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Lightning vs Thunder

The opposite of algorithms is jazz.

Jazz is the fleeting rawness of individuality realized, unpredictable but emotive, whereas algorithms fiend for the pre-ordained. At their worst, the status quo in the here and now, algos demand a crossover of all online activity where our voodoo doll avatar psyches never are acknowledged as our personal Intellectual Property, thus creating the spaghetti junction of willfully mistaken Public Domain intersecting with copyright infringement and more damaging, Identity Theft. For the private side of the ownership spectrum, unsolicited data-mining, even metadata, is fundamentally kidnapping. Personal info even publicly available via online social networks absolutely must be defined as a naturalized trademark, with all the privacy of traditional nondisclosure agreements or cease and desist letters. Unlike with corporate or governmental entities, individuals shoving people into cookie-cutters would face all manner of consequences. It’s bad enough when we do not own our identities, but when information and perspectives regarding both ourselves and this world around us get perverted by the free market, enriching the owners of the oh-so-modern public square equivalent, how can we even joke about living in a Democracy?

After all, Democracy and Capitalism simply cannot co-exist, because when greed knows no bounds then all else is compelled to. There is considerably nothing free about that. If you allow tools of oppression to exist, then persons will be oppressed. There’s no side-stepping that whether it’s guns or currency systems or yoga pants. All or nothing.

The shadow profiles collected and hoarded by social media feudalists serve as visceral proof the ever-expanding Cambridge Analytica scandal in particular pertains to far more than merely the millions of users too stupid to shutter their Facebook accounts. The creation, possession and manipulation of information comprise the one tool/weapon more powerful than any bomb or block of gold. Controlling perception isn’t new. Alexander the Great had his men go shaved to shock enemies on the battlefield into a moment’s hesitation. While all of this certainly predates the current melodrama, Cambridge Analytica provides a cherry of an example to this end. But first we must remember that surveillance is the pathway to data-mining, whether privatized by the likes of supremely hypocritical Palantir or more directly from Uncle Sam himself. Seeing CCTV cams all over everywhere always makes me think of the saying, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” There can be substantial truth to metaphors.

Our digital footprints are helplessly picking up tapeworms. And then there’s the issue of cyber-surveillance and digital data-mining not being limited to merely a matter of peeping text messages. There’s nowhere to hide. It’s not that our system is broken because things such as this happen, things such as this happen because our system is broken. The shear, brazen arrogance of authoritarians never ceases to amaze. It’s like these mad-hatter schemes are hatched and drop-kicked into action without so much as the barest consideration of ethics to their execution.

My theory is that the Cambridge Analytica stuff blew up during the Saudi prince’s world tour earlier this year, because the Kingdom wants to destabilize Israel’s tech alliances in preparation for its own half-trillion-dollar smart city with shiny new Alphabet hub. Tech’s the one thing the Saudis could never compete with Israel on, til now. So I am charging the head-lopping Saudi royals with being the conniving catalyst behind much of this drama initially coming into the limelight. The PR overlaying the prince’s good will tour was convenient bupkiss.

How did I come to such a conclusion? If you will be so kind, as I strive to see the future which these circumstances seem to be divining, may I present my three cents.

What if…not to say they’re good guys by any stretch, but what if there’s an element of the Military Industrial Complex that is anti-nukes? Maybe certain players realized that destroying the playground would ruin it forever. And what if these persons opted to focus on the internet as means of controlling the populace? So a schism was produced, the nuclear spooks vs the virtual spooks.

What if Ed Snowden was neither a hero or a traitor, but a mere vessel? What if Pierre Omidyar has been quietly selling the 90% or whatever remaining of Ed Snowden’s cache, for profit, but also sharing the receipts with the feds to help keep the machinery of war lively and lucrative? What if that’s why the Intercept team wasn’t wiped out by the CIA? I never got how the Intercept avoided anything like a contrived version of the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices. The USA Intelligence Community arguably exists for no other reason but to setup others for its government’s own crimes against humanity. They have the machinery for such measures already in place, and thus could have rubbed the reporters out and blamed terrorists. Lord knows the alphabet agencies and bureaus have done far, far worse. And the public honestly are every bit as malleable as a Trump’s convictions, which is kind of the whole business model for the activities of Cambridge Analytica and similar companies.

