuge.

      About gender reversals, I have no idea. You may have to ask the Kinks why they wrote this song :

  9. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. Doomed. So we are doomed no matter what.

    2. If not by immorality, then by politics. If not by politics, then by economics. If not by economics, then by technology.

    3. I find it strange this perversity in man. Technology, as represented by the personal computer and the mobile phone, can be used to increase learning, foster communication, and benefit mankind in so many ways.

    3.1. Instead, technology is being used to spread lies, to manipulate and control people, and to increase the efficiency of weapons of war. And runaway technology, as detailed by Chemrock in AI or ASI, threatens to lord over the whole of mankind and the world.

    4. Actually, without the personal computer and the tablet, I wouldn’t know what to do with my time. I use the computer to read, to write, to watch movies, to play games, and to communicate with others.

    4.1. I use it to manage my finances (what little there is of it) and I can instruct my bank to pay my debts without having to step out and queue at the bank counter.

    4.2. My relatives can message and greet me and ask the most random of questions.

    4.3. I can share my innermost thoughts with a pretty nurse in the Ilocos and banter with a matron in Agusan.

    4.4. I can explore the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and visit the Louvre. I can listen to Chopin or Elina Garanca or Aida Garifullina.

    4.4. Here, we are sitting great distances from each other, but we can meet and congregate in this virtual space and discuss at any hour of the day.

    5. We live in a world of wonders. And yet, and yet…

    5.1. If we are doomed, let us go down with the music of the spheres ringing in our ears.
    *****

    • chemrock says:

      Humans by the inquisitive nature that we have been endowed with, require boundaries to keep us out of trouble. For were not the very first of humans told by God not to touch the Tree of Life and Knowledge?. We cannot be trusted to be left alone with our free will. We simply do not have sufficient discipline to make the sacrifice of foregoing something perceived as good even though we have been forewarned of consequences. The taste of the apple is just too good to resist. In several western countries, there are great push backs for delaying the rolling out of 5G technology until proper studies on health issues have been conducted. . But it is unlikely 5G will be delayed.

      This reminds me of the earlier years of play stations. I bought one as a present for my 7 year old son. (It’s not Nintendo, but a competitive one – forgot the brand). Of course he enjoyed playing. Soon neighbourhood kids gather and they played non-stop. I set down rules and time for playing which went repeated unheeded. After several warnings, I gathered the kids, explained my reasons, took one big hammer, and smashed the console to pieces.

      • NHerrera says:

        Yep, there are boundaries. “Smashed the console to pieces.” Good of you. That should have taught them lessons they couldn’t get through “friendly persuasion.”

        Under the new dispensation, the heads or bodies of the druggies and the supposed criminal mayors, priests, etc. are figuratively if not literally smashed to pieces. No chance for those dead to learn their lessons to stick to the straight and narrow. But the living are taught lessons of subservience through fear.

  10. karlgarcia says:

    So long as they don’t build those giant satellites that can manipulate the weather and (un)natural calamities, we are good.

  11. Francis says:

    @Chemrock,

    Frankly—I don’t think there is an illuminati-esque group going around. The rise of artificial intelligence, biometrics, blockchain, etc. can be simply attributed as a logical conclusion of our capitalism system in general and its neoliberal iteration in particular. The logic of capitalism is growth by increasing efficiency above all else and for its own sake above all—and in this digital, neoliberal era that has mean “commoditizing” what was once outside of the sphere of the markets: our personal lives—now sources of data for social media mega-corporations like Facebook to sell to advertisers. Walmart is patenting highly intrusive means of monitoring workers—like what Amazom is already doing.

    What is that those activists in UP and those columnists at the Guardian mean by neoliberalism; what they mean is when the market is no longer the servant of society, when the market consumes society, when the market itself becomes society. Let us not forget that Adam Smith—the “Adam” of economics—wrote a “Theory of Moral Sentiments” alongside his “Wealth of Nations” which should indicate to you that the place of morality should be above the market, accompanying and restraining it.

