Thursday November 10, 2011 | Last Updated Nov 14, 2011
At least some of us often lament after the fact, like all hypocrite scientists the world over, of our short-sighted pursuits in discovering sciences and inventing technologies which end up having detrimental long term impact on society.
Please watch this one hour talk by Dr. Eric Fossum, Professor of Engineering in Dartmouth’s Thayer School, at Yale University:
Eric Fossum is the inventor of the active CMOS imaging chip, the “camera-on-a-chip” technology which “is used in nearly all camera phones and webcams, digital-still cameras, high-speed motion capture cameras, automotive cameras, dental x-ray cameras, and swallowable pill cameras.” according to the Yale University blurb for the talk. Dr. Eric Fossum’s Bio is revealing of his intense passion for his chosen profession and the applause he has accumulated for his achievements, all of which can be gleaned from his websites http://ericfossum.com/ and http://engineering.dartmouth.edu/people/faculty/eric-fossum/.
I am going to write this great inventor of sliced cake a letter and send him a link to my own high-tech career and why I left it:
‘While I did not work on this first version of the SPARC chip (joining just as it was in its final finishing stages), I did on subsequent generations of microchips, systems, and operating systems over the next decade (Sun-4 and Sun-5). This is how I too, albeit in a small way, helped usher in George H.W. Bush’s infamous vision of the “New World Order”, for without these microchips, there surely wouldn’t be one! While the monumental crimes against humanity of the two World Wars in the past century were perpetrated without the aid of microchips, the present enslaving of humanity into the surveillance society of ‘one-world government‘ is only effectuated with the help of the Technetronic Revolution wrought by these microchips. See Zbigniew Brzezinski’s “Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era”.
While IEEE Spectrum today celebrates this revolution, noting:
“Their designs proved so cutting-edge, so out of the box, so ahead of their time, that we are left groping for more technology clichés to describe them. Suffice it to say that they gave us the technology that made our brief, otherwise tedious existence in this universe worth living.”,
as a direct participant with two dozen design patents on microchips and systems, I am not so sure. A simpler times now appear more appealing. Not much of a short-break, was this! We are still talking about NWO. Everything appears interrelated and interlocked. To make a decent moral living, minimally doing no harm, ideally doing good things and leaving a positive legacy rather than a negative one, appears well-nigh impossible. There is just no escape from the New World Order. Arguably, we all contribute to it in some way in the modernity du jour – unless we choose to escape the modern-age and live on pastoral farms and in the mountains.’ — Zahir Ebrahim’s response to IEEE Spectrum’s Special Report: 25 Microchips That Shook the World. May 2009
In addition, the following letter I had previously written a Harvard computer scientist who was excitedly moving to Google Labs thinking he is going to make a big societal difference, may be revealing to the brilliant designers of world’s weapon systems and other misanthropic and enslaving technologies who still to this day think they have created sliced cake in a world in which the vast majority are unable to afford dry bread for one square meal a day:
I had concluded that letter to the Harvard computer scientist with the observation:
‘the brilliant professors at Harvard and elsewhere equally know which side their bread is buttered in just as much measure, if not more, than any ordinary ‘Good American’ slaving in this system of governance and production whose entire outlook for the past century has been conditioned not by morality (except in Newspeak), but by primacy, hegemony, and by their own admission, by their quest for “full spectrum dominance”. That requires riding the full monte of the ‘Technetronic Era’ of which both of you computer science professors speciously arguing which side of the fence is greener, are equally a part.
May I dare to hope in conclusion that with your prominent voice and brilliant credentials, that you might perhaps be motivated by this humble letter to explore this topic objectively while you are still at Harvard – as the fiscal burden to be ‘acceptable’ is now presumably less for you – and leave a legacy which to my mind can have far reaching and very existential consequences for all Americans. You will surely not have this opportunity at Google where, by your own admission and statement of blind aspiration: “I get to hack all day.” After you have built your nth system, as one of the generations caught “Between Two Ages”, you may be left wondering why you did it at all when you wake up in a full-blown “1984” one day soon and still have some commonsense left to recognize it as such.
