Let’s start this thing off nice. Firstly, a belated Happy New Year to everyone. Personally, I had a freaking fantastic NYE, and I hope y’all did too. 2008 was a great year for me, and building on that, personally, 2009 was filling me with optimism. So many great projects in the works, so much hope for the Future.
And then I turn on the News. Reality is a harsh mistress my friends.
And now I’m going to tell you all the ways in which we are totally fucked.
Firstly, we’ve got the news from NY, which George Rohac was kind enough to alert me to.
The New York Police Department wants to be able to shut down cell phones, in case of a terrorist attack.
Because, you know Mumbai. The whole attack was apparently coordinated over mobile phones by handlers who were monitoring the Media.
Which you kind of need, given the attackers were allegedly dosed to the eyeballs on LSD and Cocaine. Making the thing sound more and more like a 24 script-writer’s wet dream.
So the NY police want to prevent a similar coordinated attack. Does this make sense? Yes and No.
No, because Terrorists analyse and exploit weak points to create maximum carange. The best way to do this is by making every attack original. That’s why post-9/11′s hellish flight security measures only punishes the masses. And those guys sure didn’t need mobile phones, did they.
Yes, because Obama. Here’s my first prediction for the year: Copycat Terrorism is coming kids.
You can bet there’s armed and angry right-wing militias in the States studying every single bit of data they can on the Mumbai attacks. And thinking they can do it one better. Have we forgotten who the first people to try to blow up the World Trade Center were. And when that was. The Clinton era. Those “evil Democrats” who want to take peoples guns away.
Al Qaeda et al have hardened troops from the battlefields of Afghanistan, Chechnya and Bosnia. The US has a bunch of pissed-off Vets returning from Afganistan and Iraq. How many people remember the post-WWII crime waves? We have a lot of trained killers out there again.
But let’s keep moving. Let me tell you why blocking cellphones and filtering the Internet is the beginning of the end of this phase of civilization.
Corporate Democracy hates you. Every single Democracy is deeply in bed with and funded by the Corporations.
The US passes the DMCA laws because Disney wants to sell more Mickey Mouse dolls. Then through “Free Trade” it spreads around the world. France wants to filter the Internet so that Carla Bruni can sell more CDs. Britain apes France, and Australia apes Britain. But of course they do it in the name of the children and the family. Please.
It’s about CONTROL. The State exists to command and control.
We are supposed to Trust in Authority. But the illusion of Control is being eaten away.
The Police, the fists of the State, caught red-handed executing one of it’s citizens.
Has this happened before? No doubt. What’s the big difference then? Not only was it witnessed by the train full of passengers, it was recorded by a great deal of them.This clip is just the best of many you can find on YouTube.
This is evolutionary. If those Cops were more than just brutish thugs, if they had half a fucking brain, they’d have gone onto that train and taken every single mobile phone and video camera away.
So let’s fast-forward a little. Because you can bet that the band of brothers, those boys in blue, are mighty pissed off that one of their own had to resign like that. And they’ll be sure now not to go out that way either. They will confiscate all the phones and video cameras from now on. But some bright soul will have already uploaded photos to Flickr, or even better using Zannel to post it through Twitter. Even better an impromptu citizen-journalist might be streaming the whole affair with Qik or its many clones.
That might work a few times. Until the Police decide they need to be equipped with mobile cellphone jammers, nominally for the fight against Terror. Then second the shit goes down in front of a bunch of witnesses, on goes the jamming.
But Terrorism is bad, right. We want to stop that. It’s all for the Greater Good!
Well, let’s wander over to France for a minute. A bunch of kids decide to drop out and live their own Future in a little village.
There’s a tenuous link to them involving some train derailments. Trains were hurt, but there were no deaths. So what happens?
..the French government claims that Tarnac and its small shop are the headquarters of a dangerous cell of anarchist terrorists plotting to overthrow the state. Images of balaclava-clad police swooping to arrest suspects in Tarnac were compared by bewildered villagers to a strange, rural action movie. The government hinted that locals were too gormless to have noticed the terrorist activity in their midst. But after weeks of controversy, supporters are rising up to defend the young people of the village.
Those kids aren’t ETA (the Basque separatists). They’re just saying no to the ‘rat race’ and finding their own niche to live in. Yet they are declared an Enemy of the State that must be crushed.
So let’s go back to the start; to Mumbai. How did the word get out so quickly? Twitter and Flickr. What did the Government eventually try to stop happening? You guessed it. Would this have stopped the handlers coordinating the attacks? Given they were most likely getting their intel from CNN, no. Would an immediate Media blackout have prevented this? NO! Because you can bet your asses they had their own, separate cell watching from afar and reporting in anyway.
I repeat, these are well planned attacks exploiting observed gaps in the defenses of their target(s). 9/11 was accomplished with just box-cutters. The best defense is an armed and knowledgeable citizenry; all this just demonstrates the increasing power of mobile communications technology.
Are you still reading? Did you think I’d forgotten about the Economic Collapse? Don’t worry, I’m getting to it.
This is, as a Prime Minister of Australia once said, “the recession we had to have”. This is the System collapsing. The Governments of the world can’t fix Global Warming; it is, quite frankly, all their fault. They are agents of the Status Quo.
As Dr Horrible sez: “the status is far from quo”.
The next decade will be very interesting. These are the Breaking Times. The Post-Industrial future is coming, whether people like it or not. You can look forward to more decaying strip-malls and empty shops in general. eBay and it’s like will be where everyone shops. As everything slows down, people will be forced to prioritize. Shopping as therapy will become a 20th relic.
The Future as I see it is peer2peer. The answer is never Fear, but Love. So I call for Revolutionary Optimism!
I implore you; skip the Corporations and buy from your fellow man as much as you can. Make your own clothes or buy them on etsy at least. Garden! Barter! Hang out at local markets. Cook for your friends. Skip that crappy Hollywood blockbuster and veg out on the Internet instead. Or with people in Real Life.
Reality is Fiction; society is a social construct. The Future has never been more in our hands. Since our species first stopped hunting and settled down to start Agriculture it’s been all about top-down control systems. But, Internet be praised, we are quite possibly positioned for the first time since then to change this. Technology is what defines us as being human; and we increasingly don’t need the Bureaucracy of the State to manage things for us. Instead, we can engineer and maintain solutions that run fine by themselves.
The State’s days are numbered! Sadly, this most likely means it will become more violent in it’s death throes. The Evolution is not about burning shit down; it’s about obviating all the crap that’s got us in this mess to begin with.
Power to the People!
Thanks for listening; you’ve been a wonderful audience.