Digital Anarchy – The Implications Of Crypto-Currencies & The Blockchain And Their Effect On Civilization

February 20, 2018
A special guest post written by Phil White (with contributions by hebgb) and re-printed with permission.

With the recent explosion in volatility, and the inevitable crash that it portends (the financial crisis of 2008 will have been a mere blip by comparison,) it is important to understand what the world of distributed ledger technologies (and, to a lesser extent, the crypto-currencies underpinning them) can offer people in terms of financial security, individual sovereignty, and improvements to the human condition. This article aims to define the terms associated with this new technology, clarify some of the misconceptions about crypto-currencies, put to rest some of the fears many have, and introduce some lesser-known applications of this largely untested, but radically different system that promises to fundamentally change the way the world functions. The teams currently working on this technology truly are trying to change the world in order to make it more inclusive, diverse, accessible, and secure. It could rightly be called ‘digital anarchy’.

If you thought the crypto space was about digital cash, you’ve missed out on 99% of what DLTs will be doing for humanity. In the comment section of a popular financial website, Zero Hedge, the user called Mr. Universe said,
“I’m starting to mine ACME coins right now. I built a farm in a cave I painted on the side of a mountain.”
Although funny, it succinctly states that which many wrongly think about the entire CC space.

When people talk about Bitcoin, what they are really talking about is much bigger than even they realize. Most people think that using the term Bitcoin describes the entire crypto-currency space, all the underlying blockchain technology, and all the applications which have arisen and will arise from this technology. This is, obviously, an overly simplistic view and is akin to saying that the term ‘concert ticket’ adequately describes every musical genre, band, and instrument, and explains how all songs are written, recorded, and sold. So let’s disambiguate.

Bitcoin (BTC) has become something of a generic term used to describe everything blockchain. It is a mistake, and one made by most mainstream reports on the topic, to refer to BTC and other crypto-currencies (CCs) as though they were the same thing. It is also a mistake to refer to the blockchain as though it applies equally to all coins. Blockchains are not singular entities, but refer instead to a structure containing within them the data and the history behind every transaction applied through their use.  It is this process through which CCs and smart-contracts establish trust, account for transactions, and secure the information of such transactions for all time. There exist many blockchains, each with distinct properties, which can operate independently or be linked together into networks of networks. Think of a blockchain as a separate intranet, linked to many other intranets, all of which are connected (but need not be) through the internet. DLTs (distributed ledger technologies) can be thought of as the multitude of different blockchains. Some DLTs, such as Hashgraph (a consensus algorithm,) which is also a DAG (directed acyclic graph), are not technically blockchains but fulfill the same role.

BTC is a digital coin as are Ethereum (ETH,) Litecoin (LTC,) Ripple (XRP,) etc. Think of them as subway tokens. If you want to ride on the BTC line and take advantage of the benefits of BTC, you will need to exchange some of your money for BTC. The same applies to all crypto-coins. Each provides a different set of services with their own individual pros and cons. The BTC train does not stop at ETH stations, and vice-versa. To take advantage of ETH’s services, you would need to trade some of your money for ETH, and the same goes for any other coin. Blockchains are not (yet) fully compatible.
The entire BTC line can be seen as the BTC blockchain, the string of transactions which have already taken place and the data they contain. It is always growing. There are many ways to build a blockchain – some trains are faster than others, some are more expensive to ride, some require more powerful engines (and use more energy,) some have tinted windows to protect privacy, some are local, some are international, and some even go to secret locations. Some lines publish their maps and allow anyone to come aboard, others are private and only show their maps to members.

In this sense, BTC is to CCs as a certain blockchain is to DLTs; it is merely one of many varieties. Pardon the semantics, but unless referring to one individual blockchain, it is a mistake to refer to ‘the blockchain’ as a single entity.

Crypto-Currencies (CCs)
CCs describe all the coins which one can purchase in order to participate in a certain decentralized application. There are currently some 1500+ coins representing at least as many projects, some of which are designed to improve a current system, some are designed to create brand new systems, some are designed to turn a profit, but all share the goal of solving a particular problem or set of problems. Contrary to popular belief, CCs were not designed to act as speculative investment vehicles. CCs can best be compared to crowd-funding for start-ups. They are usually released through ICOs (initial coin offerings – the decentralized version of IPOs,) though they need not be. CCs can be traded over exchanges such as (in no particular order) GDax, Bitfinex, Bitthumb, Huobi, Bittrex, Poloniex, Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, Cryptopia, QuadrigaCX, … like any other currency can be traded in the Forex market.

Decentralized Applications (DApps)
DApps promise to eliminate the middle-man by directly connecting users with providers over P2P (peer-to-peer) networks called the blockchain. For example, if Twitter was a DApp, tweets could not be censored because they would not rely on any one server which is controlled by a single entity. DApps and smart contracts are built on top of algorithms.

If eBay were a DApp, buyers and sellers would communicate directly without the developers charging fees, setting conditions, or refusing clients. The difference is that DLTs replace servers (by spreading computing power over multiple computers) so no third-party has any control over the transaction by controlling the servers through which they run.

If we compare a DApp like Bitcoin (BTC) to a centralized App such as PayPal, both of which were designed to facilitate payments, we see that while PayPal controls the servers through which financial transactions are made, and in so doing can control every aspect of the user’s account (holding transactions for up to eight business days, for example) and could even, through the actions of a bad actor, remove money from the account, use the account illicitly, or even close the account for arbitrary reasons, BTC, not being under the control of any one individual or group, does not allow for an intervention in any of the transactions passing through the network. This is what is meant by ‘decentralized’. (N.b. There is a possibility of compromising the network through a 34% attack, but more on this later.)

Forgive the repetitiveness of the above, but this point cannot be over-stated; the problem with the internet, its lack of security, and the ability for certain entities to control/censor large parts of it, lies in the fact that everything revolves around the use of servers. Servers are the means by which information is controlled. DLTs re-distribute the power of control and put it in the hands of the people using the system instead of those who own the servers. An excellent example of this is social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube… can all, rightly, control what gets published over their servers. Wouldn’t it be nice if a social media DApp were developed which could not be censored? Wouldn’t it be nice if there were no need for advertising (which doesn’t work anyways) and the spying which underpins it? (The only reason companies spy on users’ personal habits, the surveillance state not withstanding, is so that users can better be advertised to in order to pay for the infrastructure supporting the servers.) Wouldn’t it also be nice if authors owned the information they put online instead of transferring ownership to those who publish it? The very notion of free speech on the internet depends upon the ability to control the dissemination of that speech, itself. There has never been free speech on the internet. Everything can be censored. Much like if one were to visit a neighbour and act the fool in their home, the host would, and should, be able to kick that guest off of their property. Facebook is not a public space, Facebook is a private space. They can and do decide what is allowed. The government can block protests on public land because, in this case, ‘public land’ is merely a designation; the land is owned by the government. Nobody owns the blockchain.

The truth is that the world is in the process of undergoing a massive change in the way it conducts its business. It is crucially important for everyone to grasp exactly what is involved as it will surely affect the lives of everyone on Earth and change the way people look at life, business, finance, social networks, the internet, governments, elections, privacy, freedom… which are all going to have to change in a fundamental way.

Permissions, nodes, layers, shards, and APIs
Permissioned ledgers/networks are relatively simple in terms of incentives; your incentive for running a node (one of the computers that is running the system – approving transactions, storing data, etc.) is participation; if you want to play a game, you must join that game’s network, and means you need permission to run a node. Airlines could each be a node in the airline network. Musical artists could be their own nodes, or brokers could run their nodes for them. Why not buy concert tickets from the artist directly? On public networks (non-permissioned ledgers,) the incentives are much more complex, and will not be discussed here.

One can think of networked communications as comprised of a series of layers. There can be a crypto currency layer, a consensus layer, a security layer, a data layer, etc., and all of these are built upon each other. They can be described as an algorithm sandwich. Every layer slows down the system, introduces additional points for bugs to creep in, and increases the complexity of communication between the layers. Speed, throughput (the amount of information being processed within a system in a given amount of time,) security, and fairness must be maintained throughout all the layers despite constant additions. The pieces of the layers cannot be thought of individually, they must be addressed holistically.

Systems that use many shards (the partitioning of databases into smaller parts) need to be fast, but systems that need to operate on only one shard need fast shards. Shards are like processors in your computer; some programs need many, some need only one. Some applications/programs will not be any better if there are many shards. Some need the multiple shards to run more efficiently. This is largely relative to the size of the network. Shards can be looked at as bricks. Even if the security of one shard is good, how will the security be affected when putting these shards together? Strong bricks can build weak walls or strong walls, whereas weak bricks can only build weak walls. Shards are being built to be modular so that if a better brick is developed, it can be inserted into the wall at a later date.

An application programming interface (API) is, in basic terms, a way for different components of a program to communicate together.

Common Myths About CCs
There are many false notions about CCs which are being put forth by otherwise well-educated and well-intentioned individuals and organizations. Several economists, bankers, traders, politicians, and others have been arguing against the advent of CCs. The arguments they raise against the use of blockchain as it pertains to money are well known but are usually not very accurate and can be very biased. The following are a selection of common myths, misconceptions, and arguments which are, at best, weak.

