|Bill Gates and his stimulus-response empire|
|After reading Robert F Kennedy, Jr.’s devastating article, “The Brave New World of Bill Gates and Big Telecom”, I went back in my files and found two pieces I’d written several years ago on Gates as the new Pavlov. I’ve combined them, here, into one. |
Under the surface of this global civilization, a war is taking place. The two opponents hold different conceptions of Reality. On one side, those who claim that humans operate purely on the basis of stimulus-response; on the other side, those who believe there is a gigantic thing called freedom. Phase One of the war is already over. The stimulus-response people have made serious inroads. In Phase Two, people are waking up to the far-reaching and grotesque consequences of the Pavlovian program.
From the moment the first leader of the first clan in human history took charge, he busied himself with this question: ‘What can I say and do that will make my people react the way I want them to.’ He was the first Pavlov. He was the first psychologist, the first propagandist, the first mind-control boss. His was the first little empire. Since then, only the means and methods have changed.
A thought-form is a picture-plus concept in the mind that tends to guide behavior.
A dominant thought-form in Earth civilization today is: universal rule through gigantic, highly organized structures; e.g., mega-corporations that owe no allegiance to any nation.
Imagine a few thousand such corporations with interlocking boards and directorates; colluding with super-regional governments and their honeycombed bureaucracies; combined with regional armies, intelligence agencies and technological elites; hooked to a global surveillance operation; in control of media; cooperating with the largest organized religions on Earth.
Imagine all this as essentially one organization—and you see the thought-form in its wide-screen version.
Top-down as top-down has never been before.
Functions and compartments defined and specialized at every level, and coordinated in order to carry out policy decisions.
As to why such a thought-form should come to dominate human affairs, the simplest explanation is: because it works.
But beneath that answer, for those who can see, there is much, much more.
Individuals come to think that “effective” and “instrumental” and “efficient” are more important than any other issues.
Keep building, keep expanding, keep consolidating gains—and above all else, keep organizing.
Such notions and thought-forms replace life itself.
The Machine has come to the fore. All official problems focus on how the individual can be fitted into the structure and function of The Machine.
Are human beings supposed to be social constructs?
Populations are undergoing a quiet revolution. We can cite some of the reasons: television; education; job training and employment requirements; the Surveillance State; government organizations who follow a “zero tolerance” policy; inundation with advertising.
Yes, it’s all geared to produce people who are artificial constructs.
And this is just the beginning. There are a number of companies (see, for example, affectiva[dot]com) who are dedicated to measuring “audience response” to ads and other public messages. I’m talking about electronic measuring. The use of bracelets, for instance, that record students’ emotional responses to teachers in classrooms, in real time. (Bill Gates shoveled grant money into several of these studies.)
Then there is facial recognition geared to the task of revealing how people are reacting when they sit at their computers.
Push-pull, ring the bell, watch the dog drool for his food. Stimulus-response.
It’s not much of a stretch to envision, up the road a few years, whole populations more than willing to volunteer for this kind of mass experimentation. But further than that, we could see society itself embrace, culturally, the ongoing measurement of stimuli and responses.
“Yes, I want to live like this. I want to be inside the system. I want to be analyzed. I want to be evaluated. I want to accept the results. I want to be part of the new culture. Put bracelets on me and nano-sensors in me. Measure my eye movements, my throat twitches that indicate what I’m thinking, and my brain waves. Watching a movie should include the experience of wearing electrodes that record my second-to-second reactions to what’s happening on the screen. I like that. I look forward to it…”
In such a culture, “Surveillance State” would take on a whole new dimension.
“Sir, I want to report a malfunction in my television set. I notice the monitoring equipment that tracks my responses to programs has gone on the blink. I want it reattached as soon as possible. Can you fix it remotely, or do you need to send a repair person out to the house? I’ll be here all day…”
People will take pride in their ongoing role as social constructs, just as they now take pride in owning a quality brand of car.
The thought process behind this, in so far as any thought at all takes place, goes something like: “If I’m really a bundle of responses to stimuli and nothing more, then I want to be inside a system that champions that fact and records it…I don’t want to be left out in the cold.”
