from RutherfordInstitute Website
Welcome to The Matrix (i.e. the metaverse), where reality is virtual, freedom is only as free as one's technological overlords allow, and artificial intelligence is slowly rendering humanity unnecessary, inferior and obsolete.
Yet while Zuckerberg's vision for this digital frontier has been met with a certain degree of skepticism, the truth - as journalist Antonio García Martínez concludes - is that we're already living in the metaverse.
The metaverse is, in turn, a dystopian meritocracy, where freedom is a conditional construct based on one's worthiness and compliance.
Likewise, there can be no true freedom when the ability to express oneself, move about, engage in commerce and function in society is predicated on the extent to which you're willing to "fit in."
We are almost at that stage now...
Consider that in our present virtue-signaling world where fascism disguises itself as tolerance, the only way to enjoy even a semblance of freedom is by opting to voluntarily censor yourself, comply, conform and march in lockstep with whatever prevailing views dominate.
Fail to do so - by daring to espouse "dangerous" ideas or support unpopular political movements - and you will find yourself shut out of commerce, employment, and society:
This is exactly how Corporate America plans to groom us for a world in which "we the people" are unthinking, unresistant, slavishly obedient automatons in bondage to a Deep State policed by computer algorithms.
Science fiction has become fact.
Twenty-some years after the Wachowskis' iconic film, The Matrix, introduced us to a futuristic world in which humans exist in a computer-simulated non-reality powered by authoritarian machines - a world where the choice between existing in a denial-ridden virtual dream-state or facing up to the harsh, difficult realities of life comes down to a blue pill or a red pill - we stand at the precipice of a technologically-dominated matrix of our own making.
We are living the prequel to The Matrix with each passing day, falling further under the spell of technologically-driven virtual communities, virtual realities and virtual conveniences managed by artificially intelligent machines that are on a fast track to replacing human beings and eventually dominating every aspect of our lives.
In The Matrix, computer programmer Thomas Anderson a.k.a. hacker Neo is wakened from a virtual slumber by Morpheus, a freedom fighter seeking to liberate humanity from a lifelong hibernation state imposed by hyper-advanced artificial intelligence machines that rely on humans as an organic power source.
With their minds plugged into a perfectly crafted virtual reality, few humans ever realize they are living in an artificial dream world.
Neo is given a choice:
Most people opt for the blue pill...
In our case, the blue pill - a one-way ticket to a life sentence in an electronic concentration camp - has been honey-coated to hide the bitter aftertaste, sold to us in the name of expediency and delivered by way of,
Yet we are not merely in thrall with these technologies that were intended to make our lives easier.
Look around you.
Everywhere you turn, people are so addicted to their internet-connected screen devices - smart phones, tablets, computers, televisions - that they can go for hours at a time submerged in a virtual world where human interaction is filtered through the medium of technology.
So consumed are we with availing ourselves of all the latest technologies that we have spared barely a thought for the ramifications of our heedless, headlong stumble towards a world in which our abject reliance on internet-connected gadgets and gizmos is grooming us for a future in which freedom is an illusion.
Yet it's not just freedom that hangs in the balance. Humanity itself is on the line.
If ever Americans find themselves in bondage to technological tyrants, we will have only ourselves to blame for having forged the chains through our own lassitude, laziness and abject reliance on internet-connected gadgets and gizmos that render us wholly irrelevant.
Indeed, we're fast approaching Philip K. Dick's vision of the future as depicted in the film Minority Report.
There, police agencies apprehend criminals before they can commit a crime, driverless cars populate the highways, and a person's biometrics are constantly scanned and used to track their movements, target them for advertising, and keep them under perpetual surveillance.
Cue the dawning of the Age of the Internet of Things (IoT), in which internet-connected "things" monitor your home, your health and your habits in order to keep your pantry stocked, your utilities regulated and your life under control and relatively worry-free.
The key word here, however, is control.
In the not-too-distant future,
By the end of 2018,
As the technologies powering these devices have become increasingly sophisticated, they have also become increasingly widespread, encompassing everything from toothbrushes and lightbulbs to cars, smart meters and medical equipment.
It is estimated that 127 new IoT devices are connected to the web every second...
This "connected" industry has become the next big societal transformation, right up there with the Industrial Revolution, a watershed moment in technology and culture.
Between driverless cars that completely lacking a steering wheel, accelerator, or brake pedal, and smart pills embedded with computer chips, sensors, cameras and robots, we are poised to outpace the imaginations of science fiction writers such as Philip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov.
(By the way, there is no such thing as a driverless car. Someone or something will be driving, but it won't be you...)
These Internet-connected techno gadgets include smart light bulbs that discourage burglars by making your house look occupied, smart thermostats that regulate the temperature of your home based on your activities, and smart doorbells that let you see who is at your front door without leaving the comfort of your couch.
The aim of these internet-connected devices, as Nest proclaims, is to make,
Yet given the speed and trajectory at which these technologies are developing, it won't be long before these devices are operating entirely independent of their human creators, which poses a whole new set of worries.
As technology expert Nicholas Carr notes,
For instance, just as the robotic vacuum, Roomba, "makes no distinction between a dust bunny and an insect," weaponized drones will be incapable of distinguishing between a fleeing criminal and someone merely jogging down a street.
For that matter, how do you defend yourself against a robotic cop - such as the Atlas android being developed by the Pentagon - that has been programmed to respond to any perceived threat with violence?
Moreover, it's not just our homes and personal devices that are being reordered and re-imagined in this connected age:
It is expected that by 2030, we will all experience The Internet of Senses (IoS), enabled by,
The Internet of Senses relies on connected technology interacting with our senses of sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch by way of the brain as the user interface.
As journalist Susan Fourtane explains:
In other words, the IoS will rely on technology being able to access and act on your thoughts.
Fourtane outlines several trends related to the IoS that are expected to become a reality by 2030:
This is the metaverse, wrapped up in the siren-song of convenience and sold to us as the secret to success, entertainment and happiness.
It's a false promise, a wicked trap to snare us, with a single objective:
George Orwell understood this...
Orwell's masterpiece, 1984, portrays a global society of total control in which people are not allowed to have thoughts that in any way disagree with the corporate state.
There is no personal freedom, and advanced technology has become the driving force behind a surveillance-driven society. Snitches and cameras are everywhere. And people are subject to the Thought Police, who deal with anyone guilty of thought crimes.
The government, or "Party," is headed by Big Brother, who appears on posters everywhere with the words:
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America - The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, total control over every aspect of our lives, right down to our inner thoughts, is the objective of any totalitarian regime.
The Metaverse is
just Big Brother in disguise...