    The problem with our current age is that we equate “profit” with “virtue” — morality is what the free market simply wills.

    There is no conspiracy. The rich just want to get their high ROIs. The masses just want consumerism to give them their latest high, so that they don’t want to think about how sucky their lives are—or how their comforts are probably built on the pain of others: i.e. metals required for your smartphones come from places like the Congo. Everyone acts according to their marginal interest.

    Which is fine—until the long-term implications (i.e. global warming, etc.) start biting back. Passing the buck works—until you’re the last guy, and there’s no one to your right.

    I know I sound like a raving leftist, right now—but I plead with you all; just because the Marxists got the “alternative to capitalism very wrong” (see USSR, Maoist China and Venezuela) doesn’t mean that they get the diagnosis wrong. It is worth paying attention to what leftists say about the problems of capitalism, especially now—because a lot of the trends that Chemrock points out?

    That’s been discussed for quite some time in leftist circles. Even if you don’t like their economics, I strongly recommend paying attention to leftist critiques of society—especially now, in this momentous time. The Left has a diverse range of opinions and ideas—and a lot of those ideas hit well, and hit broadly: gender, economics, technology, etcetera.

    If you name a big problem of this 21st century—there’s probably a ton of leftist critiques about it. Which, I think, says a lot.

    Which is why I suppose I am more optimistic in my views regarding the future—as a center-left social democrat; the 21st century may have exhausted Liberalism’s toolbox, but I don’t think the same goes for the Left. We are not completely helpless—there are bits of ideas out there, waiting to be put together and to be utilized at the right time to save humanity.

    I think the revival of the democratic Left in the United States—in a time where the EU is slowly sliding into right-wing xenophobic isolationism and China is regaining “Mao-esque cult of personality” vibes with Xi—is worth watching. I think you’ll see a lot of interesting things coming from the US in the coming decades.

    God must sure love Americans—even in their time of supposed decline, God finds a way to give Americans a boon.

    • chemrock says:

      For me, there is actually too much to grasp here.
      Left, liberals, neoliberalism, capitalism, mao-esque , morality, democracy. Left unsaid is of course conservatism, socialism, libertarianism.

      When you are left-leaning, is it political or economic sense?

      Morality is above all these ‘ism’. Of all the ‘ism’ I think only libertarianism considers the place of morality, and it is at the individual levels. It should not be regulated or legislated.

      It is beyond my understanding what is happening in US.

      Whilst Xi is building his Mao-esque personality cult, a revival of the old days, I don’t think the masses will ever want to return to the old ways. Once freedom is tasted, it is not easy to take away.

      The conspiracy of the rich — the literature on this is everywhere. This can no longer be hidden from view in Age of Internet. Very obviously, I’m a believer in this based on personal research. I appreciate there are many who still believe in a lone gun man killed JKF.

      • Francis says:

        @Chemrock,

        I am not saying that conspiracies of the rich don’t exist—companies can arrange secret cartels to dominate a market, a few old men from some old boys’ networks can weave deceptive plots, the oligarchs can advise the government—but that these conspiracies are only the symptom of a systemic flaw. These are just the poisonous flowers—but not the soil, which is what we are after.

        The soil is our unrestrained capitalist system. The conspiracies of the rich can only exist as a byproduct of a system, an entire society which prioritizes profit and efficiency above all else.

        In the eyes of the Left—the plots of rich men are not some long-planned conspiracy invented in some masonic lodge, but rational action; the rich men and women—like any other organism or group in this world, animal or sapient human—must protect their interests.

        The rich and powerful didn’t set out to conquer the world in some detailed plan—rather, the world is merely the clumped up sum of their marginal actions (and ours, but they have the money and the influence).

        The rich and powerful kept pursuing actions that benefited them. Put money into the greasy hands of lobbyists. Prop up intellectuals and think tanks to make ideas favoring their bottomline attractive. Promote (indirectly or directly) the supression of not just crazy revolutionaries—but even normal, unoffensive reformists.