Here is a sample school situation: for six months, Mr. Jones, the teacher, has been video recorded, moment by moment, as he instructs his class in English. All the students have been wearing electronic bracelets, and their real time emotional responses (interest, boredom, aversion) have also been recorded. A team of specialists has analyzed the six months of video, matching it up, second by second, to the students’ responses. The teacher is called in for a conference.
“Mr. Jones, we now know what you’re doing that works and what you’re doing that doesn’t work. We know exactly what students are positively reacting to, and what bores them. Therefore, we’re going to put you into a re-ed seminar, where you’ll learn precisely how to teach your classes from now on, to maximize your effectiveness. We’ll show you how to move your hands, what tone of voice to use, how to stand, when to make eye contact, and so on…”
Mr. Jones is now a quacking duck. He will be trained how to quack “for the greater good.” He is now a machine toy. Whatever is left of his passion, his intelligence, his free will, his spontaneous insights, his drive to make students actually understand what they’re learning…all subordinated for the sake of supposed efficiency.
Think this is an extreme fantasy? See the Chicago Tribune, June 12, 2012, “Biosensors to monitor students’ attentiveness”:
“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has poured more than $4 billion into efforts to transform public education in the U.S., is pushing to develop an ‘engagement pedometer.’ Biometric devices wrapped around the wrists of students would identify which classroom moments excite and interest them — and which fall flat.”
“The foundation has given $1.4 million in grants to several university researchers to begin testing the devices in middle-school classrooms this fall .”
“The biometric bracelets, produced by a Massachusetts startup company, Affectiva Inc, send a small current across the skin and then measure subtle changes in electrical charges as the sympathetic nervous system responds to stimuli. The wireless devices have been used in pilot tests to gauge consumers’ emotional response to advertising.”
“Gates officials hope the devices, known as Q Sensors, can become a common classroom tool, enabling teachers to see, in real time, which kids are tuned in and which are zoned out.”
“Existing measures of student engagement, such as videotaping classes for expert review or simply asking kids what they liked in a lesson, ‘only get us so far,’ said Debbie Robinson, a spokeswoman for the Gates Foundation. To truly improve teaching and learning, she said, ‘we need universal, valid, reliable and practical instruments’ such as the biosensors.”
“The Gates Foundation has spent two years videotaping 20,000 classroom lessons and breaking them down, minute by minute, to analyze how each teacher presents material and how those techniques affect student test scores.”
“Clemson received about $500,000 in Gates funding. Another $620,000 will support an MIT scientist, John Gabrieli, who aims to develop a scale to measure degrees of student engagement by comparing biosensor data to functional MRI brain scans [!] (using college students as subjects).”
When you boil it down, the world-view represented here has nothing to do with “caring about students.” It has everything to do with the Pavlovian view of humans as biological machines.
What input yields what response? How can people be shaped into predictable constructs?
As far as Gates is concerned, the underlying theme, as always, is: control.
In this brave new world, the process of thinking and comparing and independently judging, and the freedom to make individual choices…well, for whatever that was worth, we can’t encourage it for a whole society. It’s too unpredictable. We don’t have time for that sort of thing. No, we have to achieve reduction. We have to seek out lowest common denominators.
This is what universal surveillance is all about; the observation of those denominators and the variances from them—the outlying and therefore dangerous departures from the norm.
“Well, we’ve tracked Mr. Jones’ classroom for a year now, and we’ve collated all the measurements of reactions from the students. It was a wonderful study. But we did notice one thing. All the students showed similar patterns of reactions over time…except two students. We couldn’t fit them into the algorithms. They seemed to be responding oppositely. It was almost as if they were intentionally defecting from the group. This signals some kind of disorder. We need a name for it. Is it Oppositional Defiance Disorder, or is it new? We recommend attaching electrodes to those two students’ skulls, so we can get a deeper readout of their brain activity in real time.”
