TIMES, TIME, AND HALF A TIME. A HISTORY OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM.

Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.



Showing posts with label 1984. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1984. Show all posts

Friday, June 19, 2020

Online Group Discussion and AMA Bookchat Today


Image Source: 4chan. A play on this painting.

A reminder, there is an AMA Bookchat today on the blog's Discord group. This is a weekly text chat where I talk with readers about technology's legacy in the early 21st century, in the form of red-pilled history. My definition of red-pilling is here. The bookchat is part of my work while I write my book-in-progress, Inside the Potemkin Village.

Everyone is invited to join the discussion. Friday, 19 June 2020, 4-7 p.m. Eastern (8-11 p.m. UTC). Go to the room marked hashtag #bookchat. The blog's Discord was established as a free, mutually-supporting community.


In the chat:
  • Toppled statues and the destruction of history. This is history, pressed to serve the causes of current politics.
  • Are protesters larping for tolerance? A revolution? An election? Are their activities a distraction from a collapsing economy and Pandemic Two?
  • The alt-right underground dismisses BLM's and Antifa's summer protests as a left-wing psyop and "fake narrative" to benefit the Democrats in the US election. They have considered psyop-ing the psyop by demanding that Yale University be renamed under Twitter hashtag #renameyale. Rather than fight with the demonstrators (as football fans recently did in the UK BLM protests), the trolls are encouraging the left to escalate their tactics. Right-wing anons understand memes like no one else, and in that spirit, they are launching new, pro-left anti-historical campaigns. Anons believe they are competing with the far left for the average voter, who can be swayed toward conservatism not through right-wing outrage at erased history, but through inconvenience, irritation, and annoyance at constant disruptions and socialist extremism. The trolls believe that it's not the toppled statues that will make the average citizen vote conservative. It's the traffic jams and trash around anarcho-syndicalist autonomous collective encampments and the disappeared police from leafy suburbs in major cities. Suburbanites don't really want to live in a Purge reality.
  • These actions and debates 'quote' and rewrite modern history, when very similar events took place. In the past, removal of statues was a prelude to societal collapse and violence.
  • We go full Orwell, as historians advocate the erasure of history in the mainstream media. A reminder that in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston Smith's job was erasing history, which was the dystopian equivalent to being a historian.
  • Meanwhile, in the mainstream media: the CBC was horrified to discover that a large portion of alt-right actors online are Canadians. The CBC deemed extremism as any engagement with information that falls outside the mainstream media narrative, which they define and control.
  • It all shows that history is written by the power players and it shows how information is connected to power plays.

Video Source: 4chan. A tweeted criticism of this comparison.














Subscriber blog posts on all these topics (Patreon: $1/month) will start this week. Access to the forum is for in-depth community discussion and planning to deal with financial stresses and the pandemic (Patreon: $5/month). Online video meetings are for specific problems and fine planning ($10/month).

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Socialism for the One Per Cent


July 2017: Janet Yellen testimony to the US House Financial Services Committee. Image Source: Youtube.

The Iraq War and Great Recession deformed socialism. On the surface, the new socialism looks like the old socialism, and offers support to those who suffer from social and economic inequality. Meanwhile, this is really Socialism for the One Per Cent. It uses the old socialism as a virtue-signaling meme, which has been weaponized to deceive left-liberal citizens and gain their support. Meanwhile, the One Per Cent seize public wealth for their own private good.

Republic Of CHAZ: Whites Pressured To Give Blacks $10 Each (14 June 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

Here is an example of how old socialism is being used as a meme to conceal the aims of new socialism for the One Per Cent. From the above video on the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in Seattle:
"Seattle's so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) has begun reparations, as white members of the fledgling sovereignty were asked on Friday night [12 June 2020] to give at least one black person $10 before leaving the area.

'I want you to find, by the time you leave this autonomous zone, I want you to give ten dollars to one African American person from this autonomous zone. And if you find that's difficult - if you find it's hard for you to give ten dollars to people of color, to black people expecially [sic], you have to think really critically about - in the future, are you going to actually give up power and land and capital when you have it?

