Monday, December 26, 2011

The Dystopian Future is Upon Us.

It's undeniable. The question is which "dystopia"? George Orwell’s “1984”? Or, Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”? It appears both visions were right. On the one hand, the repressive surveillance and security state grows larger everyday, and on the other hand, captivated by technology, we're addicted to mindless entertainment and consumption. Meanwhile, as Jacques Ellul once said, “Technique has taken over the whole of civilization. Death, procreation, birth all submit to technical efficiency and systematization.” "We the People" are on the path to becoming mere numbers, each one of us indistinguishable from another, easily exchanged, and easily erased should we fail to conform.

From Raytheon: crowd control will be as easy as suffocating people with sound now that they've come out with the LRAD Sound Cannon. That is, low frequency sound waves that disrupt the respiratory tract and hinders breathing.

From IBM:  Mind Reading Computers  within five years.  That's right.  Beware, the "thought police" are no longer fictional characters. They're here.

And from the Brookings Institute, retroactive surveillance, or surveillance time machines. That is, digital storage that enables "shadowing people’s movements and communications that took place before the individuals became suspects, according to John Villaseno, author of “Recording Everything: Digital Storage as an Enabler of Authoritarian Government,” and a senior fellow at Brookings and a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA.

“For example, if an anti-regime demonstrator previously unknown to security services is arrested, it will be possible to go back in time to scrutinize the demonstrator’s phone conversations, automobile travels, and the people he or she met in the months and even years leading up to the arrest.”

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