“The Chinese aim is far more ambitious: it is clearly an attempt to create a new citizen”
Everyone is aware of the creep in personal data retention by the almost every business or authority around. The NSA, Google, banks and companies all want datasets and/or direct knowledge concering your whereabouts. Smartphones seem to be expressly developed with GPS (something nobody really needed before) so owners can be tracked. Banks openly discuss selling your transaction data to companies so when you buy at particular store, the competition gets notified..
To make a list of types of data being retained we have:
- Your location, where and when you go about your life
- The stores you visit and what you buy
- Every fine, or crime you ever commited
- The people you have contact with, how long you talk
- Your bank transactions
- Your medical records, your biometrics, for instance an iris picture by your optometrist
- Your genome (is being collected and organized in a European wide program)
One can argue that this data collection is for commercial reasons, partially it is. Part of it is industrial espionage. What happens is hard to tell, there is no way to police the spread of your data as long as the privacy of companies is protected, and states remain sovereign. Simple information maximization results in enormous amounts of data being stored, looking for a use.
There are several problems with this trend. The first is that it turns the market into a planned economy, because it is clear what is needed where and by whom most of the time. Second, it opens avenues for political influencing, something that was reported by the University of Bath. Multinationals use private intelligence companies to gather data on possible political opponents, and actually infiltrate their ranks to either push them over the edge of legality or harm them in other ways.
“Large transnational corporations (TNCs) faced with political or consumer campaigns have a long history of countering criticism with dirty tricks, including: spying on activists and infiltrating their groups” (source)
The question rises, what is the role of the government in this. The answer is that the governmental institutions create forced trust that is abused by corrupted politicians. It is a willing host to parasitic infestations of non-democratic, malign and ill minded survaillance and enforcement. But due to the weakening of laws companies can now choose from an endless array of private companies (set up as part of ‘homeland security’) to help them spy on and subequently disabuse law abiding citizens.
But what world does this create? One in which you never know if what happens to you is an accident. One in which your internet is different from that of everyone else. One in which you can’t insure against genetic weakness. One in which your political choices influence your career. No matter how fragmented the buildup of this data mesh is, its ultimate effect will be one of either inclusion or exclusion for specific individuals. It creates a whole new landscape to navigate.
The first use of big data was by Hitler, who used IBM computers to track down and destroy the jews of Europe. (source)
This all does not happen in a neutral environment. The worlds resouces are being depleted and affected by climate change. Peak oil forces ever more polluting types of fossil fuel to be brought onstream. Scarcity is already pushing people into poverty on a massive scale, you can list the ‘revolutions’ that all don’t lead to a solid answer (more renewables), but instead can only amplify suffering. It is obvious why there is no relief achievable through the application of renewable energy, because most financial and real conflict aim to maintain fossil fuel as the dominant energy source.
The people that control the resources, whether they are armies in service of governments or individuals, all have the same dillema : Use the fuel (sell it at a price that people can afford) and have a society of some sort, but also get rid of those using the fuels without improving society, because that lengthens the period of possible enjoyment. Not selling it is not an option because the financial system will replace anyone with a mind to stop fossil fuel exploitation, even if it takes a war. Money flow is 100% contingent on fossil fuel flow, stopping it would kill the ‘carboncredit’ economy instantly and cost a lot of bankers their bonus.
The disconnect between the people and the elite lies where people become disinterested in laws, or where lawmaking is made so complex it is impossible to pinpoint those responsible for a law. This is the case in the US, where drafts of bills can change even after the final vote.
The challenge of the elite is to have a desirable society with less and less energy supply. The alternative (renewable based society) is avoided (fought tooth and nail) because it has an inverse power structure, it creates a patchwork of small ‘states’ that are relatively autonomous (although it will ultimatly adapt to its permanent and enormous energy surplus).
Using solar we can enjoy 2250 times the wealth we now get from fossil fuels.
How is this not going to lead to eugenics? The pressure is in favour of the most marketable people. This is because they most easily sell and perpetuate the consumer economy. Those that don’t look attractive, healthy and active don’t deserve as much investment, because they don’t generate as much cashflow.
NASA analysis “With a larger depletion rate, the decline of the Commoners occurs faster, while the Elites are still thriving, but eventually the Commoners collapse completely, followed by the Elites.” (source)
Medical services will be constrained to people with the potential to live long healthy lives. This is translated to high insurance fees and outright rejection. Jobs will be offered to people checking all the boxes.The waste of resources becomes increasingly problemantic as fossil fuel scaricty grows. Every weak country will be stripped of its assets, first weakend by financial sharks, like f.i. Greece and Italy, or the so called Piigs. Whole peoples will be pushed back into a more treacherous life, increasing death rates, forcing stronger effects of natural selection.
The data gathering we see (or accidentally discover) today all helps create a world in which your chances of succes are no longer in your hands. Your reality can be changed, your options changed, even your mind because the information you are exposed to is not accidental, but tailored to have a specific effect with you. The only way to counter it is to extract yourself from the information environment, but that does not help you apply for a job with a company that knows your history and kan easily find dozens of alternative less tainted applicants.
Many political parties on the right believe it’s your own work that brings you success, and everyone has equal opportunities. This is an old philosophy that serves those that are already successfull. It is true it used to take a stong man to master others and generate a stable and wealthy houshold, especially when lifespan was still about 40 years and most work was done by manual labour. These days the accomplisched rule machines, and indoctrinated people. They are mere machinists, soullessly watching dails, hiding weakness with arrogance.
The biggest problem ultimately is that there is no human-related goal in a carbon economy. The goal is to sell as much fossil fuels as possible. Beauty, life, children or happiness are not goals. Only the few people controlling the mechanical process will ultimately have to be satisfied and happy, but that’s only a tiny fraction of the total population. All the rest has to suffer in the mechamism serving fossil fuel monetization, or be rejected by it (which is more efficient and altogether more pleasant for the elite). Chances are your person has been rated, weighed and found to be a burden. Maybe you will feel this is right, as you see someone more healthy and beautifull thrive. But this cruelty is unnecessary. Your move has to be to disable the mechanism by destroying ‘big data’, reverse it’s creation, delete records kept on you person, and become the sole owner of it again.