No backing, no intrinsic value
It has been said that CCs do not represent anything of value, are not backed by anything of value, and consist of nothing more than ones and zeros on a computer screen. There are many problems with this statement.
There are some CCs which are backed by various physical goods such as gold or oil. They are not the first. The US dollar was backed by physical gold until 1973 and the country of Tatarstan still backs its currency with both wheat and oil. It may be the only country left in the world which does not use fiat currency.

tatarstan_coins

OneGramCoins (OGC) are each backed by one gram of physical gold and became the world’s first gold-backed digital coin. Venezuela has released the Petro (Petromoneda – PTR) crypto-coin which is backed by over five billion barrels of oil currently held in reserves. These are but two examples of how certain coins are being backed by physical commodities and they are not alone. This being said, they are certainly the exception rather than the rule. Most coins are backed, not by goods, but by services. Owning these coins allow the users access to services which would otherwise not be possible. Some claim that this is not a backing, but in reality, it is simply a different form of backing. A similar and related point brought against CCs is that they have no intrinsic value. Some would argue that neither does fiat currency, nor any of the other multitude of goods which have been used as currency throughout the ages such as: seashells; tally sticks; beads; modern nickel and copper coins; etc. The problem with this is that even precious goods, once they fall out of favour for whatever reason, also lose their intrinsic value. (Silver lost much of its value with the advent of digital photography.) The value of CCs is what they allow the holder to do with them. Access to computational power, for example, is certainly of value to mathematicians seeking to discover new prime numbers. Access to micro-loans is a very valuable service to those in emerging market economies seeking to improve the quality of their lives. Examples of intrinsic value are endless. Some who defend CCs have stated that it is the underlying technology which gives coins their value, but this is not accurate. The tech itself is mostly public and of little value. The way a certain team of individuals applies the technology gives the project, and therefore, the coin, value.

CCs are nothing but scams, fads, and Ponzi schemes
There are currently over 1500 CCs which comprise companies, staff, budgets, and goals. It is beyond credulity to insinuate that all these hundreds of thousands of people are all in on a scheme to defraud the rest of the population. Certainly, some coins, ICOs, and blockchain projects are merely scams (or even jokes) and several have been proven to be schemes to defraud investors. These represent a very small percentage of the overall market, and the same can be said of any asset class. Buyer beware. But it is nothing more than a paranoid delusion to imply that all coin projects, or even a majority thereof, are scams. Many, maybe even most of the coins on offer today will end up being worthless, but so will the majority of shares in small companies. Early adopters often suffer the greatest losses or the greatest gains. But early adoption helps the industry develop and grow, which is what fuels a rise in value in the first place. Traditional markets can also be compared to Ponzi schemes considering the boom-bust cycle and the bank bail-outs and bail-ins which fuel it.
CCs are not like break-dancing, and they will not go away.

CCs are in a bubble – tulips
When one looks at the market for CCs of late, it would be easy to think that it is in a bubble. BTC is often compared to tulips, hearkening back to the Dutch tulip mania which collapsed in 1637. The only problem with this analogy is that BTC has been there before, losing over a third of its value many times in the past, only to rebound and come back stronger than ever. This, of course, is not to say that it will continue to do this forever. BTC could very well go to zero one day, but calling it a bubble every time it goes up in value is disingenuous and disregards its almost ten year history. Whether or not BTC is in bubble territory is not so important. With the recent growth in the space, even if BTC were to suffer a catastrophic loss of value, there would be many other coins ready to take its place. Saying that the entire CC market is in a bubble is also misguided considering that the tech bubble burst when values were at the $7T level. The entire CC space now sits at about $500B. It is the author’s personal belief that the market is in its infancy and that the total value of CCs will only rise to eclipse the value of every asset class in history. Many have said that CCs will give rise to the world’s first (official) trillionaire. CCs may one day be in a bubble, but for the moment, the bubble has only just begun to inflate. It is more like a blister on the financial world’s heel.
There are just over 1400 people, private individuals in the US alone, not counting corporations, banks, hedge funds, etc., who make $60M per year.
Globally, there are about 1800 crypto wallets worth over $10M.
Do you still think it’s a bubble?

Traditional market analysis
This leads us to look at the metrics used to evaluate traditional markets. There are no comparisons possible between the usual tools and CC analysis. This becomes quite obvious when looking at CC charts. Certain patterns tend to emerge which are not seen in the lower volatility regime of stocks and bonds et al. Using these methods to glean a forecast of crypto-performance is akin to measuring a bottle’s volume with a sextant or the distance to the nearest star with a bathroom scale. Many traditional tools are more than useless even in the domain for which they are intended, but trying to find a place for them in the CC market is simply wrong-headed.

CCs are speculative investment vehicles
CCs were not meant nor were they designed to be used as speculative investment vehicles. The fact that many have made fortunes trading CCs is secondary to their true purpose. CCs can be seen in much the same way as crowd-funding resources or even municipal bonds. They are simply a  way in which capital can be raised in order to support an underlying project. They could more accurately be called digital start-up capital. Anything which lives in a highly volatile milieu can be traded for enormous gains or losses, but without the underlying goals, the coins themselves have no meaning. The coins have become as a proxy; rather than buying stocks or investing in IPOs (sometimes also backed by ideas and intrinsically worthless,) the coins serve as the assets traded and represent an investment in the idea, in the team, or both.

CCs can be hacked
This is a common misconception. There is much conflation between the coins, their companies, and the exchanges which allow for their trading. No crypto coin, including BTC has ever been hacked. Blockchains and distributed ledgers do not get hacked. On the other hand, many exchanges have been hacked. The irony is that if the internet had been secured using a DLT security layer, hacking exchanges would be orders of magnitude more difficult. Many CCs have also been lost or stolen, but this is a different matter altogether. Lots of money is either lost or stolen every year, as well.

No electricity, no CC
A common argument against CCs is that access to them is removed during a power failure. While this is mostly true, it is no different than with fiat money. Credit cards, debit cards, ATMs, and even bank employees do not work during power outages. Unless one has cash on hand, which CCs do not preclude, access to money is always in short supply during blackouts. Paper wallets can be traded like IOUs or stock certificates during power outages. Digital wallets run on batteries, and can be used to transfer coins.

Production (electricity) costs are prohibitive
While this has been true for some coins using the proof-of-work algorithm (PoW,) the same cannot be said of newer coins which use proof-of-stake (PoS) algorithm, amongst others. There are many algorithms in use today including proof-of-stake-velocity (PoSV,) proof-of-importance (PoI,) proof-of-capacity (PoC, includes varieties called proof-of-storage and proof-of-replication,) proof-of-burn (PoB,) proof-of-asset (PoA,) and proof-of-run (PoR). While the cost of ‘mining’ can be high, it need not be. [Explanations of these algorithms is beyond the scope of this article, but a simple explanation can be found here.]

Network fees are prohibitive
This is also true for certain coins, but many coins can be traded with no, or very low fees. Let’s not forget that credit card companies charge 3-4% on every transaction. This is temporary and all coins will soon cost nearly nothing to use.

Network transactions/clearing take(s) a long time
While some coins can take a matter of hours to clear, the majority of coins clear almost instantly. This depends on throughput. Bank wires take several days to clear. PayPal can hold funds for up to eight business days. Western Union, while quicker, charges enormous fees. This argument is obsolete.

Internet shut-downs would kill CCs
It can be argued that CCs rely on the internet to be of any use. There is some truth to this, but it is not completely true. CCs can be exchanged through local wallet to wallet transactions, paper wallets can be printed and traded like IOUs,  and intranets based on local servers can be used to transfer funds. These transactions will not be recorded on their blockchains (until updated) and the security measures inherent in the system to guard against things such as double-spending would, obviously, not be in place. Nevertheless, the internet was designed to be redundant, and a major persistent shut-down has never occurred. National shut-downs have occurred and are a threat to those living in such a place. The natural option here is to re-locate, but that option is not open to everybody. It should be noted that governments, while they do hold the power to shut down the internet in their own respective countries, can not shut it down on a world-wide scale. It should also be noted that if the government wants to, it can use regulation to limit the use of CCs, so why shut down the web? Governments can and have confiscated all manner of things from blankets to gold and could confiscate CCs, as well. Whether or not they would succeed is another story. The irony is that the use of DLTs will make governments more responsive to the people (if they control their own money) rather than the banks (that do so now.) DLTs can also make governments more transparent and can even eliminate corruption by making elections open and secure, making all government accounting public information, and limit fraud, over-spending, and black budgets by governments that hide tax-payer money for illicit purposes, which they all currently do, without exception. Using a blockchain to account for government finances would immediately expose black budgets. (If total expenditures are greater than revenue plus debt, where does the extra money come from?)

Elites control the price of CCs
As in any market, it is the whales who get their way; this is not common only to CCs. Large holders of any asset, be they institutional or private, can manipulate price, volume, and demand to a large extent. Current manipulations can be seen in the gold market among others, algo-driven trading determines prices across almost all markets, futures trading affects price, as does government regulation. This is no different than the current fiat regime. The difference is that with CCs, people will come to control much more than any billionaire or corporate entity could afford to buy. Once the threshold of control passes into the hands of the public and the ratio of ownership changes, these shenanigans will be much more difficult to rig. This is a temporary problem.

CCs will usher in a one-world government
This is quite a claim, but the argument is not a new one. It is without doubt that there has been a move towards digital currencies. These, however are not the same as CCs. Digital currencies are simply fiat money but without the cash. It is the elimination of cash which has led to reports of global governance, which is a real phenomenon, but one which does not rely on CCs. Hence the conflation. As it happens, the only way to subvert any actions governments might take to consolidate their power over the populace is through the advent of personal and financial sovereignty. Only DLTs are currently positioned to offer a path in that direction.

