Humanity Is Under Attack
Everywhere we look we see programming: advertising reaching us through billboards, TV, radio, the internet, fashion, movies, education. Even our grocery stores aren’t immune. This is what locks most people into a pre-designed way of thinking, and a pre-designed way of life. Most of us are giving consent by giving up freedoms and privacy. Many will freely offer their information online through social media. There are those out there that worry that the government is keeping them on a list, and they probably have done some of that, but in all likelihood, you are not important enough for the government to keep tabs on you. The advertisers however love to keep tabs on you and your behavior. Their whole racket is figuring out what makes you tick and how they can convince you to part with your hard-earned dollars. Some of us will even go so far as to take on debt so that we can buy more material goods. Even if you don’t have a loaded credit card from all those Amazon purchases or clothes that you don’t wear, I am confident that the majority has either a mortgage or a car note. Or both. And then there is student loan debt, the ultimate tool to enslave the masses, and that is what debt is, slavery.
By taking on debt, you are admitting to our current system, that you will obey. You will get up every weekday, put on your uniform, even if it is business casual, which is such an offensive term. Are any of us actually casual in this? Casual implies that we are more comfortable and that we should be appreciative of the opportunity to buy more clothes that we don’t need just so we can all fit in. No one can possibly feel expressive or casual in this attire, but I digress. The point is, that debt binds us into a lifestyle for decades if not our whole life. The carrot on the stick being retirement which will come at an age when most of our bodies no longer function properly so we are forced to spend our nest eggs on medical care, much less traveling. We do like to procrastinate, don’t we? Even our enjoyment. We focus on our retirement and forget to consider how we might be able to enjoy the majority of our lives. It is this false God of materialism we all worship that we live by that is the problem. We are always chasing the next car or the next house or this vacation or that new phone. We crave more and more never feeling satiated and yet instead of looking elsewhere, we just keep plowing ahead thinking that maybe, this next device will bring happiness to my life.
This system controls what people think by controlling what news (read: propaganda) is presented and what is omitted. Infotainment, sports, Hollywood and the music industry seem tame in comparison to the more insidious activities available: gambling, porn, cigarettes, alcohol, prostitution. Everything is relative. That is how they trick you. They convince you that what is bad or evil or wrong is in this box, and what is acceptable and normal is in that box. Don’t worry about your lifestyle, you could be much worse. You aren’t addicted to cigarettes so don’t worry about how much plastic you throw into a landfill. Out of sight, out of mind. Never mind the environment effects of blue dye from your blue jeans or the facts that it takes 2,000 gallons of an ever-dwindling supply of clean water for just one pair of jeans; at least you aren’t a gambling addict. There’s always someone doing something so much worse that helps us rationalize our own lifestyle. Sustainability is a great buzzword but we so often blame the evil corporations, but we rarely consider our own choices. These corporations would make sustainable products if only we chose to spend a little more on better products. But the allure of materialism is too much for our ever-changing tastes.
Social media and gaming are the governments doorway into our lives providing the much-touted panopticon surveillance system, but it is the advertisers we should all fear. Our phones have become digital handcuffs. There are those out there who fear the day when the government will microchip us, but they have no problem carrying around these GPS trackers that are our phones. We say the difference is that we can leave the phone at home if we so choose, but we almost never do. The phone practically is the microchip. These microchips, these phones, just keep recording data. They collect it and store it in servers far away for computers, and someday A.I. to just keep crunching the numbers so they can figure out what makes you tick. Right now, it is all behavioral patterns about keeping the ads in front of you that are most likely to take your hard-earned dollars, but I fear this is just the beginning.
With the development of A.I. which I believe is much closer to reality that many of us want to believe, these ads will learn much more from us. And we will welcome them into our homes and pay to do so. Look at Amazon’s Echo device, Apple HomePod or the Google Home system. They will one day begin to read our emotional states by looking at our faces and the tone of our voices. Thanks to Ed Snowden, we now know that the technology is out there to watch and listen, even in the so-called privacy of our own homes. Artificial Intelligence will learn that when we are feeling lonely, we are more likely to shop for new clothes, or that we feel happy we are more likely to go out to eat at that corporate chain that we love. The ad will magically appear to elicit that response that separates you from your money.
I know that the world is the way it is, and I can’t change that. I am only one person, so I will change myself. I don’t need more to be complete. I am who I am, and I’m very comfortable with who I am. Now I’m not buying into this latest minimalist phase, and it is a phase, where we pare down to 137 items because somebody with a great smile made a nice TED talk. No, I already have my stuff, and I have been donating what no longer brings me joy, but I have reservations about the minimalism movement, which I will elaborate on in another post. I feel the trap in minimalism is that many will give up too much stuff and eventually get bored of the idea, and then they will have to go out and buy new stuff since they gave away so much. I am just going to be more mindful of what I do buy and to buy quality and environmentally sustainable products when I can. I know I won’t be perfect in this, but it is wise to not let perfect be the enemy of good. I feel that if we set our sights too high, we may not be able to change anything. I’m just one person. All I can change is myself, but we should never underestimate the impact of a single motivated person.