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 9/11. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 9/11. Show all posts

Monday, March 23, 2020

Coronavirus Fragments 11: The Hidden Blessings of Disillusionment


Image Source: 4chan.

Like the German prepper above with normies looking on, we are divided between those who believe official and unofficial narratives about the nCov pandemic. Sadly, the prepper - who looks like a lunatic - is right, and those around him are wrong.

For those with confidence in our authorities, it is hard to imagine that Underground information could be true, when it is not properly verified or connected to mainstream reports.


That division between citizens depends on whether the system has been good to them. Only those who have previously been thrust into the outer darkness believe that the darkness is there. Some libertarian commentators think the darkness is real, but the virus is not; they believe that the pandemic will be a red pill for a lot of people, as the 2008 recession or 9/11 were for others before them. Most economic commentators agree that the 'everything bubble' was unsustainable; the economy will collapse and never be the same again.

Image Source: pinterest.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Coronavirus: The Garden of Earthly Delights


Image Source: 4chan.

This is a surreal moment, not a funny one. Plague humour takes on a Bosch-like quality. Bosch depicted sin as a catalyst for social breakdown in his Garden of Earthly Delights. His famous triptych symbolically portrayed a world letting go. That's the feeling now. Jokes get thrown in with intense news reports and crazy conspiracy theories. There is no clear narrative.

Paranoia and Priorities

Image Source: 4chan.


Crazy predictions, apparently from 2017 - or if you prefer - crazy disinfo. Click to enlarge. Image Source: 4chan.

The Internet Underground, as I have previously blogged, regards Aaron Swartz (1986-2013) as a Gen Y hero; rightly or not, they believe his death reflects deep corruption at MIT and Harvard. Image Source: 4chan.

As authorities respond to the spread of the coronavirus, public trust dissolves into paranoia. It is hard to trust officials when so many disturbing things were happening prior to this pandemic. Even with the best containment measures, governments and hospitals will not be able to contain the medical tsunami. Failures may be so catastrophic that they will look orchestrated or premeditated, even if they are not.

Combine that disaster with economic failure and restrictions on citizens' movements, communications, and activities, all on a stage set to sweep aside civil rights. An economic Gordian knot could be conveniently cut by means of the pandemic response. At the same time, the public will be immobilized and partly decimated. This is not a nice coincidence.

Even red-pilled and black-pilled anons are surprised. They nursed alienation from the 'normies,' whom they regard as wage slaves, for two decades. Anons' distrust of the establishment is so complete that they regard everything labeled 'good' as 'bad,' and vice versa. Yoichi Shimatsu's quotation above in relation to the late Aaron Swartz is emblematic of these priorities:
"Striking at the nerve center of the military-corporate-pharmaco-porno complex is an ethical duty not a crime, one of the few available means to defend constitutional law."
Anons cannot decide now whether soldiers are being shuttled around countrysides to help them in an eleventh-hour coup against Deep State actors - or if the military are ready to imprison dissenters in quarantine camps.


To some extent, this nervousness extends to the mainstream public, made worse by mixed messages from governments and media and the fact that this nCov crisis reminds everyone of 9/11. Compare a semi-official statement about tanks moving now into London, UK with a citizen's observation. Like 9/11, this pandemic will shape the global landscape for another twenty years. Like 9/11, the devastation will not just be measured in terms of loss of life. Unless there are serious, far-reaching changes to shift things away from the current technocratic drive to control the very thoughts inside our heads, this pandemic will be remembered in terms of a powerful loss of faith in existing politics and society. That trend will probably overturn most systems of authority today, whose leaders assume that they will consolidate power through this crisis, not be flushed away by it.


"Harness Biology as Technology"

The public have good reason to doubt the integrity of the global establishment. Things were hardly ideal before the pandemic began. Below is a screenshot of a 12 November 2015 report in Nature about bat virus research at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is one of the reasons anons - and the Chinese government - claim that the coronavirus had a (partially) American source. There are also reports about an explosion at a Russian biolab, known as VECTOR, from September 2019. There is a Harvard connection, and a Canadian connection, to this crisis.

Image Source: Nature via 4chan. Click to enlarge.