        These were actions which were of marginal benefit to these rich and powerful people. They were the most logical actions to benefit the self-interest of these people, at the time.

        If I was a rich guy, I’d do exactly the same thing because these actions were what my self-interest demanded.

        The rich and powerful didn’t mean for global warming to exist or for Facebook and Google to literally erase the intimacy of our lives—and sell the data that makes up our personal lives to advertisers.

        This was merely what all their marginal actions added up to. There is no conspiracy, no group of cunning manipulators behind the scenes—just greedy people perpetually trying to outrun the consequences of their greed.

        I’m no expert, but the logic of capitalism to me is that it is founded on the prioritization of the constant creation of value as the main goal of society. This value is directed to the hands of those who own capital—the businessmen and such—and in its final form in the hands of those who own capital, this value is called profit.

        I’m no expert, but this strikes me as some sort of perpetual motion machine. Which sounds neat and theoretical—until we remember that the 1s and 0s that make up our markets today exist in a human world and in a human world with finite resources.

        I think that neoliberal capitalism—the current version of hyperglobalized and high-tech capitalism that we are now experiencing—is defined by an increasing “creativity” in finding sources to extract “value” or “profit” from.

        This isn’t the 19th and 20th centuries. Many nations—the wealthy ones especially—have (1)exhausted the resources of their frontiers and (2)have gotten all the mileage from the innovations of the Industrial Revolution; hence, (1)the race for multinationals to extract resources in developing countries (to the detriment of the environment on a national and global scope) and the (2)rise of the digital economy.

        This is logical—in that this is what is profitable.

        That (1) and (2)—if unrestrained or barely restrained—will lead to hollowing of man’s inside (our human nature) and man’s outside (our environment).

        @Chemrock—you pointed out the dangers of biometrics, big data, etc. This is what I mean by the hollowing of man’s inside; a logical conclusion of our (unrestrained) capitalist system; more and more ways to extract “profit” (value) must be found—so companies like Facebook use our usage of their services to suck up our data like a vacuum cleaner and sell them to advertisers, and companies like Amazon ensure that their workers are giving them the most dollars per sweat with extremely intrusive monitoring devices.

        The other side of the coin is the damage to our environment. I found an article citing a senior UN official that we may exhaust our topsoil (due to our overly intensive industrial agricultural practices) in less than a century—topsoil is indispensable for agriculture, and for us to exhaust that will mean very scary implications for our ability to feed ourselves. We—the current generations—are doing the equivalent of robbing the college savings of the next generations by extracting more resources from our environmen than its capacity to renew or replenish. We don’t care and are complacent because the marginal benefits—the benefits to everyone right now—are just so alluring, too alluring.

        Now, I sound like a commie. I’m not. I love democracy—and I despise tyranny. I don’t want to justify the USSR or Maoist China.

        I am not against markets. I am for markets—in service to the greater good of society. Man was not made for the Market—but the Market was made for Man. Unlike Communists—I do not think that it is feasible in our lifetime, to truly be a “market-less” society; markets are efficient and they’re here to stay—but we have to be their boss and not the other way around.

        We (sorta) made markets serve the common good in the West; the welfare state of Europe, the “New Deal” arrangement in America. Governments, in those times, had enough leverage to negotiate with capitalists and extract concessions to ensure harmony in society.

        Now—national governments seem puny in the face of global capital. This isn’t the 50s or 60s where capital was still somewhat tied to their nations, and therefore government could still force them to follow something else besides their self-interest/profit motive. Globalization has made this impossible; it is impossible now to extract concessions from big business, if they can just go somewhere else—and that hurts ordinary people.
        A social democracy on a national scale is no longer enough.

        I want social democracy on a global scale—I want global regulations on markets, on big business that ensure that the ordinary people don’t get left out.

        It is unfeasible to pursue a market-less society, right now. The alternatives are either inefficient, autocratic or both. The market is still damned efficient and has to exist. But it has to be restrained. The free market is like the mighty Yangtze River—it feeds the people with much abundance, but is prone to killing people with devastating floods. Dams are therefore necessary.

