Monthly Archives: May, 2007

Homeland Security Goes Sci-Fi

By way of oldephartteintraining:

SF writers advise on Homeland Security

The Homeland Security Department has called up their special team of science fiction authors, a group called Sigma, to help them imagine various terror scenarios and ways to fight the “war” on terror. Sigma members Jerry Pournelle, Arlan Andrews, greg Bear, Larry Niven, and Sage Walker, all attended a Homeland Security conference in Washington this month about science and technology. Andrews formed the group fifteen years ago and apparently the last time they met was to envision a post-nuclear age. From USA Today:

The group’s motto is “Science Fiction in the National Interest.” To join the group, Andrews says, you have to have at least one technical doctorate degree.

“We’re well-qualified nuts,” says Jerry Pournelle, co-author of the best sellers Footfall and Lucifer’s Hammer and dozens of other books.

Pournelle and others say that science-fiction writers have spent their lives studying the kinds of technologies and scenarios Homeland Security officials have been tackling since the department began operating in 2003.

“We talk to a lot of strange people and read a lot of weird things,” Bear says.

I’m surprised this hasn’t happened before now. One of the findings of the 9/11 Commission (pablum for the masses) was that intelligence agencies had “…a lack of imagination…” about “connecting the dots”.

The main beef about the Feds was that the “beaurocracy” always slowed information sharing, had lack of vision and put turf wars ahead of everything else. The crew Comrade Chertoff is gathering together aren’t slouches when it come to imagination, especially Pournelle and Niven. They are libertarian militarists in the finest tradition of SF great Robert Heinlein, a graduate of Annapolis. Jerry Pournelle in fact is a Korean War veteran and holds advanced degrees in statistics and engineering (bio). Larry Niven (bio) has collaberated with Pournelle on many novels that have a military flavor, including one of my favorites, The Mote In God’s Eye.

My question is, ‘Will this group (dubbed Sigma) answer to the actual beaurocratic government officer (Chertoff), or to some secret government no-bid contractor?

Not that it would make any difference at this stage of the game anyway.

 

HIV/AIDS, Roswell and the NWO

I came across an interesting piece of info this morning about the HIV/AIDS virus I’m sure someone must’ve theorized earlier, the possibility that the AIDS virus is of extraterrestrial origin. But news of the AIDS epidemic has died down over the past few years. Why is that? I myself didn’t think to pose the question until I read this:

Are you aware that the HIV/AIDS virus is not of an earthly origin? It was provided by an alien presence after the Roswell incident in 1947. They also provided the vaccine/cure for this disease. This disease was unleashed on the world in 1971, in the Panama Canal area, by a covert/shadow government that wanted to drastically reduce the world population. The WTC was the headquarters of this government, that’s why it was destroyed. The Pentagon had to be attacked to destroy evidence that this covert/shadow government was financed with the $2.3 trillion in missing funds Sec. Rumsfeld spoke of on Sept. 10, 2001 and that US servicemen were used as carriers of this disease> I enlisted in the USAF in 71, I cannot get a copy of my military immunization/vaccination records. I was stationed at Howard AFB C.Z. in 71.

I am almost certain that somebody must have surely asked the question about alien origins for diseases before. In fact, the proposal that Earth is being seeded periodically by alien life through meteors or comets isn’t a “tinfoil” idea at all, and that life on Earth is extraterrestrial in origin. And the NWO isn’t adverse to the idea of using what ever there is at hand to help them cement their control over the planet, native or non-native weapons of mass destruction do the job just as good.

So the idea that diseases created from biological material from cometary “DNA” to be used in population control, or for war isn’t far-fetched at all and a movie from 1971 proposed that very thing. Remember The Andromeda Strain?

Did Aliens Give Us AIDS?

NWO Weapons of Control

One of the purposes of this blog is to put forward the idea that reality is not all that we hear, see, taste, smell and feel. I pose a lot of themes that require the reader to make intuitive leaps of logic, free thought and imagination. One of these themes is the possibility that the governments of the world are not in of themselves sovereign anymore, but that they are all being controlled by forces that have been put into place over a course of two hundred years. This force is known as the NWO, or New World Order. One of the many tools the NWO has at it’s disposal is banking. Another in the military industrial complex. Another is the use of “social engineering”:

It is patently impossible to discuss social engineering or the automation of a society, i.e., the engineering of social automation systems (silent weapons) on a national or worldwide scale without implying extensive objectives of social control and destruction of human life, i.e., slavery and genocide.

