Hard disks and optical drives store gigabits of digital data at the press of a button. But those technologies—like the magnetic tapes and floppy drives before them—are apt to become antiquated and unreadable when they are overtaken by new technology. Now, researchers have come up with a way to electronically write data into the DNA of living bacteria, a storage option unlikely to go obsolete any time soon.
“This is a really nice step” that might one day spur commercial development, says Seth Shipman, a bioengineer at the Gladstone Institutes and the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the new work. He notes, however, that real-world applications are a long way off.
DNA is attractive for data storage for several reasons. First, it is more than 1000 times as dense as the most compact hard drives, enabling it to store the equivalent of 10 full-length digital movies within the volume of a grain of salt. And because DNA is central to biology, the technologies to read and write it are expected to become cheaper and more powerful with time.
‘This Week’ With Mary + Polly: You Can’t Sweep Deaths Under the Rug + Free Pot With Your COVID Shot? + More
In “This Week” with Mary Holland, Children’s Health Defense vice chair and general counsel, and Polly Tommey, co-producer of “Vaxxed,” Mary and Polly discuss the growing reports of injuries and deaths from COVID vaccines … and more.
Some “fantastic” news: Massachusetts rescinded its flu vaccine mandate. “This is the power of the courts.”
More exciting news: A group of scientists convinced the National Institutes of Health to no longer recommend against the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID. “It’s very exciting that this cheap, effective treatment is no longer being withheld from patients.”
A new peer-reviewed study from Stanford University says there’s no benefit to COVID lockdowns. “There are lawsuits against these in virtually every state.”
Despite a big push to get nursing home workers to get the COVID vaccine, some are pushing back. A Wisconsin nursing home said it will lay off employees who refuse the vaccine. “We believe any attempt for an employer to mandate a vaccine that hasn’t been licensed by the FDA is illegal. Under federal and state law, no one can be forced to participate in this experiment.”
The Telegraph reported that Germany’s eastern state of Saxony says it could put people who violate COVID quarantine rules in detention centers. “Human rights lawyers say this won’t fly, but we have to be very concerned about these detention centers.”
Forbes reported this week that a group calling itself “Joints for Jabs” is offering free marijuana as an incentive to get the COVID vaccine. “What I find most disturbing about this article is this quote: ‘If you believe in the science that supports medical cannabis, you should believe the science that supports the efficacy of the vaccine.’ Science isn’t something you ‘believe,’ it’s something that’s proven.”
If you see something disturbing, as in evidence of “quarantine camps” or attempts to bully people into getting the vaccine, or if you or someone you know experiences an adverse reaction, please contact CHD@childrenshealth.org. “These messages don’t go into a black hole, we react to all of them.”
Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is implementing many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.
Recently Sasha Stone hosted a 2 hour live stream event called “Focus on Fauci.” Participating in the event were Dr. Rocco Galati, Dr. David Martin, Dr. Judy Mikovits, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Dr. Martin has made tidal waves in the Alternative Media since this event, by explaining that the experimental mRNA COVID vaccines are not even vaccines, and legally cannot be called “vaccines,” because they are really medical devices.
Dr. Martin should be familiar to readers of Health Impact News (as are the other participants), as he was the featured scientist in filmmaker Mikki Willis’ excellent production: Plandemic. He exposed, for example, how the U.S. Government has owned patents on coronaviruses since the 1990s.
His first invention was a laser integrated system to target and treat inoperable tumors. His mathematics helped unravel the way the human body processes hormones and led to the detection and treatment of many diseases.
His observation of human behavior led to his development of technology which deciphers the intention and motivation of communication – a technology that has impacted and saved the lives of billions.
His global business activities served to develop the world’s top-performing global equity index (including the CNBC IQ100 powered by M·CAM).
He’s brought the world’s largest white-collar criminals to justice and brought the world’s most oppressed and disenfranchised transformative ways to engage.
From the starry expanses of Mongolia to the flashing lights of New York, his work is as passion-filled whether it’s with a camel herder or a global CEO. (Source.)
“This is not a vaccine.”
Here is a partial transcript of the video below explaining that the mRNA vaccines are not really vaccines:
This is not a vaccine.
We need to be really clear. We’re using the term “vaccine” to sneak this thing under public health exemptions.
This is not a vaccine. This is an mRNA packaged in a fat envelope, that is delivered to a cell.
It is a medical device designed to stimulate the human cell into becoming a pathogen creator.
It is not a vaccine. Vaccines actually are a legally defined term, and they’re a legally defined term under public health law, they’re legally defined term under the CDC and FDA standards.