Your children and grandchildren however, will mercifully be spared that recognition as they will habitually count, from the very day of their birth, two plus two equal five. Some Americans, perhaps the majority, are already there today. The simple question I often ask of smart peoples who might dare to escape that fate, and I leave you with that little question, how can one know that one can add correctly?’ — Zahir Ebrahim’s letter to Matt Welsh, recently tenured full professor of Computer Science at Harvard University who announced his intent to move to Google Labs for better actualization of his technological passions, November 24, 2010
Please watch the aforementioned one hour technical talk by Dr. Eric Fossum which makes much ado about societal responsibility of great inventors – the first one that I have encountered which is as candid and honest as it is! What I had hoped to achieve in Matt Welsh and failed, he did not even bother to acknowledge that letter and MIT Technology Review turned it down as a worthy discussion topic to seed at MIT, I already see Dr. Eric Fossum doing. Few men of science, technology, and industry ever grapple with any of these issues or dare to go there when they are in the prime of their careers heartily pursuing it. Usually, a handful only venture there after the fact, ex post facto, after the genie is out of the bottle and cannot be put back in. Like M.I.T.’s own former president Jerome B. Wiesner (1971-1980), who, after presiding over the buildup of the same militarized society, upon retirement from his top academic post in the most militarized country on earth, thought it most conscionable to make the following banal statement of moral clarity:
“This irrational behavior is only possible because we, the citizens of the nation, permit it. It is no longer a question of controlling a military-industrial complex, but rather, of keeping the United States from becoming a totally military culture.” — The United States: A militarized society, Jerome B. Wiesner, president emeritus MIT, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Aug 1985, pg. 104
This is the outline of Jerome B. Wiesner’s own militarized career according to wikipedia:
“Jerome B. Wiesner (May 30, 1915 – October 21, 1994), was associated with MIT for most of his career, joining the MIT Radiation Laboratory in 1942 and working on radar development. He worked briefly at Los Alamos, returned to become a professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT, and worked at and ultimately became director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT (RLE). He became Dean of the School of Science in 1964, Provost in 1966, and President from 1971 to 1980. He was also elected a life member of the MIT Corporation.”
These much noted pangs of belated conscience evidently make zero impact on the dystopian forces which they unleashed in their heyday, or, as one often wonders, upon their own decrypt soul as they “died holily in their beds.” (Macbeth 5:1:47-49 – “Yet I have known those which have walked in their sleep who have died holily in their beds.”) Perhaps this is why it is respectable to make them upon retirement. Inter alia, it helps maintain the illusion of individual liberties and intellectual freedoms in Western societies and loosely equated with moral gravitas of its most illustrious peoples.
Well, in Eric R. Fossum I have finally discovered one lonely high-tech scientist at Dartmouth College, with the notable pedigree of Yale, Caltech, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Columbia University, grappling with these weighty matters as the key inventor of a technology right at the very peak of his invention which he laments has accelerated the comeuppance of Big Brother like no other single invention in the Post World War II era. That show of moral awareness and greater societal concern is of course both timely and good.
But what does our man of superlative conscience Dr. Eric Fossum do after the great show of moral gravitas and intellectual tour de force?
Does he stop and desist, let alone attempt to rectify the forces he has helped unleash?
No! Of course not.
Dr. Eric Fossum simply dumps the problem onto the dumb onlookers cheering him on, and moves on with inventing/heralding more of the same dystopian world order!
Dr. Eric Fossum is now a technical consultant for Samsung Electronics, and even more diligently pursuing newer more imaginative ways to usher in Big Brother surveillance gadgetry in the serene new academic setting of New Hampshire. He blithely claims “I don’t really like this application of my technology. There is nothing I can do about it, I have now unloaded that on you, so thank you.”
Of course, who does not like the sound of applause, medals clanking, and all the high honors which accompany pious high-mindedness, not to mention induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 2011? That veritable show of societal concern for humanity in his talk may now even beget Dr. Eric Fossum the Nobel Peace Prize – or, at least a nomination. When Global Warming scholarship can win the vice president of the United States, Dr. Al Gore such magnificent accolades, surely Dr. Eric Fossum is far ahead in his moral exercise of the scholarship of conscience he so dignifiedly proffered in his talk on the impact of his real science.
