(Jon Rappoport) Are human beings becoming 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.
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.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. See also here.)
Then there is facial recognition geared to the task of revealing how people are reacting when they sit at their computers and view websites.
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. Measure my eye movements, my throat twitches that indicate what I’m thinking, and my brain waves. Going to 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 shows 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 of the near future: for six months, Mr. Jones, the teacher, has been digitally 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 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 better readout of their brain activity in real time.”
You see, everything must be analyzed on the basis of stimulus response. Those two students are suffering from a brain-wiring 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. Much deeper, that also 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 that 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 that 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 again.
Perhaps populations will have to endure a hundred years of stimulus-response society, to understand what it means. But 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 of one unworkable computer.
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 believes he was having a nightmare.
But sooner or later, he realizes he was visiting a part of himself unlike anything in the society around him.
He knows it.
And then, eventually, 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.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, andPOWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.
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