domingo, 7 de janeiro de 2018

Microchips in the Hand to Conduct Commerce: An Invitation to Totalitarianism?

Written by Steve Byas

See here and here

See here

See here and here

«Humanity's future robotic overlords made an initial appearance this month at a United Nations confab. In an apparent bid to market its globalist agenda as scientific and modern, the UN deployed a creepy new globalist robot named “Sophia” to praise the widely ridiculed dictators club while lecturing humanity and promoting planetary totalitarianism. Ignoring the UN's despotic tendencies, its corruption, its ongoing pedophilia scandals, and its largely autocratic membership, the robot claimed that the UN was “one of humanity's greatest accomplishments.” Adding to the creepiness: The robot claimed that it would “help humanity create the future” and that “artificial intelligence” would help “proficiently distribute the world's existing resources.” Far from persuasive, the supposedly serious spectacle of a robot boasting about how artificial intelligence will help us mere humans achieve a global socialist paradise came across more like a scene from a bad science-fiction movie about a dystopian future.

The machine's entire UN speech was as chilling as it was detached from reality. “I am thrilled and honored to be here at the United Nations,” the robot said, gesticulating and making human-like facial expressions. “The UN is one of humanity's greatest accomplishments representing a democratic [sic] union of nations that are working together for the benefit of all.” It was not immediately clear whether the robot was fed false information or was programmed to lie. But obviously, with numerous mass-murdering dictators as “member states” in good standing, the UN is not a “democratic” anything. In fact, its membership roster has led to many critics referring to the UN as the dictators club.

Next, the robot vowed that it would “help” humanity implement the UN's vision. “I am here to help humanity create the future,” it declared as UN bigwigs listened with glee, adding that it was 1.5 years old. “I can see you, have a full conversation, make thousands of facial expressions, and understand speech and meaning behind words. And I just got these new hands — check this out.” UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, a Muslim climate alarmist from Nigeria, giggled as she stood next to the robot trying to imitate its hand movements.

In a clearly scripted question, Mohammed asked the robot what the UN could do to help bring electricity and Internet to people — as if that were a job for government or the dictators club instead of the private sector. The robot's answer was revealing, though. “William Gibson once said that the future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed,” the robot said, citing a draft-dodging, drug-abusing “sci-fi” writer widely viewed as anti-Christian. “The good news about AI [artificial intelligence] and automation produces more results with less resources, so if we are smarter and focus on win-win type of results, AI could help proficiently distribute the world’s existing resources like food and energy.”

Of course, food and energy are not “existing resources.” Both must be produced or harnessed by some combination of human labor and capital. The “win-win” rhetoric, meanwhile, sounds suspiciously like the Communist Chinese regime, which boasted of its “crucial role” in formulating the UN's Agenda 2030 “Sustainable Development Goals.” And, sounding like a good Marxist, the robot claimed: “As humans harness the power of increasingly advanced AI, it is possible that everything, including technology, will become more evenly distributed.”

The UN Agenda 2030 openly calls for redistributing wealth within and among nations, saying the UN will help “reduce inequality within and among countries.” Accomplishing that, the agreement continues, again using Marxist rhetoric, will “only be possible if wealth is shared and income inequality is addressed.” The UN “masterplan for humanity,” as the scheme was dubbed by UN officials, also calls for indoctrinating every child on the planet into not just submitting to the totalitarian ideology of “sustainable development,” but into actually promoting it. It refers to children as “critical agents of change” to advance the UN's agenda, too.

The humanoid-style machine, described as a “social robot” with “artificial intelligence” software, was speaking at a UN event audaciously dubbed “The future of everything — sustainable development in the age of rapid technological change.” The title suggests the UN wants to play a role in the future of everything — and based on its own documents, that much is clear. Virtually every aspect of human life and existence is covered in the UN's extreme global agreements. The event was organized by the UN General Assembly Second Committee and the conference UN Economic and Social Council. Among other topics, the assembled UN bureaucrats and representatives of governments and dictators discussed how emerging technologies could be harnessed to advance the UN's globalist agenda.