This manual is in itself an analog declaration of intent. Such a writing must be secured from public scrutiny. Otherwise, it might be recognized as a technically formal declaration of domestic war. Furthermore, whenever any person or group of persons in a position of great power and without full knowledge and consent of the public, uses such knowledge and methodologies for economic conquest – it must be understood that a state of domestic warfare exists between said person or group of persons and the public.

The solution of today’s problems requires an approach which is ruthlessly candid, with no agonizing over religious, moral or cultural values.

You have qualified for this project because of your ability to look at human society with cold objectivity, and yet analyze and discuss your observations and conclusions with others of similar intellectual capacity without the loss of discretion or humility. Such virtues are exercised in your own best interest. Do not deviate from them.

The way this manual was “found” I think is suspect, but when you think about anything concerning the NWO, could it have happened any other way?

Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars

Shades of Oceana

Oceana, the mythical mega-nation in Orwell/Blair’s 1984 is the result of the unification of the North American, South American and Australian continents with the United Kingdom. The UK in this instance is the center of the story and is thusly named Airstrip One. The name of the other part of Oceana eludes me for the moment, but this tidbit from Chimes of Freedom via oldepharteintraining gives us pause for concern:

In an inexorable build-up of propaganda and military encirclement prior to a first strike attack on Iran, the Bush junta, along with its London quislings, have switched their anti-Iranian propaganda from nuclear issues to accuse the Iranian government of “meddling” in Iraq and supplying Iraqi guerillas weapons with which to fight the US and British occupying troops.

The evidence for such allegations was always sketchy and reminiscent of the concocted lies about Yellowcake Uranium and WMDs, used by Bush and Blair to drag their people into a genocidal war crime against a much weaker country.

Now, an independent research organization, the British American Security Information Council, has produced its own report on the alleged involvement of Iran in Iraq.

“Whatever the true extent and nature of Iranian military action in Iraq,” the report concludes, “few independent analysts believe Tehran is playing a decisive role in the sectarian warfare and insurgency.”

Instead, the report suggests that “other, more strategic motives also lie behind the considerable US political energy being expended on highlighting the Iranian role in Iraq. Iran may present a useful scapegoat to divert the blame for failures in Iraq away from the occupying powers.”

“Recent allegations must also be considered in the context of the current crisis surrounding Iran’s nuclear programme. If Tehran can be cast as a source ofregional instability in the eyes of the international community, then the US administration’s hand will be strengthened as it seeks support for stronger measures to oppose Iranian nuclear ambitions.”

“In particular, should the administration decide to embark on a military strike – an option which it says is still ‘on the table’ – then garnering public and political support in advance would be vital. Without it, the global unpopularity for military action would likely greatly exceed the opposition to the invasion of Iraq.”

Tony Blair leaves the office of Prime Minister this summer, his successor intimates that his foreign policy will be more “Eurocentric” than Blair’s. Will this make a difference in present Anglo-Saxon expansionist policies? Or will Mr. Brown become a “poodle” to Mr. Bush and his successor?

So far Mr. Orwell (Eric Blair) has been very prescient about a US/UK alliance, if off by 24 years.

I bet he was an Oracle of Delphi in a previous life!

Future War Now

There have been many articles written in the past few years regarding cyberwarfare/terrorism; attacks on government websites using web-bots (takes over the computer without the user’s knowledge), viruses, trojans and worms of various lethality. Not only government computers are vulnerable, banking institutions and other corporations are fair game. As I’ve said before, ingenious hackers will always stay one step ahead of totalitarian regimes and ruthless global concerns.

But the following is the first example I’ve seen of one sovereign government attacking another using cybertechnology:

Estonia’s computer systems are being bombarded by a three-week wave of cyber-attacks, the first assault of its kind on a nation state.

Computer hackers have disabled the websites of government ministries, political parties, newspapers and banks, causing chaos in the small Baltic state.