Below are some pertinent fragments captured from Dr. Eric Fossum’s superfluity of societal concerns from his aforementioned talk at Yale University, titled Photons to Bits and Beyond: The Science & Technology of Digital Image Sensors:
“Societal issues questions baggage I have been carrying around with me for a few years and I am going to unload on you” (time 0:05:38)
“There is another set of issues which is loss of privacy from all this networking. When I first invented this CMOS image sensor technology we got a little bit of publicity and a reporter for the BBC radio came and talked to me, interviewed me, and he said:
‘so tell me how you feel about the fact that now Big Brother is gonna be able so spy on us a lot better with all these cameras’.
And I said:
‘oh it’s not really a problem because there is not enough people to watch all the video screens and all cameras that are out there and we don’t have to worry.’
But to my surprise, and chagrin a little bit, you know now computers can analyze images, and computer systems can track you based on facial recognition software from camera to camera to camera, as you might move around in a highly surveilled city for example.
And, so that means that you will be tracked and all your activity completely logged. It’s on your permanent record now, whatever you did, or something you really don’t want people to know about.
You know, is that a good thing? I don’t think so. I feel like it’s an invasion of my privacy.” (time 0:15:40)
“I don’t really like this application of my technology. There is nothing I can do about it, I have now unloaded that on you, so thank you.
We’ll get back to the science and technology now, but I hope you also worry about these things and I especially hope you figure out what we are gonna do about this in the future.” (time 0:20:30) — Dr. Eric Fossum, Yale, Oct 13, 2011
Are semi-conscious realizations devoid of deep convictions sufficient? I am in fact unhappily waiting for the time when Eric Fossum after retirement may well make the same statement as was made by M.I.T. president Jerome B. Wiesner ex post facto: “But realization is not enough. It must become informed conviction based on personal study.” (op. cit., pg. 105)
The above lamentable state of moral hypocrisy was aptly captured by a young man reading an initial version of this missive sent to high tech scholars and scientists:
‘Of course I am always reminded of Oppenheimer the day after Trinity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8w3Y-dskeg by things like this. Now he knew what was to come http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuX7mx-PIY4 (much better than “I really don’t like this application of my technology but there is nothing I can do about it. I have now unloaded it on you so thank you”.) Oppenheimer also realized it, and feeling the way he did, never did stop. And Fossum of course continues soldiering ahead despite his “anxiety closet”…a “comforting” construct :)
[These Technetronic Era usherettes] can always take comfort in:
So let’s keep building…
As my own more limited contribution to this Big Brother menace indicates (see link to my response to IEEE 25 microchips that changed the world noted above), this dystopia of global servitude was already predicted, and indeed eagerly anticipated, inter alia by Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1970 in his “Between Two Ages – America’s Role in the Technetronic Era”; by Bertrand Russell in 1951 in his “The Impact of Science on Society”; by H. G. Wells in 1940 in his “The New World Order”; etceteras, going all the way back to the turn of the 20th century, all portending the inevitability of, and the beneficial desirability of, global scientific dictatorship! Bertrand Russell even went out of his way to pseudo-philosophize its desirability, explaining the need for Big Brother which Dr. Eric Fossum now feels so uncomfortable about: “World government could only be kept in being by force.” (op. cit., pg. 37)
Who and what enables this inevitability which has been so eagerly anticipated by the elites who own the vast military-industrial complexes which fund the sciences and technologies, and who wish to enslave mankind in their own web of controlled hegemony?
These are not science fiction novels and allegorical essays by imaginative behaviorists like Aldous Huxley’s 1931 “A Brave New World” and George Orwell’s 1948 “1984”, but philosophical works in political science on rationalizing global scientific dictatorship. The most reliable disclosure of the impending world order still remains Georgetown University School of Foreign Services’ long time professor, Dr. Carroll Quigley’s 1966 magnum opus, Tragedy and Hope. While even ordinary high-schoolers in the West have enjoyed Huxley and Orwell as great dystopian literature, rare is the physical scientist directly ushering it in who has even heard of these other political science works which rationalize and justify the exercise of global hegemony.
Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former American president Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor (1976-198), even began his next most influential book of 1996, “The Grand Chessboard – American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives”, with the sweeping rationalization statement for the title and content of his book: “Hegemony is as old as mankind.”