If you have a hard time giving up ten dollars, you have to think about: are you really down with this struggle? Are you really down with the movement? Because if that is a challenge for you, I'm not sure if you're in the right place.

So find an African American person. White people, I see you. I see every one of you, and I remember your faces. You find that African American person and you give them ten dollars. Cash up, venmo, ten dollars in your pocket. That's my challenge to you. Do it.'"
While a huge debate on racism is underway, there is one basic fact which people of colour should note while they attend global Black Lives Matter protests. You would think the above medium of exchange being discussed was USD $10 dollar bills. It wasn't.

Former Black Lives Matter Ferguson Organizer, Chaziel Sunz Exposes Democrats, Antifa, BLM and More (2 June 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

On the blog's Discord group this week, I posted links to several scientific research articles which confirm that people of African, East Indian, and Asian descent are more susceptible to the coronavirus than Caucasians. Authorities and organizers who encouraged minorities to go out and protest do not have their best interests at heart. People of colour are being manipulated through their understandable concerns about racism in order to launch Pandemic Two.

Anyone considered by the One Per Cent to be a financial burden just so happens to be more susceptible to this virus. First, it was the elderly, dying in droves behind locked doors of care homes. Now, visible and minority ethnic groups have been prompted to mingle en masse without protection in dozens of major cities.

Next, we discovered that people with disabilities and those who are intellectually challenged and suffer from mental health disorders are also most susceptible to dying from COVID19 and will be denied life-saving support in hospitals.

You could not provide the Fourth Reich conspiracy theorists with more evidence to confirm their paranoia about a secret global Nazi Deep State. We can despise the conspiracy theorists and their lurking anti-Semitism. But the smoke and mirrors of conspiracy theories only distract from the basic fact that this virus is remarkably selective and awfully convenient for a bankrupt system. And who bankrupted the system? The One Per Cent.

The left don't know what they are supporting. Nor do right-wingers, when they support the opposition. Given recent developments in pandemic expense management, we now know that average liberals will not be offered any socialist equality; nor will conservatives get a share of the common wealth and capital they crave.

Why This Reckless Mania Leads to Depression, Not Recession - Mike Maloney (10 June 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

Do you really care if the One Per Cent claim they are left-wing or right-wing, when they will plunder you either way? Whatever slogans and values they pretend to follow, and no matter what your own political beliefs, they are about to grab the total value of your lives and homes, destroy your families and whole way of life. Behind the façades of identity politics and Pandemics One and Two, these millionaires and billionaires have launched a revolution, which will serve them (and only them) for the next century. That is what the pandemic is: a socialist revolution by, and for, the One Per Cent.


For daily updates on this development, go to the blog's free Discord group. To consider how best to respond, this month on the blog's forum we are going to get to the bottom of BlackRock Inc., the world's largest asset manager. In 2015, Carl Icahn predicted of BlackRock:
"The public got screwed in ‘08, they're gonna get screwed again."
Carl Icahn ...... danger ahead (29 September 2015). Video Source: Youtube.

On 24 March 2020, the Fed tapped BlackRock to buy US pandemic debt. The Bank of Canada is also interested in this scheme. On 27 March 2020, thirty groups expressed concern about this development in a letter to the Fed (here).

The BlackRock Take Over Of America, Brought To You By COVID-19 (16 Jun 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

The Last American Vagabond confirms that Donald Trump had multi-million-dollar investments in BlackRock before he was elected in 2016. And now, under his administration, the world's biggest hedge fund just took over the fiscal and monetary policies of North America. This move will pump stocks and make the rich richer, but it will completely and permanently impoverish anyone who works in the real economy. This is technically illegal. Government banks are not supposed to invest public monies in the stock market. But BlackRock is offering a workaround.

In this environment, we must take digital responsibility for ourselves. Information is the new capital and we must actively engage with it, rather than just absorbing it as passive consumers.

For this reason, I am raising funds to develop this blog's community, so that readers and members can discuss current crises, and build a private network of conscious digital citizens, consumers, and investors.

Image Source: AZ Quotes.

