Episode 079 - Trapped in the system

After spending a career building computer systems in software for organizations all over the globe, and being one of the very early career ‘Systems Analysts’, I know a thing or two about systems. But what the world has turned into today is a far cry from the mission of the systems I built back in the early days. In this episode I want to explore when systems, automation, AI, robotics, etc. goes horribly wrong, and how it can hurt rather than helps humanity and what you can do to be unconstrained by them.

Click on the player above to listen to the episode or download it.  You can subscribe to the RSS Feed here.

Show Notes

Let’s face it – most of the world’s problems today, at least the ones that you and I experience, are due to systems not serving us.   The health care system, the education system, the financial system, the food system, the energy system, the government system…. We use the term “system” with abandon, and yet we forget that things never used to be that way.  It wasn’t that things in the past, before the age of the Internet, the silicon revolution, etc. were not without their issues.  But it was harder to affect humanity en mass when our dependence on devices that are part of a “system” cannot be used against us.

First, let’s understand the human race.  

Apex predator history
Humans as the “tool maker”
Our tools define our strength as a species

Everything that makes us special is due to the tools that we invented that raise us up the food chain.

What happens when we are at the top of the pyramid?
We’ve conquered all other species
We begin to look beyond our own planet to conquer more with our systems
It is because of our ability to invent ourselves a solution to leave our own atmosphere that we can begin to export our own features & benefits, along with our flaws to the rest of the universe.

Despite us being on the path towards that, it will take quite some time
Travel takes a long amount of time to get from A to B
Then when you get to the unknown place, you don’t have all the tools with you to adapt

So meanwhile, we look inward
We attempt to conquer our own species with our tools & systems
That’s about where we are today in our evolution
We have created a sense of expectation now that is for automated systems to do all that we would normally do manually ourselves

A brief history of systems in the past 40 years
1.    The invention of affordable personal computers in the late 1970s
2.    The target was to find manual tasks that were repeatable, and automate – word processing, spreadsheets, basic databases,
3.    Then by combining lots of smaller decentralized computers into a “network” we could advance this
4.    In the 1990s, the embracement of a global network standard (the Internet) meant that every personal computer could be connected to a global network
5.    The barriers of time & language started to break down
6.    It first started with information exchange
7.    It then turned to commerce
8.    It then turned to socialization
9.    Now it has turned to autonomous systems that do all we need, so we don’t even remember how to do those things manually
10.    We forget phone numbers, we even forget addresses.  Google Maps will get us there.

Even our tools can be replaced with autonomous systems – self driving cars, manufacturing robots, etc.

Knowledge and strategic reaction is no longer a “human” thing.  Now automated trading platforms, bots and AI based predictive systems abound

Money is no longer made based on the toil of someone’s labor, but based on the manipulation of those that have it, to give it to those that don’t.

Democratization of the systems is beginning, but with the fight against the larger organizations that have controlled the playing field.  It takes an enormous amount of capital investment to build large scale systems, data centers, large networks, etc. and so the power has consolidated to 5 or so large technology corporations.

They control the platform – if they don’t like what you say, or they can’t monetize it for their shareholders, you can’t say it.  If you create a great “thing” in the digital world, they reserve the right to steal it from you and create their own version of it.

The humans conquer the human

The danger, however, is that if we build systems in our own image – particularly systems that mimic physical characteristics, whether that be the look of or the actions of, a human, we create a synthesization of ourselves.  We become less relevant, and less impactful.

This is the concept of the singularity principle of Ray Kurzweil, and it is reflected psychologically with the popularity of movies such as “The Matrix”, “Minority Report”, “Blade Runner”, etc. or TV shows like “Black Mirror”

We fear what we might create, rather than what we might become.

The systems we build that manifest in ways that constrain us as humans will become the eventual end of humanity.  And we do this willingly because of one human flaw – laziness.

By giving up our control to “the system” in whatever manner we do this, we willingly accelerate the end goal.

So what can you do to avoid the downside of this?

I talk about being Unconstrained.  This is something we must recognize affects all facets of our lives.  Living the best life that a human can live requires us all to partake of the things that make us happy and most alive.

Anything that doesn’t positively enhance these things, should be rejected.

And anything that threatens those things, should be called out and avoided.

But what happens when the very systems that we have created to handle volume, etc. no longer serve us?

Consider the medical system - * talk to why it doesn’t work as a “system” – the difference between “standard” procedures and “bespoke” procedures.  Why bespoke or custom is negative to the medical system.

Consider the food system – talk about McDonalds being celebrated by creating the very same burger anywhere in the world, but in the process enhancing obesity and poor health because of it.