Well, the answer to that question is not so un-obvious to those with even a modicum of commonsense. It is guys like Eric Fossum, and the million engineers and scientists in Silicon Valleys across the world. Everyone of them most passionately laboring in the military-industrial complex of their nation without reflection under various civilizational burdens that span the full gamut of intellectual rigor, from ‘la mission civilisatrice’ to national defense to passionate self-interests! Just ordinary people who are narrowly so seduced by their own chosen professions and self-interests, never mind the patriotism drilled into them, that the corruption of their own soul which begets the corruption of their intellect, remains invisible to them! Just as it is to Eric Fossum.
Should I excitedly applaud Dr. Eric Fossum for his hypocrisy and his skin deep moral clarity? Or, should I endeavor to unravel it?
How did we get to this stage of modernity that we make such wonderful useful idiots, often self-servingly harboring a moral clarity and cleanliness of sweet smelling conscience which evidently surpasses even Macbeth’s proclamation to his guilt-ridden wife to just feign it: “Be innocent of knowledge”? (Macbeth 3:2:45)
But first, indeed I am in fact going to thank Dr. Eric Fossum, for whatever he has stated only helps me make my case even more compellingly. Fossum is not alone in this state of passionate moral decay which I too once occupied. In fact, among all those occupying that state today in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, Dr. Eric Fossum is a bit ahead in the game because he evidently at least recognizes the obvious. He can still pay a tad more effective attention to his own moral gravitas than just high-minded lip service: “I don’t really like this application of my technology. There is nothing I can do about it, I have now unloaded that on you, so thank you.” Matters are not yet wholly fait accompli. While our war-mongering modernity still infected by the stone-Age virus of primacy, is premeditatively hurtling headlong into something grotesquely abhorrent which the entire history of mankind has never witnessed before this Technetronic Era – a global scientific dictatorship which has been self-realizingly predicted for close to a century – we aren’t there yet! This insane path is not by happenstance, but by engineered design which motivates and incentivizes the worker-bees to make the honey-pot towards that very outcome.
How did we get to this co-opting modernity?
Below is just a cursory roadmap of how we got to this modernity that I have been able to piece together as an amateur historian, amateur social scientist, and former professional technologist who walked away from the same highly applauded passions in the same engineering profession as Eric Fossum, now thanklessly applying the same rational skills in a new passionate hobby. A hobby that is of utmost existential import and of immediate pertinence to mankind’s survival as an independent, sentient, and thoughtful moral beings, but for which there is no applause. No medals. No prizes. Only hemlock. Influential scholarly scientists like Dr. Eric Fossum can and do make substantial difference to this calculus, in any direction. So why not in the direction their own inner moral voice uncannily whispers to them – rather than continuing in the suicidal direction of their baser instincts, passions and self-interests?
In order to be most succinct in this outline and still make sense to brilliant people unlearned in their own nation’s literature of primacy, I must begin by quoting Edward Bernays:
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” — Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928, pg. 1. Cited in Zahir Ebrahim, The Mighty Wurlitzer, 2011 ( http://tinyurl.com/The-Mighty-Wurlitzer-PDF082011 )
The necessity of maintaining and manipulating a public’s ignorance and perceptions through self-indulgences, through deliberately dumbing them down with bread and circuses, though wholly self-evident today, was already well thought out at the very dawn of the industrial age in the early eighteenth century. Bernard de Mandeville in his famous classic The Fable of the Bees, observed:
“The economic well-being of the nation depends on the presence of a large number of men who are content to labor hard all day long. Because men are naturally lazy they will not work unless forced by necessity to do so.” — Bernard de Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees, 1705
That philosophy, to create “a large number of men who are content to labor hard all day long … forced by necessity” espoused in The Fable of the Bees, inspired Adam Smith, the author of The Wealth of Nations, to propose the pursuit of selfish industriousness for the overall common good. Of course, common good primarily of the ruling class with trickle-down economics, but that’s just buried in the Newspeak definition of common good where the common man labors hard all day long, and the elites enjoy the good. Patterned upon the bees collectively making that marvelous tasting honey for the enjoyment of the bears, each bee myopically and narrowly staying busy in its own specialized micro-task “content to labor hard all day long”, rests the entire edifice of modern civilization.
This philosophy of selfish myopic industriousness for common good has been very sagaciously adapted to the high-tech age of the Technetronic Era. Modernity requires rather high-tech specialized worker-bees, with the commensurate twist of creating educated morons with advanced university degrees who can very patriotically “United We Stand” for the common good while staying productively engaged in narrow specializations in the military-industrial economy! This man-made value system of human beings as economic widgets “content to labor hard all day long”, has today spread like a virus across the full gamut of gainful employment in the globalized corporate world, from blue collar to white collar, from traders to craftsman, from technicians to scientists, from superficial generalists to narrow-gauged specialists.