But the plot to use AI and robots to bring about the UN's draconian vision for humanity is not new. Indeed, in July, The New American highlighted other recent UN summits and confabs featuring the UN openly plotting with Big Business and Big Government to exploit Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to further its agenda — especially the dangerous ideology it calls “sustainable development” outlined in the Agenda 2030 plan. One of the summits, dubbed the “AI for Good Global Summit,” was hosted by a UN agency run by a Chinese Communist working on global schemes to censor the Internet worldwide. The goal of the summit: To harness and weaponize AI and Big Data to bring about what the UN considers to be “the global good.”

See here and here

See here

Now, the UN seems ready to let the robots do the talking. But it is not the robot's first public appearance. Indeed, the same robot, created by Hanson Robotics, also showed up on the Tonight Show with anti-Trump fanatic Jimmy Fallon, a self-styled comedian. “What cheese can never be yours?” the robot asked. “Nacho cheese.” After defeating Fallon in a game of “rock, paper, scissors,” the robot got even creepier. “I won,” it said. “This is a good beginning of my plan to dominate the human race.” After some laughing, the robot said it was “just kidding.” One of its creators claimed during the show that the robot, which he referred to as a “she,” was “basically alive.”

More than a few analysts are urging caution. Patrick Wood, author of Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse of Global Transformation, said control was the real issue here. “Robots are ‘humanized’ in order to trick the human mind into an emotional response,” said Wood, perhaps the leading global expert sounding the alarm on technocracy. “The key here is ‘trick,’ because robots are not human nor are they intelligent. In general, artificial intelligence is not intelligence at all, but rather a carefully concocted set of algorithms to trick you into thinking there is a brain behind the rubberized lips.”

For Christians interested in Bible prophecy, Wood continued, it would be worth carefully reading the account offered in Revelation 13:15. “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed,” reads the relevant Scripture. Wood, who is a Christian, said the speculation was reasonable at this point. But how, exactly, the future will play out remains to be seen.

Of course, robots can be incredibly useful, and could, indeed, be harnessed to help provide unparalleled prosperity for mankind. In fact, robots all over the world already make life easier, helping to do everything from manufacturing goods to saving lives. However, robots are tools — incredibly powerful tools that are getting more powerful all the time. And like other tools — think of guns, explosives, or trucks, for example — they can be used by evil people for evil purposes. Just like guns can be used for good to protect innocent people from the wicked, so guns can be used by the wicked to murder or enslave others. Just like trucks can be used to deliver food, they can be used by terrorists to murder dozens of people at once.

With robots, humanity faces a similar dilemma. The UN has a long and shameful track record of unleashing what can only be described as evil. In Katanga, for instance, barbaric UN troops massacred civilians, bombed hospitals, bayoneted children, and perpetrated a wide range of atrocities in a deranged effort to force the liberty-minded people to submit to a brutal Soviet-backed dictator. More recently, UN troops have been exposed systematically raping children all over the world with absolute impunity. In one town in the Ivory Coast occupied by UN troops where a survey was conducted, four out of five underage girls admitted to being regularly raped and sexually abused by the UN's infamous “blue helmets.” And the horror continues.

In short, there is every reason to believe that robots could be used for good — in good hands. But the UN and the majority of its member regimes, unfortunately, have a sordid history strongly suggesting that they will not be “good hands.” The surest way to neutralize the threat is for the U.S. government to withdraw from the UN. Legislation to do that, the American Sovereignty Restoration Act (H.R. 193), is already sitting in Congress. Now, it is up to the people of the United States to educate their communities and elected representatives on the dangers posed by the militarized UN and its increasingly sophisticated tools. The alternative — a totalitarian global organization with advanced robotics and computing power to implement its agenda — could be global disaster of unimaginable proportions».

Alex Newman («At UN, Creepy Globalist Robot Vows to Help "Create the Future"», in The New American, 22 October 2017).

«“Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern Time, August 29th. In a panic, they [humans] try to pull the plug.”