The main thing to take away from this speculation is that it is not all paranoia and disinformation. Gain-of-function research was certainly taking place in top level biolabs over the past few years. Chinese scientific publications from Wuhan were full of it. The money was there for it and the Chinese were not restraining their scientists with red tape or regulations. There was an ethical debate about reckless behaviour in this field within the scientific community.

This is before we get to highly questionable genetic experimentation with tools like CRISPR. And it is also before we get to strange innovations in quantum computing, artificial intelligence, biotech, and nanotech, all of which overlap in the worst ways with genetic experiments. It is easy to dismiss lunatic conspiracy theorists who have been rambling for years about vaccines, chemtrails, and retweeting Julian Assange's warnings against smart dust. But they have a point: DARPA has stated that its goal is to "harness biology as technology."

Public fear is justified, because the scientific and tech communities have not restrained themselves. They have not moved forward in careful ways. They have been held back only by the availability of funding and legal jurisdictions. No one appears to have lost sleep over whether certain experiments should even have been attempted. Lines are and were being crossed all over the place. Researchers have been arrogant and deceitful in their practices and this time, the Petri dish blew up in their faces.

At the same time, specialists in the arts and humanities have failed. They normally act as critics to indicate a larger moral context when science, technology and engineering get out of control. Gone are the greats like Jacob Bronowski, who could stand in a human ash pool at Auschwitz and state: "we have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power." Bronowski warned repeatedly that knowledge must move forward with integrity, and that anyone who did not pair integrity with knowledge would lose the light of true understanding and any power and authority that might accompany that understanding. Only Bronowski could have pleaded for the integrity of science in terms of the Auguries of Innocence by William Blake:
"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour"
I discussed Bronowski's assessment of physics in the 20th century as an "immortal work" in my 8 April 2011 post, Worlds within Worlds.

The Jacob Bronowskis are gone. The most vocal practitioners in the arts and humanities have become compromised by politicized navel-gazing. Unlike researchers in the sciences, they barely get funded anyway. And when they do, it is for the worst reasons, to bolster Franken-science with Orwellian goodthink. I get the impression that the only permitted 'soft' fields around cutting edge 'hard' scientific research are espionage, finance, politics, and marketing. The classic commentator from the humanities, who once played a crucial role in scientifically- and technologically-advanced societies, has devolved into a controlled environmental activist pawn like Greta Thunberg. At least the pandemic has mercifully forced her off the world stage.

As an individual, I have tried on this blog to meet the moral obligation to society of a person based in the humanities and the arts, by holding up a philosophical mirror to the Millennial march progress. In the past two decades, there are a lot of bloggers and vloggers in the alt-media who have also done this, as well as some trolls and hacktivists.

In order to grasp the myriad of scientific and technological experiments, tests, trials and research groups which were underway at a single point in time, I selected one month as an example. In February 2016, I tried to track down as many science and tech reports as I could in the mainstream English-speaking press or in institutional press releases. I summarized my findings in one post: Science and Tech: Headlines and History in February 2016.

I barely scratched the surface of what was currently being pursued in labs and test facilities in the United States, let alone worldwide. The footage I remember above all was of a Cape Cod warehouse, in which DARPA was repeatedly flying small, very expensive quadcopter drones into cement walls. I had hoped to make this type of post a monthly digest, but there was simply too much information for me to catalogue. It was overwhelming. I reflected on this big picture in the post, The New Millennium's Gothic Moment.

Image Source: 2001: A Space Odyssey via 4chan.

Surreal Reality: The Garden of Earthly Delights

Notice that mainstream reporting on nCov and COVID29 consistently draws attention away from any moral failing on the part of the scientific community. Were researchers playing with fire in Promethean bioweapons projects? Rather than broach these concerns, the MSM fail in their duty, and paper over the cracks. They fixate on pandemic numbers and manage public behaviour. No one is allowed to get to the bottom of preexisting problems which may have lain at the root of what has occurred.

The only reason this comes as a surprise to the public is that we were not paying attention, and we trusted our governments and universities to monitor top level biolabs. That wasn't happening.