Consider the legal system – our laws that are codified by legislators define intended behavior, but it is those that understand the systems best that can derive the most from them.

Consider education – talk about how the educational system is designed to spit out pre-programmed zombie humans that can be better controlled by the systems they will enter into.

Consider finance – talk about how one system is being threatened by another – the rise of Reddit and democratization of the casino of Wall Street Bets and Hedge Funds.  Bitcoin as a trading thing which serves informational systems through blockchains that allow us to further accelerate the autonomous economy.

Consider immigration system – talk about the restrictions of travel based on you being a known commodity in a world where govts collude together around shared systemic goals.

Above all of this going on, and the day to day challenges we all have to live in these systems, systems have cracks.  And the older a system is, the more likely the fixing of one crack creates 10 others.  Think of the tax system as an example of this.

Eventually systems die under the weight of themselves.  This is proven.  And with that, the cracks of a system are further exposed.  This is perfectly demonstrated with the Gamestop fiasco.  Eventually those cracks will be filled but in the process of doing this, others will open up.

Is it wrong to hack the system?

No.  In fact, it is in your best interest to do this.  Because if you want to live in a Big Brother world that is foretold in folklore, not looking for ways to hack the system is the fastest path towards total constraint.

We should celebrate hackers.  In the hacking community, they denote the difference between a hacker and a criminal.   A hacker is no different to a lawyer.  They study & learn a system, looking for weaknesses and cracks and then legally exploit those cracks.  This is exactly that the Reddit community have done, but they have used the power of organization as a weapon against systems they do not agree with.

It is kinda like someone who goes into a casino with the skill of “counting cards”.  They can make a system work in their favor.  Of course the architects of the system designed to ensure that the house always wins will be looking out for them, turfing them out of the casino and banning them for life, etc.   Yet we, as a society, celebrate them because they were smart to beat the bad guys at their own game.

Yet we celebrate the bad guys by going into the casino like hypnotized zombies.

Those that expose a system and its weaknesses and flaws become the enemy of those that create the system

This is why Edward Snowden had to exile in Russia.  This is why Julian Assange is locked up in a penitentiary in the UK.  It is why Ross Ulbricht is facing a 175 year prison term for creating a web site.

They threatened the builders of the systems by exposing the weakness in the system.  But to ensure that there isn’t mass uprising to support them, the creators of the very same systems have used propaganda & spin to label them as criminals rather than as “hackers”.

If you want to be constrained, the choice is going to be very simple

You must be a hacker.  There is no alternative.  You cannot do what the herd does.  You have to be a contrarian, because the system sees you coming.  The architects of the system have created a three moves ahead game here, and you are the uniquely numbered unit that they are manipulated through their maze.  You think you have freedom – you have no freedom when your options are pre-ordained by the architects.

You think you can choose A or B, Right or Left, Red or Blue, etc.  Yet we all know that there are unlimited numbers of options, colors, directions but we are hypnotized to think there are just two.  That’s because we are raised with the concept of 1 on 1 fighting.  One winner, one loser.   Yet the truth is that what benefits you entirely is to not spectate in that caged match at all, and look for ways to leave the system entirely.

That’s obviously much harder than it sounds, but the biggest obstacle in doing this is YOU.

You have to change your thinking and not be hypnotized.  You have to realize that you must question everything.  If someone gives you 5 options, you can debate until the end of time as to which one is the best.  But what if they were not telling you that there were actually 50 or 500 options.  But you see, the system needs a predictable variable to enter the formula if the formula itself is to work.  The outcome of the formula is already pre-determined to benefit the architect.

What breaks this is your willingness to realize that all options presented to you are not ALL.  You don’t have to embrace the social mantra because that is what is presented.  You don’t have to do what they want you to do, because by doing that you enter their maze and you can’t get out.

Example – the goal of bankers to extract interest for no effort from every human until the day they die.  To force humans into labor camps (jobs) in order to extract money from their labor pool.  

If you don’t enter the maze, you won’t be constrained by it.

We must recognize systems and call them out

We all have eyes and ears and observations of things in the world that we can share.  No one person has the answer.  But if we can all help our family, friends, colleagues, etc. realize that they too do not have to embrace the standard practices that are the variables of a pre-defined system, and that they can learn to “hack” the system, and that hacking is good and wholesome, and obviously beneficial, then we can have a chance fighting back against the architects of the systems that we find ourselves constrained in.


Add Comments
These cookies allow us measure how visitors use our website, which pages are popular, and what our traffic sources are. This helps us improve how our website works and make it easier for all visitors to find what they are looking for. The information is aggregated and anonymous, and cannot be used to identify you. If you do not allow these cookies, we will be unable to use your visits to our website to help make improvements.