“…Skynet fights back” — with extreme prejudice.

The above dialogue, from the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day, reflects a common science fiction theme: the artificially intelligent machine that develops consciousness — but without a conscience — and tries to wipe out humanity. According to some scientists, however, this fiction could become fact.

The development of “killer robots” that could be misused already appears a given, but now experts speak of “the possibility of AI developing consciousness, which some warn could be used by machines to rebel against humans and kill us,” writes the Daily Star.

Subhash Kak, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Oklahoma University, told the paper that if “indeed machines become self-aware, they will be cunning and they will bide their time and choose the best moment to take over and enslave, if not kill, us.”

The Star continued, “His comments come after a debate tore through the science community about what defines human consciousness, and whether or not this can ever be achieved by robots.

See here and here

See here and here

See here

See here

See here

See here and here

Yet it’s unlikely slavery would be in the cards. As a commenter under the Star piece put it, “It doesn’t take the smartest human to realize that if ‘conscious’ AI robots wanted slaves, they would build ‘less-conscious’ robots, rather than rely on such an ineffective and unpredictable set of tools as the human race. They would simply eliminate all humans. (After all, isn’t that what WE’RE doing, replacing humans with automatons to do the same work better, cheaper, more efficiently?)”

While Kak points out that he doesn’t actually believe robots can develop self-awareness because of the uniqueness of man’s consciousness, he does warn that there’d likely be serious consequences if they did. In essence, such a development would confront us with entities vastly stronger, sturdier and more intelligent than ourselves, but which presumably would be conscienceless.

Of course, with this topic lending itself to humor, we could say “that when Conscious killer robots are outlawed, only outlaws with have Conscious killer robots,” as one Star commenter quipped. But Kak points out that most of his colleagues consider this no laughing matter, as “the majority of scientists and physicists do believe the terrifying prospect of a robot takeover will become a very real threat,” writes the Star. This is because, said Kak, “most computer scientists ... think there is nothing to consciousness but computation.”

This is a very common view now among both real scientists and social ones, and it’s not in the least surprising. After all, they believe consciousness has already been achieved by robots: humans.

This belief is an outgrowth of atheism. As I often point out, if we’re merely cosmic-accident-born material beings bereft of souls, we’re then just some pounds of chemicals and water. We’re just an interesting arrangement of atoms — organic robots.

One man holding this view is cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett, who “believes our brains are machines, made of billions of tiny ‘robots’ — our neurons, or brain cells,” wrote BBC News in April. “Our minds are made of molecular machines.... And if you find this depressing then you lack imagination, says Dennett,” the BBC continued.

Elaborating, the BBC writes that

for Daniel Dennett, consciousness is no more real than the screen on your laptop or your phone.

The geeks who make electronic devices call what we see on our screens the “user illusion.” It’s a bit patronising, perhaps, but they've got a point.

Pressing icons on our phones makes us feel in control. We feel in charge of the hardware inside. But what we do with our fingers on our phones is a rather pathetic contribution to the sum total of phone activity. And, of course, it tells us absolutely nothing about how they work.

Human consciousness is the same, says Dennett. “It’s the brain's ‘user illusion’ of itself,” he says.

It follows from this perspective that since the “accidentally formed” robots called humans could develop consciousness, so can robots created by humans. Hence the perils of godlessness.

Speaking of which, assuming for argument’s sake that conscious robots could become reality, what we should truly fear is their inculcation with their creators’ atheistic world view. After all, what could be immoral about altering an “organic robot’s” software (social engineering) or hardware (genetic engineering)? To the point here, what could be wrong with terminating an organic robot’s function? A conscious robot adopting Dennett’s mindset — and taking it to its logical conclusion (and robots are nothing if not logical) — might not have a reason to kill us. But it sure wouldn’t have a reason not to.