As a result of the lies and cover-ups, no one knows what is really going on. We can't get a real grip on this thing. No one is being held accountable. We could even be in the early stages of World War III, and be blind to it. A Canadian anon expressed the Underground's sentiment:
"we can only speculate as to whether coronavirus is a nothing burger or not. if you trust the media, or politicians, or the corrupted scientific establishment you are naive. but you cant totally discredit them either. we can just speculate and guess as to whats going on because everyone everywhere is a lying piece of shit.

should you be worried or not i dunno, flip a coin, 50/50

maybe this is the best possible response, maybe its the worst possible response. feel free to speculate but dont pretend like you know fuck all, you are just a dumb fucking peasant like everyone else and you dont have access to accurate information. who the fuck does?"
This uncertainty creates a surreal atmosphere. No one knows what exactly is happening in this pandemic, how it started, and where it is going. This has led to disillusionment about some leaders, and to jokes and criticism at their expense, which they may or may not deserve. More seriously, it has led to accusations between Chinese and US governments about the origins of the nCov virus.



An American veteran's response to Lijian Zhao on 4chan: "dude when I was in the army there wasnt even enough money to fart outside let alone poison a bunch of bats in wuhan." Where the uncertainty about reality goes, actual reality follows.

Image Source: 4chan.

Image Source: 4chan.


This prepper earned his beer. Image Source: 4chan.



See all my posts on Epidemics here and here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Coronavirus, Asymmetrical Hybrid Warfare and Subversion


Image Source: 4chan.

The novel coronavirus sheds light on activities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). There is a lot of disinformation circulating in relation to the epidemic. It is hard to know what to believe, and in a sense, all versions of reality are true: the Party's Herculean humanitarian efforts to contain the spread of the virus contrast with their authoritarianism.

The Coronavirus, Anti-CCP Criticism and Disinformation

Chinese citizens have taken to social media to complain about the CCP. They are not political actors per se; rather, they are distressed individuals. Some personal videos may be faked. Given the misery of the woman in the video below, I do not think this is a fake source. But there is no proof that this is not an actress. Other social media examples of complaining citizens are here and here.

"wake up All China Citizen !!" she said (15 February 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

Violent, frightening coronavirus videos have been circulating for the past weeks. They show screaming people dragged from their homes, out of their cars and off the streets, all presumably in Wuhan. The most infamous of these shows a gang of quarantine men pulling a woman from her car and apparently having her neck snapped on camera.

Police in #Wuhan #outbreak #coronavirus (7 February 2020). Video Source: Youtube.

There are even videos which seem to show armed HAZMAT-suited teams shooting citizens outright rather than taking them to quarantine, although the presentation is ambiguous and probably false (as here).

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Believe Them or Not: The Red-Pilled Anti-Materialists


Notre-Dame Cathedral burned in Paris on 15 April 2019. Image Source: Ian Langsdon, EPA-EFE via MSN.

There are people on the Internet who are so red-pilled that they will shock today's greatest skeptics. They are more red-pilled than your average Black Pill. They are profoundly alienated from the mainstream and most would call them crazy and paranoid. Yet these rogues are significant because they could develop a future mainstream paradigm, if it isn't suppressed first. Red Pill leaders herald an online movement which will change the way we understand everything.

Red Pills are sometimes associated with right wing politics, but are not mainstream conservatives. In 2015, The Telegraph dismissed red-pilled rumours that late Tory PM of the UK, Edward Heath, was a child abuser. Image Source: The Telegraph.

What do they stand for? The mainstream condemns Red Pills as anti-social and anti-political: hackers, bloggers, vloggers, anarchists, libertarians, conservatives, the deplorables, the downtrodden, the impoverished, the religious, the deluded, the uneducated, the unintelligent. But are these anti-rationalists really anti-rational? Are they stupid, uncultured consumers of 'Fake News' and Deep Fakes, who will ruin democracy with their racist populist fascism? I would argue that scaremongering and stereotyping obscure the trend. What is actually unfolding is a battle between materialism (the mainstream) and anti-materialism (the red-pilled Underground). 

It is odd that Oxford, a hub in the world's power structure, is also producing leaders of the Underground. Two such latter figures are Dr. Joseph P. Farrell and Dr. Katherine Horton. Highly intelligent, they produce nuanced conspiracy theories that are as deeply researched as they are terrifying. If you look at them as advanced anti-materialists rather than as conspiracy theorists, their Oxford background makes more sense.

That said, their views are so incredible that they could be paid agents of disinformation, dispatched by the establishment to discredit Internet dissenters. And if not Farrell and Horton, then others with similar fringe opinions may be controlled opposition.