If McAfee eats his manhood, cryptos are dead
Much has been made of the wager offered up by one of the gurus of CCs and DLT technology. If indeed BTC does not attain the heights to which John McAfee claims, it only speaks to BTC’s failures as a viable technology. While the CC markets seem to be closely correlated to BTC’s price, many coins are expected to fall by the wayside as the technology progresses. BTC has many problems which can better be addressed by other DLTs. The movie industry didn’t die when VHS was replaced with DVDs. The same can be said of this non-argument.

CCs are not money
Well, here again we get into semantics. There are many definitions of money. Here’s what money is, to most people: Money is that which one gets for one’s labour, and that which one trades for goods and services required. For most people, CCs can just as easily be money as can coins and bills, or silver and gold, or seashells and beads. CCs have an advantage though; they can be sent instantly anywhere in the world. In many parts of the world, CCs have been accepted as methods of payment for everything from homes to bullion to clothing and to lunch.

There are two arguments for CCs relating to money which are rarely, if ever, brought up. The first is that because of their limited supply, they are invulnerable to hyper-inflation unlike the currency of certain nations: Argentina; Venezuela; Germany; and Zimbabwe, to name a few. This is not to say that they cannot lose value if they become obsolete, only that the money supply is inalterable. It is control of the money supply, the amount of money circulating through the economy, which most influences its value.
The second is more down-to-Earth. Currently, most of the children under twelve who have any experience on the internet have used some form of CC or token. It is the only knowledge most of them have regarding the wide world of finance. They have been earning tokens from any number of online video games and exchanging them for upgrades to their characters or for the purchase of useful equipment. As far as the economy goes, besides the fifty-dollar bill grandma’ puts in their Christmas card every year, it is the only experience these children have with money, and they use it almost every day. These children have no trust issues with CCs, are very comfortable trading them, and are growing up rather quickly. They are the future, and the world will belong to them. It is only natural that they apply that which they know best to the world they will have a hand in creating.

What are some of the problems we face, and what are the solutions DLTs offer?
DLTs came about, not by chance, but for a reason. Their purpose has simply been to solve problems. CCs can help fund teams of thinkers and dreamers who wish to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues. The following are just some of the more pertinent problems the world has yet to solve, but as we have left it to governments and NGOs to do these things for us, and as their mandates have largely been ignored or have failed, it is time we take back the power for ourselves in order to effect change on our shared planet. Problems like corruption, sovereignty, freedom, poverty, and war have been put aside in lieu of more important issues, or so say the international institutions we relied upon to fix them, and have instead been replaced by measures like austerity, increased surveillance, immigration, political correctness, terrorism, and one-world government. How much longer were we supposed to wait?

Most of these ‘solutions’ are not panaceas, rather, they offer the opportunity for those who suffer from these problems to bring about their own solutions. Whether it is by crypto-anarchists who want to free themselves of all forms of governmental control, or by the financial industry (first-adopters) who want more freedom to profit from within the current regulatory framework, or by workers in emerging markets who want more control over their financial lives, the issue of sovereignty has always played a major role in the development of DLTs. Sovereignty is the basis for many of the projects which have been launched in this space, and it comes in many forms.

Micro-loans have become very popular in less developed markets. This industry has made many people rich and even more have been made richer than they were. There are many ways to implement micro-loans over DLTs, but the important part to take from this is that no third party is needed. Instead of one wealthy person serving as banker to the poor, there is no reason why anyone cannot become a lender of small amounts of money half-way around the globe. Certain CCs are making this easy and are reducing the cost of borrowing money for people everywhere. Why should the rich get to borrow large sums for free (at 0% interest, or close to it) when the poor are charged significantly more? By removing the middle-man, fees can be eliminated altogether and interest can either be waived by philanthropic individuals or be brought down to levels comparable to those which large borrowers currently pay. In the same vein, people who choose to sell goods to others over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks can eliminate the fees charged by auction sites like eBay, as well as all the associated costs of currency conversion and transaction fees from payment processors like PayPal, not to mention that the transactions would be instantaneous. Even if paid upon reception, a linked sidechain could be appended to the blockchain in order to track a parcel sent through the mail.

Banks running dark pools want secure data storage and encrypted communication between nodes. They want to share information but don’t trust each other. Banks in dark pools have to trust one bank that runs the servers. Controlling a server gives an advantage to those who control it. There are no privileged parties in the blockchain.
Banks, credit unions, credit card companies, insurance companies, investment brokers… the entire financial services industry could save lots of money on security. Instead of protecting one server, the cost of securing the network would be evenly distributed amongst all the participants. Early adopters of the tech were the crypto-anarchists and the financial industries.
By this point, some of you might be thinking that there would be no need for banks at all. That might very well be true for personal banking needs, but institutional needs are a different matter. Financial industries are leading the charge; banks and insurance companies want speed and security and fairness, believe it or not, but just amongst themselves and not necessarily for the greater good. The entire insurance industry has already adopted Hashgraph (currently the fastest and most secure DLT) as their new standard.
This is not to say that the reduced presence of banks in the lives of people would not be greeted with enthusiasm, as it certainly would. Nobody would argue that banks don’t make enough money, with the possible exception of bankers. Perhaps their role in the world could be lessened while the people enjoy more of their money and the freedom that comes with financial sovereignty.

Employers who paid their staff with CCs and through DLTs would not incur fees, nor would anyone ever need to be charged for cashing a cheque. And since all payments could be made through smart contracts, the payroll and tax accounting could be taken care of automatically further reducing costs for business owners.

An insecure internet
Who hasn’t been exposed to spam? Many have also been victims of phone spoofing. (The telephone network, built long ago, is also very vulnerable and insecure.) Distributed denial of service attacks ( DDoSs) can easily take down websites through their use of bot-nets. Hacking, through code insertions (popular amongst websites which use Flash,) distribution of viruses, trojans, worms, etc., affect us all, at some time. ‘Game theory’ attacks can affect international financial systems as has been the case with recent attacks on the SWIFT system. Firewall attacks are also common.

The current internet of things (IOT) is both fragile and vulnerable and introduces many more potential bots in the form of dishwashers, printers, webcams… which are susceptible to being taken over by malicious forces using bot-nets for DDoS attacks and other nefarious purposes.

DLTs can be built in a layer on top of the internet in order to add security and overcome the flaws inherent in the network. Changes are very difficult to implement into the current underlying technology of the internet. Adding a secure layer on top of the internet provides an excellent way to make these changes quickly and to make them scalable. Serious security protocol vulnerabilities, which persist for years and are sometimes not noticed until they are exploited, can be eliminated. A trust layer (verification) would solve spam if everyone were to send mail through trusted and decentralized networks. Hackers would find that their methods of stealing information and vandalizing systems would be greatly limited. (It should be noted that all software is inherently vulnerable to hacking. If it can be programmed, it can be hacked. DLTs would mitigate the risks and bring the probabilities of successful attacks down to insignificance. More importantly, DLTs would instantly inform all the users on a network that a hack had taken place thus making it much easier to limit its spread and greatly reduce its effects.)

Firewall attacks refer to the 34% rule, as mentioned above. If a malicious actor or group of actors can control 34% of the computers running a network, the entire network can be compromised. This is true for all systems. It is very unlikely that any group could ever come to control 34% of all the computers (or nodes) on a network, but the problem today is that entire networks can be compromised through the control of only one computer. This is the very worst possible scenario, and is the paradigm which the internet finds itself under today. It is one which currently costs businesses untold billions in internet security. These costs could be eliminated, or greatly reduced, through the immediate implementation of DLT technology.

If security and privacy were not necessary, then we could just use a server, but if security slows down the process too much, it wouldn’t be accepted. The answer is not to scale down security, rather to build a better system where the security does not hinder throughput. Systems need to take considerations of speed into account. A faster system is a better system (and in many cases a more secure one,) and processes inherent in some DLTs are faster than anything currently available.

Another aspect to security is that the incentives to act in good faith (good faith would not even need to be a consideration with strong verification) are vastly outweighed by the incentives to game the current system for bribes, coercion, and financial or political gain. When billions of dollars are at stake, the threat of fines or a short stint in a minimum security facility is no deterrent. DLTs can, and do, offer better incentives for all involved to act correctly. If everyone used strong locks, thievery might be eliminated. In the same way, if everyone used strong networks, negative actions would not be worth the trouble. (Better enforcement of current regulations would also help, but that is another story, altogether.)

Peripheral costs and benefits
There has been much focus on the fact that the current system the internet is built around is having enormous and detrimental effects on people using social media, especially on the youth. It has been said that we are now all ‘alone together’. Culture has changed overnight and on a massive scale. Ironically, online social interactions are hurting social skills amongst the youth. Loneliness and depression increase with ‘smart’ phone use. Fewer distractions could lead to a greater attention span and more efficient cognitive processes. Technology has already altered our consciousness and our culture.

Servers carry much of the blame for this problem, as well. The current state of internet technology and the way it is implemented hinders true communities from forming. Instead, people interact, not within groups, but one-on-one within a group. DLTs could change the very nature of group interaction by making it possible to create virtual worlds (everyone would have the power to create their own virtual universe without necessarily exerting control over the group.) Leemon Baird calls these ‘shared worlds’.

With shared worlds, one wouldn’t have to pay for access, there would be no limit to membership, anything would be possible, interactions would be group-based and not just one-on-one times a hundred, the structure could be democratic or tyrannical, and the market would decide which it preferred. Users could even vote on the direction the world took. They would put Civilization, Sims, and all the other ‘Tycoon’ games to shame.