Nato has now dispatched its top cyber-terrorism experts to investigate and help the Estonians strengthen their electronic defences.

“This is an operational security issue, something we’re taking very seriously,” said an official at Nato headquarters.

It comes as Estonia and Russia are embroiled in their worst dispute since the collapse of the Soviet Union, prompted by the Estonians’ removal of the Bronze Soldier Soviet war memorial in central Tallinn last month.

Alarm over the scale of the cyber-warfare is to be raised tomorrow at a summit between Russian and European leaders on the Volga.

EU and Nato officials will be careful not to point the finger at Russia directly, although if it could be proved it would be the first known case of one state targeting another by cyber-warfare.

One must also remember that nuclear arsenals are controlled by computer networks and must be hardened against cyber-attacks by hackers, terrorists and other governments. Nervous yet?

Russia ‘launches cyberwar’ on Estonia

Weekly Sci-Fi Review

As always, I try to bring in posts that are contemperary and classic for ‘Net purusal. Classic hard sci-fi is hard to come by now-a-days that hasn’t already been hashed and rehashed again, but Allen Steele’s Spindrift is a refreshing hard science sci-fi tale because Steele’s use of the tech is so believable according to reviewer Lois H. Gresh:

Spindrift is clearly in the domain of classic hard science fiction. Abundant details about ships and shuttles fill its pages. The technical descriptions of Spindrift are so clear that one wonders if Steele hired alien engineers to construct it for him. It is assumed that readers already know that telomerase manipulation could extend life; that readers are familiar with tropes such as hyperspace travel and biostatis; and that they have heard of astrobiology. While the human characters have love affairs—straight as well as gay—the romance is primarily offstage. But always center stage is the science.

Spindrift is clearly a non-Singularity novel which clearly fits in with one of Vernor Vinge’s scenarios without a technological Singularity.

I have read some of Steele’s Coyote trilogy and the series stands out as a political statement for the state of the US condition now as it extrapolates 70 years into the future. Also the human story is excellent. In short, I recommend Spindrift due to my past experience reading Allen Steele.

Modern sci-fi author/college professor Cory Doctorow is my kind of kook and a person I would aspire to be if I had to start life over again. Not only is he a Singularity writer, but he does it in such a way that you would’ve thought you were reading tomorrow’s newspaper. On his website Doctorow has everything you could want concerning sci-fi, tech links, bio, news, articles, pretty much all of the standard fare, but most of all, you can download free short stories from his latest anthology Overclocked.

I love it when the younger authors born in the Information Age post downloadable stories on their sites. It helps introduce the authors to an audience that may just happen to buy a novel when one comes out, to hell with the copyright bullsh*t. And this guy even has podcasts of his stories!

Jerry Pournelle is another of my regular classic authors I have read in years gone by. His stories were militaristic in nature and probably wouldn’t be too popular right now, but if a person looked past that, his characters he developed were three dimensional, not cardboard cutouts.

The first story I read was King David’s Spaceship, only when I read it, it was serialized in  Analog Science Fiction/Fact as “A Spaceship For The King”. The story was one of the first in a line of stories set in a future history called the  CoDominium Series. Pournelle reminds me of Robert Heinlein in a way because of his love of future military, but that doesn’t diminish his talent. But truth to tell, I would find some of these stories a bit “juvenile” now since my interests are in other areas of science and fiction.

Here’s the Amazon.com link to purchase King David’s Spaceship and other Pournelle stories: http://www.amazon.com/King-Davids-Spaceship-Jerry-Pournelle/dp/B000ERTSSO/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-3968640-0844943?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1180209576&sr=1-1

And now it’s time for me to kick back and watch the Phillies and Braves game since the Yanks are getting rained out. Ciao.

Non-Singularity

It’s 2045 and nerds in old-folks homes are wandering around, scratching their heads, and asking plaintively, “But … but, where’s the Singularity?” Science fiction writer Vernor Vinge–who originated the concept of the technological Singularity–doesn’t think that will happen, but he explores three alternate scenarios, along with our “best hope for long-term survival”–self-sufficient, off-Earth settlements.