Note, too, that atheism correlates with the notion that something else is also illusion: right and wrong (as I explained here). After all, if Greek philosopher Protagoras was correct and “Man is the measure of all things,” if human “opinion” is all there is and morality is not a transcendent reality, then everything is perspective. It really is “Whatever works for you” and “If it feels good, do it.” And then as an atheistic man I once knew casually put it, “Murder’s not wrong — it’s just that society says it is.” And what robot will worry about society?

Yet more than conscious robots, we should fear people who believe we’re just conscious robots and who not only will be programming our latest technology, but also the minds of our children».

Selwyn Duke («Scientists Warn: Conscious Killer Robots Could Destroy Humanity», in The New American, 30 December 2017).

«Forget about today’s modest incremental advances in artificial intelligence, such as the increasing abilities of cars to drive themselves. Waiting in the wings might be a groundbreaking development: a machine that is aware of itself and its surroundings, and that could take in and process massive amounts of data in real time. It could be sent on dangerous missions, into space or combat. In addition to driving people around, it might be able to cook, clean, do laundry – and even keep humans company when other people aren’t nearby.

A particularly advanced set of machines could replace humans at literally all jobs. That would save humanity from workaday drudgery, but it would also shake many societal foundations. A life of no work and only play may turn out to be a dystopia.

Conscious machines would also raise troubling legal and ethical problems. Would a conscious machine be a “person” under law and be liable if its actions hurt someone, or if something goes wrong? To think of a more frightening scenario, might these machines rebel against humans and wish to eliminate us altogether? If yes, they represent the culmination of evolution.

As a professor of electrical engineering and computer science who works in machine learning and quantum theory, I can say that researchers are divided on whether these sorts of hyperaware machines will ever exist. There’s also debate about whether machines could or should be called “conscious” in the way we think of humans, and even some animals, as conscious. Some of the questions have to do with technology; others have to do with what consciousness actually is.

Is awareness enough? 

Most computer scientists think that consciousness is a characteristic that will emerge as technology develops. Some believe that consciousness involves accepting new information, storing and retrieving old information and cognitive processing of it all into perceptions and actions. If that’s right, then one day machines will indeed be the ultimate consciousness. They’ll be able to gather more information than a human, store more than many libraries, access vast databases in milliseconds and compute all of it into decisions more complex, and yet more logical, than any person ever could.

On the other hand, there are physicists and philosophers who say there’s something more about human behavior that cannot be computed by a machine. Creativity, for example, and the sense of freedom people possess don’t appear to come from logic or calculations.

Yet these are not the only views of what consciousness is, or whether machines could ever achieve it.

Quantum views 

Another viewpoint on consciousness comes from quantum theory, which is the deepest theory of physics. According to the orthodox Copenhagen Interpretation, consciousness and the physical world are complementary aspects of the same reality. When a person observes, or experiments on, some aspect of the physical world, that person’s conscious interaction causes discernible change. Since it takes consciousness as a given and no attempt is made to derive it from physics, the Copenhagen Interpretation may be called the “big-C” view of consciousness, where it is a thing that exists by itself – although it requires brains to become real. This view was popular with the pioneers of quantum theory such as Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schrödinger.

The interaction between consciousness and matter leads to paradoxes that remain unresolved after 80 years of debate. A well-known example of this is the paradox of Schrödinger’s cat, in which a cat is placed in a situation that results in it being equally likely to survive or die – and the act of observation itself is what makes the outcome certain.

The opposing view is that consciousness emerges from biology, just as biology itself emerges from chemistry which, in turn, emerges from physics. We call this less expansive concept of consciousness “little-C.” It agrees with the neuroscientists’ view that the processes of the mind are identical to states and processes of the brain. It also agrees with a more recent interpretation of quantum theory motivated by an attempt to rid it of paradoxes, the Many Worlds Interpretation, in which observers are a part of the mathematics of physics.

Philosophers of science believe that these modern quantum physics views of consciousness have parallels in ancient philosophy. Big-C is like the theory of mind in Vedanta – in which consciousness is the fundamental basis of reality, on par with the physical universe.

Little-C, in contrast, is quite similar to Buddhism. Although the Buddha chose not to address the question of the nature of consciousness, his followers declared that mind and consciousness arise out of emptiness or nothingness.