I am also writing a book, Inside the Potemkin Village, on the impact of technology on early 21st century history and red-pilled cyber resistance movements. I am available to answer questions and entertain discussion on red-pilling and Orwell's famous warning: he who controls the past controls the future. There will be a Bookchat on the Discord group on Friday, 19 June 2020, 4-7 p.m. Eastern (8-11 p.m. UTC). Go to the room marked hashtag #bookchat, with a focus this week on the toppling of historical statues in the BLM protests.

Subscriber Patreon blog posts on all these topics (Patreon: $1/month) will start this week. Access to the forum builds the community so that we can deal with financial stresses and the pandemic (Patreon: $5/month).

Upper-tier patrons (Patreon: $10/month) are invited to group video NEWSCHATS (middle of each month, starting in July 2020) for strategic planning.

Top-tier patrons have access to personal tarot readings (monthly), and MYSTERIES CHATS (end of each month, starting in July 2020). If you prefer to donate in Bitcoin or by Paypal, please contact me (here).

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See all my posts on Epidemics here and here.


In case of censorship and you find my blogs, Histories of Things to Come and The Dragonfly closed or restricted, please refer to my Vocal Media blog and my home Website, LCDOUGLASS.COM, where you can join my newsletter at the bottom of the page. If my gmail goes down, you can DM me here.

If you liked this post, please donate to keep this blog running.

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Sunday, June 7, 2020

Blog's Tenth Birthday


Stills from Blade Runner 2049 (2017) © Warner / Sony. Reproduced non-commercially under Fair Use. Image Source: RPF.

Happy Birthday, Dear Blog

Last month was the blog's tenth birthday! The blog has almost reached 4 million unique hits. I am deeply grateful to all readers who stop by and to fellow content creators in the alt media.

The Best Posts page will soon be updated, here. The five-year retrospective, Perspectives and Milestones, summarized my rationale for blogging about the impact of technology on the 20th century world, as a way of understanding the history of the 21st century.

Conclusion of a Decade

Image Source: tumblr.

Over the past decade, I observed two main trends: first, the erosion of conventional authority in the face of democratized access to information; and second, the attempt by the establishment to exploit and manipulate information to regain control of an increasingly red-pilled public.

I am now writing a book based on the blog, Inside the Potemkin Village (more below).

Given current circumstances, I am moving daily posts and community discussions to closed forums.

I am a Canadian blogger. In April 2020, there was a discussion in Ottawa about criminalizing anyone who discussed conspiracy theories or peddled disinformation online about COVID19. I analyze disinformation and conspiracy theories as examples of techno-culture. This distinction would be missed by authorities.

I am also writing on the Blogger platform, which is run by Google, notorious for its deplatforming of the alt media on Youtube. I expect social media censorship to increase, along with mayhem in the streets.

A man had an open container of Alcohol. NYPD slammed him on his head unconscious. (24 May 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

For these reasons, research links and updates about my work will be found for free on Discord. Please join the conversation. I will write fewer blog posts, and the ones I do write will be behind a small Patreon subscriber paywall ($1 per month). I will still occasionally write non-crisis posts here and at my other blogs.


This isn't just about me. The current circumstances are so serious and volatile that I am asking for support to develop a private online community, based on this blog.

Become a Patron!

The TLDR:
  • A private free text chat on Discord (https://discord.com/ invitation code Zy9XVad) for all blog readers, with daily information and updates on my book-writing. Join the discussion.
  • A free newsletter - sign up at the bottom of my Website. The newsletter will give regular updates for those who access free material and for Patreon supporters, who will be added automatically.
  • Private blog posts on the pandemic and current crises for start-tier Patreon supporters (https://www.patreon.com/LCDouglass).
  • A private forum (https://hottc.forumotion.com) to build a community for medium-tier Patreon supporters. Register at the forum and your account will be activated when your Patreon support is confirmed. Discussions will cover the pandemic; economic collapse; coming tech innovations; personal resilience and survival; censorship; laws and civil rights; evolving politics; the US election; digital education; cryptos; hyperinflation; food insecurity; and other topics.
  • Private scheduled virtual video and audio meetings to consider community strategies in times of change (for upper-tier Patreon supporters).
  • Insider, behind-the-scenes information in virtual meetings (for top-tier Patreon supporters).
If you want to buy cryptos on exchanges as a hedge against hyperinflation, please buy through the links below, which will also support me, my writing projects, and the development of a community for mutual support during tough times. Some links also provide you with a bonus at sign-up.

