Data Dystopia

Preface

Dystopian novels never claim their plot will be the exact outcome of the future, instead they point out a pattern. For one, Revelations shows us history is doomed to repeat itself when man idolizes created things (as opposed to the Creator). 1984 warns us that fearing the force of man will be the downfall of spirit, where Brave New World says worshiping our pleasures and desires will be. Nevertheless, these works of literature and this article for that matter are not conspiratorial thinking, but rather cautionary tales.

Data is Powerful

A Spiritual Battle

A slightly creepy expectation thrown at data scientists goes, If you can do something special with data, you will be the next Zuckerberg. Facebook didn't become a fortune 100 by begging people to give up their information. In modern times, people willingly give up their personal identification, medical information, location, conversations and preferences to conglomerate super-corporations. Why? Because the inconvenience of not being plugged in to the system is a strong enough incentive for an equivalent exchange. My concern is that the leverage of this exchange is completely volatile and often outside of our ability to negotiate. The pattern I see in data collection as a means of spiritual manipulation is as follows:

  1. A new measure of convenience is introduced.
    1. Conversely, the measure must make life inconvenient if one doesn't comply.
  2. This measure opens up a legal avenue for corporations to exchange or own our data.
  3. Those who abstain from the convenience will be labeled anti - Liberal Democracy
    1. They will be the poorest on paper but the wealthiest in reality
  4. As more data becomes available, corporations will gain more leverage
  5. Those who comply will become fed up with their lives
  6. The market will then fulfill the next inconvenience

The Science of Data

Before we start dissecting how data is being used against us we need to understand the very science behind claims such as, It's for the greater good! is completely invalid by the scientific method itself. Taking data points and then predicting an outcome (even if it's accurate and precise) is not a valid scientific experiment. In fact, it's not even a prediction, it's a post-diction. You need to introduce an independent variable, one which we can manipulate, and then remove this variable to verify it was in fact the effect which was an outcome of the cause. If you lack an independent variable, you cannot isolate and validate a dependent variable.

Modern science disregards this methodology by declaring the cause and then finding supporting evidence for its supposed effects. This is pseudo-science, and is used to make statistics the basis of new laws. The PCR test is a spot on example of this fatal error in reasoning. If someone questions an established scientific study they are dismissed and told they aren't qualified to say what science is, possibly one of the most absurd cult-like claims I've ever encountered in the wild. Just note when I refer to data science, I'm really referring to data propaganda.

Inner Space

First, I will make the case why super-corporations do not view outer space as the new frontier (in my view a distraction from the bigger picture), but instead are focusing on our inner biological data. Genomic data science is the field of study interested in using powerful computational and statistical methods to decode the functional information hidden in DNA sequences. Genomic research estimates there is 2 - 40 exabytes of untapped data to be marketed. The 40 exabytes figure is the amount of memory the Human population's genome by 2025 would take up. For reference, 5 exabytes could store all of the words ever spoken by human beings.

Furthermore, DNA is a language. From John the Apostle (1:14): The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Logos, not only an abstracted divine order but a physical language, became identical to flesh. Programming languages can do almost anything you tell them to, which is why our DNA (a divine language) should be protected from data collection and programming experiments at all costs.

Companies such as 23andMe are already using our genes for their own purposes. DNA databases were used to pinpoint and incriminate one of their customer's family members. As a secondary anecdotal source, Martin Chrzanowski recently was at the airport, where he was given the choice of waiting on the seemingly long TSA line, or with the scan of his eye, go past the line and board his flight. Not only was the Iris scan line going just as fast, but the TSA line had spacers making it artificially long.

Another example is with smartphones. First fingerprints were used and now Iris scans are the default. Why is this dangerous? Again, a legal avenue or loophole is opened when we consent to giving up our biological data. If your phone is protected using a pin code, then giving this pin to the police would be tantamount to self-incrimination. But with biometrics, the laws make it much easier to force you to unlock your phone.

On top of all this, the FBI has a system called CODIS (Combined DNA Index system). The first murder trial to use DNA as evidence was in 1986, and ever since then the snips (single nucleotide polymorphisms) of someone's DNA has been and will be highly desirable for it's ability to distinguish a person's identity and location. It has nothing to do with helping law enforcement. So as we see more and more incentives to take biometric screenings, one might wonder what's down the road.

On the Horizon

Within our lifetime we very well may see our biological and genomic data intertwine with digital platforms. Once this happens, we will have descended another rung down the ladder of dystopian worldliness.

There's a problem with accepting anything in the here and now as the answer. One must carefully consider not only the new technology, but also its long term ramifications. The next goal post while not trivial is often presented in plain sight. It's up to us to discern it and warn others not to give in.

So what type of digital platforms am I talking about? The most blatant one will be social media. There's already platforms like Strava where you can upload yesterday's jog at the park along with your heart rate data for the whole world to view. Not to mention wearable IOT such as smart watches and more recently, smart glasses, are beginning to be pushed. The apple glasses will be logging your pulse, field of view and track your eye movement better than smart phones can. In fact, it could be doing even more intrusive routines and we'd never know because the firmware is closed source. While the google glass was way ahead of its time, the next line up will have a social networking incentive.

Another platform will be smart cities, which will just be another smart object in the Internet of things. It will hand physical social networks over to corporations. I could venture a guess and say there would be millions of people lining up to live in a city which awards you crypto for sitting on the sofa. All you'd have to do is sell the rights to your DNA, and take experimental medicines. This already somewhat happened and worked on most people. The platforms to be eventually taken over by genomic data collection will be blockchains such as NFTs or crypto-currencies. A patent on a "cryptocurrency system using body activity data" is here.