Kept perpetually too busy to either think independently, morally, holistically, and outside their parameters of narrow-gauge specializations by the sheer demands of having to pay their endless debt-bills in pursuit of their endless “American Dreams”, and conversely, by ensuring that a handful of the more successful and most intellectual ones are so generously rewarded and applauded for their narrow-gauge specializations that they become vested in their own successes continuing, statecraft today relies on inflicting The Fable of the Bees upon man for its own dystopian functioning. It is therefore no surprise that possession of technological information and technical skills to manipulate matter, has been recast as profound human knowledge, and parrots and fools have been turned into learned savants.
A state of modern affairs which infects modern man quite democratically. We are, despite all the vast data on our fingertips in this Information Age, and despite all the sophistication of modern gadgetry, still living in the age of Jahiliya (ignorance)! This ignorance is by artful design in the industrious West, especially in the sole superpower, United States of America – as already examined by this scribe in his maiden 2003 book Prisoners of the Cave which analyzed the condition of mass ignorance among the people of the United States, keyed off from the blueprint for “imperial mobilization” outlined by Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski in his 1996 ode to American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, The Grand Chessboard.
This state of affairs is not just due to the happenstance of knowledge explosion in modernity as Zbigniew Brzezinski would have the gullible thoughtlessly believe. Brzezinski had speciously observed in his earlier 1970 book that “the threat of intellectual fragmentation, posed by the gap between the pace in the expansion of knowledge and the rate of its assimilation”, is what causes general myopia in the Technetronic Era. Well, such perception molding is very convenient to promulgate. It justifies, nay dignifies, the lack of awareness among the learned living in industrialized societies under great self-obsessions and unbridled self-indulgences.
That state of being enables keeping the public, even the most educated of the lot, quite ignorant of what really matters to statecraft: the absence of awareness among the worker-bees that they are really toiling for the bears, while they glorifyingly slave in their own narrow-gauge specializations for one motivation or another. Here is Zbigniew Brzezinski’s sophistry which attempts to pseudo-philosophize the information explosion conversely impacting individual awareness and intellectual cohesion:
‘… it can be argued that in some respects “understanding” … is today much more difficult for most people to attain. …
The science explosion – the most rapidly expanding aspect of our entire reality, growing more rapidly than population, industry, and cities – intensifies, rather than reduces, these feelings of insecurity. It is simply impossible for the average citizen and even for men of intellect to assimilate and meaningfully organize the flow of knowledge for themselves.
In every scientific field complaints are mounting that the torrential outpouring of published reports, scientific papers, and scholarly articles and the proliferation of professional journals make it impossible for individuals to avoid becoming either narrow gauged specialists or superficial generalists. The sharing of new common perspectives thus becomes more difficult as knowledge expands; in addition, traditional perspectives such as those provided by primitive myths or, more recently, by certain historically conditioned ideologies can no longer be sustained.
The threat of intellectual fragmentation, posed by the gap between the pace in the expansion of knowledge and the rate of its assimilation, raises a perplexing question concerning the prospects for mankind’s intellectual unity.’ — Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, 1970, pg. 15
Let me highlight the two key empirical observations from that aforementioned passage: “make it impossible for individuals to avoid becoming either narrow-gauged specialists or superficial generalists. The sharing of new common perspectives thus becomes more difficult as knowledge expands;”. The self-serving cyclic argument of Brzezinski is that firstly, ignorance about knowledge, due to the sheer explosion in knowledge, is the natural outcome of scientific modernity. Secondly, that people can no longer easily reach a common “understanding” of their common condition. Both those observations are empirically true today.
But one can easily imagine an alternate modernity where that need not be the case despite the abundance of knowledge explosion. It was the corporatization of knowledge in the service of empire in the vast military-industrial-academe complexes of the industrialized world, and its tight coupling to the exercise of hegemony, that has made it so. Science and technology today equate with hegemony. Therefore, since the quest for hegemony is perpetual, its ultimate expression being world government, those pursuing science and technology have to continue passionately slaving in the service of empire as “narrow-gauged specialists” often unaware that their honey-pot is being harvested by the bears calculatingly funding the worker-bees.