In particular, Crypto.com offers a Visa card in the UK, USA, Singapore, Canada, and Europe, which will draw from your cryptos stored in your online wallet. The cryptocurrencies you hold will be converted into fiat money at the moment when you make purchases in stores. Crypto.com is also a crypto exchange and an online wallet (where I do not recommend you keep anything for long); and it has other services in the works. Their whitepaper is here. This financial tool might be useful next year, when a head of lettuce might cost USD $400 or more.

ADDENDUM (1 July 2020): Unfortunately, the German fintech behind the crypto.com wallet, Wirecard, has collapsed in the biggest accounting fraud scandal in post-war history. Use of crypto.com's Visa is not recommended and/or prohibited and restricted until crypto.com can find a different wallet provider.
  • My invitation link to Crypto.com is here: (referral code: zju6byz4vq). NB: Please refer to the addendum above.
  • Support my work when you buy cryptos at Bitbuy, my referral link is here (referral ID: 9NNHWIHWE).
  • My Swissborg referral link is here.
  • Wealthsimple's crypto waitlist is here.
  • My Brave encrypted browser referral link is here.
  • My invitation to Binance is here (referral IDs: 41817819 or IBYYBGRH).
  • My referral to Coinbase is here.
  • Please donate to keep this blog and related platforms running.

BTC: 1NnSDexmAjopLUhdxu6jzChFNpxrGzHpT9
DOGE: DJPwPuXqNoqUJxC3oj4SZPbKHmqRt3ESQT
ETH: 0x4F3b2199f789F2182b46caf6dFB18bE462567497


Real-Time, Red-Pilled History

Image Source: Jesus Mendez.

Why support the writing of Inside the Potemkin Village?

This blog was conceived as an original and unique experiment in writing what I call 'real-time history.' The idea was that information was moving so quickly, and in such volumes, and in so many new formats, that it was not possible to write a professional academic history of the new Millennium by waiting the traditional 30+ years before engaging the historical view. It had to be done day-by-day.

Technologically-driven communication poses other serious problems for historical writing. There are new forms of global community and identification; new media; malleable and anonymous sources; disappearing information; whistle-blowing; challenges to traditional information authorities; big data; and censorship.

The most popular post here is my 2017 summary of new Millennial politics: Red Pill, Blue Pill, Green Pill, Black Pill. One of the readers remarked:
"This was a truly amazing and inspired blog post. I do hope you are able to publish a book that further delves into these cyber resistance and cultural movements. I'd buy it today. The closest I've seen to someone actually publishing a book that attempts to cover 4chans massive cultural influence is 'hacker hoaxer whistleblower spy', but you are far more versed in the minutiae of it all."
To the Red Pills: do you want your history written by someone who understands what you went through and followed it every day?

Without an alternative history, your experiences from the first quarter of the 21st century will be judged through the lens and politics of mainstream academic theory. Not only will this be inaccurate, it will reflect the Orwellian aims of the current establishment, which silences alternative voices, suppresses independent implementations of technology, and absorbs the best of tech start-ups and cyber-movements, while removing their independent legacies from the record.


Without a crowd-funded, real-time, red-pilled history, the story of life on the early Internet will be written by scholars funded by the likes of Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, and Jeff Bezos. You know how it will read.

Going forward, alternative voices won't just be erased from the Internet. They will be erased from history. He who writes history provides the future world view.

This is why I am writing my first collection of essays on this early Millennial period in Inside the Potemkin Village. In order to finish the book and other writing projects, while also developing that knowledge into community strategies to survive at this challenging time, I am asking for your support.

NOTE: I may change platforms for chat, forums, and virtual meetings; check below for any updates or write to me (here) for new invite links.



