17 minutes of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS gone mad
I would really appreciate if you agree with me on this to share it far and wide. Political correctness…not on my watch.
I would really appreciate if you agree with me on this to share it far and wide. Political correctness…not on my watch.
Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff wrote a monumental book about the new economic order that is alarming. “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” reveals how the biggest tech companies deal with our data. How do we regain control of our data? What is surveillance capitalism?
In this documentary, Zuboff takes the lid off Google and Facebook and reveals a merciless form of capitalism in which no natural resources, but the citizen itself, serves as a raw material. How can citizens regain control of their data?
It is 2000, and the dot.com crisis has caused deep wounds. How will startup Google survive the bursting of the internet bubble? Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin don’t know anymore how to turn the tide. By chance, Google discovers that the “residual data” that people leave behind in their searches on the internet is very precious and tradable.
This residual data can be used to predict the behavior of the internet user. Internet advertisements can, therefore, be used in a very targeted and effective way. A completely new business model is born: “surveillance capitalism.”
Original title: De grote dataroof
Money Over Morality
VICE’s Elle Reeve heads to China to investigate the rise of facial recognition technology — and what that means for all of us.
What is death? Our materialist science reduces everything to matter, materialist science in the West says that we are just meat, we’re just our bodies. So when the brain is dead, that’s the end of consciousness, there is no life after death, there is no soul; we just rot and are gone. Actually, many honest scientists should admit that consciousness is the greatest mystery of science and that we don’t know exactly how it works. The brain is involved in it some way but we’re not sure how. It could be that the brain generates consciousness the way a generator makes electricity, if you hold to that paradigm, then of course you can’t believe in life after death, when the generator’s broken, consciousness is gone. But it’s equally possible that the relationship — and nothing in neuroscience rules it out – that the relationship is more like the relationship of the TV signal to the TV set, and in that case, when the TV set is broken, of course the TV signal continues. And this is the paradigm of all spiritual traditions, that we are immortal souls temporarily incarnated in these physical forms.
If we want to understand consciousness, the last people we should ask are materialist scientists. Instead, we should look at ancient cultures, like the Egyptians, who highly valued dream states. Many ancient cultures around the world used hallucinogenic plants to understand consciousness and expand their minds.
However in today’s society, visionary plants are highly illegal because they promote a state of consciousness that does not agree with the agenda of profit. Substances, like coffee, alcohol, sugar and pharmaceuticals, are forced upon the population, but possession of even small quantities of cannabis, Ayahuasca or psilocybin will land you in jail. If we do not recognize the right of adult sovereignty over consciousness, then we can NOT claim to be free.
Look at what our moderns state of consciousness has done. We have destroyed the natural gifts of earth in pursuit of short-term, selfish gain. We must reconnect with spirit immediately or else we will encounter disaster. Visionary plants could be the remedy for our current sickness.
Disclaimer: We are not promoting risky, illegal or dangerous behavior. Do your research before taking any action. Visionary plants are not meant for partying. They should be used responsibly, in moderation and under experienced supervision.
Sky News host Andrew Bolt thinks “a revolution against… these sanctimonious finger-wagging enemies of free speech”, may be beginning.
Award winning American author and opinion writer Lionel Shriver delivered this year’s JBL lecture. She eviscerated the modern-day obsession with identity politics, political correctness and the hypersensitivities of the #MeToo movement that are threatening creativity. The John Bonython Lecture is the annual Gala event for the Centre for Independent Studies. Designed to advance the principles of free choice, individual liberty, defend cultural freedom and the open exchange of ideas – this year’s lecture was no different. Shriver’s breakout novel We Need to Talk About Kevin has sold over 1 million copies and was made into a feature film starring Tilda Swinton.
