The silver lining of WW3 and the pointlessness of terrorism against (woke) surveillance states

The risk of WW3 is real, as explained here and here, but the advantage of the pure horror of WW3 is that no panopticon or “metaverse” will exist after a nuclear winter. And if you happen to be a cultural conservative there is an extra bonus if WW3 occurs: the ultra-“liberal” culture of Big Tech will be history. Maybe WW3 kills up to 99% of humanity. 79 million people will then survive, and they can rebuild like citizens did in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But noticing the silver lining of WW3 is obviously not the same as supporting a nuclear war. For example, when I sometimes express very dark humor in my discussions about the absurd and clownish fact that our dear “enlightened” leaders have created a Cold War 2 just thirty years after the first Cold War it’s best to interpret this gallows humor as irony and sarcasm.

Making the best out of a horrible situation and focusing on the bright side of doom and gloom is a survival mechanism. But in case some critics try to misconstrue my articles here on drone-surveillance.info it’s okay, just for the record, to clearly state that I would never have supported the creation of nuclear weapons. Public heroes like Einstein created the bomb. Heroes like Kennedy supported the MAD doctrine. NATO is based on MAD. If you support NATO you support MAD.

The justification of MAD in the West was simply put: better dead than red. Better to not live than exist in a totalitarian panopticon. But we are building a panopticon that dwarfs the surveillance in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. CNET:

Ex-Stasi boss green with envy over NSA’s domestic spy powers

“For Wolfgang Schmidt, who used to head East Germany’s feared spy service, the NSA’s reported spy program “would have been a dream come true.””

If we in Cold War 2 have the same attitude as original NATO had during Cold War 1 then it follows logically that the raw freedom (anarchy!) of a post-apocalyptic society is better than a Big Tech luxury version of 1984, aka worldwide panopticon prisons that can exist thousands of years into the future.

But drawing logical conclusions from the MAD doctrine of NATO is not the same as supporting these premises. Personally I hope from a purely egoistic standpoint that no war interrupts global supply chains, that no conflict destroys the Internet, because I use online computer games to take focus away from the discomfort of narcolepsy. 4IR (fourth industrial revolution) is good for sick people, if you are in a hospital for example and need a distraction to avoid boredom. But 4IR is not good for healthy people. 4IR is not the path to enlightenment. There is no wisdom in 4IR.

In the book Think Tank: Forty Neuroscientists Explore the Biological Roots of Human Experience, edited by David J. Linden (Yale University Press, 2018) one can read an article called “The Human Brain, the True Creator of Everything, Cannot Be Simulated by Any Turing Machine” written by Miguel A. L. Nicolelis, a pioneer in neuronal population coding, Brain Machine Interfaces (BMI) and neuroprosthetics:

“Although I am convinced that we can dismiss the possibility that a digital version of the human brain will ever be built, I would like to raise a much more concrete and troublesome scenario: the possibility that, as a result of overexposure to digital systems, our brains may, through the process of neuronal plasticity, began to mimic the operation and logic of these digital systems, simply because of the considerable rewards offered by emulating this type of machinelike behavior. In their books, Nicholas Carr and Sherry Turkle offer a glimpse of this potential and (at least for me) unwelcome future. They describe a variety of cases in which our overindulgence with digital systems, including social media, may be affecting some of our key brain functions. From radiologists who reduce their ability to diagnose certain images due to an overreliance on automatic image recognition software, to a sense that architectural creativity is being reduced by the use of design software by big architecture firms, to the increase in young adults’ anxiety due to an overwhelming sense of loneliness experienced by those who spend a large fraction of their days interacting virtually on social media, the initial signs are everywhere. At the limit, delegating our intellectual and social tasks to digital systems may just curtail or simply eliminate a variety of unique human behaviors, transforming our brains into mere biological digital systems. Although I see this potential scenario as rather tragic and highly undesirable as a legacy to future generations, I am afraid I cannot dismiss the concrete risks that it may actually become part of our future reality as easily as I can express my awe and amazement of the masterpieces brought to life by the true creator of everything.”

But in roughly 99% of all cases it will be very naive to assume that “ordinary” (non-WMD) terrorism is an effective method against 4IR. Using terrorism in an attempt to stop 4IR is as stupid as believing that a few bombs now and then in Moscow during Cold War 1 would have destroyed the Soviet Union. 4IR is like a huge mountain. A truck of dynamite will not destroy a large mountain. It’s true that a few thousand trucks full of explosives can destroy large parts of a mountain, but the history of conventional terrorism the last 150 years has shown in roughly 99% of all cases that a few acts of terror are almost never sufficient to inspire enough people to use this evil method.