My post here offers only opening remarks on the shift which Horton and Farrell represent, to be analyzed in future posts. My aim in discussing these matters is not to support or deride Red Pills or their opponents. Rather, I mean to analyze the mainstream as a materialist movement and the Underground in terms of anti-materialism, without being sidetracked by inflammatory language which distorts how we usually consider these questions.

Stop 007 - Who I am (7 December 2016). Video Source: Youtube.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Your Friends, The Dark Overlord


If you want to see the Dark Overlord files, go here. Image Source: Time.

A group called the Dark Overlord claimed responsibility for the 2017 Netflix hacks. They have also lately hacked London Bridge plastic surgery clinic and released celebrities' medical files onto the Web. On 31 December 2018, they rang in the New Year with the announcement that they had breached a law firm and stolen 10 Gigabytes (18,000 documents) of legal papers, video, and audio files relating to 9/11 insurance claims with Hiscox Group. The trolls at 4chan were unimpressed:
"Q: who did 9/11 in your opinion based on the docs?

A: We don't really give a fuck. We want internet money.

We've already released a select few documents to serve as proof of our claims. We're about to change the fucking world. Edward Snowden's NSA leak will be pale in comparison."
And:
"We are all broke and also we don't feel like going to jail as we are all just 16yo virgin keyboard worriers. How come you couldn't find someone to give you a suitcase of money?"
And:
"Q: Hi, thedarkoverlord, Have you considered that information may well be used crash the monetary system you hope to be compensated in?

A: Fantastic question, mate. We're not concerned about that as we receive our payments only in internet money like Bitcoin. The monetary crash will be your problem. We always advise our clients to diversify and acquire different convertible currencies."
Some trolls were less skeptical. After viewing the document below, which was released on 4chan, one noted that 'Iron Mountain' documents had been shredded:
"HEY GUYS THIS IS SOMETHING!!!!

Flight 93 was shot down by National Guard because it was heading to Iron mountain, a military base.

Shredding documents related to that seems like a crime/treason!"


In fact, Iron Mountain is a Boston-based data management company; their history is here. But the company has also partnered with the US government and maintains an underground data storage facility called Iron Mountain in Pennsylvania, USA. They have a staff of 2,700 and they do hold Flight 93 evidence.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

9/11 Anniversary: A Late Witness


9/11 - The Smoking Gun Interview - Barry Jennings (23 August 2014). Video Source: Youtube.

September 11, 2001 is a date in history that I wish had never happened. The world felt more bleak, empty and harsh after this watershed and it has never recovered. This disaster transformed the global political atmosphere.

I don't subscribe to 9/11 truther conspiracy theories, which now form an enormous subculture on the Internet. For truthers, 9/11 is the final Red Pill you need to swallow to see the world for what it really is. There are thousands of rabbit holes there, but I prefer not to fetishize a tragedy with alt-research to confirm what I already know: this nightmare-made-real made everything worse - and it is an intrinsic part of everything else that made everything worse.

Although these videos are widely shared on truther channels, I am posting this interview today to remember 9/11.

These are the testimonies of Barry Jennings, Deputy Director of Emergency Services Department (New York City Housing Authority). He was interviewed on 11 September 2001 by local ABC news, and years later by government officials. He was then tracked down in June 2007 by Loose Change (2007) documentary filmmakers Jason Bermas and Dylan Avery; the video below provides extended material.

Two Barry Jennings Interviews (WABC-TV, 2001 / LTW, 2007) (23 August 2014). Video Source: Youtube.

Barry Jennings died on 19 August 2008, two days before the release of the draft of the Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (20 November 2008), which does not mention his comments. There is a Website (here) dedicated to Jennings's testimonies and death.

Jennings vividly described the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7, which he entered at 9 a.m. that horrible morning. With the help of New York firefighters, he emerged from the building's rubble, a survivor climbing over dead bodies, some four hours later. The FDNY halted work in the building at 3:30 p.m. Jennings had been rescued four hours before WTC 7 collapsed at 5:20 p.m. on 9/11.

WTC 7 was rebuilt and reopened on 23 May 2006 (architect: David M. Childs). The Twin Towers were replaced by One World Trade Center (architects: David M. Childs and Daniel Libeskind), which was fully completed on 29 May 2015.

