I'm constantly amazed at the ability of technicians and engineers to invent things they think will be beneficial to humanity, that I cannot help but look at with horror. I suppose I've become conditioned by the transhumanist movement, which I view primarily as an anti-human movement. The fundamental premise of it, I suppose, is that "we" - meaning us humans - need improvement, and the technocrats and social engineers are just the people to do it. If that gives you comfort, then we part company right here and now, because to me, that's rather like turning all future human evolution over to George Soros.
The litany of "trans"(anti-)humanist things that give me horror is rather long, and I suspect most regular readers here already know what they are. Uploading people's memories into computers like we're the Borg from Star Trek, or cyber-implants so we can communicate "telepathically" with our smart meters, smart appliances, or each other - all of this appears monstrous to me; it would be rather like being perpetually plugged into Ma Bell back in the bad old days of AT&T, with a constant dialogue with Lilly Tomlin's infamous caricature of a Ma Bell telephone operator, "Ernestine." Add to this Apple's recent roll out of "social credits" - i.e., Pavlovian awards for "correct" behavior, and holding "correct" opinions - and you get the idea.
Shining City on a Hill? I don't think so. More like the bewitching beckoning false light of a demon in disguise. It isn't manifest destiny, it's damnation.
If those seem like strong words, then consider this article shared by Mr. M.H.:
Yes, they've now figured out how to spray on antennae:
The promise of wearables, functional fabrics, the Internet of Things, and their "next-generation" technological cohort seems tantalizingly within reach. But researchers in the field will tell you a prime reason for their delayed "arrival" is the problem of seamlessly integrating connection technology - namely, antennas - with shape-shifting and flexible "things."
But a breakthrough by researchers in Drexel's College of Engineering, could now make installing an antenna as easy as applying some bug spray.
In research recently published in Science Advances, the group reports on a method for spraying invisibly thin antennas, made from a type of two-dimensional, metallic material called MXene, that perform as well as those being used in mobile devices, wireless routers and portable transducers.
Isn't that wonderful? They figured out how to keep you totally connected, 24/7, with flexible spray-on antennae in your clothes.
Now, stop for a moment, and imagine the very next step. Someone might, of course, decide that one's ability to take off one's clothes might not be that 24/7 full spectrum dominance that the Shining City on a Hill wants to have. Now, imagine taking the next step; imagine making this into a spray on skin, your permanent cladding.
Oh, wait, they already have thought of that:
The group initially tested the spray-on application of the antenna ink on a rough substrate - cellulose paper - and a smooth one - polyethylene terephthalate sheets - the next step for their work will be looking at the best ways to apply it to a wide variety of surfaces from glass to yarn and skin.
Imagine, using someone's own skin to enclose them in a perpetual prison of "interconnectivity". We all know that some such euphemism will be used to "sell" the idea. We can all predict the other selling point: imagine being able to monitor someone's medical condition from home. "Won't that be wonderful? Think of the lives that will be saved."And of course, the idea of "spray on" antennae will eventually become a quest for a more permanent "installation."
And of course, the unspoken text here is probably the most important bit: antennae, as envisioned by the article, are transmitters. If you think you have no privacy now, just remember what I said in Microcosm and Medium, organisms are transmitters, and as such, the National Security Agency believes that those signals are fair game for "sigint", signals intelligence. And don't forget those electroencephalographic dictionaries that began to be composed in the 1970s.
But the other problem is, of course, that those antennae can be receivers, too. Think Ernestine. Think Ma Bell. Think the Borg. "Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated."
I'm reminded of something else. These developments were predicted by science fiction writers decades ago. What is intriguing to contemplate is that most - not all - of them viewed those developments with cynicism and skepticism. Asimov formulated the three laws of robotics; The Federation fights the Borg. Perhaps it's time to heed their warnings.
See you on the flip side...