And a vaccine specifically has to stimulate both an immunity within the person who is receiving it, but it also has to disrupt transmission.
And that is not what this is. They have been abundantly clear in saying that the mRNA strand that is going into the cell, it is not to stop transmission. It is a treatment.
But if it was discussed as a treatment, it would not get the sympathetic ear of the public health authorities, because then people would say, well what other treatments are there?
If you’ve been in prepper circles for long, you’ve probably heard the term OpSec. It is taken from military jargon and it’s short for Operations Security. In the preparedness and survival world, it generally means not letting other people know that you are prepped, or if they know, they definitely don’t know the specifics of what you have.
Not only do we want to keep the level of our preparedness private, these days, keeping our opinions private might be likewise beneficial from a security perspective. More on that in a moment.
Trigger Warning: There’s no way I can write this article without ticking somebody off. Some readers will feel that I’m siding with the right and others will feel like I’m siding with the left. I’m not because I am not a Democrat or a Republic, nor am I a conservative or a liberal. I’m a critical thinker with diverse opinions that fall into all sorts of categories. Yet others will feel I didn’t go far enough or that there’s some “fact” or conspiracy that I didn’t reveal. I’m not an ice cream cone. I can’t make everyone happy. Also, there may be some swearing.
What is OpSec?
Here’s a definition for those who aren’t familiar with the concept.
Operations security (OPSEC) is a process that identifies critical information to determine if friendly actions can be observed by enemy intelligence, determines if information obtained by adversaries could be interpreted to be useful to them, and then executes selected measures that eliminate or reduce adversary exploitation of friendly critical information.
In a more general sense, OPSEC is the process of protecting individual pieces of data that could be grouped together to give the bigger picture (called aggregation). OPSEC is the protection of critical information deemed mission-essential from military commanders, senior leaders, management or other decision-making bodies. The process results in the development of countermeasures, which include technical and non-technical measures such as the use of email encryption software, taking precautions against eavesdropping, paying close attention to a picture you have taken (such as items in the background), or not talking openly on social media sites about information on the unit, activity or organization’s Critical Information List. (source)
OpSec goes hand in hand with the gray man principle. Here’s Selco’s definition of being the gray man.
It is a simple concept that comes to be very important when SHTF, and it is often completely opposite to how a lot of preppers are planning to look or act.
In the shortest definition, it is staying uninteresting or simply looking and acting like most of the people around you in a particular moment.
It can be used in a lot of situations when SHTF, during prolonged periods of time, or during short-term events. (source)
As tensions increase dramatically in the United States, many people will find it more important than ever to practice these principles.
Extraordinary things are happening.
Over the past few years, the United States has become extremely polarized – so much so that violence can break out simply because two people or groups of people support different presidential candidates.
We’re seeing “othering” on an extraordinary level as Big Tech and the Mainstream Media throw gasoline on the raging dumpster fire that is our recent election. There’s a purge of conservative voices that goes beyond anything I’ve personally seen – way beyond the purge of alternative media a couple of years ago.
While Donald Trump is on his way out of the White House in just under two weeks, the fact remains that the two largest social media outlets in the world, Facebook and Twitter, have suspended the accounts of a sitting President of the United States. Now, they’re private businesses – they get to make their own rules and they’re protected from any legal fallout by Section 230, unlike the rest of us folks on the internet. However, the fact that they would take such an action is simply astounding in its audacity.
Go to a different outlet, you said? Well, that would be a great idea so we did. Conservatives and libertarians went to Parler in droves and the MSM sobbed into their lattes that it was a threat to democracy. And guess what else happened? Google effectively killed Parler today by removing the app from the store. José Castañeda, a Google spokesperson, said:
“In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence.
All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months.
We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.
We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content.
In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues.” (source)
And speaking of egregious things, the glaring double standard between the media coverage in Washington DC on Jan. 6th and the coverage of “protests” all over the country for the past year is particularly flagrant.
“Even aside from impeachment and 25th Amendment talk, Trump will be an ex-president in 13 days,” ABC’s Rick Klein and MaryAlice Parks wrote for The Note on Thursday. “The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part. Cleansing the movement he commands, or getting rid of what he represents to so many Americans, is going to be something else.”
It now reads, “Cleaning up the movement he commands, or getting rid of what he represents to so many Americans, is going to be something else.”
Klein also shared the original phrase on Twitter before deleting it.(source)
Do they wish to “cleanse” all 74,223,744 people whose votes were considered official? It’s rather reminiscent of a recent hullabaloo when another guy on Twitter wanted to send Trump voters to re-education camps. (See #7 here.)