        • Francis says:

          Addendum:

          Will this lead to this smartphone I’m typing on to become more expensive? Will this lead the prices of several products I enjoy rising?

          Yes—but it may be worth the higher prices to not have AI so quickly take our jobs, to pay enough to workers in sweatshops abroad (and here) in the Third World so they don’t have to end up as economic migrants, to bear the costs of environmental regulations so that the First World won’t be overwhelmed (or forced to shoot) by/at hordes of climate refugees, and to not have a consumerist culture that equals virtue to the amount of products and money one has.

        • Francis says:

          Addendum:

          (1) in my first comment can be summed (particularly regarding Facebook and other social networks) in this way as well:

          “We made many products to get profit—and then someone thought, ‘What if human beings were themselves the product'”

        • Francis says:

          Addendum:

          @Chemrock,

          I am politically left and economically left—because while the Marxists aren’t perfect, they do have one point which I think is very logical:

          The material conditions determine the abstract ideas of politics, more often than not.

          We cannot seperate politics from economics because politics is about collective decision making and economics is about resource distribution—both things, by definition, are simply intertwined.

        • chemrock says:

          Thanks Francis, for an interesting perspective.

          ” long-planned conspiracy invented in some masonic lodge”
          I like the reference to masonic lodge. The imagery is spot on.
          Leftists’ view of capitalists is that they are self-interested groups that are fractitious, hence it is difficult for permanent unions. The Bildenberg Group is basically a capitalist grouping. It started off as an attempt to foster closer cooperation between European countries and North Americas. It has gone on to profess a core idea for one world government, although openly it is not about controlling the world, but an idea that it is a better way to organise the world with the noble objective of improving the lives of people all over the world. Today, members of the BG have infiltrated the highest levels of governments in the western world. It is now one of the biggest lobbyist group in the world. When it conducts its affairs in top secrecy it lends itself easily to claims that it’s a grouping out to establish capitalist dominance. Fidel Castro once described BG as “sinister cliques and the Bilderberg lobbyists” manipulating the public “to install a world government that knows no borders and is not accountable to anyone but its own self.”

  12. The book I am currently reading says that progress can have its own curse.

    Often societies/civilizations have collapsed due to the effects of their own advancement, because their forms of organization could not handle these, so there are always jumps and starts.

    Sometimes it does happen that barbarians take over some of the inventions of the fallen civilization and form a new civilization with time, like Western Europe after the fall of Western Rome.

    In China the processes were more internal, but there were also big movements and crashes – Kaifeng in the beginning of the 2nd millenium mined coal to smelt steel, but collapsed due to war.

    The Chinese invention of gunpowder found its way to Europe, and the barbarian warlords of that place, known as nobles to today’s world, refined cannons and guns to the point that even the Ottoman Turks tried to recruit Italian gunsmiths. The Beretta family firm is half a millenium old.

    ———————-

    There never was a total collapse of human civilization, however. When one area declined, the other flourished. There was local climate change like Europe’s little Ice Age and also warmer periods during which agriculture first got start North of the Alps, but no man-made drastic change like now.

    There is sci-fi – a good way of speculating about the future – which sees a world dominated by machine intelligence like “The Matrix”, but also “Dune” by Frank Herbert, where computers are banned after a so-called Butlerian Jihad – computing in that world is done by highly trained humans.

    ————————-

    Who knows, in 500 years time, the world will be under Afrocentric domination after the highly developed Caucasian and Chinese civilizations break down. The Congolese empire regularly sacrifices white and Chinese slaves to the lions. Their arch-enemy is Brazil Novo, over the seas.

    • An example for a civilization overwhelmed by it’s own progress: the Philippines.

      It’s big cities might all collapse due to traffic, bad flood control and waste management..

    • chemrock says:

      Man’s progress bring along existential threats due to calculated risks taken in balancing the benefits with the dangers, or in rogue elements manipulating the technology for their own interests, as you indicated.

