I don’t have any more secret information than you do. I don’t have access to any of the backrooms that matter, and I don’t get leaks from “informed sources.” I do, however, have experience with protecting data and with a variety of things “crypto.”
So, what I’m telling you now isn’t verifiable… but it’s very close to accurate.
The Missing Piece
When looking at the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels, we are impelled to look for explanations. And to do this, we generally rely on stories we get from mass-media corporations. We all know the news is worked over before it reaches us, but it’s really almost all we have, and the live video they show is probably actual live video. From these minimal facts, we fill in the gaps as best we can.
Some of us are quick to attribute these evils to our favorite secret cabal. Others blame government policies, clashes of cultures, and so on. None of these are necessarily wrong, but neither are they automatically right. To be believed, a theory needs evidence.
And in this particular puzzle, there is a missing piece. It doesn’t explain why the attacks happened (Muslim crazies, false flags, two more intel failures, whatever), but it explains a good deal of what’s happened from the moment of the attacks onward.
This missing piece happens to be something that Jonathan Logan, my associate at Cryptohippie, dubbed “Descartes’s Demon,” an automated manipulation system based on the combination of universal surveillance and big data. I explained the current state of this technology in issue #59 of my subscription newsletter and examined its implications in The Breaking Dawn. But I don’t have space to recap all of that here. So, at the risk of self-promotion, I really do suggest you read those publications.
As I’ve been warning for almost a decade now, this system is taking shape and will have massive effects. But more than that, Descartes’s Demon – this surveillance-and-big data-empowered manipulation system – is an intelligence agency’s grandest dream. With it, they can not only find their adversaries’ secrets, but they can misguide their opponents.
These systems of automated manipulation are true power in an intelligence environment. Therefore, we can be certain that all the big intel agencies want them and will use all their tricks to get them.
Furthermore, the difference between winning and losing in a competition between such systems is probably in the range of a few percent. And that injects a serious level of desperation into these agencies.
Put together, these facts lead to just one place: an arms race. And yes, by that I mean intel agencies scrambling to get the best system and the best data.
That’s why, in the aftermath of the recent attacks, we find the friends of intel agencies pushing for the things that support these systems. In France, we saw instant martial law, which involves a remarshaling of government assets. Again, I don’t have any backroom info, but I’d bet that a whole lot of French assets are moving toward mass surveillance and big data just now.
We see it again in the aftermath of Brussels. Here’s a comment (and there were many others like it) from a British journalist named Max Hastings, just two days after:
Our tolerance of electronic surveillance, subject to legal and parliamentary oversight, seems a small price to pay for some measure of security against threats that nobody – today of all days – can doubt are real.
As any manipulator of humans knows, you get what you want by striking when the fear is hot, because when people are frightened, their brains skip right past reason. Fear works.
Why It Will Happen Again
The tactic of throwing oceans of money at intelligence agencies is never publicly questioned, no matter how many “freedoms” it shreds. Most people pre-endorsed anything the security state wants years ago, and many would defend that choice to any length, no matter how blind and stupid. The alternative would be to admit they were wrong… and they don’t have that kind of courage.
So, since “give up your rights for a promise of protection” is facing no pressure, things will continue more or less as they are. The mad bombers won’t have to give up their strategies, and the oceans of money pouring into the intel agencies will only get deeper.
Here’s who wins from this:
The intel agencies, who will receive yet more funding to build bigger and better manipulation systems.
The mad bombers, who can continue to strike fear in their enemies’ hearts.
The news corps., who get a huge ratings boost every time a bomb goes off.
The politicians, who can pose before cameras as agents of righteousness and salvation.
The police, who will get still bigger and nastier toys.
Hollywood, who can keep recycling the same old cop shows.
In the end, the intel agencies win, the bombers win, the politicians win, and the corporations win. Aside from a few direct victims (like 0.003% of the Belgian populace), the primary losers are the millions of people being molded into permanently-distracted zombies: living and dying inside of an iMatrix. And they don’t care.
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If you’ve enjoyed Free-Man’s Perspective or A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, you’re going to love Paul Rosenberg’s new novel, The Breaking Dawn.
It begins with an attack that crashes the investment markets, brings down economic systems, and divides the world. One part is dominated by mass surveillance and massive data systems: clean cities and empty minds… where everything is assured and everything is ordered. The other part is abandoned, without services, with limited communications, and shoved 50 years behind the times… but where human minds are left to find their own bearings.
You may never look at life the same way again.
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