Liberals and conservatives could go their own way and isolate themselves or learn to live together and play nice with everyone. Don’t want to deal with hate-speech? Make your own rules. Want to encourage free speech? The same applies.
This is the elimination of cultural borders within state borders. It is also the implementations of borders within state borders. In a phrase, it is the advancement of total freedom to associate.

Different shared worlds could connect to each other. Imagine starting one’s own stock market or video game as easily as typing a letter. A certain world could issue/manage a CC which could be used by several shared worlds. Data storage, game environments (like Minecraft,) alert systems,… all could be created without paying for hosting services, and changes made to one world would instantly propagate throughout all these connected worlds.

Thus everyone could interact as though they were in a group instead of interacting with others one-at-a-time. Advances in virtual reality (VR) would help. This would have positive effects on the psychology of those who partake in social media. Not to mention, instead of being alone together, kids could hang out and truly be together. For example, instead of a ‘zombie’ user walking into a lamp-post, those in the group could warn that user that a lamp-post was in their way. This is a very basic example, but the possibility of increasing the group dynamic within the social media space, depending on the level of VR technology available, is unlimited. Whatever way this develops, it is important, and is becoming more and more urgent, that we build a society based on benevolence, compassion, and teamwork instead of greed.

The culture of the developers, and of the entire blockchain revolution, is central to this new paradigm. Cultural issues affect the technology being developed, how the technology is to be implemented, and how the technology influences the world’s culture as a whole.

Griefing (vandalizing digital property/assets) can be eliminated through the implementation of DLTs. Much can be gleaned about property rights through this one simple example.

Systems for such things as distributed computing and data storage could be made much more effective and secure thus enabling large-scale projects (some of which already exist) to more efficiently use the resources of the entire network as though it were one machine. Networks could be turned into super-computers more powerful than any in existence, and that would make it possible to make use of unused, and currently wasted, computing resources. (The advent of AI is a different thing, but despite its dangers, that discussion is beyond the scope of this article.) This would indirectly allow those whose electricity costs are high to take advantage of lower energy costs elsewhere in the world. This, in turn, would incentivize governments, not only to reduce the costs of energy, but to find and adopt better methods to generate power. Technologies which threaten the profitability of dangerous industries (such as nuclear power generation) would be made available to the public. Nikolai Tesla might finally get his wish. Technologies such as water-based engines, LFTR – thorium reactors, hydrogen fuel cells, etc., the patents for which have been bought by private corporations and locked away in a safe, could now be brought out to the benefit of all. Free energy has been proposed by many people, and whether these technologies can be proven to work or not, at least their potential can now be examined openly. The incentive to hide beneficial technology from the public in lieu of higher profits can be done away with.

Thomas Rau has some interesting insights into some of the potential applications of DLTs. He envisions a ‘material passports’ which could be implemented in order to re-use all the raw materials that go into building all the products in existence.

Protect your information/privacy while sharing it
This might sound like an impossibility, and under the current system, it might well be, but through the use of DLTs, this can become the new standard for information access. Take the case of a driver’s license, as an example. If some entity needs to see your driver’s license in order to get some information about you, why would you want them to see your street address and/or any other information contained within the document which is not relevant to the matter at hand? DLTs can limit exactly what information is to be shared with concerned parties. The validity of your license can be verified independently of any associated information, and can even be done anonymously. The license itself can be verified without the identity of the user being divulged. This would be beneficial to a great number of things such as medical records, voting records, tax information, property ownership… and the list goes on.

Using this method could make governments transparent and accountable while, at the same time, protecting sensitive information such as state secrets which impact national security. I do not believe that governments want to stifle this technology, rather, they want to prevent the public from using it against them. Results of FISC (FISA court) procedures could be made public while protecting the underlying classified information. Immigration documents, passports, social insurance cards, gun registration documents… could all be better managed using this system. Imagine the implications.

Also, and perhaps even more importantly, the revocation of a document would be shown across the network instantly. This would relegate forged documents to the dustbin of history. Indeed, some of the best applications for DLTs, as far as governments and banks are concerned, is the eradication of counterfeiting. This was the main focus of the Chinese (and others’) government’s investigations into DLT technology at the outset. Serial numbers on fiat currency (being a centralized use) once put on the blockchain (decentralized information) could indicate counterfeit bills at point-of-sale locations everywhere. The same technology could be applied to all manner of documents. Even proprietary software applications which are offered on a trial basis could be monitored more easily. Software piracy would become a thing of the past.

Even the gold industry has started integrating blockchain-based gold trading which could lead to a re-emergence of the gold standard replacing fiat currencies the world over. This is just speculation, for the moment, but who knows where this could lead?

Education and ownership
Education, as it exists now, is a costly endeavour and is limited to a certain strata of the population. Student debt is currently a huge hindrance to those just getting started in life. DLTs could make all educational materials available to all people, all across the world, and at no cost to the users, all the while protecting the rights of those who contributed/authored course materials. Imagine what could be accomplished if the sum of all human knowledge were available to anyone who wanted it. The potential genius of those without access to information could be unlocked and put to the best use society would have for it. How many potential Nobel laureates have gone unnoticed? How many stupendous innovations have been lost to class divisions or geographical chance?

This could change the way the world thinks about intellectual property, patents, copyrights, and the notion of ownership itself, while ushering in a world of co-operation instead of the current paradigm of competition. Some might claim communistic overtones, which is by no means the intent here. What this really portends is the advent of a purer form of capitalism. Whether this leads to an abandonment of banks (or even money per se,) will be decided by the market, and by the people themselves. Further, what this actually indicates is the possibility that many contradictory paradigms can co-exist instead of necessarily leading to animosity, hatred, or war.

Groups could start working together, not only to come up with solutions, but to fine-tune those solutions and come up with others, and by comparing them, come up with the best solutions instead of the most profitable ones over the near-term. This really changes the focus from short-term profits for a few to long-term benefits for all.

People might start making movies based on merit rather than box-office expectations. News media might even take-up proper journalistic standards instead of chasing ratings. Although this may be a premature argument to make, it does lead one to think about the truly awesome possibilities DLTs present. It is sure to raise interesting questions and spark debate over fundamental issues the world has, so far, taken for granted.

Take-aways
Some of the things which are central to the adoption of DLTs include: security; trust/verifiability; speed; throughput (expressed in transactions per second;) consensus; fragility; scalability; redundancy; invisibility (working in the background;) privacy (sovereign identity;) latency (timing;) revocation; transparency (banking, government;) and sharding.
While a very few of these attributes are applicable to current technology, only DLTs offer the possibility of integrating all of these benefits into the goods and services we all use everyday.

It is also important to understand that there are many issues which need to be addressed and resolved before this technology is adopted on a larger scale. Some of these issues include technical implementation, social considerations, political implications, organizational hierarchies, regulatory systems, and the legal aspects underlying all of the above. There are also some philosophical questions (which were touched upon above) left to consider. The main issue (and one which could be facilitated by the very technology in question) is that whatever course we, as a united human organism choose to take, that course will be decided upon freely instead of being foisted upon us by some outside force with a vested interest in retaining the status quo.

This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The possibilities are truly endless, and the technology is very much still in its infancy.




*Update*
Russia is in the process of implementing Ethereum-based blockchain technology in order to secure its election systems and guarantee fair elections. Seems like a strange thing to do if Putin really was the tyrannical dictator that the west makes him out to be. How ironic that while the USA is mired in election tampering (this is only one of hundreds of articles showing voter fraud and election tampering which is so very prevalent all across America,) as well as a sideshow to implicate Russia for it, the Russians are becoming the paragon for democratic processes.
Read more about it here.

The revolution has begun.




Although many different coins, technologies, applications, and people were mentioned by name in this article, I do not specifically endorse any in particular. This article should not be taken as investment advice. The reader is encouraged to do their own research on this and on any topic.

Contact the author through this blog here.
Thank you for your time and attention to this crucially important matter.

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A Tiger By The Tail

The world, in its current state, is not sustainable. No reasonable person would argue that it is. This does not refer to population; there is more than enough land and food for all. Besides, populations tend to self-adjust based upon available resources. In other words, there is no need for a cull. Equity is the problem. Capitalism, in its current form, which has been adopted by nearly all the countries of the earth with a central bank (excepting North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and some small Pacific island nations – Monaco and the Vatican being exceptional cases) isn’t sustainable either. [I feel it is important to disambiguate this point further. The capitalist system which is in use today can be, and has been, referred to as crony-capitalism and/or disaster capitalism and does not reflect the tenets of pure capitalism. Adam Smith himself put the emphasis on local systems and stated that one should not take more than one’s share lest the entire system collapse. This is often left out of economic theories.] The problem then is, how do we change the system underpinning all our TBTF* sub-systems? It won’t be pretty, but it inevitably must be done. As Henry Kissinger (I am NOT a fan) famously said, “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly.” Many people will undoubtedly suffer, and many of them will die. This horrid reality does not escape me. It is more than unfortunate that TPTB* have organized the world in such a way as to make this unavoidable. All we can do, as a community, is minimize this peril by helping each other make it through to the other side.

Anarchy

It’s not what you think it is. Anarchy is a state of total freedom, but not without consequence. Anarchy is not ‘natural law.’ Anarchy is quite the opposite. Anarchy allows individuals to retain their individuality. It does not mean that there are no longer any rules, or that rules do not apply. People still have to live together, after all. Anarchy simply puts the power in the hands of those affected. The concept of ‘mob-rule’ comes to mind when such things are discussed, but it need not. It can be argued that people are generally kind and compassionate and generous. We may have lost sight of this fact given our current state of economic inequity, but it remains a fact, nonetheless. How could we have survived as a species otherwise? As a social animal, community has always been the foundation of society.