Incidentally – neither Klein’s account nor ABC News’s account were suspended by Twitter. Nor was that guy who wants to forcibly re-educate people. Just the President’s. Oh and a whole bunch of other people who had the audacity to be publicly supportive of him. But not those cleanser and re-education people. They’re cool.
Know what you’re getting yourself into before taking action.
If you’re anything like me, your initial reaction is, “F*ck this. I’ll say what I want.” I agree wholeheartedly that this is outrageous censorship on a massive scale, it’s virtual book-burning, and the double standard is utter bullsh*t and I’m furious about it.
But this is, first and foremost, a website about survival and preparedness. This is not a site about staging a revolution and I have really limited the coverage of politics since the 2016 election. I want it to be a place where everyone feels welcome to learn about preparedness and the events that affect us, regardless of their political beliefs, their religious beliefs, or which foot they put in their pants leg first.
There will be people out there who feel it is their duty to fight. There are people who support that and people who do not.
Unless you are making a conscious decision to get out there in the thick of the battle, imperiling your livelihood and risking ostracization due to cancel culture, it may be time for you to consider strengthening your OpSec. If you are going into this with your eyes open, then more power to you all.
Crackdowns like what we’re seeing now start with polarization and information blackouts. They can lead to far worse scenarios.
It is a situation where all stakes are much higher, and solutions-actions that the government ( ruling party, military leaders or whoever in your case) wants to achieve will be attempted with all means. That can include some new rules where what you think about it usually does not mean anything.
A lot of preppers think about “martial law” but in reality, they think about it still in normal terms, with rights, law, constitution, and rules…
You cannot defy military, at least not openly, because they will deal with you fast and efficiently. In times like that it is so easy to get labeled that you are dangerous, an enemy of the state, a terrorist or anything similar, and most probably you will not have any help.
Forget about the movie illusions of openly being a freedom fighter.
No matter how well-organized you are, those who impose martial law have better organization than you. Remember that martial law usually means an information blackout. “They” will own information and present it to the public the way that they want to present it. (source)
While I’m not suggesting we’re necessarily headed for martial law, we have stepped into a brand new world where our media is tightly controlled and our every decision or utterance can come back to haunt us.
Why do we need to focus more stringently on OpSec now?
I want to focus on the survival and preparedness aspects of this unbelievable situation we now find ourselves in.
As I’ve written before, survival is about surviving. Some people find this philosophy cowardly and feel we should all be willing to choose the hill of their choice to die upon. Others believe that it’s better to be strategic, live to fight another day, and choose their battles. This is a personal decision.
If you don’t wish to be involved in the political aspects of the things going on right now, if you want to quietly live out your life with limited conflict, and if your focus is on the safety of your family, you need to think about the information you are giving away about yourself. This is not just information for people of one political party or race. It’s for those who don’t want to be targeted because of their beliefs.
Don’t make a visual statement. Do you have any political paraphernalia on display? Bumper stickers? Yard signs? Banners? T-shirts or hats?
Avoid political conversations. Back when I was a kid, I was told that politics and religion were topics that were bad manners unless you were in the company of those you knew really well.
Keep your preps under wraps. Trust me, when The Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2021 happens – and it will – you don’t want to be the house with all the toilet paper that the guy repairing your furnace saw. Nobody needs to see your preps. Put things in cardboard boxes with misleading labels like “Christmas” if someone is going to be in the area where you store supplies. Don’t have shelves and shelves of canned goods out in your kitchen.
Be neutral on social media. Remember, the internet is forever. Even if you delete an ill-advised post, someone may have taken a screenshot or be able to find that post on the Wayback Machine. People don’t have to have the visible proof of those posts either to remember you dislike Trump or Biden, or that you’re super liberal or super conservative. Posting meme after meme expressing your adoration for certain political figures or beliefs is the digital equivalent of running your mouth in a crowded bar. You never know who’s watching or listening, nor do you know how that might come back to haunt you.
Don’t make yourself a target.
When people are hungry they’ll do things they might never have imagined doing before, like stealing food. Many of the jobs lost in 2020 are not going to be coming back in 2021, people are dealing with major financial problems, and we have supply chain issues. There’s a very real chance that we will see greater poverty in America happening to a greater number of people than we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes.
Those people will be wracking their brains trying to figure out how to survive. Don’t give them a reason to think of your place as a supply nirvana.
(If you are in that desperate position, check out this book – it’s free and it may help you make difficult decisions.)
When people are angry, they’ll also do things they normally would not and mob mentality is contagious. Take this former CEO, for example.
“My decision to enter the Capitol was wrong, and I am deeply regretful to have done so,” Rukstales said in a statement. “Without qualification and as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen, I condemn the violence and destruction that took place in Washington.”
