Friday, August 17, 2012

A plush prison

I'm sometimes depressed at how comfortable the general population is with being controlled.

I realize this is a normal human trait.  Whenever I try to understand humans as a whole I often think of our closest primate relatives, which generally explains a lot.  Despite our pretensions to language and reason, at root we are still pack animals, with leaders and followers.  Mostly followers.  We do this because it works.

I don't mean to denigrate followers.  Some of the nicest people I know would never dare to try to lead anyone.  This is not a bad thing, it is the way we are made.  After all, if everyone tried to be the alpha all the time, can you imagine the chaos?  It's bad enough the way it is.

That being said, the reason our leaders get away with so many wars is also the willingness of the majority of people to do what they're told.

The part that scares me is the new part, the part we are creating now--automation.  Automation is an amazing thing.  It saves us labor.  It's pretty freaking cool to watch, and certainly I enjoy making it.  I am an automator.  I am a logician.  That's what we do--we chain together modules of complex logic to accomplish tasks that would be impossible, literally, otherwise.

For example, most people have no conception of the amount of logic running the workstation  you are looking at right now.  Remember the green on black text computer terminals of yore?  What makes your current machine so pretty is lots and lots of logic, layers of it, running one on top of another.  Millions of instructions per second are needed just to make the pretty display you are reading--let alone actually doing stuff.

It appears simple.  It's not.

Today it is only techs who have a real grasp on either what is happening, or what can happen with automation.

Which of course is why I started this blog.

Growing up, I saw no downside to computers.  They were so cool!  I'm a bit wiser now and definitely a lot more concerned.  It is the possibilities for social control that make freedom and personal control over these devices so very important.  We mustn't let anyone control our information machines for us!  My God, the danger is immense!

Already, technology has enabled some of the worst dictatorships in the world.  Imagine Saddam Hussein's Iraq, or the Kim's North Korea.  They constructed systems of control so tight, so terrifying, that without outside intervention change is impossible.  Eventually, in many decades, perhaps it could come as future "leaders" allowed their vice to loosen, but who wants to wait for that?

Imagine a regime like that with advanced automation, even robots, to enforce their control.  Does that really seem like fantasy to you, now?

This is why it's so important to achieve liberty now, before these tyranny enabling technologies can have a chance to get in place, making freedom a distant dream for great great great great grandchildren....


  1. I have a suggestion/request.

    The background on your blog (the bookshelves) takes a long time to load and is quite noticeable.

    I really like your blog posts but I mostly read at work. I could participate more if the background were a bit lighter byte-wise and more subtle.

    Also, can't find an email address for you...

  2. Hmm tweaked it, let me know how that works for you.
    Also, I've enabled my email to show on my profile page--feel free to shoot me a line if it still gives you issues.