      There are quite a few other existential threats from technology, other than those mentioned in the blog article. The nuclear threat is always there.

      Another threat I perceive from nanotechnology. The core of nanotechnology lie in the quantum physics of materials. As materials are broken down into minute particles, down to nano size, quantum science takes over. The materials no longer assume the same properties as its atomic size. Eg the nanoparticle of carbon, called fullerenes, has enhanced properties from its atomic particle. It is light and has 6 times the tensile strength of steel. The nanotechnology here is about breaking carbon material down into nanoparticles, then reassemble them into a bigger struture, called nanotubes. These nanotubes then becomes the base material for producing whatever.

      The danger lies in the nanoparticles. In that nano sized state, they can pass through human tissue. If can simply float in the air, pierce your skin, pierce your kidneys or heart. No organ is safe from them. Somewhat similar but much more dangerous than abestos fibres. So what if there was an industrial explosion and these nanoparticles are exposed to the environment? How do we know production plants in the world today are secure?

      • Good Lord, I am now sponsoring a horror blog. That is simply frightening, and very plausible.

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          Scary… but made me laugh! Horror blog indeed.
          *****

        • NHerrera says:

          We have it all here in TSH. We have an article on the dark side of science/ technology. And we now have the scary picture from subatomic particle physics research, scaring us the more. Now these guys who enjoy their studies and research on these matters better hurry up before a big object hits the earth. Reported lately was an object hitting Uranus (of our solar system with a mass about 15 times our planet) causing Uranus to tilt on its axis. If that happens to our dear planet Earth, Trump, Putin and Xi will be no more and so will the rest of us with the long cold winter sure to transpire. Our puny earthly problems solved! Sorry, for this post if distasteful — going with the flow here.

  13. Deepfakes worry me more than blockchain technology.

    What are deepfakes? They are videos of fake events being passed as real events, manufactured using AI algorithm. The first deepfake video was supposedly posted by a Reddit user who used the handle “Deepfakes” in 2017. Gal Gadot and other celebrities were featured in fake pornographic videos simulated using AI technology and were said to be realistic enough to pass as genuine. In 2018, social media platforms started getting more deepfakes with more celebrities, politicians and even civilians as target. The infamous deepfake video of Obama calling Trump names had been circulated widely. Some social media are now banning deepfake postings. AI technologists had developed an AI algorithm that supposedly detect deepfakes.

    The 2019 PH election will be chaotic if the deepfakes technology is added to the troll’s toolbox. Talk about fake news Pandora’s Box!

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-06-13/the-deep-fake-video-threat

    • Scary. This is our world. Surreal.

    • NHerrera says:

      In the past we used to think scientific research on nuclear fission and fusion leading to the development of nuclear power — the good side, when one discounts nuclear power incidents and nuclear waste requiring hundreds of years of containment — and the development of the atomic and hydrogen bombs, the bad side, is the worst of scientific R&D. Now we have this “Deep Fake” realistic video simulation of news. The worst potential for deep mischiefs with its use are still to be imagined. (I wonder now if the supposed video of De Lima used the Deep-Fake technology.)

    • chemrock says:

      Yes Deepfake is a very big problem. But legislators are damn stupid farts. The spend hours and hours talking and discussing on the imposition of laws on social media control when there right out in the open is a far more serious threat, and the angry part about it is Deepfake is rather easier to control to a certain point — Ban the damn app that makes it possible for a school kid to produce a fake movie. Nobody in Congress or Senate talks about this.

      • Francis says:

        The real problem lies not with school kids—but with professional trolls and disinformation groups utilizing these to wreak maximum mayhem.

        • chemrock says:

          Yes I agree. Deepfake used to be a pretty tough thing to do. So some motivation is necessary for anyone wishing to pursue such a project. Money makes the world go around. So it used to be the domain of pros and disinformation groups in the employ of others.