Sunday, May 17, 2020

Global Transhumanist Technocracy 1.0



Protests over the coronavirus lockdowns are becoming more intense, especially in the United States, as the impending related economic collapse comes into sharper focus. In Michigan, USA armed protesters entered the State Capitol building on 30 April 2020. Views are divided on these protests. Critics on social media showered  protesters with withering, politicized contempt; for example:
"All I see is a bunch of retarded right wingers and neo nazis getting Covid!"
and
"Why didnt one of this idiot fire a shot on the floor by accident and that will shut these fucker up. Imagine how the swat will get their asses."
and
".....morons, illiterates and animals, WITH WEAPONS. A person's true nature is always exposed in a crisis situation. I don't know about you, but I fear for our future."
and
"Bro if I was the governor I would have riot police push these fuckers outta the building"
The next uproar in the state of Michigan revolved around Karl Manke, a barber in Owosso, who reopened his shop, surrounded by supporters. When the police came to shut down the shop, an armed militia mobilized to block the police. A Circuit Court judge subsequently refused to uphold the Governor's order to shut down the shop.

Protesters argue with police inside Michigan Capitol building (30 April 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

Karl Manke, Barber, Interview (9 May 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

Militia DEFENDS Shop Owners In Michigan! - DEMANDS Police Stand DOWN! (12 May 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

In Seattle, Washington, USA, police officer Greg Anderson refused to arrest citizens for walking down the streets and other pandemic protocol violations. The father of three was subsequently put on leave, then fired for refusing to take down his Instagram message to other police officers (below). A family friend set up a Go Fund Me campaign on 11 May 2020. The crowdfund has raised almost half a million US dollars. The initial goal was USD $50,000.


These Tyrants Just Fired The Best Officer In The Nation. This Just Proves Cops Are Tyrannical (11 May 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

The Go Fund Me campaign for Officer Greg Anderson, Port of Seattle Police.

In Sacramento, California, a Marine veteran, Dr. Cordie Lee Williams, who is based in San Diego and Los Angeles, chastised police who were guarding the State Capitol building until the police stood down.

California Police STAND DOWN After Marine Vet Challenges Their Integrity (3 May 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

My friend and reader, -C., who is based in Switzerland, sent me the following worldwide protest video. Canadian friends, -H. and -J. forwarded me the document which is below that and asked me to post it.

Lockdown Protests - The Great Awakening WorldWide (Huge Compilation Mai 2020) (3 May 2020). Video Source: Youtube.


Global Transhumanist Technocracy 1.0

NATO Dark Hand On Trump And CoronaVirus Now Evident (13 May 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

There are two theories evolving in the alt media about nCov now, and neither focuses on public health. Both theories assume that the pandemic is really about the development of new weaponry and the introduction of new technology. One view, developed by George Webb, Dr. Paul Cottrell, Dr. Judy Mikovits and others, focuses on the big business of vaccines, as a front end activity for bioweapons development and espionage.

Judy Mikovits - Paul Cottrell Interview Summary By George Webb (15 May 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

The second view, developed by Aaron and Melissa Dykes at Truthstream Media, among other members of the alt media, such as James Corbett and James Evan Pilato, is that we are witnessing the initial launch of the brain-body-machine interface. I find the second view convincing.

THE PURPOSE OF DISRUPTION (15 May 2020). Video Source: Bitchute.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Coronavirus: The Prestige of Censorship


Still from The Prestige (2006). Reproduced under Fair Use. Image Source: 3d Dog Script.

To quote the Christopher Nolan film, The Prestige (2006), every magic trick has three acts: the pledge, the turn, and the prestige. In the pledge, the magician shows you something ordinary. In the turn, the magician makes that ordinary thing do something extraordinary, like making it disappear. But in magic, it's not enough to make something disappear. You have to bring it back. This final illusion is the prestige.

The Prestige Every Magic Trick Has Three Parts (11 January 206). Video Source: Youtube.

Using a trick in which the magician makes a canary disappear, The Prestige explained how magic works. The trick takes something away and brings it back. How does it do this? The video below shows the grisly truth. The original canary is killed by the magician and replaced by a duplicate living bird, an imposter. It looks like the original bird is recovered. But the thing that is brought back is not the same thing that disappeared. It only looks that way.

The Prestige: Hiding In Plain Sight (24 February 2012). Video Source: Youtube.