Insurgency on the other hand can be much more effective, but terrorism alone is counterproductive. However, if a society has already become too polarized or disorganized and is about to reach a critical point where many citizens are almost prepared to fight, then one cannot exclude the possibility that an act of terrorism will trigger a global cataclysmic event, as seen in 1914 after the assassination in Sarajevo. It’s obviously immoral to support or hope that a similar scenario in the 2020s or 2030s will start a global war. The very chaotic and complex nature of “social physics” (Pentland) in early 4IR today makes it relatively likely however that 4IR will eventually fall apart under it’s own weight. The probability of this happening is maybe 16.66% to 50%, cf The Precipice by Toby Ord at Oxford University or watch this talk with Max Tegmark at MIT:

Humans will destroy ourselves in 100 years with 50% probability | Max Tegmark and Lex Fridman

The highly respected author John Gray writes about the “social physics” of Alex Pentland in The New Statesman:

The new tech totalitarianism

“Using laws of social physics that run parallel with those that govern machine intelligence, politics will be replaced by computational governance.” (…)

“That does not mean the dream of a society ruled by an all-seeing elite will ever come to pass. The titans of big data are as delusional in their thinking as any ruling class in the past, and as divided among themselves. History’s contingencies and perennial human conflicts will consign their ugly utopia to the rubbish heap, like all its predecessors.”

It’s kind of amusing in a dark way that the high risk of global systemic collapse may actually prevent terrorism against 4IR, because there is less reason to kill people and risk getting shot by the police when you can just wait and observe how globalized systems fall apart from within. But terrorists don’t read my articles. I usually get only 0 – 10 daily visitors here at drone-surveillance.info, and if militant activists stumble upon my website many probably think I’m “fedposting” or they will say I’m a coward since I reject the method of terrorism. They will consequently just do their own thing: cause pointless fear and horror. That’s life in the jungle…

But if stupid violent activists and “smart fools” in Big Tech and the global elite mess up society in a way that (accidentally) destroys 4IR, then it’s arguably “good” or “necessary”, if seen from a cold bird’s-eye view. From this cold perspective it does not matter if the main perpetrators are leftwing or rightwing, established or subcultural, woke or conservative, Antifa or a Christian militia. The result in a worst or best case scenario is the same: no more 4IR panopticon.

But I’m old with no kids, and got narcolepsy, so I’m no longer in the fight. This conflict is basically none of my business. I’m just writing about it because my nerdy brain is entertained by it all. The only thing I’m personally fighting for is the creation of better computer games for those of us who are cultural conservatives. Being a 70% realist and 30% idealist I recognize that being a cultural conservative in 4IR is as hopeless as trying to create a Christian mainstream culture within the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Cultural conservatism in the West is basically dead or a walking dead as long as 4IR exists in Europe and America.

Now some may suspect that me being a cultural conservative entertained by doom is indicative of dogmatism, but I’m primarily driven by curiosity, which means that I’m entertained by any narrative that still manages to trigger my very jaded curiosity, like for example the “woke” book The Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark or the works by the Davos elite’s resident historian Niall Ferguson, so to see all the nuances and wonderful mix of chaos and order it’s valuable to explore all perspectives.

John Anderson:

Niall Ferguson | AUKUS, China, Cold War II

The chaos of 4IR is a mega-trend, on a tectonic level, so there is little or nothing that any single militant activist or group of terrorists can do to change this trajectory. Cold War 2 is mainly a game played by the great powers. Political rebels, left or right, have in and by themselves little impact on events, in most cases. But when millions or billions of people start to make waves it’s possible that even a single assassination can trigger a world war, as seen in 1914. This possibility is very improbable however. I would not count on it. It’s much more likely that empires and Big Tech corporations accidentally start a global war, in Taiwan or Ukraine for example. So despite the fact that 1) surveillance will only increase in a Cold War, and 2) the new woke leaders of US/EU will probably double down on ultra-liberality, making it hopeless to resist it all, we (conservative) surveillance critics should continue the fight today, because we humans will then be ready to take back control if or when 4IR (partly) collapses.

Anybody who is able to see the big picture of humans vs AI machines will understand that both woke activists and rightwing activists can maybe (unwittingly) end up in a situation where they play a (very minor) role in accelerating the destruction of the 4IR panopticon. So even though I’m a cultural conservative opposed to wokeness I nevertheless look at the bright side of the culture war: disruptive interactions of millions of politically active people on the left and right may accidentally contribute to starting a chain reaction which (partly) destroys 4IR. Anybody who is offended by my support of moderate nationalism and criticism of wokeness should keep this big picture in mind.

The above doesn’t mean that I’m an “agent of chaos”. Firstly, narcolepsy prevents me from having the energy needed to be politically active. Secondly, the only cause I personally care about today is to encourage the entertainment industry to make editions of movies, tv series and online games that we cultural conservatives enjoy. This cause is not rebellious at all. It can in fact contribute to stopping a rightwing insurgency, because high-quality “bread and circus” has a pacifying effect on most people, including many conservative activists. But the ultra-liberal Western entertainment industry in the 2020s is very tribal, so I basically take it for granted that there will be little or no “bread and circus” for us cultural conservatives. The silver lining of this tribalism is that polarization contributes to accelerating the chaos needed to destroy 4IR. From a purely ethical viewpoint I’m not supporting any violent outcome however, because violence is always evil. Instead I’m here simply pointing out the “social physics” of it all, since there is an element of determinism involved even if one believes in some degree of free will.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s