University campuses throughout the West are in the grip of a troubling social phenomenon, now in danger of spreading beyond the ivy walls. Once bastions of intellectual rigour and freedom of thought, universities have become closed-minded and self-censoring, pandering to what appear from the outside to be ridiculously heightened sensitivities and undeserved entitlement. Safe spaces, trigger warnings and counselling on demand have become commonplace. Teaching staff who speak out are being intimidated, silenced and vilified. Students who choose to think against the mainstream are harassed and ostracised. Has normal teenage angst been institutionally mollycoddled and even pathologised? Join Dr Tiffany Jenkins author, Keeping their Marbles, Claire Lehmann Founder & Editor of Quillette, Professor Steven Schwartz AM Senior Fellow, The Centre for Independent Studies and Lindsay Shepherd Graduate, Wilfrid Laurier University, for a robust debate.
‘Twitter has written “shadow banning” aka, censorship, into their new terms. The platform will now intentionally “limit the visibility” of some users. Expect those who dissent from the official narrative to be the ones censored.
Critics have accused Twitter of censorship for quite some time now. But this time, it’s official. The company has admitted they will attempt to silence those critical of the ruling class. According to RT,the news terms will be taking effect in January of 2020. While the new terms don’t look like much to write home about, some tweaks to the language could have larger repercussions for users, limiting their reach behind the scenes without their knowledge.
“We may also remove or refuse to distribute any Content on the Services, limit distribution or visibility of any Content on the service, suspend or terminate users, and reclaim usernames without liability to you,” the new terms state.
The social media giant is telling users that it reserves the right shadow ban or “throttle” or censor certain accounts. And it is not clear on what basis it will make those decisions, although we guess (based on their past which is rife with censorship) that accounts that aren’t parroting the government’s official narrative will be on the list.
While Twitter has previously insisted point-blank “we do not shadow ban,” in the pre-2020 terms the company split hairs between shadow banning and “ranking” posts to determine their prominence on the site, and acknowledged deliberately down-ranking “bad-faith actors” to limit their visibility.
In January 2018, conservative media watchdog group Project Veritas published footage showing Abhinov Vadrevu, a former Twitter software engineer, discussing shadow banning as a “strategy” the company was at least considering, if not already using. “One strategy is to shadow ban so you have ultimate control. The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned because they keep posting and no one sees their content,” Vadrevu said. “So they just think that no one is engaging with their content when in reality, no one is seeing it.”
George Orwell’s writings have experienced a spike in popularity over the past decade and for a simple reason – modern societies are becoming ever more like the dystopia depicted in Orwell’s most famous book, 1984. Whether it be mass surveillance, the incessant use of propaganda, perpetual war, or the cult of personality surrounding political leaders, it is not surprising that many see Orwell’s novel as prescient in many ways. With that said the West remains much freer than the dystopian society of 1984, but the trend does not bode well for those who favour a free society. Orwell, in fact, believed that totalitarianism of the type he satirized in his novel was a distinct possibility for the West and at times he went as far as to suggest that it may in fact be inevitable.
“Almost certainly we are moving into an age of totalitarian dictatorships.” (George Orwell, Complete Works – Volume XII)
In this video we will look at what caused Orwell’s pessimism, focusing on two trend in particular – the movement toward collectivism and the rise of hedonism.
Collectivism is a doctrine, or a set of ideologies, in which the goals of a certain collective, such as a state, a nation, or a society, are given precedence over the goals of individuals. Socialism, communism, nationalism and fascism are all collectivist ideologies. Orwell believed that a precondition for the rise of totalitarianism was the emergence of a collectivist social structure as this permits the centralization of power needed to exert total societal control. Orwell’s view of the connection between totalitarianism and collectivism has proved puzzling as Orwell was a staunch leftist, a critic of capitalism, and a socialist. How could someone who favoured socialism, a collectivist ideology, at the same time write a dystopian novel which portrays a collectivist society in such a horrific manner? To understand his position, it must first be realized that Orwell did not consider capitalism to be a viable system:
“It is not certain that Socialism is in all ways superior to capitalism but it is certain that, unlike capitalism, it can solve the problems of production and consumption.” (George Orwell, Complete Works – Volume XII)
Capitalism was such an inadequate system in Orwell’s mind, that like many leftists of his day, he believed that it was on its deathbed and would soon be replaced by some form of collectivism. He saw this as inevitable. The issue for Orwell was what type of collectivism would take its place.