Just as Matt Welsh, the Harvard Computer Scientists wanted to do by his own bold admission: “I get to hack all day.” as the principal reason to move to Google Labs.
How are such ardent worker-bees ever to find the pause for reflection on what they are doing while they are busy doing it? The incentives and motivations in this ecosystem naturally enable talented and passionate people like Matt Welsh, Eric Fossum, and the rest of Silicon Valley to create the larger dystopia in baby steps while pursuing their own selfish narrow interests.
It is a self-serving, self-sustaining game of flourishing myopia in this welcoming age of Jahiliya (ignorance) which feeds upon itself in a positive feedback loop. Anyone and everyone who has the natural talent is invited to become a zealous worker-bee with the promise of the honey-pot dangled at the end of the rainbow. The concomitant loss of “understanding” although a natural outcome of such myopic industriousness, isn’t just incidental to knowledge explosion as Brzezinski has tried to portray it. It is in fact according to a premeditated plan, deftly put into motion at the very onset of Western industrialization for the crafting and harvesting of “a large number of men who are content to labor hard all day long.”
Such bold perception management via distortions and half-truths, and the “conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses” which Edward Bernays empirically demonstrated in his own craftsmanship of Propaganda that is best described today as the many tunes played on The Mighty Wurlitzer, is at the very heart of what continually enables and sustains the elite’s primacy dealings in “straight power concepts”:
‘We have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population …. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction …. We should cease to talk about vague and – for the Far East – unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.’ — Top Secret Memo, underpinning of the Truman Doctrine for four decades, PPS No. 23, by George Kennan, Head of the US State Department Policy Planning Staff. Written February 28, 1948. Declassified June 17, 1974
The exercise of “straight power concepts” however require more than just sustained propaganda. It requires social structures which enable the magnificent social engineers to engineer the public’s consent for the misanthropic exercise of those very power concepts such that “a large number of men who are content to labor hard all day long.” Here is behaviorist and essayist Aldous Huxley explaining the reality of social engineering towards the “ultimate in malevolent revolution” for those unable to perceive it for themselves, in his talk at the University of California at Berkeley a half-century ago:
‘You can do everything with bayonets except sit on them! If you are going to control any population for any length of time you must have some measure of consent. It’s exceedingly difficult to see how pure terrorism can function indefinitely. It can function for a fairly long time, but I think sooner or later you have to bring in an element of persuasion. An element of getting people to consent to what is happening to them. Well, it seems to me that the nature of the Ultimate Revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: that we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably always will exist, to get people actually to love their servitude! This is the, it seems to me the ultimate in malevolent revolution shall we say.
And this is a problem which has interested me for many years, and about which I wrote thirty years ago a fable, A Brave New World, which is essentially the account of a society making use of all the devices at that time available, and some of the devices which I imagined to be possible, making use of them in order to, first of all, to standardize the population, to iron-out inconvenient human differences, to create so to say mass produced models of human beings arranged in some kind of a scientific caste system.
And since then I have continued to be extremely interested in this problem. And I have noticed with increasing dismay that a number of the predictions which were purely fantastic when I made them thirty years ago, have come true or seem in process of coming true. That a number of techniques about which I talked seem to be here already. And there seems to be a general movement in the direction of this kind of ultimate revolution. This method of control by which people can be made to enjoy a state of affairs which by any decent standard they ought not to enjoy, the enjoyment of servitude, well, this process as I say has gone on for over the years.’ — Aldous Huxley, 1962 speech at UC Berkeley, minute 04:06
Among those societal structures and methods of control “by which people can be made to enjoy a state of affairs which by any decent standard they ought not to enjoy, the enjoyment of servitude,” is the obvious structure of inducements and rewards to play along. And the converse punishment, the marginalization and ostracization for challenging it. We see these incestuously self-reinforcing methods and structures straightforwardly in the incentivization to simply soldier on in the military-industrial-academe complex regardless of the consequences of one’s labors and inventions. From Nobel Prize to induction into Inventors Hall of Fame, academic tenures to celebrity statuses, and the opportunities to “get to hack all day.” to vie for these few honey-pots, are all systems of entrapment and control which assist in that social engineering to militarize, scientifically organize, and standardize free societies for maximizing the exercise of “straight power concepts” both globally and domestically. Its natural culmination is a global scientific dictatorship of those at the top of the pyramid, managing a scientific caste system many elements of which are already visible in the 300 years old control modulus that is continually crafting “a large number of men who are content to labor hard all day long.”
