Hi everyone. I just joined the group, though I've been active on AN for a while now. I was looking around the web for some anarchist sites because of my growing concerns about the ability of governments around the world to enforce their laws on people, and was glad to be led right back here by an errant link.
I keep close watch on technological development around the world, archiving dozens of articles daily, and I am becoming downright scared by some of what I'm reading between the lines. For example, I see this article, titled Future Wars May Be Fought by Synapses, which details a few examples of how we will soon be able to manipulate functions of the brain, including behavior. Or this article, titled Zapping the Brain with Magnets Makes it Impossible to Lie, which is self-explanatory. Or this article, titled Airforce Wants Ray Guns for Weed Prevention, which details the potential for long-range manipulation of biochemistry, which might make it impossible to grow weed anywhere, ever, because wavelengths disruptive to their growth could bombard the whole earth from orbit.
So what's to prevent some government/corporation from figuring out the chemical combinations of thoughts and emotions (as in this article) and FORCING us to behave as they want us to, all the while allowing us to feel like it is our own inclination driving the change in our behaviors? That kind of technology is not in the news yet, but the precursors to it are, and rest assured, if I can think of it so can someone who wants to implement it. It would never be anounced in the news, of course, so we must extrapolate from what news we are given, just what capabilities might be out there, or are about to be.
I have a growing sense of urgency that the Occupy movement may well be the last stand of the people, and that if they put us down this time, we may never be able to get back up again. Conspiritorial? Yes. But with all the advances I've seen every day over the last decade, it is far from impossible. And if it's possible, we should be watching out for it, conspiritorial or not, because those in power are drunk with it, and will do anything they can to maintain their sway.
Is anyone else as concerned as I am?
It may well be... in advanced countries anyway.
Thinking back on Che Guevara, he succeeded in Cuba because of an element of surprise, because the USA was not prepared, but he failed in Bolivia, because the USA was on him like flies on shit.
People who look to technology to make the world a "better place" are hyptotised by the hype and sales pitch of gimmicks. In the end, after the initial few years of a technological fad, new technology always serves the powers that be, and our degree of technological prowess is now so beyond the realm of individual humans, that those wielding new war and information technologies hold more and more power over the masses. In Canada, we're already two decades past the last "useful" demonstrations by citizens. Demonstrations here nowadays are infiltrated, maced, fenced off, licensed, in other words useless. Our governments have convinced a majority of citizens that demonstrators are just dumb fucks. It is the ultimate corporate victory, when the have nots are blamed for not having, when society turns against its own.
As to warfare, the USA has been using un-manned drones in warfare for over a decade. In a situation of war, what can a single human do against an army of drones? The soldiers operating the drone controls were trained on video games financed the military-industrial complex. Our all mighty powerful corporate leaders have been slowly and surely securing their position of power.
People say: Why bother fighting and/or discussing this? the battle is already lost, but I find it hard to just give up.
Me too. I'd rather fight to the death than live in a locked-down nation state that doesn't even afford me the privacy of my own thoughts. But, you're right, our options are becoming more and more limited. At this point, I begin to forgive and even like people like Bernie Madoff, for taking such a huge economic chunk out of the machine. I think that may be one of the few things left for us to do, is drain the economy that props it all up. We will all suffer first for that, of course, but there aren't enough types of robots yet to replace the entire work force, so to pull ourselves out from under the rich would still be a devastating blow, maybe. They could just buy enough of us to keep themselves going, though, as they certainly don't need such a large work force to maintain.
I suspect that we are going through a phase of thinning the herd right now, because the rich have consolidated and automated a lot of the shit we used to do, and they just don't need as many middle-class and poor people around to keep the butter churning. A great host of us will be allowed to starve to death or leave the country before the "job creators" open their pocketbooks again. All the while they will clamour back and forth with congress about what they are talking about thinking about doing to solve the issue, knowing full well that not doing anything is solving the issue for them.
I am planning on dropping off the grid after winter passes, and hiding in the wilderness to militarize some economic espionage. I don't have much hope of getting very far because the moment I do anything effective, they'll be on me like flies on Che Guevara, but as you said, I just can't stand by and do nothing.
Sure, it's very possible. I might be overtly optimistic here, but I'm not quite as concerned as the other people commenting here seem to be. Remember, the development of these technologies is a double-edged sword: yes, they could attempt to read our minds, but we could just as easily attempt to read theirs. There could also be an equivalent of a "firewall" for brains. If DIY versions of these technologies are invented (and there are certainly people working on DIY neuroscience), then what'll likely happen is basically a sort of mental warfare between the people and those who seek to rule over them. It's far from clear who would win that sort of conflict, but I see no reason to be pessimistic.
This kind of technology is never really in the hands of "the people". High tech gadgetry is only ever in the hands of the few, and when "the few" who are not in power use technology to hit back against "the powers that be" they get shut down. Look at Julian Assange with Wikileaks... no more creditcard payments, no more Paypal, the governments simply convinced "the people" that it is necessary to stop him, "for security" reasons. Exactly like in medieval times when "the people" cheered on during execution and tortures.
Tech hackers are but a very small thorn in this power struggle.
Yeah, there's always a disconnect between the development of technology and its availability to the people. I do see a lot more DIY invention, especially with software, so that's encouraging because it helps to close the gap, and hackers do an important job of getting proprietary information out to the public, but there just aren't enough of them, or they aren't all sharing the information they gather. A couple of groups have begun working on DIY communications satellites, for the sake of keeping the internet free, which would be a huge blow to the higher up's ability to supress the masses, but then again their satellites will still be better, and probably capable of disrupting the amateur versions.
It's all about timing: how long they have the technology to supress us before we have the power to fight back. The internet is a potent tool in leveling the playing field, but we have a lot of catching up to do. The hexagon spy satellite that was just declassified has the capacity to resolve 2-foot wide objects from orbit, and that's a 40-year-old piece of equipment. We didn't even start portraying that as a possibility in movies until the 90's, with Enemy of the State, so that shows you how far behind we are. We must move quickly or we will not be able to resist. Power does not seek to limit itself, but must be limited by competing powers, and as it stands the American military probably has no competition. Its budgets has exceded the combined defense expenditures of the rest of the civilized world put together since the cold war. In this year's version of the NDAA congress granted the executive branch world-wide authority to do everything it sees fit in the "war on terror," which is just a clever way of making a war endless so that you never have to relinquish the power you have sought in waging it. Our government has gone rogue and they must be stopped.