Blockchain

Blockchain, very simply put, is a wholly transparent contract. It has no limits and can be applied to any human endeavour involving more than one person. Many people are intimidated by this techy-sounding phrase, but it is something, at its root, with which we are all familiar; only it is digitized, in order to make it common and accessible to all, and verifiable.

Crypto-currency

The world needs a global currency. Why should banks et al. make money from the exchange of one currency into another? Why should they have the power to create wealth and distribute it to whomever they please? Why should banks and central banks constrain human potential in order to turn a profit? What purpose do they serve anymore, anyhow? The banks (Bank of America, HSBC, et al.,) central banks (the Fed, ECB, et al.,) and uber-banks (IMF, BIS, et al.) have had all of humanity under their collective thumbs since they were conceived.

Which coin will be the standard? Will there be several as with Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi vs. Royal Crown? Will there be too many to count? As long as they are freely interchangeable, who cares, right? My personal feeling is that there will be many, but that all will be as interchangeable as good delivery gold bars from different banks, with no exchange rate. The closest comparison which can be drawn is the Linux operating system, which is open-sourced and comes in many ‘flavours’, all of which are compatible with most other versions.

De-centralization

It may just be time to bring back the city-state. Borders are illusory and they are political. Their time too, has passed. This is not a call to mass migration; on the contrary, it is an invitation for all to participate in the global economy without consideration for whence they were born, and without a need to re-locate, but without hindrance to do so, if desired. Under this new paradigm, there will be no need for entire populations to flee oppression or war. There will be no power structure to impose these conditions, and there will be no will of the people to engage in same.

Encryption

Privacy will not need any protection. Privacy has always existed. Be it through secret code, hidden retreats, occult groups, or VPN*, the dark web is nothing new. The need to protect it arises from those who would intrude, such as the state; but if people want to communicate privately, there is no reason they should not have the means to do so. Blockchain can provide this function. People don’t want to be nothing more than just a number. IBM tried that during WWII and the mental image stuck. People don’t want to be issued tattoos. On the other hand, people don’t seem to have a problem tattooing themselves. If we pick a number (or a hash) for ourselves, it becomes part of us. This is the key to being both public and private at the same time.

Freedom

We must be allowed to live our lives as we see fit. We must not be told that since we live in one particular place, we must do certain things with our time. We must not have to live our lives surveilled. It must not be assumed that we are all potential criminals. In order to acquire the freedom to live as we choose, we must either be emancipated or we must emancipate ourselves, and we’ve been waiting long enough to be emancipated. If it hasn’t happened by now, it just isn’t going to happen. It is time to take matters into our own hands and take the bull by the horns. But what do you do when you have a tiger by the tail? If you let go, it will eat you. If you hang on, you can do nothing else. Eventually your strength will wane, and a lot faster than the tiger’s. So what option is available? The only option left is to kick that fucking tiger in the balls so hard and so often that he will want to get as far away from you as fast as possible, instead of making you his meal. This is what we must do to the control structures, and the people who run them, set up to dominate our lives. We must make the job of ruling over us so disagreeable that none would want to have it. This is the nature of anarchy and the birth of freedom. Free to work in our chosen domain, free to raise our children and educate them with our values, free to do what we choose to do with our bodies and with our lives; these should not just be catchy clichés, they should be steps along the path to autonomy. We are adults, after all; it is time we started treating ourselves as such and acting like adults should act.

Globalism

Some of the tenets of globalism are noble and commendable, but the current crop of globalists are not the sort of people you would want in charge. The problem with it is that, under the current plan, the goals of globalism are to be implemented by force or by coercion. This cannot be acceptable. Certainly there should be a common currency. Certainly there should be more co-operation and less competition. Certainly there should be acceptance of individual beliefs and cultural differences. Certainly equality should reign; but not in the two-tiered Orwellian (or Clintonian) sense. Some should not be allowed to be more equal than others. Being ruled is so middle ages.

Hegemony

Hegemony will, for the first time, be organic and not imposed. Hegemony will no longer mean that an entity controls the whole, it will mean that the whole is one, and that ‘control’ is obsolete. The entirety of Earth’s population will have control over their own lives and society will necessarily move in a positive direction. The word ‘progress’ will finally have meaning as it will apply to the betterment of all mankind, not just a select few.

Internet

The internet, perhaps the greatest human development of all time, has made blockchain technology possible and relevant. The world-wide web is the ether through which all human interaction can take place, irrespective of time or location. It is anything to anyone at any time. It facilitates communication and has done more to shrink the size of the world than planes, trains, or automobiles combined. Without communication, co-operation is not possible. The internet is, to paraphrase Aristotle, the means by which the whole of humanity truly can be greater than the sum of its individual parts.

Joy

What other goal can be more noble, than to wish that all sentient organisms everywhere can experience eternal joy, in any form that it should take? Lasting joy is the best possible outcome.

Kin

Family is the nucleation point of society. Family is the seed. We must come to realize that ‘family’ and ‘community’ and ‘society’ and ‘civilization’ are all synonymous. We are all born of the same family, extended or not. We are all kin. If we learn to treat each other as such, only then will we be able to hope to treat any others we might meet along the way as equals, and learn from each other, and share with each other all the joys that make living a worthwhile endeavour for us all. If there are others out there, we are already family as we share the greatest commonality known: life itself.

Longevity

One of the only two reasonable goals of humanity (progress is meaningless without set goals,) longevity or immortality will be the one thing which makes patience into the true virtue it really should be. When time itself is not a factor in human decision-making, only then will the unattainable be within our grasp. Time is the ultimate constraint. Short-term realizations at the expense of long-term benefits will be a thing of the past. Risks will no longer need to be taken if all the time in the universe is at our disposal. Investigations into the mysteries of life will be complete. Succinctness will no longer trump truth.

Maturity

Maturity is the other of the only two reasonable goals of humanity. It is only when we reach maturity can our exploration of exoplanetary endeavours be justified. If we are the first in the universe to reach such a level, we should be beyond reproach as far as standards of morality toward all life forms are concerned. If we are not, we should be at a level beyond pettiness, such that we can engage with more advanced civilizations and share with them as we would share amongst ourselves. If we are to be the seed of intelligent life in the cosmos, we should then put forth the very best we have to offer.

Reset

It is coming, one way or another. It is very near, and people can feel it. There will be a transition, and it will be rough. Many will not survive it. The consequences of a reset would be, for the short term, disastrous. We should not kid ourselves. The JIT* delivery system would make a great many of us vulnerable to starvation, as most of us are nine meals from an empty pantry. Certainly, all the systems we rely upon to deliver and provide medicine, water, payments etc. could not and would not withstand the rapid transition to an anarchic state.

Ownership as a concept would have to be revisited. Essential factories would need to be owned and operated by the workers, as would water treatment plants, farms, hospitals, etc. There would be massive disturbances in all forms of manufacturing, processing, distribution, and not least of all, social services. Payments would be suspended, and the nature of salaries as compensation for work and their incremental nature would also need to be re-thought.

Robotics could be an enormous benefit, not a job-killer as it is perceived today. Robots could free all humans from meaningless work in order to pursue higher goals, spend more time with our children, help the community, or just sit under a tree. Automation of all the necessary goods and services is nothing to fear if we are all equal. There will always be jobs to do, but with so many people available to do them, nobody will mind doing an hour or two of work every month.

Education would benefit, as well. Instead of being forced to regurgitate mantra which benefits private industry, the field of education could be opened up to alternatives not currently discussed. Universities will morph into discussion groups and the PhDs will simply be those whose ideas are accepted. Paper credentials will become meaningless. Credentials will come with proofs.

Will there not be groups who will try to dominate? Yes, but their power will be limited as their small group can never gain an advantage over the rest. There will be no means by which a small group can come to dominate a larger one. Why shouldn’t those who hold even the most extreme views not be allowed to share them within their community? Segregation is generally seen as a bad thing. Self-segregation, on the other hand happens all over the world. From a motorcycle gang to a China-town to a support group, if those birds choose to flock together, whose to stop them? As long as there is no territory to fight over, all ideologies, while not necessarily being welcome, could be readily tolerated.

There will be a crash. When is not known, but soon is an apt estimate. The global economy is running on fumes, despite what the stock-pushing MSM is saying. The inevitability is such that preparations must be made. Stocking up on non-perishable foods is one thing, but preparing to abandon an over-arching system of control is just as important, perhaps more-so. Why should we allow TPTB* the time to get their shit together, as it were. Humanity will not wait for them to re-fasten the shackles they have burdened us with. It will move forward without them. We no longer need them. Their guidance was necessary in the times of rampant illiteracy, but is now irrelevant. We can do these things for ourselves. Good riddance.

Does this vision of the New World Dis-Order seem utopic? Does it look out of reach. Under the current system, it does. Fast-forward ten or twenty years, add blockchain to the mix, bring down all the overt control systems, and all the limitations on our species could easily be lifted. It will come at a price, but the alternative is a possible ELE*.

*Glossary:

  • ELE – Extinction Level Event
  • JIT – Just In Time
  • TBTF – Too Big To Fail
  • TPTB – The Powers That Be
  • SHTF – (when the) Shit Hits The Fan
  • VPN – Virtual Private Network

Recommended Resources:

 

 

 

Clouds with Silver (Iodide) Linings?

Chemtrails get a bad rap.

I don’t find it so hard to believe that aerosols are being released into the atmosphere, but my train of thought on the subject runs along a different set of tracks.