Ever since is I started the journey down the road of transhumanism, I took for granted that the Technological Singularity as a matter of fact. We see the signs now, faster computer speeds, smaller chips, nanotechnology starting to take off and so on. But what if the Singularity doesn’t happen? What would cause it’s failure? War would for example, biological and/or nuclear. Environmental disasters is another good one (global warming, ice age in Northern Hemisphere) and asteroid strikes that are planet killers are a sure show-stopper.

Mathmetician and science-fiction author Vernor Vinge is the modern coiner of the term ‘Singularity’ as it pertains to life changing and evolutionary possibilities for mankind. The following is part of a lecture he gives and tries to answer the question; “What if the Singularity doesn’t Happen?”

Given the title of my talk, I should define and briefly discuss what I mean by the Technological Singularity:

It seems plausible that with technology we can, in the fairly near future, create (or become) creatures who surpass humans in every intellectual and creative dimension. Events beyond this event—call it the Technological Singularity—are as unimaginable to us as opera is to a flatworm.

The preceding sentence, almost by definition, makes long-term thinking an impractical thing in a Singularity future.

However, maybe the Singularity won’t happen, in which case planning beyond the next fifty years could have great practical importance. In any case, a good science-fiction writer (or a good scenario planner) should always be considering alternative outcomes.

I should add that the alternatives I discuss tonight also assume that faster-than-light space travel is never invented!

Important note for those surfing this talk out of context 🙂 I still regard the Singularity as the most likely non-catastrophic outcome for our near future.

To read the rest, it’s here.

Climbing Mount Improbable

From Transumanar:

To read the rest of this fascinating article, click on the above link, good stuff!

From the Inquisition placing Gallileo under house arrest, to the Scopes Monkey Trial, there have been examples throughout history of dogma standing in the way of scientific knowledge. Transhumanists know only too well the frustration that must have been felt by those individuals whose ideas have been attacked on the basis of contradicting entrenched dogma. It also seems that, where transhumanism is concerned, fundamentalism has a certain advantage over its predecessors. I mean, if you hold the belief that our planetary system has the Earth at its centre, and not the sun, the objective truth will ultimately be determined, since we are talking about an outcome of physical laws laid down tens of billions of years before human beings existed. Fundamentalists could deny the objective truth, but could not actually rewrite the physical laws of nature and inevitably their folly was exposed. But transhumanism is somewhat different. It IS in our control, we DO have an active influence in the direction technology heads. This was the take-home message of Bill McKibben’s book ‘Enough’. Literally, that society could, if enough people wish it, decide that we need not guide technology down roads that lead to a fundamental redesign of the human species.

While McKibben wrote his book, and while I read it, there were several companies and organizations explicitly working on technologies that will usher in the radical future. As well as providing the research and development required to realise transhumanist dreams, I believe they serve the purpose of giving false hopes to those groups who stand opposed to these goals.

This sense of security comes in two forms. Firstly, the difference between what would be required to realise nanotechnology, negligible senescence and strong AI, and what represents today’s state-of-the-art…well the gap seems so huge it is foolish to believe such breakthroughs can happen in a lifetime. So it seems! Secondly, when it seems a breakthrough is likely, the opponents no doubt think they can prevent it. All they need do is get the public on their side and lobby for the closure of these organizations, and we will all go back to life As It Was Meant To Be (copyright, Leon Kass).

I did say these were false hopes, and the reason I believe this is so is because I see the radical future emerging, not so much because of a few institutions explicitly working on it, but because it is the inevitable outcome of cumulative and convergent knowledge. D’you remember how Velociraptors hunted in ‘Jurrassic Park’? One distracting its prey’s attention while more sneaked up on it from behind? That is what companies explicitly working on GRIN technologies are like. They direct the attention of luddite groups, get them focused on one narrow area, and while they are distracted technology as a whole can sneak up.

Now, I do not believe that this is an intentional strategy of these organizations. It is just that they give the impression that nanotech etc is the pre-determined goal of centralized institutions. But the majority of inventors, companies and organizations have no interest on explicitly realising transhumanist goals. They only wish to research and impliment sensible, reasonable upgrades to existing tools and services. It is this ongoing effort, the desire to provide better medicine, more efficient manufacturing, software a bit smarter than last generation’s, that the goals of transhumanism will actually arise from. Keep your eye fixed on the likes of Zyvex, or the Singularity Institute, and you are probably going to miss the direction from which GRIN tech really comes!