In a Few Lifetimes

Near Future Temptations

Non Fungible Tokens, called NFTs, is a unique sequence of digital information that is stored and verified using a blockchain. They are often traded with crypto currencies (hence why the phrase non-fungible is a misnomer, though the name has stuck). It could be a piece of art or a piece of your genetic makeup. DNA startups are already researching how to sequence the human genome on a ledger. The implication of this is huge. Not only will CODIS become a worldwide Panopticon on a ledger, but once we are able to fully relive or capture a moment in real time (think brain chips) and then be able to share it over a network (virtual reality worlds), akin to the MyLifeBits project, NFTs will become part of our biology and much of our own documented experience for that matter. NFTs will be the carrot on a stick, coercing us to live in matrix-esque pods.

As famous artists figure out show biz and red carpet awards won't be enough to keep up with the ever-growing demands of entertainment consumption and begin to slowly lose their clout, they will start selling exclusive personal experiences that only true fans will get to see. In fact, ordinary people will follow in their footsteps, willingly donating their genome as well as their database of experiences and thoughts to the blockchain of collectivized consciousness in order to relive their memories. In exchange, they will inherit a virtual proprietary token for complying: crypto.

The Next Cell

If fiat is enslavement via central banking and government intrusion, then crypto is the newest and comfiest prison resort. The next goal post of crypto is to make our bodies the new mining rigs, bear with me. When a crypto bro tells you crypto is backed by energy unlike fiat, it should become clear that our bodies are vessels of order and energy, a resource that is scarce. Our brains are super computers, not to mention the RNA in our cells can allegedly be programmed to execute algorithms separate from what it was designed to do. So to say crypto will never make its way into us, whether it be nanobots or mRNA technology, is willfully ignorant.

Once our bodies can start autonomously solving cryptographic hash functions, we will earn our own unemployment. It reminds me of universal basic income or stimulus checks; it's precisely what I was getting at in the smart city example. Our bodies proof of work will be uploaded to the blockchain, and if you aren't on it you won't be contributing to the currency and thus won't be able to participate in society. Do you think that sounds like freedom? The only thing left for people to do will be paying a subscription to their own life, complying with orders, and waiting for the next big convenience. Compliance will be the only true currency left.

You need to look further down the line. It's naïve to think that blockchain technology isn't corruptible, and even better that it wasn't delivered to you by the people who want to hook you in. The facade of the anti-establishment sentiment is almost always an establishment mechanism, whether it be crypto or Trump's presidency. Bottom line, if something is sold as an answer there are people who are invested in you wanting it to be true.

Owning Biological Behavior

Many dystopian novels revolve around the idea of inverting sex, whether it be commodifying it, making it a crime against the state party or a forgotten mystery like in The Giver. We have seen elements of these extreme scenarios in history, such as the one child policy in China. The common denominator of these examples is that sex will be controlled and regulated by an authoritarian government since sex is an act of procreation and love; Couples witnessing the Creator give them new life is a threat to the men who want to masquerade as the ultimate worldly creators. However, I believe dismantling the nuclear family will never work under a tyrannical force but instead through the guise of Liberal Democracy.

It's not hard to see that when Liberal Democracy and late stage capitalism join forces your unalienable God-given rights are slowly chipped away. They are given the new term privileges. So instead of having the right to freely travel, you have the privilege to drive as long as you carry your driver's license at all times and pay money to the department of motor vehicles. It's a Paper's please! society. Soon enough, your privilege to drive will be thrown out the window and it won't matter because the alternative will be much more convenient.

After realizing this, there is nothing standing in the way of your right to raise your child from being taken away. As it stands, the consensus of the young majority already feels apathetic towards the reward of raising a child. Hegelian dialectic tactics and other narrative nonsense will certainly get us closer to that dystopian scenario, but something much more direct will bring us there quicker. It's called the legal system.

How could you legally prohibit anyone from raising their children? you might wonder. Turns out it would be a cake walk taking the legal route instead of the brute force method. For one, we can start by asking, Can a corporation own a biological process?, the answer to which is yes. As I've already discussed companies are not only interested in manipulating the behavior of people, but that of cells via mRNA programming. If you can prove your technology synthesizes a biological behavior or structure, then you own both the rights to the process and the biological product itself. In this extreme scenario, it's conception.

This is exactly what Monsanto is doing with GMOs. What this means is if there is some Bio-firm which owns the process to making a hybrid tomato and you start growing those same tomatoes, they can send you a cease and desist letter for reproduction of their product. Now swap the tomato with your body. The world government wouldn't have to lift a finger in regards to controlling the population. Nor would dissolving the nuclear family be of concern for that matter, because everyone would've already agreed that their ability to reproduce does not belong to them, but to the proprietary system they worship.

Don't Get Hooked

Hopefully I didn't black pill you too hard. While I don't believe everything mentioned will exactly play out, I whole heartedly believe something close to it will. The last example is not even sci-fi, it's a natural consequence of what could happen if we keep giving up our data: the digitized biological form.

New technologies are tools to be used for good. They're to put food on the table. They're to provide for you and your loved ones. While purist rhetoric has its place, using NFT's to make a digital time capsule of your artwork for example, may not be a completely formidable idea, especially if you're branding it through a digital medium anyways and it's banned from all major platforms. The distinction I'm making is you should use fiat, crypto or NFTs as tools, but don't worship or fall in love with them. If you don't approach blockchain technology with considerate foresight and a disciplined mindset, you will surely be cheated, confused and demoralized. The dystopian talk is not hearsay nor fear mongering, it's simply a reality check. Stay blessed.