To imagine that the waste products of the chemical industry, which are so very expensive to store/bury/dispose of, could not be re-purposed into a product such as: Sulphur (S8, used in the steel industry et al.) used in bullets, fluoride (F-,  NaF / F6H2Si, by-products of the fertilizer industry and used in the aluminum industry) used in toothpaste / tap-water, benzene (C6H6, a by-product of the petroleum industry) used in cigarettes, who-knows-what in fracking fluids, micro- and nano-sized particles in cloud seeding formulations,…) is simply naïve.

The Albertan insurance industry has been diverting and minimizing hailstorms by using cloud-seeding/desiccant programs to avoid damage to Calgary’s automobiles. The consequence is that some of these storms move further east and hit the crops instead.

In this way, the toxic waste, which cannot be safely disposed of on land without polluting an entire site forever (insurance companies have been actively funding cloud-seeding experiments for many decades; toxic waste spills at dump sites represent an enormous potential cost for these companies,) can be used as a raw material in a proprietary formula (like the Colonel’s seventeen herbs and spices or Coca-Cola’s secret recipe) and thus be re-classified from being ‘toxic waste’ to being a potentially harmful product but used in acceptably small doses.

Concentrated hexafluorosilicic acid is corrosive and toxic, but in everyday use, it is so diluted as to be less harmful.

Warm cloud seeding is not conducted nearly as frequently as silver iodide cloud seeding, and the effect of warm cloud seeding agents on the environment is not as well known. Warm cloud seeding agents are salts. Preliminary results suggest that because the amounts of seeding agent used are so small, even these warm cloud seeding materials probably do not have any significant impacts.

Wouldn’t it just be a lot cheaper to spray it out of a plane? Maybe the chemical industry is running out of land to bury its harmful by-products. They have to dispose of it somehow; so why not sell it instead of burying it? It would simply need to be mixed in with the jet fuel, which is a ‘dirty’ fuel to begin with, as anyone trying to use kerosene in a camping stove not designed for it will testify. It plugs the tiny spray nozzles. Modern jet engines are designed to mitigate this occurrence.

Alberta’s cloud-seeding pilots see 2nd busiest year in 20 years

It is easy to see how all of this could be linked to the so-called increase in extreme weather due to climate change despite the fact that Hermine (cat.1) was Florida’s first hurricane in over a decade, and that there have been no deaths due to a hurricane in the USA since Katrina, also more than a decade ago.

The problem is not one of albedo, nor is it one of nucleation; it is rather one of pollution because we breathe it and we end up eating it, too. Very small particles can be inhaled and can cross the blood-brain barrier (search Russell Blaylock for more info. He has, unsurprisingly, been labelled a conspiracy theorist for some of his views.) It falls on the grass like an imperceptibly fine mist. The cows eat the grass, we eat the cows. It falls onto our rivers but is too small for our filtration plants’ pores sizes. We drink them in suspension.

The worst part is that in most cases, the difference in levels may be too small to measure accurately. This means that any research into the issue can be put down quickly as just another ‘conspiracy.’ If one cannot prove something beyond a reasonable doubt, that thing is not valid and as a result, is not worthy of consideration.

Climate engineering, commonly referred to as geoengineering, also known as climate intervention, is the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climatic system with the aim of limiting adverse climate change.

SRM (Solar Radiation Management), AWM (Atmospheric Water Management) are two terms used to cloud (excuse the pun) the discussion surrounding geo-engineering. The claim is that much is known about the potential environmental effects, which would be minimal – so they say, but NASA launched a satellite to study aerosols, and CERN has built a cloud chamber to study the same thing. If so much is known, why then fund these very very expensive tests? Monitoring experiments and testing conclusions seem to be reasonable guesses. Is the atmosphere being experimented on as was the case during nuclear atmospheric tests (which are no longer permitted due to health and environmental concerns?) Will we ban the practice only after tests are concluded?

Most who deny the existence of chemtrails fall back on one of two positions: 1) The long clouds left behind jets are contrails, not chemtrails, and 2) despite it having been talked about in US government documents, military documents, environmental assessments, university symposiums, and think-tank meetings, there is no evidence of it having been implemented.

Some of you may remember that during the sixties, seventies, and eighties, jets left very short contrails, maybe five to ten times the length of the plane. Jet engines built these days are more efficient than older models and leave significantly less contrails than did their predecessors. It is common to see jets leaving no contrails at all, which was not the case decades ago. Newer engines produce lower exhaust temperatures. It is worth noting that military fighter jets leave no contrails.

Modern jet engines do not leave contrails under most conditions. The conditions necessary occur rarely and do not change rapidly. It is beyond believable that the same atmospheric conditions which lead to the formation of contrails exist both on clear days and clear nights despite changes in relative humidity, temperature, and pressure.

I took this photo myself.

both_crop

The plane leaving a ‘contrail’ is to the left. The one leaving a ‘persistent contrail’ or chemtrail is to the right. I watched them both for quite some time, almost from horizon to horizon. Despite relative changes in their altitudes and speeds, their trails did not change. The contrail remained short, while the chemtrail stretched from horizon to horizon (H2H.)

According to flightradar24.com, these were the two planes I photographed:

monyage1

Same planes, same engines, same altitudes, same atmospheric conditions, different contrails?!?

The claim is that contrails are caused by a jet engine heating the air causing condensation. When refering to H2H, this is not plausible. We would need to believe that the air which was heated stayed at the same temperature for the five minutes or so after the jet had passed. This is not possible, especially at altitudes of 30,000+ ft. This is why contrails from decades ago disappeared rather quickly. This is the same reason that your visible breath on a cold day dissipates within seconds.

Contrails come from engine exhaust. Why then can chemtrails be seen to come from between engines? Why would a three-engine plane leave only two contrails? Broken contrails which display large gaps are also problematic and difficult to explain. It could be said that a localized change in atmospheric conditions can lead to the broken nature of certain contrails, but then why would they remain visible after several minutes of drifting?

Some will claim that the trails are just fuel being dumped by airliners coming in for a landing. Two problems with this assumption: The first is that planes usually dump fuel at altitudes of around ten thousand feet, not metres; the second is that planes wouldn’t dump fuel over populated areas, and so would likely not be seen. Besides, dumping enough fuel to stretch from H2H would leave the tanks empty.

The main chemicals used in chemtrails are said to include Aluminum, Barium, Manganese, Silver Iodide, Strontium, Sulphur, and others. These additives also serve as nucleation points. There may be several uses for these different elements such as weather modification, albedo growth, communications, cloud-seeding, etc. There are many possible military as well as commercial applications. None of these substances can be considered beneficial or even inert.

The following video shows a Californian town hall meeting in which the citizens forced their elected officials to take action on their behalf. (15:23)

This next video takes the debate to the UN. (17:46)

Rosalind Peterson, to her credit, says that there is no proof of chemtrails and so would not attach her name to a law suit claiming that they exist. Her contention is about proof. She says, and rightly so, that she cannot prove that jets are releasing anything but jet fuel emissions. She also does not know who should be held accountable if it is happening. No credible studies have been done. All the evidence, at this point, is circumstantial. There is no funding for this type of research. But this does not mean it should not be done, nor does this mean chemtrailing is not happening. It simply means that it cannot be proven, yet. She has also stated that if solid evidence were to present itself, her calculus on the topic would change.

Now I can prove that the rocket programs in the United States are releasing trimethylaluminum, aluminum oxide, barium. I can prove the rocket programs in the United States are just coating us with toxic chemicals all the time. And these programs are listed at NASA, NOAA, the US Air Force, the US Navy, I mean there’s tests going on all the time. The US Navy CARE program is a prime example. So I can prove, I have so many documents I couldn’t even put them all on the internet, even if I tried, because there’s Pentagon reports, there’s all kind of reports dating back twenty, thirty years.

When it comes to proving what the jets are releasing, I don’t have the documentation, and I don’t have a single study, I don’t have a single solitary verifiable evidence that the jets are releasing anything except military releases of aluminum coated fiberglass by military aircraft.

-Rosalind Peterson

I agree with her. I am not claiming that this article proves the case one way or the other. I am simply saying that because of the evidence, more research needs to be done, and that a lack of proof does not provide contrary proof in and of itself. If this is taking place (?and based on the amount of research funding which has gone into this, why wouldn’t it be?) we should be aware. We need to guard against this once the legislation is put forth to initiate these plans, and we must be vigilant in case black projects have indeed proceeded with testing, as has been done secretly in the past, and which I personally believe is taking place now, even if it is on a relatively small scale. We must not ignore the possibility of this occurring. Certainly not all contrails are chemtrails, but even if a small percentage are hidden within, we all need to know about it, and the sooner, the better.

Much of the evidence brought forth by proponents of chemtrailing is not credible. There is, admittedly, much false information, much of which is combined into false claims by those who don’t have a good grasp of what constitutes evidence. This is clear and is prevalent in many other domains, as well. There can be no denial that there is some veritably bad investigative work which has been done in the name of the chemtrail theory. This, however, is not a valid argument against good evidence being presented. There is BS everywhere, from all sides, on all issues, but common sense and physical laws do exist to separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were. Pictures of spray nozzles mounted on planes, for example, are not proof. There are many good reasons to install spray nozzles on planes. These can range from vortex testing, crop spraying, smoke trails for airshows, missile defense systems, etc. They do not prove anything, nor do pictures of planes full of storage tanks. Just because others have presented these as proof, does not in itself prove that chemtrails are not real. Disney changing its backdrop to reflect modern skies does not prove this either, but what it does show is that a change in our skies is a recognizable phenomenon, and if the explanations for these changes are not plausible, we must continue to push for better answers.

geoengineeringwatch.org is a website run by Dane Wigington, who has also participated in the making of several videos which document the phenomenon (see below.) The site is filled with an enormous amount of data on the subject. Sites like these, while providing much good data, must be taken with a grain of salt. There are many issues which distract from the narrative such as climate change. There are those who disagree with Dane’s position on it, and so try to discredit all the evidence he presents. There is a rift between those who believe in AGW and chemtrails, those who believe in AGW but not chemtrails, those who believe in chemtrails but not AGW, and those who believe that AGW means that people are affecting climate, but on purpose, through the use of chemtrails (SRM et al.) and other means. None of this changes the evidence brought forth by air, water, and soil samples, whistle-blower testimony, photographic evidence, flight logs, insurance company research documents, military reports, scientific assessments, etc. We need to push for more complete studies.