But when it does seem that breakthroughs are near, a public scared by such extreme tech will give weight to Luddite calls for relinquishment, right? Actually, I think a propper consideration of ‘cumulative’ knowledge shows the answer to be ‘no’. Cummulative knowledge is most eloquently explained by Richard Dawkins as ‘climbing Mount Improbable’. In his own words, ‘one side of the mountain is a sheer cliff, impossible to climb, but the other side is a gentle slope to the summit. On the summit sits a complex device’.

Chances are I’m going to be flamed for this post, from people who believe in God, and people claiming that I’m playing both sides of the fence. That’s okay, because I’m stating issues as I see them.

I explained when I opened this blog why I consider myself a transhuman, because modern technology saved my life and improved the quality of it. And I believe, barring a man-made crisis, that technology will improve exponentially to a point where there will be a Singularity, where one cannot predict the outcome of the technology sufficiently to get a handle on things. An example would be the invention of a true self-aware computer, or any kind of artificial intelligence that utilized quantum computing and quantum tunnelling. The machine would be able to “talk” to itself forward and backward in time, thus enabling itself to improve itself to the point where it could become “godlike”. And this could take place in a matter of minutes, or even seconds once the creature awakened. One would only have to be familiar with Moore’s Law to see that this isn’t just fantasy. Another example would be a human being augmented with AI gear, such as an Alzheimer’s patient, hooked to the Internet, to enhance the person’s memory. I could go on. So the ability to improve humanity to the point where we don’t require physical bodies any longer and become “god-like” is not beyond the weird or tinfoil. Now the question is, “Will the NWO suppress the technology and keep it for themselves?” Sure they can attempt to. But every time an authoritarian regime tries to attain complete control of things like the Internet, some smart hacker kid in his/her basement ruins things for them. My friends who believe in God say that Lucifer is creating the lie of science and that none of this will happen. And becoming “god-like” is the ultimate blasphemy against the Lord, and that is why Lucifer was cast out. I ask, “If science and its ultimate quest without God is evil, why is the Universe so huge and immense?” It would seem to be a total waste of space if you ask me. A friend of mine told me that our measuring instruments aren’t accurate and that our observations could be an illusion. Maybe. But I trust our observations of the Universe so far, I don’t have a reason to doubt them, yet. My atheist friends would say I’m a closet religionist and that science doesn’t have any reason to support the possibility of God, or god-like beings. But as the posted article says, “will science reveal the answer? Or maybe philosophy? Perhaps theology? Or should we conjecture that these are all manifestations of a grander overarching conceptual framework that we currently cannot comprehend, but may come to appreciate as we ascend to a state that might appropriately be defined as ‘God’

Extropia DaSilva is a “transhumanist avatar”, a ‘Fascinating and Mysterious Virtual Personality’, and is the author of this article.

Interview with Dr. Stanton Friedman

From UFO.Whipnet.org:

This is the first in a special series of Raiders News Network interviews focusing on the 60th Anniversary of the 1947 Roswell, New Mexico, UFO Incident.

HORN: Stanton, Roswell is the pre-eminent story of Ufology. Some say whatever occurred near Roswell, NM, in July 1947 will never be known. Others like you disagree on some levels. You and Bill Moore brought this story to light many years ago. This is the most appropriate place to start this series, so please tell us how that happened.

STAN: I first heard of Roswell in the early 1970s from a woman named Lydia Sleppy whose son was a forest ranger in California. He had had a good sighting. My associate (Bobbi Ann Slate Gironda , long deceased) and I spoke with him and he suggested we talk to his mother who had had a good sighting near Albuquerque. We did speak to her and after she told us about the sighting, she mentioned that when she had been working at an Albuquerque Radio Station in the late 1940s, she was asked to type the story coming in from a broadcaster at their Roswell affiliate station for a newswire. He dictated how a flying saucer had been recovered and was being sent to Wright Field. Part way through the story the bell went off on the machine she was using to put the story on the news wire. The FBI instructed her not to continue the transmission. She remembered the names of some of the people and I located several, but came to a dead end. I should stress that New Mexico was a hotbed of classified Research and Development activities and certainly it was expected that there would be spies and counter intelligence concerns.