What if these hypothesized virtual spooks wanted to move global warfare to the cyber realm, but aside from Israel and the Five Eyes crew most of the world was too far behind in their respective technological capabilities, and so needed this info, ala black market, to really play the game? What I propose would be very much like the Iran-Contra affair, but conducted entirely online. USA foreign policy has a solid track record for arming all sides of a conflict, explicitly to grow the conflict, being the largest seller of armaments in the world. Maybe this motive specifically was why the Silk Road was FBI’d, to ease the dispersal. Maybe Julian Assange knows this, and that’s the real source of the divide between him and Omidyar, him and Freedom of the Press, him and Glenn Greenwald. But publishing that proof would mean publicizing that all of the internet really is a giant government ploy, seamlessly from DARPA to now. And, realizing he’s wasted his entire adult life obsessing over a honeypot trap, Assange has gone insane.

I like some of the Tor insiders. I like some of the Intercept people. I like the mission statement of the Freedom of the Press (which counts Snowden himself as a director). But we are faced with loads of unexplainable motives every which way. Such as the FotP discontinuing its fund-raising initiatives for Wikileaks. I’m fairly obsessed just with trying to sort out where people are coming from. Suffice to say that today there exists irrefutable evidence that the Tor project, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, even anonymous and the Silk Road, are all guided by the very forces they were each evolved specifically to workaround. This is the rug pulled out from under.

People such as Greenwald and Snowden may earnestly believe that their own efforts are helping to stave off a nuclear holocaust, without realizing they’ve been used. But Omidyar, as well as Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Eric Schmidt, Mark Zuckerberg, etc, are all and have always been IC assets. What if the White House’s State Department and the Intelligence Community really are beholden to competing billionaires? Donald Trump and the Clintons are all of the Henry Kissinger lot, still wanting their nuclear penis envy vindicated. And while outfits like Amazon, Facebook and Palantir are in with the alphabet agencies, Alphabet/Google, along with previous President Barack Obama, have thus far straddled the fence, playing the sides against one another in a thoroughly incestuous clusterfuck of power-mongering.

What if it hasn’t been a conservative vs liberal thing in DC for a long time, but old-fashioned colonialism petering out before diminishing natural resources, with the virtuals aiming to digitize the universe for a whole new landscape, trading checkers for chess?

Presently, Alphabet is to launch that hub at the costly new smart-city being constructed from scratch in Saudi Arabia. Just before an idea of Facebook’s involvement with Cambridge Analytica surfaced, Eric Schmidt’s public FB account was hacked (while he chairs a board at the Pentagon). It feels like these things are not disassociated. Amazon was tasked (and at exorbitant cost) with building a special cloud-storage service for the Intelligence Community BECAUSE of an existing knowledge of the hardware-based Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. Television switched from analogue to digital specifically to compel everyone to put the two-way black mirror in their private spaces.

I would bet that both sides of this MIC division, pro-nukes and pro-digital factions alike, deal with the Saudis, whose royalty are dividing now over their own relationship to Israel. The two superpowers have transformed the Middle East into an actual sandbox, yet have never in our modern era really gone toe to toe. The one thing the Kingdom could never really compete with Israel on has been technology, going all the way back to the 60s at least where the Israelis surged ahead of the rest of the world in that avenue. While the Saudis and Israelis have both cultivated and profiteered actively from the nuke-friendly MIC, I think some Saudi royals are finally sorting how to attain a piece of the tech action. They found Google’s price.

Responsible journalists have voiced their obvious concerns about Cambridge Analytica and comparable groups for at least a couple of years now, but the story curiously fails to garner any mainstream signal boost until the prince’s world tour, just months ago. That is too convenient a cover for a coincidence. Select media outlets such as Electronic Intifada have previously unearthed illicit sway exerted by Israeli business interests (and/or the Mossad/BlackCube directly) over Facebook. If there’s a new breed of Saudi royals wanting a less codependent relationship with those same interests, destabilizing Israel’s own virtual alliances, namely defaming the Cambridge Analytica-partnered Facebook itself, largest of all online social networking sites, has clearly proven a means to that end. This is the playing field I see: Saudis rising to challenge the original Silicon Valley of Israel, with the two powers each leaning on both the nuke-spooks and virtual-spooks for support, just as the nuke-spooks and virtual-spooks war among each other, leaning on the Saudis and Israelis both for financial and political support.

And every last one of us dicking about online, we are already the casualties.