Information about the coronavirus pandemic has something of a magician's prestige about it. Whatever we lose now, we will lose for good. When it comes back, it will not be the same thing, even though it will look identical. This week, nCov's competing narratives divided between:
  • Governmental and mainstream media: the pledge
  • Real alternative media: the turn
  • Fake alternative media (in fact, governmental): the prestige
In our current situation, the 'canary' being made to disappear is the original alternative media, and the magician is governmental control.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Our Father, Who Art in Silicon: Censorship of Social Media and the War over the Virtual World


A livecam (here) constantly broadcasts footage of the Centennial Light, a light bulb which has been burning since 1901. The bulb, located in a fire station in Livermore, California, USA, is taken as a proof of planned obsolescence in industry. Image Source: mnn.

Do you know who you are? One can define oneself in terms of the past, present, or future. Tech companies are currently censoring social media to produce a toxic, Orwellian 'now,' in which past content is being erased on the grounds that it is not authoritative. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the main character, Winston Smith, is a 'historian' in that nightmare world. Or rather, he is what historians will become: a censor. Winston Smith erases history and creates new versions of it, from one hundred years ago, right down to yesterday.

In anticipation of the American 2020 election, among other agendas, tech corporations are becoming Orwellian censors. In the past month on Youtube, Google has begun weirdly removing date stamps from videos. Today, Youtube will begin erasing past content of which they disapprove.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Time and Politics 24: Kiwis on the Cutting Edge


L & P Stubbies Ad (NZ) (30 August 2006). Video Source: Youtube.

A hat tip goes to Ed at The Outer Light on Youtube for sharing a funny Kiwi ad for the famous New Zealand soft drink L&P (Lemon and Paeroa) featuring the equally famous Stubbies, "short shorts ... for informal wear" favoured by Aussie and Kiwi men since 1972. The ad reminded me of my earlier post on Canadian humour, here.

CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, Kim Dotcom & Suzie Dawson - 2nd #AntiSpyBill event (20 August 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

If the Kiwis were on the cutting edge of men's fashion in the 1970s, they're on the cutting edge of political fashion now. This was Ed's segue, not mine! The point he was making, I think, is that the world used to be more trusting, naive, and less oppressive. People hung out, had parties, drank soda, and wore tight pants. Ed's Outer Light videos often express nostalgia for the lost, pre-Internet past, when everyday people did not worry about global crime and mass surveillance, and they felt they could trust their governments.

One of the Internet Party's supporters and spokespeople is Barrett Brown. For more on him, go here. Image Source: Facebook.

If citizens did not worry about mass surveillance then, they certainly do now. The New Zealand Internet Party held another worldwide roundtable meeting on 20 August 2017 to continue to develop a bill against government spying on citizens:
"Acclaimed CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou and other special guests will join tech entrepreneur and Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom on the panel of the next #AntiSpyBill live event this Sunday night.

This comes hot on the heels of several major American publications reporting on technical evidence recently presented by the group Veteran Intelligence Professionals For Sanity (VIPS), of which Kiriakou is a member, to the White House regarding the DNC leaks of 2016, The event will be held online between 8pm and 11pm on Sunday the 20th of August, 2017, NZST (UTC+12) and follows on from the Internet Party’s flagship #AntiSpyBill event which featured appearances by Dotcom, award-winning journalist Barrett Brown, hacktivist Lauri Love and comedian Lee Camp. ...

The Internet Party is inviting the public to join the roundtable event, which as well as discussing contemporary issues of the day, will continue its effort to draft crowdsourced legislation to counter government spying."
The Internet Party is headed by ex-Occupy-Auckland citizen journalist, Suzie Dawson, a New Zealand political refugee living in Moscow, Russia (she has applied for temporary asylum); she made a documentary about her experiences in the Occupy movement and the events which led her to seek asylum, here.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

New UK Export: Police State Tools


How BAE sold cyber-surveillance tools to Arab states - BBC News (20 June 2017). Video Source: BBC via Youtube.