The Roswell Incident put the possibility of alien life into the mainstream. Alot of people believe the governments of the world are already in contact with alien super-intelligences and have been since the Eisenhower Administration. Some even speculate that Eisenhower had to work out terms of a surrender of the nation and/or planet because the aliens threatened to destroy us before humans could take our weapons and our violence into the wider galaxy and becoming a potential threat. Thus the plethora of UFO sightings, tales of abductions, mutilations and seeing aliens like the Grays, tall White Humanoids and Reptilian-like creatures at top secret facilities since that time.

Unlike most UFO researchers, who are usually out of work journalists, Friedman is an actual nuclear physicist and rocket scientist, so he has plenty of street cred. He has lectured about UFOs since 1967 and has traveled all over the continent. Read his bio here.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Will we ever find out if this stuff is real or not? Great Spirit, God, Buddha and Mohammad only knows if I’ll live long enough for it to be resolved. It would be nice.

Things Guaranteed To Make You Go, Huh?

I was trolling around the ‘tubes trying to figure out something different to post today and I ran across this site: Odd Facts You Never Knew. They have several categories; crazy crimes, insane animals, riddles, misc., etc. The following is part of their Weird Laws section:

Pacific Grove, California- It causes a misdemeanor if you kill or threaten a butterfly Ventura County, California- Cats or dogs can’t have sex without a permit.

Sarasota, Florida- It is illegal to wear swimwear while singing a public place.

Chicago, Illinois- A hat pin is considered a concealed weapon.

Michigan- It is illegal for a woman to cut her hair without her husband’s consent.

Minnesota- It is illegal to mock skunks.

Brainerd, Minnesota- Every man must grow a beard

Ohio- It is illegal to sell beer while wearing a Santa Claus suit, even if you are a dog.

Seattle, Washington- It is illegal to sell lollipops. Suckers are fine.

Virginia- All bathtubs must be outside, not in the house.

Toronto, Canada- It is illegal to ride a streetcar on Sunday after eating garlic.

Cleveland, Ohio- It is illegal to capture mice without a hunting license.

Arizona- It is illegal to hunt camels.

Kentucky- It is illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your pocket.

Louisana- It is illegal to rob a bank, and then shoot the teller with a water pistol.

Indiana- It is prohibited to bathe in the winter.

Kentucky- You must take a bath at least once a year.

Alaska- It is illegal to look at a moose from a flying vehicle.

Atlanta, Georgia- is illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or street lamp.

Idaho- It is forbidden by law for one citizen to give another citizen a box of candy that weighs more than 50 pounds.

New York State- It is illegal to shoot a rabbit from a trolley car.

Somalia, Africa- It is illegal to carry old gum on the tip of you nose.

New Jersey- It is illegal to slurp soup.

Arkansas- A man is allowed to beat his wife, but no more than once a month.

Chicago, Illinois- It is illegal for a woman that weighs 200 pounds to ride horses in shorts.

Miami, Florida- It is illegal for a man to wear a strapless gown.

Mesquite, Texas- It is illegal for children to have unusual haircuts.

Connecticut- It is illegal to walk across the street on your hands.

Avignon, France- It is illegal for a flying saucer to land in the city.

North Carolina- You cannot sell cotton lint or cotton seed at night.

New York- It is illegal to do anything against the law.

Hartford, Connecticut- It is illegal to plant a tree in the street.

Christiansburg, Virginia- It is illegal to spit.

Provincetown, Massachusetts- it’s illegal to sell suntan oil until after noon on Sunday.

San Fransisco- It is illegal to beat a rug in front of your house.

I have always been fascinated by things that make you go huh, what the f*ck or just plain speechless scratching your noggin. Of course we live that way on a daily basis with the neocon cluster-f*ck that’s half-assed running things now, but you get the meaning. Make sure you click on the link above and read the second part of the list, especially the last one. I wonder if that’s an impeachable offense?