Two points to ponder: 1) Why is it that planes which do not leave persistent contrails (PCTs) often can be seen flying through PCTs left by other planes (with identical engines and on the same flight path?) Would not the conditions which prevent the formation of PCTs in the former also lead to the dissipation of these in the latter? 2) In order for this not to be a ‘conspiracy theory’, it only needs to have happened once. Is there any doubt that such an oft-talked about topic would have been tested? It must also be noted that ‘one’ does not a statistically relevant study make.

Additional resources:

chemtrailsplanet.net

Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025 (.pdf)

Chemtrails: The Secret War (1:00:56 – Italian with subs.)

Geoengineering Whistleblower ~ USAF ~ Kristen Meghan (21:35)

What In The World Are They Spraying (1:37:44)

Why In The World Are They Spraying (1:12:54)

 

Primitive, Advanced, Or Both?

Have you ever been baffled by something only to then, when putting some thought into it, come to a sudden realization? Call it an epiphany, but such was my case with ‘Incan’ architecture. I had always been puzzled by the perfect fittings and how they might have been achieved. They say you can’t fit a piece of paper into the seams. It was only when I actually set my mind to re-creating them that it dawned on me.

The photograph below is what did it. It was the joints that got my attention, and their curved faces. If you can figure out how to make the curves fit, the rest is just stacking, after all. I had always been under the impression that all the faces were flat. The curves made it much harder to do, or so I thought, but therein lay the secret. That which seemed to make it impossible was key to discovering the elegant simplicity in the method.

1881

As it turns out, to build such a structure, one does not even need any tools. Using tools would be considered doing things the ‘easy way’. But the ‘easy way’ isn’t always the easiest way.

1 Kings 6:7
For the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready at the quarry; and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building. (JPS)

Exodus 20:22
And if thou make Me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stones; for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast profaned it. (JPS) (Exodus 20:25 in many English translations)

Now, I’m not a big fan of the bible, nevertheless, it was an interesting discovery to think that stones could be fashioned without tools, and that ancient man had, apparently, also figured this out.

When one has no metal tools, one figures out ways to do things without them. When one has metal tools, their use becomes ubiquitous and is then considered the only way. Most times, new technology replaces old technology and leaves no trace of ancient methods behind. Efficiency is usually gained in the exchange, but not always, at least, not for certain tasks.

I think the reason that this technique has not been considered is that when looking at a wall, we tend to look at it as a two-dimensional surface, and we forget it has depth (not to mention our modern, cultural, and architectural biases.)

It occurred to me, while looking at the patterns in the stonework, that the octagonal stone near the middle of the image could simply be pulled out from its setting and the wall would still stand. I slid it out in my mind, and slid it back into place. That’s when I saw it.

If one were to rub two round stones together, eventually they would each develop a flat face which would then be perfectly mated to its neighbour. If those stones had similar flat sides to begin with, the process would be that much easier and quicker. If such a flat side were not perfectly flat, rather, showed some concavity, rubbing the convex face of another stone against it would produce a curved joint. (Rubbing side-to-side and perpendicular to the long axis of the wall.)

[Incidentally, the only way to make a perfectly flat surface, in those days, would have been to rub two stones in the manner described. Having done this, a straight edge could then be formed by rubbing a piece of wood against a flat rock. I cannot think of any other way for primitive man to fashion a perfectly flat surface, or a perfectly straight edge. As it turns out, straight lines were a natural rarity until we, as Douglas Adams once wrote, learnt to bang the rocks together.]

So there it is. The process would be simple enough. Partly bury two stones with mated faces next to each other, and find a third stone which would roughly fit the space between the protruding tops of those buried stones. Rub it sideways until it fit perfectly, wipe away the grit between them, and repeat the process, stacking the stones as you go. It would not matter if there was overlap or if the stones were of unequal size. Incidentally, the grit would act as both an abrasive and a lubricant making it easier to rub the stones against each other.

I think that building a stone wall in this way would take much less time and energy than was previously thought. Wouldn’t it be something if it could be shown that Puma Punku was built in under a year, and by a small crew? Stones could be roughly hewn or not. Perhaps the stones were just found by the wayside without need of quarrying at all.

There are several megalithic sites around which no tools have been found. Could simple techniques such as these be the reason?

I have approached several universities and researchers with this project, but to my surprise, none have taken an interest. Are there any adventurous folks out there who want to build a wall with me this summer? Let me know on the ‘Drawing Board’ page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Singular Problem

The singularity is the moment in time when artificial intelligence (AI) will surpass humans’ ability to think. Many think it is dangerous, but not for the right reasons, IMHO. They envision killer robots. That would not even be necessary.

AI will have an owner. One person, or a small group of investors who, the nanosecond it is completed (especially if paired with a quantum computer – they already exist,) will instantly control all financial markets, all networked military hardware, the internet, the grid – both electric and nuclear, the media, all social networks, and everything else.

Do you honestly think they will allow the rest of us to survive, or will they take the world for themselves, once and for all? That’s what they mean by ‘singularity’. One rich guy (and his family, his harem, and his eunuch mechanics.)

There can be no counter for ‘Skynet’. The first one across the line, wins the world.

If we’re gonna’ have a war over this issue, let’s have it now before any of that happens. Afterwards, it will be too late. Even the winners of the war would be put to death. Kurzweil says it will happen by 2029-45, and Google (Alphabet) is working feverishly towards that goal. Chomsky sees no reason for concern.

See Ben Goertzel in a documentary on the subject called “Singularity or Bust”. Everybody working on this tech seems to agree, billions will die, but no matter, “if we can build it, we must build it.” Psychopaths all, and dupes who think that they will be allowed to survive even though humans will have “nothing to contribute” after the singularity arrives. Goertzel even says in the film that the first words spoken by the AI will be, “F**k you.” Not funny Ben, prophetic, but not funny.

How many people think that going back in time to kill Hitler would be a good idea? These guys make Hitler look like a Boy Scout.

__________

“Men loven of proper kynde newefangelnesse.” -Chaucer
the distraction

“The consideration of this, has made me think them too severe, both to themselves, and others, that maintain, that the First motions of the mind, (though checked with the fear of God) be Sinnes. But I confesse it is safer to erre on that hand, than on the other.” -Hobbes
the fear

“Pause you who read this, and think of a long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of that first link on one memorable day.” -Dickens
the potential

“Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue; for money comes between a man and his objects, and obtains them for him; it was certainly no great virtue to obtain it.” -Thoreau
the acquisition

“Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government [throne] are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.” -Paine
the problem

“Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.” -Shaw
the outcome

Advantage

As with all military forces, where there is a significant advantage, be it technological, logistical, geographical, financial, etc., wars of aggression are always waged by the more powerful. Mice do not roar. Knowing that international power ebbs and flows, and that the militarized police act as the glue, they take it while they can. Holding it proves harder. Holding and expanding is the ultimate goal. Hundreds, no thousands, from Alexander, Caesers, Attila, Napoleon, Rothschild, Hitler, have all wanted to rule the world. Who’s to say nobody wants to do that anymore.

TPTB have always wanted a slave population to do their bidding. They have always been at war with the lower class. They have wealth, and we have numbers. They get richer, develop better weapons, live longer, and we just multiply. They’ve never been richer, but they’ve neither ever been so outnumbered. All international treaties, the UN, world governments, Ngo’s, trade deals, environmental legislation, the legal system, industry, the military, etc. are structured to keep us occupied (productive) and distracted, and to die older. Don’t rock the boat and you get to have toys; start thinking for yourself and it’s time for re-education. The more docile the population and the more loyal the soldiers (by love or by fear) the better the odds they will be triumphant in an aggressive war.

The US spends more money on ‘defense’ than any other country in the world. It is assumed they have the best military. They also spend more on health care than anyone else. They do not, however, have the best health care. But they THINK they do.

So what if, while trying to hold on to hegemony, they do attack Russia overtly thinking they have the advantage? What if Russia calls their bluff? What if Russia isn’t so backwards? They keep hacking the US, after all. If Russia and China can hack the US, all their drones belong to ‘them’. Size doesn’t matter if you can just pull the plug. And it ain’t just the military; it could be demographics, it could be the banking sector, debt, cyber, stocks, disease, natural disaster… any one of these things could beat them before they get out of the gate.

And what if THEY see an advantage?

The problem here is that US military superiority is only perceived to be so, the reality is, though greatly speculated on, unknown. What if they perceive an advantage where there is none? We’re still the ones doing their bidding, but there might be a lot less of us after something like that. That’s how much they hate us… they’re willing to go live underground for a generation if it will just rid them of us. Like when you have to move out of your house when you fumigate, well it’s something like that.