NSA in a box: on 20 June 2017, BBC reported that a UK firm, BAE systems, exported nation-wide surveillance and decryption tools to Arab states, notably the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Morocco. The BBC reporter found that this exported technology will potentially be used against the UK. Takeaway quote: "You'd be able to intercept any Internet traffic. If you wanted to do a whole country - go ahead!"

Image Source: BAE Systems.

The 52nd International Paris Air Show is on now from 19 to 25 June 2017, with reps talking about everything from commercial jets to quantum entanglement. The aerospace industry increasingly considers military applications in space. Jane's reported that BAE is there, seeking to expand its custom for fighter jets in Belgium and Finland. Despite political tensions between Trump's America and a liberal Europe, on 18 June 2017 Defense News stated that US military industry reps were sanguine: it's "full speed ahead" between Europe and the USA when it comes to aerospace and arms deals. While the event is on, you can watch a livestream from the Paris Air Show here.

Le Bourget roundup Day 1 (20 June 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Crisis in a Box


This image circulates on truther sites. I have not confirmed its origin or supposed associated terror event. Image Sources: here and here.

This summer's blog posts assess how weaponized propaganda in the media and on the Internet is affecting behaviour and perception. I have never seen so much chaotic, dangerous and disturbing information and disinformation.

The problem has arisen in an already uncertain environment. The Internet is culturally anti-statist, an attitude reinforced by leaks, hacks and whistle-blowing. Although leaks and whistle-blowing were and are intended to make the establishment more transparent and less corrupt, revelations also destabilize society. Some quarters now exploit the credibility of whistle-blown information, so that 'real truths' become vectors of disinformation. As a result, no one knows what to believe.

In a climate of disillusionment, everything, including real facts, is disbelieved. On the Internet, all authorities are suspect. Truth in international affairs has become a question of atomized subjective belief, confirmation bias, and personal preference. Trust, rather than rationalism, drives the information sphere. The mainstream and alt-media compete for credibility and dominance in the fight to win the public's trust.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Freedom of the Internet in Virtual and Real Jurisdictions


Image Source: Freedom House.

Today, The Independent reported that the Tories' electoral manifesto promises to allow the UK government to censor the Internet. Part of this is in the name of decency, to control hate speech, terrorism and child pornography. Of course, there is a lot of leeway around how the Tories will define decency. Buzzfeed:
"'Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet,' ... [the manifesto] states. 'We disagree.'

When the manifesto was unveiled by Theresa May in Halifax[, UK] on Thursday morning [18 May 2017], news bulletins understandably focused on the party's taxation policy and Brexit plans rather than the technology section at the end.

But the relatively oblique language hides a major change that will affect the vast majority of Britons who spend hours of their day on the internet: May's party feels it's time to stop treating the internet as an anarchic free-for-all.

... In particular, Conservative advisers suggested to BuzzFeed News that a future Tory government would be keen to rein in the growing power of Google and Facebook, two companies that dominate the flow of information on the internet but have a habit of strongly resisting regulation – as the government found out when it attempted to force Facebook-owned WhatsApp to weaken its encryption after the Westminster terror attack.

Pull the various tech-related manifesto pledges together and – if the polls are correct and May wins a majority in next month's election – the Conservatives could have a mandate from the British public for a significant extension of internet regulation, all based on the idea that a government's duty to protect citizens exists just as much on the internet as it does in the real world.

Legislation would be introduced to protect the public from abuse and offensive material online, while everyone would have the right to wipe material that was posted when they were under 18. Internet companies would also be asked to help promote counter-extremism narratives – potentially echoing the government's Prevent programme. There would be new rules requiring companies to make it ever harder for people to access pornography and violent images, with all content creators forced to justify their policies to the government.

Labour's manifesto covers some of the same ground – it pledges to keep children safe, tackles online abuse, and also allows content posted by under-18s to be wiped. But it stops short of setting out a comprehensive vision of how online culture should look and feel – and what role the government should have in enforcing these moral judgments. The Conservative manifesto has no such qualms.

Ultimately it all comes back to the idea that, after 20 years of widespread internet usage in the UK, the Conservative leadership feels the internet is having such an enormous effect on society that it cannot be left alone.

'Our starting point is that online rules should reflect those that govern our lives offline,' the Conservative manifesto says, giving its justification for a new level of regulation.