Image Source: Eddy Cards.

One World Trade Center aka the Freedom Tower (2015). Image Source: Getty Images/USA Today.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Remembering September Tenth


9/10 The Final Hours (2014). Video Source: Youtube.

9/10 The Final Hours is a 2014 documentary which shows footage from and interviews with people who were active around the Twin Towers on 10 September 2001. From the tourists who visited the World Trade Center on 10 September, to the DJ and artists who left the towers in the early hours before the planes hit in on 11 September, this National Geographic special recalls the last day of pre-9/11 New York. The film conveys the before and after, a movement around a pivot in history.

Sunset on 10 September 2001. Image Source: Studd Blog.

September 11th 2001 In Real Time (FAA/NORAD Audio). Full transcript at Rutgers Law Review. Video Source: Youtube.

CNN Live Coverage - (08:48am-10:53am) - 11 September 2001. Video Source: CNN via Youtube.

Rescue workers at Ground Zero (13 September 2001). Image Source: Evanshine.

ADDENDUM (11 September 2017):



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.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Stargate Tweets, Mysteries and Rumours


A Stargate? Image Source: Twitter / iReport/CNN.

At present, there is a very strange dis/information eruption on Twitter, coming from a single account, KibBitzLaw. Whoever is running this account is mingling a giant conspiracy theory with current affairs at breakneck pace (hat tip: The Outer Light). This person is threatening top level officials with information leaks of the most outlandish kind. WikiLeaks is mentioned, as is Chelsea / Bradley Manning. The Tweeter also apparently visited 4chan today, archived here, and stated: "This is not a joke." Tonight's tweets were dedicated to Seth Rich, the murdered Democratic National Committee staffer.


There are weirdos all over the Internet, so one more ranting conspiracy theorist should not matter. The only problem is that this account - which was created in March, 2009 - for some time had, as its first and only follower, former president Barack Obama. The account was previously followed by members of the mainstream media and Democrats running for Congress. It lay quiet for some time, with some tweets during the US election in 2016, and suddenly exploded with activity this month. The account was mentioned today (14 May 2017) on Reddit, here.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Memes in the Chaos: The Plastic Landscape of Reality Journalism



One of the hotbeds where a new technological ideology is forming is alt-journalism. Alt-journalists operate with a post-tabloid, kinetic style which exploits that consciousness and assaults the senses. This blowhard style - exemplified by pro-Trump Periscoper and Youtuber Mike Cernovich - wins alt-journalists popularity among their Youtube, Reddit, Twitter, Gab, and 4chan fans. Cernovich sure doesn't have any fans at liberal outlet Media Matters! You can read their coverage of his work here; and similar hatred for him is here and here. When attacked, Cernovich gives as good as he gets.

In a 2 April article and 3 April 2017 videoCernovich asserted that Susan Rice was at the centre of the Russian-Trump wire-tapping intelligence scandal. It was Cernovich's scoop, not because others did not also have the information, but because others in the MSM chose not to report it.

In appealing to his youthful audience, Cernovich made much of both points. His message: watch him to get the lowdown first on what is happening; and watch him because he has the guts to tell you what others won't. He also builds his brand through bragging, bluster, and brawling with other social media personalities in ways that wear down resistance to him as an unknown quantity:
"I'm starting to like this mythos created about me. The media has turned me into this James Bond villain who has connections to Russian hackers and foreign governments, and can lead hacking campaigns across the world and influence elections. I'm not even going to argue with that shit. I'm going to be like, 'Yeah, you caught me. You're right. I'm a fucking James Bond villain, you know? Thank God.'" 
He introduces his audience to his wife and daughter, and discusses random topics on Friday evening Youtube cigar nights from his patio. Compare this to Anderson Cooper at CNN or Stephen Sackur at the BBC, and you see Mike Cernovich - a late Gen Xer - operates in a Brave New World.

A caveat: my discussion of controversial symbols and ideas in this post in no way indicates my personal belief in, or endorsement of, those symbols and themes. This is an apolitical blog, and my intent in the current series of posts is to uncover the nature of an emerging technological ideology, not to take sides in political debates or support offensive content.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Aleppo's Disinfo D-Day


Umayyad mosque photographed on 12 March 2009 and 17 December 2016. Image Source: The Atlantic.