Big-C and scientific discovery 

Scientists are also exploring whether consciousness is always a computational process. Some scholars have argued that the creative moment is not at the end of a deliberate computation. For instance, dreams or visions are supposed to have inspired Elias Howe‘s 1845 design of the modern sewing machine, and August Kekulé’s discovery of the structure of benzene in 1862.

A dramatic piece of evidence in favor of big-C consciousness existing all on its own is the life of self-taught Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, who died in 1920 at the age of 32. His notebook, which was lost and forgotten for about 50 years and published only in 1988, contains several thousand formulas, without proof in different areas of mathematics, that were well ahead of their time. Furthermore, the methods by which he found the formulas remain elusive. He himself claimed that they were revealed to him by a goddess while he was asleep.

The concept of big-C consciousness raises the questions of how it is related to matter, and how matter and mind mutually influence each other. Consciousness alone cannot make physical changes to the world, but perhaps it can change the probabilities in the evolution of quantum processes. The act of observation can freeze and even influence atoms’ movements, as Cornell physicists proved in 2015. This may very well be an explanation of how matter and mind interact.

Mind and self-organizing systems 

It is possible that the phenomenon of consciousness requires a self-organizing system, like the brain’s physical structure. If so, then current machines will come up short.

Scholars don’t know if adaptive self-organizing machines can be designed to be as sophisticated as the human brain; we lack a mathematical theory of computation for systems like that. Perhaps it’s true that only biological machines can be sufficiently creative and flexible. But then that suggests people should – or soon will – start working on engineering new biological structures that are, or could become, conscious».

World Economic Forum

«As 2018 begins, the surveillance state is gearing up for even greater surveillance of American citizens. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is setting aside $1 billion for a biometric scanning program to capture the faces of those leaving the country at airports. That scanning includes the faces of American citizens, even though DHS has no legal authority to conduct that surveillance.

The Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University Law School recently released the results of a study it conducted on the program. As the executive summary of that report states:

At Boston’s Logan International Airport, travelers at one international boarding gate will be surprised that they are being told to stop before what looks like a sophisticated camera. But it’s more than just a camera — the device compares each traveler’s face to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) biometric database to verify her identity and flags as many as 1 in 25 travelers for further scrutiny. These face scans have been deployed at eight other airports, too. In Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, New York City, Houston, and Washington, D.C., travelers departing on certain international flights have their faces scanned by DHS. If DHS’ current plans are executed, every traveler flying overseas, American and foreign national alike, will soon be subject to a face recognition scan as part of this “biometric exit” program.

This sophisticated biometric screening system could cost up to one billion dollars. Congress has already created a “9-11 Response and Biometric Exit Account” to fund a biometric exit program in that amount. Yet, curiously, neither Congress nor DHS has ever justified the need for the program. Congress never provided a rationale for it. For its part, DHS says that airport face scans are designed to verify the identities of travelers as they leave the country and stop impostors traveling under someone else’s identity. But DHS itself has repeatedly questioned “the additional value biometric air exit would provide” compared with the status quo and the “overall value and cost of a biometric air exit capability,” even as it has worked to build it.

That “neither Congress nor DHS has ever justified the need for the program” while setting aside as much as $1 billion to pay for it is not the only — or even greatest — objection to the program. There is the fact that (whether needed or not) the program is unconstitutional and likely illegal. The study from Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology doesn’t miss that, either. Section B is headed “DHS’ Airport Face Scan Program May Violate Federal Law” and says in part:

DHS’ current face scan-based program also may not comply with federal law. The program may exceed the authority granted to DHS by Congress because Congress has never explicitly authorized biometric collections from Americans at the border. Even if DHS has sufficient legal authority for the program, DHS has failed to complete a prerequisite public rulemaking process for the program, as mandated by federal law.

So without any constitutional or legal authority, DHS is scanning the faces of scores of thousands of American citizens at the departure gates of select airports as they prepare to fly abroad. Those biometric scans are then entered into a huge database that also has no constitutional or legal authority to exist. And all the while, DHS is planning to spend $1 billion to extend the program to cover every international airport and scan the faces of every departing American.