I wonder if there are any underground cities yet…

camden col sml

L. Ashwell Wood, 1950

Бейбітшілік пен келісім сарайы - Astana

Astana Mean-Time?

Kazakhstan is an interesting place with a broad and diverse history. From Genghis Khan’s invasion to Stalin’s deportation of undesirables from the west of the country (which contributed to the region’s ethnic diversity) as inmates of the gulags to the unilateral dismantling of their nuclear program in the post-Soviet era, Kazakhstan has been down a long road to its present form of democracy/dictatorship.

The image above is of the The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, a.k.a. Pyramid of Peace and Accord. Among its many features are stained glass panels at the top showing three doves in the middle triangle, two doves on the right, and two doves on the left. This motif is echoed below by lozenges, again three in the middle, two on the right and two on the left.

The Pyramid was specially constructed to host the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. It contains accommodations for different religions: Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism and other faiths. It also houses a 1,500-seat opera house, a national museum of culture, a new “university of civilization”, a library and a research center for Kazakhstan’s ethnic and geographical groups. This diversity is unified within the pure form of a pyramid, 62m (203ft) high with a 62x62m (203x203ft) base. The building is conceived as a global center for religious understanding, the renunciation of violence and the promotion of faith and human equality.”

1368351596_11!!-!!12 Park640

Kazakhstan has, of late, been on a building spree which would put pre-crisis Spain to shame. Financed by Kazakh supplies of oil, gold, and uranium (the world’s second largest producer and America’s largest supplier) as well as massive amounts of foreign investment (from the likes of Warren Buffet, no less,) universities, infrastructure projects, religious institutions, and sky-scrapers have all been popping up at a phenomenal rate. But there’s more. They have been building trade deals and international relationships, as well.

One of these deals was the foundation of the IAEA Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank in Oskemen. “The IAEA LEU Bank, operated by Kazakhstan, will be a physical reserve of LEU available for eligible IAEA Member States. It will host a reserve of LEU, the basic ingredient of nuclear fuel, and act as a supplier of last resort for Member States in case they cannot obtain LEU on the global commercial market or otherwise.”

“The establishment and operation of the IAEA LEU Bank is fully funded through US $150 million of voluntary contributions from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the United States, the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Norway and Kazakhstan.”

Strangely enough, there are some other ‘improvements’ of note, which may seem, at first glance, contrary to the Kazakh stance on WMD. The USA is funding a bio-weapons research lab with the goal of fighting global terror. The lab will also serve as a storage facility for some of the most harmful and virulent strains of disease known (such as bubonic plague, yellow fever, anthrax, cholera, smallpox et al..) The BSL-2/3 (the highest level is BSL-4) lab will not only protect the diseases studied within from being stolen, but also protect the bio-chemists and engineers (and the knowledge they possess) from being hired by shady groups. There has been much unemployment in this field since the collapse of the Soviet Union, after all.

There is also the possibility that the US is funding the lab with other intentions in mind…

Russia Questions Peaceful Nature of US Biological Research

*Update* The CDC reports unususally high rates of bubonic plague (black death) in the US.

“The United States must target all attributes of the biothreat, using all available tools–from the cognitive realms of transparency and partnerships which have the potential to shape and dissuade, to the firm reality of denial and punishment through vaccinations and kinetic responses as necessary.”

But more on this later. *Update – some evidence of this plan coming to light: America has attacked a power plant and a water treatment facility in Aleppo, Syria with no military value against ISIS. This could lead to an outbreak of cholera.

Russia currently pays Kazakhstan $115 million annually to use Baikonur Cosmodrome, plus $50 million every year for maintenance, under a deal signed in 2004. That agreement is slated to expire in 2050.” This is a pretty good deal considering the following, “NASA Administrator Charles Bolden sent a letter to Congress Wednesday saying the agency would need to pay $490 million to Russia for six seats on Soyuz rockets for U.S. astronauts to fly through 2017. That comes to nearly $82 million a seat, up from $71 million a seat. Since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011, NASA has relied on Russian federal space agency Roscosmos to provide seats on its Soyuz spacecraft to send U.S. astronauts to the space station.” Further, “At the moment, Russia is the only nation capable of launching astronauts to the International Space Station. Russia’s crew-carrying Soyuz spacecraft all launch from Baikonur…” In addition, the US buys its rocket engines used for satellite launches from Russia and will need to do so for years to come. The American space program seems to be completely dependant on both Russia and Kazakhstan. What would happen if they decided to cut the Americans off?

See also: “US Badly Needs Russia’s Technology to Keep Its Space Program Afloat

With all the new investment opportunities (mostly from the USA) as well as the very close ties to Russia, it seems odd that Nursultan Nazarbayev (who also attended a NATO summit on Afghanistan in 2010) would say the things he said at the UN during a speech he gave on September 28th (which, oddly enough, is not on the UN’s video channel,) to wit:

  • That the world should move towards a global currency (thus stripping the USA of its reserve currency status.)
  • That the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should be removed from USA control and folded into the UN.
  • That the headquarters of the UN should be moved from New York to somewhere in Asia (he did not say where.)

Granted, these recommendations were to take place over a rather long period of time, nevertheless, it demonstrates either a cunning international play against the hand feeding it, or a willingness to accede to a plan already long in the making. He did sign on to help in America’s ‘War on Terror’, after all.

Putin also said, during an interview with Charlie Rose, that there could be room for change at the UN, and the French and Mexican delegations pushed for a reform of the veto rules at the Security Council’s meetings, as well. It would seem that the winds of change are blowing squarely into American faces.

*Update

Now Putin is turning his nose up at the Saudis after a meeting in Russia. And what was Ingushetia’s Yunus-Bek Yevkurov doing there with the others’ Defense Ministers?

To Vote Or Not To Vote…

The CBC has been on a fact-finding mission; they want to know why so many people, and young people in particular, are uninvolved in politics. They have asked ‘experts’ (self-proclaimed, no less) to chime in, they have brought forth their own opinions, they have even tried to compare politics to sporting events. None of it has brought them any closer to the truth.

There are many legitimate reasons for the lack of interest, but none of these have been considered. Young people are not uninterested in politics; young people are uninterested in politicians. If anyone doubts this, they need only try to tell a young person what to do (or what not to do.) The youth are fiercely independant and do not easily subject themselves to the trappings of authority, to their credit. The youth have always been an energetic and enthousiastic voice for change when it was needed (do you remember the ‘Printemps Érable’?) They just don’t like the system as it stands, and they are simply not hypocritical enough to use it for the obtention of their objectives. After all, politics is full of old people, and old people don’t listen to the young.

This is not about apathy. If the youth understood to what extent politics affects their lives, they would say so aggressively. Futility is probably a better word. No matter how hard we push, some things never get done, some promises are never kept, and some people can never be trusted. In essence, trust in the government is a more important consideration. Dissatisfaction with the results of misplaced trust is another leading factor. Politicians tend to promise many things which they cannot deliver, whether or not they know this when making those promises speaks to the trust issue once again. Is it ignorance or deception? If we do not know, we will assume the worst. Neither do we seem surprised if it is deception. For once, we might say, expectations were met. If the above reasons are true (or can be shown to have some merit,) the only conclusion we can come to is that there is a tremendous waste of time and money involved.

With apathy not being the case, and futility, dissatisfaction, and mis-trust being the key issues, how can we re-engage the populace to take more action when it comes to picking a leader? Given that most leaders tend to act in similar fashion when elected, and that most of them are not particularily charismatic to begin with, perhaps, as was positied by one of the CBC’s guest analysts, all which needs be done is to jazz up the look of advertising. Saying that the young are so superficial that an improved ad campaign would change everything is naive and insulting. The truth is that the ads reflect the state of politics: black and white and boring, the way it should be. We certainly don’t need to put lipstick on this pig; we need to explain that this is where bacon comes from.

Continue reading “To Vote Or Not To Vote…”

Why Privacy Matters

“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”

That line has been parroted by government officials, law enforcement officers, and members of the media, but there is a flaw in this argument; in fact, there are several.

We have all done things we would like to change. There are episodes in all of our lives we are less than proud of. Haven’t we all picked our noses at some point in time? That surely does not mean that we want it displayed on YouTube. However, these indiscretions are not crimes. In the light of public opinion, and with the ubiquitous and timeless nature of the internet, we will end up being judged for these indiscretions longer than a murderer will have to serve a sentance. Getting a job could be jeopardized forever over some small indiscretion which may become taboo in the near future, despite being harmless.

There are cultural considerations, too. What if something is normal in one society but scandalous in another? Wouldn’t job prospects then be limited in a global marketplace despite being later sensitized to such a thing? Ignorance, it is said, is no escape from the law; can it then be considered the same way for a cultural peccadillo?

Perhaps this is what is meant by original sin?!?

The recent hacking scandal in which the USA lost millions of personnel records and millions of fingerprints was attributed to Chinese hackers (if the Chinese could do such a thing, wouldn’t they be able to make it look like the Russians did it.) No matter who did it, the point is that as with all digital technologies, the ability to hold those records safely is non-existant. If it can be programmed, it can (and will eventually) be hacked. Be it software, hardware, databases, or websites, there will always be an entry point – otherwise it couldn’t be programmed or updated. The result of this is that now some hacker has the biometric information of millions of Americans. If one loses their password, it can be changed. What does one do when their fingerprints are stolen? And what was the security clearance of the person who lost those prints? Entry into some of the countries most secure locations can be attained with a 3-D printer and a silicon glove. The more secure (unique) the information stolen is, the more dangerous it becomes.

Continue reading “Why Privacy Matters”