The Guardian has today published photographs showing Aleppo, Syria as it appeared before the civil war started on 15 March 2011 and how it appears now. Photo credits: The Guardian/ Omar Sanadiki / Khalil Ashawi / Reuters.

The old city photographed on 13 December 2016.

The courtyard of al-Sheebani school photographed on 17 December 2016.

Blame over Syria's devastation intensifies after the murder of the Russian ambassador, Andrey Karlov, on 19 December 2016 at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey. You can see the terrible, raw video, here. The Double-007-type assassin, Mevlut Mert Altıntas, was Aleppo's self-styled avenger. The Telegraph asserted the assassin was an élite policeman who had guarded President ErdoğanKremlin-sourced online rumour mongers believe the killer was an anti-Russian NATO agent. Raw Story:
"The footage also shows the assassin saying a religious verse in Arabic: a pledge for jihad for Muhammed moments after the attack. He also said in Turkish: 'Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria. Until our towns are safe, you will not taste safety. Only death will take me away from here. Everyone who played a role in this cruelty will pay.'"
Several western MSM sources are accusing Syria, Russia and Iran of war crimes for bombarding civilians during a truce to evacuate the formerly-rebel-held city. You can see details at Human Rights Watch, hereWashington Times:
"Iran’s brutal Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force has played an extensive role in the rape of Aleppo, building a network of bases around the Syrian city and directing militiamen from Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan to do the killing, an Iranian opposition group says in a new intelligence report. 
'The fact is that Aleppo has been occupied by the IRGC and its mercenaries,' says the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, or MEK, the largest opposition group to the Islamic mullahs who rule Iran. 'Mass executions, preventing the transfer of the civilians, including women and children, [and] attacking the civilians has all been done by the forces of the mullahs' regime.'"
Heart-rending photograph of 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh from Aleppo (August 2016). Image Source: CNN.

Smoke and mirrors: it is difficult to determine the nature of American and Russian involvement in Syria and the way ISIS was sponsored to destroy Assad's government. It is clear that ISIS got out of control.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Shamans, Scandals and Post-Truth Totalitarianism


Image Source: Korean Exposé.

Three gigantic scandals currently challenge propriety and public service in politics. They raise the question of how the Internet is transforming government and the exercise of power. They also confirm a theme which I have considered here, namely, that futuristic technology is breathing life into old, mythical traditions, and not all of those traditions are nice or easy to manage. At the heart of all three scandals sits WikiLeaks, demonstrating that Julian Assange is a shaman in his own right. This post does not speculate on the truth of the scandals, but assesses what they mean for what is left of civil society and government. Warning: read no further if you are a minor or if you want to avoid offensive content.

Monday, November 7, 2016

World War III Projections 1: The Worm That Sleeps in the Wild


The Clutch album, Psychic Warfare, released 2 October 2015 by Weathermaker Music (for a taster, go here). Image Source: Jeff  Draws.

Like religions, wars are indices of technology. Henry David Thoreau said: "What is human warfare but just this; an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party." War also involves a psychological marshaling of forces as well as catharses. It permits a descent into savagery, and paradoxically produces efficient organization which rewards strategists. Brutal and logical, unbridled and innovative, war turns the unthinkable into reality.

Future of robotics - Boston Dynamics.
Future of robotics - Boston Dynamics.
Posted by Arch2O.com on Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Although there is a popular belief that we will regress to sticks and stones, conflicts serve jumps in innovation. When radical testing is needed to assimilate knowledge secretly, war can enable unspeakable experiments beyond the usual subterfuges. The first use of airplanes in war occurred in 1911, in a conflict between Italy and Libya - one of several engagements fought around the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

This fact should inspire concern in a time when the tech industry is developing new capabilities ever more quickly, compulsively upgrading for the sake hyper-innovation. Technology departs the realm of engineers as mechanical capabilities intensify and deepen; tech is becoming more organic, intimate, integrated, more moral or spiritual than ever before. It is altering our behaviour; how we think; and what we think. Gadget designs are on the verge of becoming physically invasive.

This is the first of a series of posts which will ask what World War III would, or will, be like in an age of global communications. Given the way it is administered, the Internet as we know it would break down. But several systems would replace it.