Those two students are suffering from a brain problem. They must be. Because if they aren’t, if they have the ability to choose and decide how to respond, then they have free will, and that can’t be measured.
This suggests an X-factor in humans, wherein the flow of chemicals and atoms and quarks and mesons and photons don’t tell the whole story. The rest of the story would imply the existence of something that is…non-material…above and beyond push-pull cause and effect.
The gatekeepers of this world are obsessed with ruling that out. They guard Reality itself, which is to say, their conception of Reality. They are willing to spend untold amounts of money to make a Pavlovian conception universally accepted and universally loved.
Because they own that conception. They are the self-appointed title holders. They are the kings of that domain.
I feel obligated to inform them their domain is much, much smaller than they think it is. And in the fullness of time, which is very long, the domain is going to fall and crack and collapse and disintegrate. And all their horses and all their men won’t be able to put it back together.
Eventually, a man like Bill Gates will be forgotten. He’ll be a small footnote on a dusty page in a crumbling book in a dark room on a remote island.
A morbid venal fool who chased, for a brief moment, fool’s gold.
There is an irreducible thing. It’s called freedom. It is native to every individual.
Sometimes it rears its head in the middle of the night, and the dreamer awakes.
And he asks himself: what is my freedom for?
And then he begins a voyage that no device can record, measure, or analyze.
If he pursues it long enough, it takes him out of the labyrinth.
Pavlov wrote: “Mankind will possess incalculable advantages and extraordinary control over human behavior when the scientific investigator will be able to subject his fellow men to the same external analysis he would employ for any natural object…”
Pavlov was promoting the idea that whatever an individual perceives and feels about his own experience is a confused mess and an obstruction.
Rather, the individual should ignore all that tripe, and instead, allow himself to be a “natural object,” see himself as a clean and simple response mechanism, as planned inputs cause him to behave in various ways.
In other words, then he will have no life.
Bill Gates and other elite planners are working toward this end.
When Ray Kurzweil talks about hooking brains up to super-computers, he is envisioning a process of downloading that goes beyond choice. Somehow, automatically, the brain and the individual (he apparently believes they are the same thing) will receive inputs which translate into IMPOSED knowledge. This is another fatuous version of Pavlov.
In Brave New World, Huxley wrote: “Hot tunnels alternated with cool tunnels. Coolness was wedded to discomfort in the form of hard X-rays. By the time they were decanted the embryos had a horror of cold. They were predestined to emigrate to the tropics, to be miner[s] and acetate silk spinners and steel workers. Later on their minds would be made to endorse the judgment of their bodies. ‘We condition them to thrive on heat’, concluded Mr. Foster. ‘Our colleagues upstairs will teach them to love it’.”
If researchers developed this technology, who could doubt that elite planners would push it forward? It would be the culmination of their dream.
The freedom of the individual, his innate capacity to make wide-ranging choices, is the monkey wrench in the program.
This is why you would have to search far and wide to find, in one school, anywhere, on any level, a course that deeply examines and promotes individual freedom.
It is anathema to the plan.
It is the silver bullet for the werewolf.
Freedom comes from Within the individual, not from Without.
On the level of political control, freedom emerged and broke through during centuries of struggle.
Now, and in the future, every individual carries that torch or douses it.
—Crack the egg of the stimulus-response empire.
A popular piece of received wisdom: ‘everything is connected to everything.’ This is supposed to carry very positive connotations, but it actually describes how mass reality is built and the intention behind it. Each piece is hooked up to every other part. The parts all ‘confirm the truth of the whole.’ Constructing such a closed system that is internally consistent is like building a hospital where the treatments for patients ensure they will never leave—except in a box.
The true basis of an android is: he tries to solve the problems with which he’s presented. He does nothing else. Eventually, he sees problems that need solving everywhere. That’s all he sees. That is his basic program. Without it, he wouldn’t know what to do. And on top of all this, he is fed answers to problems. He is educated to look for pre-set solutions.
‘Every dog has his day.’ But not the Pavlovian dog. He has the same day over and over.
The very worst news for some, and the best news for others is, the individual is an artist of reality.
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