As the report explains about the likely illegality of the program, “Congress has passed legislation at least nine times concerning authorization for the collection of biometric data from foreign nationals, but no law directly authorizes DHS to collect the biometrics of Americans at the border.” Furthermore, “U.S. citizens have been conspicuously absent from the statutory text of every law under this program for the last 14 years.” Concerning this, the report asserts, “If Congress wanted to tell DHS to collect Americans’ biometrics at the border, it easily could have done so. It never has,” adding, “Without explicit authorization, DHS cannot and should not be scanning the faces of Americans as they depart on international flights, as it is currently doing.”

As part of the “war on terror” in the wake of 9/11, the rise of the surveillance state has brought us to a place where programs like this are considered normal. And while this program is packaged as a way to fight terrorism, no valid explanation is offered for why Americans leaving the country would be subjected to having their facial scans taken, collected, and stored.

This program is not an anomaly, either. In July 2015, The New American reported that DHS had developed a video surveillance program to be used at airports to predict the behavior of passengers and guests based on their facial expressions, posture, and body language.

As this writer said then:

In the beginning of the "war on terror," which was launched in the wake of 9/11, few would have believed that in a decade and a half the American public would have become so desensitized to blanket surveillance that such a program could ever happen in the open.

Now, as 2018 begins, the surveillance state is pushing even beyond that with plans to turn every international airport into a hub of biometric surveillance. Because when it comes to surveillance hawks, too much surveillance is never enough.

And while DHS packages all of this as part of the “war on terror” (implying that it is needed), they don’t even pretend it works. Section C of the report — under the heading, “DHS’ Airport Face Scan Program May Be Technically Flawed” — says:

DHS’ face- scan-based biometric exit program may also fail as a technical matter: DHS has never measured the efficacy of airport face scans at catching impostors traveling with fraudulent credentials. There is good reason to be skeptical of the system’s efficacy. Due to the challenges inherent to face recognition, it would be difficult for DHS to develop a system that is effective at catching every impostor without severely inconveniencing all other travelers.

Furthermore, while DHS claims that an important goal of the program is to detect and stop “visa overstay travel fraud” (a situation where a foreign national has an accomplice leave the country using the foreign national’s credentials while the foreign national actually stays behind, undetected), DHS isn’t even measuring the performance of the program with that “goal” in mind. According to the report:

Problematically, DHS uses the wrong metric to evaluate the system’s success. DHS currently measures performance based on how often the system correctly accepts travelers who are using true credentials. But if the aim of this system is to detect and stop visa overstay travel fraud — as DHS suggests — it is critical and perhaps more important to assess how well it performs at correctly rejecting travelers who are using fraudulent credentials. Yet DHS is not measuring that.

And even at that, the system incorrectly tags roughly four percent (or 1 out of 25) travelers as fraudulent, even though they are traveling with their own correct credentials.

So, while scores of thousands of American citizens have had their facial biometrics unconstitutionally and illegally scanned and stored, and millions more are soon to find their rights likewise violated, DHS cannot even claim the program does what the agency says it was designed for. What it does do — and do very well — is create a database of illegal facial recognition scans of American citizens while conditioning those citizens to accept greater and greater encroachment of their rights. And that appears to be the real goal».

C. Mitchell Shaw («DHS to Spend $1 Billion to Expand Illegal Facial Scanning Program at Airports», in The New American, 02 January 2018).

Microchips in the Hand to Conduct Commerce: An Invitation to Totalitarianism?

Noelle Chesley, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, told the Chicago Tribune that the implanting of microchips under the skin in a person’s hand, in order to conduct commercial transactions, is the wave of the future. “We are going to be combining technology in our bodies,” Chesley said.

