It’s just fascinating ain’t it ? We know that the Big Guys absolutely must stop the populist rebellion that has clearly breached the gates of the counterfeit empire (I’m talking about the “GameStop Rebellion here). Failure to staunch the hemorrhage ends in certain death for the current empire. And yet the bleedout continues unabated… so far ! What weapon will the empire finally use to kill these peasants ? At first I was sure the weapons would be exclusion, censorship and ban. Now I’m thinking it might be a little more “High Tech” .
I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a straight up prediction. I predict that the empire will use its near total ownership-control of the Internet (wires, servers, mainframes ,software, networks and everything) to route ALL buying and selling of stock (etc) through a new and proprietary FIREWALL, which allows approved traffic to go through and non-approved traffic to NOT go through. Only government approved trades (buys or sells) would be able to enter or leave the actual market (if you could even call such a monstrosity a “market”).
We are fast approaching the state of affairs in which the worlds entire “official” economy is nothing but an enormous computer simulation of a market. Members get paid. Non members get bupkis (or less). No more uncertainty or stock market crashes !! No more of a lot of things, actually.
I also wonder about something. It’s fairly geeky in nature and so I have previously avoided even mentioning the topic. Did I say fairly geeky ? I should have said, “Hell, this is straight up Science and Engineering shit. If you don’t like numbers then I’m warning ya now to bail out while you can. The next few paragraphs could be fatally boring.
Here’s the deal. MASSIVELY powerful computing ( almost unimaginatively fast and powerful) has enabled the creation , use and abuse of the Internet, which in turn has enabled several other world altering technologies to grow like mushrooms.
For examples : a) direct and nearly instantaneous communication. . . via cell phone portable computers . . . between virtually ALL human individuals. b) Pervasive 24/7 mass surveillance . . . via those phones, mostly . . . of those humans. c) Use of those two capabilities to manipulate and exploit those humans at psychological levels below their conscious awareness. d) Synchronous transaction and accounting of virtually ALL money and the ability to even HAVE that electronically symbolized money in the first place. And finally e) Blockchain technology to keep all of the above shit properly assigned to proper owners and all changes properly accounted for.
Looks super efficient (albeit extremely prone to abuse) when viewed through the lens of thought and intellectually consistent logic. In other words, looks workable on the drawing board . . . but will it fly ?
Let me say all of that a different way. Quite aside from whether these cyber abilities will be a force for good or a force for evil or a force for both . . . let’s ask a far more fundamental question : could it actually be a force at all ? Could it even work, or function or run in the first place.
Maybe the science and engineering numbers don’t pencil out.
I’m thinking they don’t, and for a very un-evadable reason : there’s not enough generable electricity in the whole wide world to even get close to the amount needed to run the computers to do the calculating to run the system. Not by a long shot. Not by a country mile. Not by a fucking parsec unit of distance.
Example : Cryptocurrency ( and many other things, too) depends on a software technique called blockchain, which is very very VERY computing intensive. That computing consumes energy , and the energy consumption required JUST TO REPLACE MONEY ALONE WOULD EXCEED TOTAL WORLD ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION BEFORE EVEN HALF OF THE WORLD’S MONEY WAS REPLACED.
Hmmmm. Yes, that could be a problem alright. And that’s just for the money. Tracking every penny made, spent or saved is child’s play compared to tracking (and analyzing) every action done or word spoken.
To do that would require computational power ( and electrical bills) truly beyond human imagining. The quantity is almost incalculable, but why bother to calculate it ? You could not intellectually grasp the magnitude of the number even if you saw it. Earth could not produce that much power if the planet were made of weapons grade Uranium.
Clearly, the “rise of the machines” has certain limits.
I can’t help but wonder if it will hit those limits before we hit our own.