“The real question…is whether capitalism, now obviously doomed, is to give way to oligarchy [totalitarianism] or to true democracy [democratic socialism]”. (George Orwell, Complete Works – Volume XVIII)
Following the impending death of capitalism Orwell hoped that democratic socialism would be adopted in the West. Democratic socialists, like Orwell, advocated for a centrally planned economy, nationalization of all major industry, and a radical decrease in wealth inequality. They were also strong supporters of civil liberties such as freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, which they hoped could be maintained in a society which would largely deprive people of their economic freedoms.
The problem, however, which Orwell and other socialists had to grapple with, were the lack of examples, either past or present, of any countries successfully adopting democratic socialism. Even worse the states that had turned to collectivism in the first half of the 20th century, such as Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, were becoming increasingly totalitarian – they were adopting what Orwell called oligarchical collectivism, not democratic socialism. Oligarchical collectivism is a system in which an elite few under the guise of a certain collectivist ideology centralize power using force and deception. Once in power these oligarchs crush not only the economic freedoms of their citizens, a move which socialists like Orwell favoured, but also their civil liberties. Orwell was concerned that following the death of capitalism the entire Western world would perhaps succumb to oligarchical collectivism. This fear was in part due to his perception that hedonism was on the rise in Western societies.
Hedonism is an ethical position that maintains that life’s ultimate goal should be the maximization of pleasure and the minimization of pain and discomfort. In an increasingly urban and consumerist West, Orwell believed that many people were structuring their lives in a hedonistic manner and this did not bode well for the freedom of Western civilization. A hedonistic lifestyle, according to Orwell, weakens people, it makes them feeble and incapable of mounting any resistance to fanatical ideologues who desire to rule over society. This fear of Orwell’s has proven unfounded up to this point. While the West, since his death in 1950, has in many respects become more hedonistic, this has not led to totalitarian dictators taking over control. Rather Aldous Huxley the author of another famous 20th century dystopian novel, Brave New World, may have had a better grasp of the way Western societies would become enslaved in the late-20th and early-21st centuries.
Huxley, like Orwell, was an anti-hedonist, but his aversion to hedonism differed from Orwell’s. Huxley’s main concern was that hedonism could be used as an effective tool to oppress a society because people will willingly forgo freedom in exchange for “sensory pleasure and endless consumption”. If a society can be structured so that people can devote much of their to time pursuing pleasures, gratifying material wants, and even drugging themselves to escape from reality, then persuasion and conditioning, rather than physical coercion, will be sufficient to exert extreme control over a society. Neil Postman in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death nicely contrasts the differing fears of Orwell and Huxley:
“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one…Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture…In 1984 people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.” (Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
The West, it seems, finds itself in a situation somewhat analogous to what Huxley feared. For like the proverbial frog in boiling water, citizens in the West accept greater-and-greater intrusions into their freedoms and with little resistance. The overt physical coercion that Orwell thought would be required to enslave a society has so far proved unnecessary. Before dismissing Orwell’s fears completely, however, it must be noted that Orwell was familiar with Huxley’s position and he did not deny that the hedonistic society Huxley feared was a possibility. But he saw it as a temporary stage creating the ideal conditions for a more brutal regime to seize control and impose it will on society. Whether Orwell will be proven correct in the end, remains to be seen. Yet as was pointed out, Orwell did not believe the totalitarianism which he feared could emerge in a society without it first becoming collectivist. So perhaps what has prevented his fears from coming true thus far is that capitalism did not die as he believed it would and collectivism has yet to emerge fully formed in the West.