Because currencies collapse in war zones, I wanted to know what would happen with gold and Bitcoin. It is a vast topic, so I will reserve gold and war for a future post. However, my first search on recent disappearances of large amounts of gold brought up a curious conspiracy theory that USD $740 million of gold and other precious metals disappeared from a two storey vault under the World Trade Center complex after 9/11.

Bitcoin, the currency of the Internet, could gain in value in a time of war; or perhaps the damage to the existing Internet would render Bitcoin worthless. There are two pages on page on Reddit where people have discussed this:
  • "In WW3 we all die. The only working currencies are ammo and iodine. But when people come out of the bunkers and restart civilization - there is a chance that one of them is a bitcoiner. Anyways bitcoin could be the currency for exchanging value between nations that hate one-another."
  • "How do you think the existing financial system works ... beads and shells? If WW3 kicks off this will be the least of our worries. However seen as you have asked I would imagine due to its inherent decentralization bitcoin would be extremely resilient. What other ledger of account is self propagating and distributed across 1000s of nodes? It may even be in space before long."
  • "Every soldier will get a 20 satoshi ration (worth $20 in 2026)"
  • "It will become completely worthless as well as fiat money will become worthless. The Blockchain will simply freeze because you need more energy then a coal plant generates to find new blocks at a reasonable time ... Nobody would be able to effort so much energy just to keep the Blockchain alive."
  • "Dont you think developers could Manually adjust difficulty?"
  • "Assuming there are developers with electricity and a computer, with an uplink? There is a fair probability that for at least the first while, they will have more important things on their mind than getting the blockchain running again. After that, a Hard Fork could be pushed to adjust difficulty, but at that point you'd have an interesting time pushing it."
  • "And whoever was pushing it would be effectively campaigning for election to run a gasp central bank."
  • "I was entertaining the thought of a 51% attack. Same concept, but whoever can get the ball rolling would be in control. Of course, it doesn't even begin to get into how war time inflation works, and how bartering winds up being used because the currencies can't keep up value-wise. A full blown world war would decimate bitcoin for a while I think, even if people somewhere were working on preserving it."
  • "The worst part of the war will be fought electronically. Governments will 'hack' each others systems to cause financial ruin. Grids will go down, markets will loose all information, treatment plants will go offline. Any server that can be pinpointed will be vulnerable. Most of all credit will stop causing most to fend for themselves. How this affects Bitcoin is that it runs on servers. I would think in the early stages of full scale mobilization people will flock to it but if the war drags on into most systems being taken off line it would probably become pretty useless. If things got to that point though currency would be the least of your problems. Most likely we would be forced to live under a feudal system where each ruler that can protect his population would seek to get back online and communicate with the rest of the world. In that case the original blockchain would most likely be lost and a new one would be started. But Im just guessing."
  • "Depends on how bad things get. The blockchain ledger would still exist in multiple states, I'm sure someone would've made a backup of it. However, screwing with the blockchain ledger would get significantly easier. With a lot less mining nodes around, reaching that 51% of hashing power would be more feasible. If you still had internet. If you still had power. But honestly, if WW3 happens and you somehow survive, I don't think the loss of your bitcoins will be your real problem. Finding things like food and shelter and clothing would be your real priority, and then if you somehow managed to get electricity flowing again, and jerry rigged an intarweb connection, then you'd be worried about recovering from backups (you did make backups, right) and seeing what's left of your BTC stash. Even gold would be more or less useless in a Mad Max screnario for the most part. Personally, I'm anticipating a Weimar type hyperinflation, where the phones and power all worked. Maybe I'm being too optimistic about the future? We'll see. You can tell me you told me so, if I'm wrong :)"
  • "I would be more concerned with forks in the blockchain when nations isolate themselves (internet wise) due to the embargoes (digital and otherwise) that would result. The fork would cause real problems for Bitcoin after the reconciliation of warring nation states. Let's hope this never happens."
  • "I actually think that gold and silver would quickly re-establish as money in a post-apocalyptic world. Basically I think civilization would revert to a historical model appropriate to whatever infrastructure and technology remain. Even if that meant returning to a lifestyle like ancient Rome, there would be local strongmen with armies and headquarters, there would be farms and protection money paid to operate them, there would be something very much like taxation, and there would be a need for a medium of exchange with all the classic properties of money ... just like there has been in every place and time, all throughout history. In the first few weeks after the bombs fall, food, water, and ammunition will reign supreme; but in the months and years after that, gold and silver will revert to their historic role."
  • "What? You mean that all these bottle caps I have been collecting in case of a post-apocalyptic scenario was for nothing? In all seriousness, I agree that we would either go back to the gold/silver/copper standard. A digital currency wouldn't be of much use with no internet."
Those chatting on Reddit did not consider that Bitcoin is entangled with the development of cyberwarfare. Just as Bitcoin challenges the power of central state banks, on this developing front of cyberwarfare, the full computing might of nation-states is brought to bear against that of state and non-state actors. In 2016, there were reports that ISIS had been attacked through cyberwarfare. In terms of politics, technological evolution during World War III will be tied to the evolution of the nation-state.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: Clown Detour