Staying morally and intellectually awake in this misanthropic ecosystem which by definition is threatening to “mankind’s intellectual unity” as free human beings, but which can only thrive when its military-industrial complexes deal in “straight power concepts”, and which puts everyone greedily participating in that mal-constructed ecosystem into a zombie-like sleep-state in order to get them to incessantly endeavor as “narrow-gauged specialists” worker-bees enjoying their servitude in a positive feedback loop that only accelerates the same dystopian conditions generation after generation, one has to effectively sever that positive feedback loop.
As most competent engineers and physicists already know, a positive feedback path only culminates in an eventual cataclysmic explosion.
That is the path which puts science and technology in the service of empire – rather than humanity – just like the one Eric Fossum and millions like him have thoughtlessly been on for their own self-gratification.
Planned and engineered into practice on the blueprint of The Fable of the Bees.
What’s the way out?
Is it rocket science to figure that out after all the preceding verbiage?
To reverse the march of modernity towards its premeditated global scientific dictatorship, conscious principled refrains and conscious principled deterrent acts, and not just mere nods to high mindedness, are necessary for its own harbingers.
It begins with the individual perceptively taking moral responsibility for his or her own passionate pursuits before sowing a fait accompli, for being holistically cognizant of how they earn their bread and butter before they let the genie out of the bottle, rather than piously making a cleansing statement after the fact and moving on to more of the same: “I don’t really like this application of my technology. There is nothing I can do about it, I have now unloaded that on you, so thank you. We’ll get back to the science and technology now, but I hope you also worry about these things and I especially hope you figure out what we are gonna do about this in the future.”
That is the path of principled refrain. Every individual is capable of such conscious acts of refrain – provided their moral clarity is not skin deep. Statement like: “But realization is not enough. It must become informed conviction based on personal study.”, that are made in lip-service and hypocrisy ex post facto, are the guiding beacon of moral conduct provided one has the ability to acquire that realization, and the ability to make a living in arenas not in conflict with these realizations. The modern scientific society wholly taken over by the misanthropic military-industrial complex and patterned upon The Fable of the Bees, is designed ab initio to preclude exactly these realizations when the worker-bees are in their most productive years.
The path of principled deterrence requires new negative feedback paths to be instantiated in this dystopian ecosystem – and that can only be effectively seeded by the same technocratic elite, like Dr. Eric Fossum.
The seduction of blind passions, be it between tragic lovers, or between Faust and its endless disciples, only culminates in abhorrence. The seduction of science and technology is even more pernicious because unlike ill-fated lovers instantly smitten on first sight, or Faustian bargains initiated with handshakes, this co-option occurs in small baby steps, one day at a time, one accolade at a time, and before one knows it, one has become an Eric Fossum. Evidently, it can also leave no permanent trace in the conscience which cannot be straightforwardly effaced by the cheapest perfumes of Arabia. The blueprint patterned upon The Fable of the Bees is engineered to ensure that very co-option. To preempt that co-option requires a social awareness and unselfish priority to societal concerns which can usually only emanate among those not directly beholden to an empty stomach. Because the harbingers of this perverse ecosystem also understand the potential threats to their dystopia, they ensure its mitigation through perpetual debt-bills and taxation, fostering lack of awareness, and glamorizing and incentivizing selfishness when the worker-bee is in its most productive period.
The author, an ordinary researcher and writer on contemporary geopolitics, a minor justice activist, grew up in Pakistan, studied EECS at MIT, engineered for a while in high-tech Silicon Valley ( http://tinyurl.com/zahir-patents ), and retired early to pursue other responsible interests. His maiden 2003 book was rejected by numerous publishers and can be read on the web at http://PrisonersoftheCave.org. He may be reached at http://Humanbeingsfirst.org. Verbatim reproduction license at http://humanbeingsfirst.org#Copyright.
Last updated 11/14/2011 12:00:07 6556
The Fable of the Bees and the Seduction of Science and Technology Corrupting the Intellect and the Soul By Zahir Ebrahim 18 / 18