          But now, simple apps are making deepfakes accessible to schoolkids — by that I meant the geeky stuff has been simplified to allow socmed crowd with nothing to do to spend some time and have fun creating stupid stuff that has great repercussions they never imagined. These apps need to be banned.

  14. karlgarcia says:

    This novel intriduced me to what they call perception management now known as fake news

    The Whole Truth
    Nicolas Creel is a man on a mission. He heads up the world’s largest defense contractor. Dick Pender is the man Creel retains to “perception manage” his company to even more riches by manipulating international conflicts. But Creel may have an even grander plan in mind.
    Shaw, a man with no first name and a unique past, works for a secret multinational intelligence agency by traveling the globe to keep it safe and at peace. Desperate to get back to the top of her profession, journalist Katie James gets the break of a lifetime: the chance to interview the sole survivor of a massacre that has left every nation horrified. In this international thriller, these characters face a catastrophic threat that could change the world as we know it.

  15. Francis says:

    I’ve been waiting for the perfect blog article to post this link:

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/stand-out-of-our-light/3F8D7BA2C0FE3A7126A4D9B73A89415D

    This link is a free publication from Cambridge—the result of a book grant to gather out-of-the-box perspectives on pressing issues.

    “Stand in Our Light’s” author is someone who spent time in both Silicon Valley and the (philosophy) academe—and he presents an interesting thesis: that our age is not the glorious “Age of Information” but rather the “Age of Attention” as—overloaded with information from everywhere—attention itself becomes a scarce resource, and more importantly: a scarce resource that we aren’t directing to what is truly important, i.e. better politics, etc. rather than tabloid sensationalism.

  16. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: Well, sir, nothing more causes me to headdesk than some escapist fan of pop culture, games, and technology who decides it’s more interesting to wait for the next game, movie, TV series, while ignoring real problems, and leaving the business of governance to decadent mandarins more interested in lining their pockets as they ravage the rest of the country.

  17. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    The big international political news: Putin-Trump Helsinki Summit [note that I put Putin’s name first, but not because of the need for alphabetical order]. Trump forgot his “America First” mantra there. In short Trump placed America’s Intelligence Community’s Assessment of Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential Election as only equivalent to Putin’s strong denial of such meddling. No wonder many Ranking Republicans disagreed with Trump’s statement.

  18. karlgarcia says:

    Our sun will take billions of years before it goes super nova.
    We still have time to colonize the moon and Mars.

    https://futurism.com/elon-musk-should-already-have-lunar-base/

    • karlgarcia says:

      “At this year’s International Astronautical Congress (IAC) event, Musk questioned the lack of a lunar base on the Moon, saying, “It’s 2017, I mean, we should have a lunar base by now. What the hell is going on?” During the event, he noted how SpaceX’s BFR rocket could easily travel to the Moon and back to Earth.

      The Moon is just the beginning, though. Beyond that, Musk wants to colonize Mars by 2024, despite the many challenges that must be overcome, including eco-terrorism, climate change, and — most importantly — how to keep humans alive. It should go without saying that getting to Mars means nothing if we can’t survive once we get there.”

  19. karlgarcia says:

    The Billionsaires themselves are the terrorists, if we believe what we read in the novels.

    Deliver us Us From Evil
    Evan Waller is a monster. He has built a fortune from his willingness to buy and sell anything…and anyone. In search of new opportunities, Waller has just begun a new business venture, one that could lead to millions of deaths all over the globe.

    On his trail is Shaw, the mysterious operative from The Whole Truth, who has tracked Waller to Provence and must prevent him from closing his latest deal. But someone else is pursuing Waller: Reggie Campion, an agent for a secret vigilante group headquartered in a musty old English estate – and she has an agenda of her own.

    Hunting the same man and unaware of each other’s mission, Shaw and Reggie will be caught in a deadly duel of nerve and wits.

  20. chemrock says:

    This is a good read for skeptism on cryptos from Paul Krugman. PK is a 2008 Nobel Peace Awardee for Economics. Putting it here for the library

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