'It should be as unacceptable to bully online as it is in the playground, as difficult to groom a young child on the internet as it is in a community, as hard for children to access violent and degrading pornography online as it is in the high street, and as difficult to commit a crime digitally as it is physically.'

New laws will be introduced to implement these rules, forcing internet companies such as Facebook to abide by the rulings of a regulator or face sanctions: 'We will introduce a sanctions regime to ensure compliance, giving regulators the ability to fine or prosecute those companies that fail in their legal duties, and to order the removal of content where it clearly breaches UK law.'

A levy on tech companies – similar to that charged on gambling companies – would also be used to 'support awareness and preventative activity to counter internet harms'. The Conservatives even see this model going further, announcing their desire to work with other countries develop a global set of internet regulation standards similar to those 'we have for so long benefited from in other areas like banking and trade'.

May's manifesto also raises concerns about online news, warning it is willing to 'take steps to protect the reliability and objectivity of information that is essential to our democracy', while pledging to 'ensure content creators are appropriately rewarded for the content they make available online'.

One Tory source told BuzzFeed News this final comment relates to Google and Facebook's growing dominance of the advertising market, which the newspaper industry believes is crushing its business model. The source suggested that if the web giants failed to act voluntarily then they could be forced by legislation to find ways to financially compensate traditional news producers."
Wow. This shows the degree to which the MSM, an increasingly outmoded form of media, are having trouble competing with social media and the alt-media. This statement ties the MSM to the old form of nation-state authority and implies that governments will prop up and enforce the MSM's continued dominance of public discourse and the legacy media's competitiveness, at the expense of innovation and diversity of opinion. There are several problems here. The vast majority of citizens accept the need to curb child pornography and hate speech. Unfortunately, those legitimate imperatives are smokescreens, employed to quell free speech and to reinforce crumbling frameworks of authority. Ultimately, these imperatives will shape how netizens in certain jurisdictions perceive reality. If the Tories have their way, those controls will be global and defined by Britain, not the EU or the USA.

The Brexiteers' view, from a conservative, politically incorrect cartoonist. Click to enlarge. Image Source: Ben Garrison.

This is a complex topic, which also embraces the economy. In an earlier post, I argued that Brexit indicated that Britain was shifting its economic focus, from Euro-Britain to Silicon Britain. Beneath the politicized racists-against-multiculturalists uproar, this was Brexit's true concern. Thus, it is critical to understand how the Tories intend to build Silicon Britain. Perfidious Albion - at least her Little England portion - has the Germans gnashing their teeth. But this is all about business and the never-ending quest for upward mobility. The Brits who know this do not care whom they offend or what values they betray:
"Britain’s future prosperity will be built on our technical capability and creative flair. Through our modern industrial strategy and digital strategy, we will help digital companies at every stage of their growth. We will help innovators and startups, by encouraging early stage investment and considering further incentives under our worldleading Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme. We will help digital businesses to scale up and grow, with an ambition for many more to list here in the UK, and open new offices of the British Business Bank in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newport, specialising in the local sector. As we set out in chapter one, we will ensure digital businesses have access to the best talent from overseas to compete with anywhere in the world. This will be complemented by at least one new institute of technology in the UK, dedicated to world-leading digital skills and developed and run in partnership with the tech industry. When we leave the European Union, we will fund the British Business Bank with the repatriated funds from the European Investment Fund."
It's all onwards, then, into the future. And if you work in the tech sector or the open source underground, never fear, because they will deprive you of your corporate masters and your crowd-funding. Then they will place honey pots before you, to draw you into the service of HM government:
"We will incubate more digital services within government and introduce digital transformation fellowships, so that hundreds of leaders from the world of tech can come into government to help deliver better public services."
You can read the Tories' manifesto, Forward, Together, here. The final part of the manifesto "Prosperity and Security in a Digital Age," starts on page 75 (page 77 in the whole PDF).


Aside from the Tories' moral and qualitative language, their veiled online imperialism, and the free speech issue, there are three interesting jurisdictional and philosophical questions evident in Forward, Together: alt-globalism; corporations' challenges to nation-states; and the cyber body politic.