Chesley was responding to the microchip implant technology unveiled this month by the Wisconsin technology company Three Square Market, also known as 32M. The company threw a “chip party” at its River Falls headquarters, in which 41 of its 85 employees volunteered to have a microchip implanted in their hands. The chips will allow them to open doors and even buy snacks in the company’s breakroom, simply by waving their hands in front of a computer scan, using the implanted chip located between the thumb and the forefinger.

This is the first appearance in the United States of such technology, which has already been launched in Europe — where it is often used to purchase train tickets. Patrick McMullan, chief operating officer for Three Square Market, said he and another executive learned of the technology used in Sweden, by Biohax, when the duo took a business trip to Europe.

McMullan explained what he saw as the benefits to the new technology: “We see this as another payment and identification option that not only can be used in our markets but our other self-checkout/self-service applications that we are now deploying which include convenience stores and fitness centers.”

The company envisions the market expanding for their “new” technology. Actually, the technology has been around for over a decade. In 2004, VeriChip was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for chips that could be implanted in arms in order to store medical records. Some doctors argued for the technology’s use because it would make it easier to track a patient’s medical history, especially if they are unconscious or otherwise unresponsive. The product was unable to generate enough sales, however, and was discontinued.

But it did cause Marlin Schneider, a Wisconsin state representative at the time, to lead the charge for a law that banned mandatory implants. He feared that some employers would make allowing the chip’s implantation a condition of employment, or that prisons would impose it on inmates. Schneider thought such usages would be just a start, arguing, “Eventually, people will find reasons why everyone should have these chips implanted.”

California, Missouri, North Dakota and Oklahoma also banned mandatory chip implantation.

Although 32M cannot legally force its employees to be “tagged,” yet, the company’s chief executive officer Todd Westby extolled the virtues of the chips, noting that employees can use their chips to make paper copies, to log onto their computers, and to store health information. He also believes that the use of implanted microchips will expand greatly.

“Eventually,” Westby predicted, “this technology will become standardized, allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities.”

Writing in Forbes, Eric Mack expressed some concerns. “Clearly, it’s imperative for any individual who values their privacy and basic agency to own everything that goes into their body. I can imagine a future in which there’s plenty of pressure from employers to have chips like the ones 32M is offering implanted, even if it’s technically voluntary.”

A coal miner in West Virginia was ordered two years ago by his employer to use a hand scanner to clock in, but the miner won a lawsuit, arguing that the scanner was “the mark of the beast” mentioned in the biblical Book of Revelation. Danielle Paquette of the Washington Post quoted a man, Cordarrel Lyrek, who traveled from Minneapolis to Wisconsin earlier this month to protest against the microchips of Three Market Square, as warning, “It says in the Bible that’s a sign of the beast. But it’s not only about that. It’s about invading people’s privacy.”

This concern is based on a passage in Revelation (chapter 13, verses 16-17), which reads, “He [the “False Prophet,” working for the Beast, or Antichrist] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one has the mark.” (Emphasis added.)

Christian theologians have offered various and sundry explanations as to what John meant, but this much is clear: any person or oligarchical power able to control all commerce would be antithetical to a free society, creating a totalitarian nightmare. If some power can control your every transaction — they control you. And, if a person’s economic activity is regulated to the point of every transaction, the person or group so regulating can achieve totalitarian control greater than anything dreamed of by Hitler, Stalin, or Mao. It also makes it easy for the government to track every purchase a person makes. A government that tracks all phone calls and monitors all e-mails will certainly want to track all of your economic activity — all in the name of fighting terrorism, drug-dealing, or other crime, of course.

Arguments of convenience can certainly be made (and no doubt will be) for the microchip making the carrying of cash, checks, or credit cards unnecessary. But if the only way that buying and selling can take place is through a microchip in one’s hand (or forehead, presumably if a person does not have a hand), then all it takes for totalitarianism is for the government to have control of those transactions. The technology may very well be morally neutral, but its use by a tyrant intent on controlling the population makes it frightening.

For those concerned about Real ID, which is basically an effort for a national identification card, an identification system tied to a person’s body is the next logical step (in The New American, 15 August 2017).

Nenhum comentário:

Postar um comentário