Image Source: Instagram/Vin Innocente via HuffPo / Café Mom.

In March 2014, a person dressed as a clown terrified citizens of the New York borough of Staten Island. The clown stole around the streets at night and lurked near train stations. HuffPo:
"A mysterious clown has been roaming the streets of Staten Island and freaking out local residents.

Staten Islanders have been posting pictures and videos on social media of a person dressed up like a clown wearing a yellow outfit, red shoes and a mask while holding balloons and waving to the cameras, the Staten Island Advance reported.

The clown has been spotted at night near the Richmond Valley and Grasmere train stations and in front of a Chinese restaurant during the day on Richmond Avenue, according to the Advance and online posts.

'I wish I was joking dude, it scared the heck out of me,' Michael Levy posted on his Instagram photo of the clown behind a tree at night. 'I thought it was like some dummy or cardboard standup thing at first until he pointed at me.'"
Image Source: Instagram/Robert Privitera via HuffPo.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A New Lament Configuration



It is odd that an architect, much less an American Gen X architect, commissioned to do a World Trade Center design, would not check the cultural message associated with his design at such a sensitive site. From Inhabitat, the new renderings of the Ronald O. Perelman World Trade Center Performing Arts Center released this week show a glowing, lantern-like cube:
"According to the architect, Joshua Prince-Ramus, the rooms and halls will all feature moveable walls that will create up to 11 configurations. ... Designed by REX, the building will be made out of translucent, veined marble and glass, which will give it dull sheen during the day."
I cannot believe that the REX lead architect does not know about Clive Barker's horror puzzle box, also known as the Lament Configuration, which opened gateways to hell in all the Hellraiser films. Youtubers recognized it immediately: "It's the cube from Hellraiser!" This is not the way to quell 9/11 conspiracy theories. The WTC Twin Towers appeared in Hellraiser 3 (1992); you can see the scene here. That flim ended with the box being hidden in the soft cement of a skyscraper foundation in Manhattan, which influenced its subsequent design. In Hellraiser 4 (1996), the skycraper and architect become the epicentre of another battle with demons.

Video Source: The Real Deal via Youtube.

The REX WTC Performing Arts Center design (September 2016). Image Source: yimby.

The conclusion of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992). Image Source: Edge of the Fringe.

The Hellraiser III promotional poster featured the Twin Towers. Image Source: Subscene.

See my previous post on Hellraiser 3, here.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Anniversaries: 11 September 2001


Image Source: TheoPol.

On 15 July 2016, newly declassified information appeared to confirm the Saudi government's larger role in 9/11 than previously publicly known. You can see footage of World Trade Center Building 7 burning, released in October 2011 here on Live Leak via the Freedom of Information Act, which disputed conspiracy theorists' claims about controlled demolitions.

I visited Ground Zero in spring 2002; the scorch marks in the surrounding area were still visible. In particular, one neighbouring skyscraper looked as though a gigantic piece of charcoal had drawn a line up one whole side. Just that scorch mark, six months after the event, looked like a physical manifestation of a scream in an unbelievable fire. I will never forget it.

Image Source: Creeping Sharia.

On 24 August 2015, Marcy Borders, a Bank of America worker who was captured in an iconic 'dust lady' photograph on 9/11, died after battling years of depression, post-traumatic stress, illness and finally stomach cancer. She was 28 years old on 9/11 and died at age 42, likely due to the toxic contaminants she inhaled that day.

Video Source: Youtube.