Rukstales also apologized to his family, colleagues and “fellow countrymen” for his actions.
“It was the single worst personal decision of my life,” the exec’s statement continued. “I have no excuse for my actions and wish that I could take them back.” (source)
Don’t make yourself a target for the rage of people who aren’t behaving rationally. Your memes and banners and bumper stickers aren’t going to change their minds.
The answer is given in the first 60 seconds of this documentary when Gates says the investment return on vaccines is 20 to 1. But the story does not end there. Beyond incredible profits there is the lure of power over the entire human race, even to using vaccines delivered by mosquitoes to reduce population. This is the madman who is shaping the future of humanity.
2020-12 – Source: Truth Comes to Light
Hubble has taken quite a lot of stunning images over its three-decade-long existence. And recently, it took managed to capture a photo of the asteroid 16 Psyche in the most detailed image so far. What’s special about it? Well, one of the things that make it special is that it contains iron and nickel worth around $10,000 quadrillion. For comparison, that’s 70,000 times the global economy.
16 Psyche was discovered a long time ago: Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis first spotted it on 17 March 1852. It hasn’t been explored from up close so far, but NASA plans to send a spacecraft to explore it in 2022. According to NASA, its size is 173 miles (279km) by 144 miles (232,) by 117 (189) miles. It’s one of the most massive objects in the main asteroid belt orbiting between Mars and Jupiter.
Southwest Research Institute planetary scientist Dr. Tracy Becker recently discussed the first ultraviolet observations of 16 Psyche. This asteroid could be interesting for astronomers for a variety of reasons. First, it’s made almost entirely from metal instead of rock and ice. “We’ve seen meteorites that are mostly metal, but Psyche could be unique in that it might be an asteroid that is totally made of iron and nickel,” said Dr. Becker.
According to Robb Report, the asteroid’s worth is $10,000,000,000,000,000,000. That’s a lot of zeros, right? If NASA miraculously managed to bring the asteroid back, sell it, and split the earnings between all people on Earth, each of 7.5 billion us would get approximately $1.3 billion. I must admit that this made little dollar signs appear in my eyes, but of course, we can only fantasize.
Other than the “cost” of this huge mass of iron and nickel, they indicate that the 16 Psyche could be the leftover core of a planet. “Earth has a metal core, a mantle and crust,” Dr. Becker explained. “It’s possible that as a Psyche protoplanet was forming, it was struck by another object in our solar system and lost its mantle and crust.”
In August 2022, NASA plans to send a spacecraft to examine the asteroid further. If everything goes as planned, the Psyche spacecraft should arrive at the asteroid in early 2026 and spend 21 months in orbit. During this time, the spacecraft is planned to map and study 16 Psyche’s properties and determine whether it’s indeed the core of a planet. If it is, it could perhaps give us more insight into the core of our own home planet, too.
#2 Who Was Breaking The Doors And Windows At The Capitol?
The general consensus in the media is that it was Trump supporters that did this, but in this video you can see Trump supporters actually trying to pull Antifa activists away as they were smashing the glass…
And here is another video where you can hear Trump supporters booing as an Antifa activist tries to break a window…
#3 Once Protesters Got Inside The Building, Why Did A Guard Lead Them Up Several Flights Of Stairs?
Either the U.S. Congress has the worst security personnel that any of us have ever seen, or this was allowed to happen on purpose.
#4 Who Arranged For Antifa Buses To Be Brought Into The Heart Of D.C. With An Escort?
There have been multiple reports that Antifa activists were brought into D.C. by bus. In fact, one patriot actually recorded video of four Antifa buses that were brought right into the heart of Washington D.C. with an escort…
Over the coming weeks, we will learn much more as law enforcement authorities conduct their investigations.
But it is interesting to note that Congressman Mo Brooks is admitting that he was warned of a potential Antifa attack on the Capitol in advance. The following is what he posted on Twitter earlier today…
Please, don’t be like #FakeNewsMedia, don’t rush to judgment on assault on Capitol. Wait for investigation. All may not be (and likely is not) what appears. Evidence growing that fascist ANTIFA orchestrated Capitol attack with clever mob control tactics.
1. A Congressman warned me on MONDAY of a growing ANTIFA threat & advised that I sleep in my office rather than leaving Capitol complex & sleeping in my condo. I heeded that advice & have slept on office floor for 4 straight nights.
2. Congressman told me he was warned on TUESDAY by Capitol Police officer that intelligence suggested fascist ANTIFA was going to try to infiltrate the Trump rally by dressing like Trump supporters.
3. Capitol Police advised TUESDAY that it best not to leave Capitol complex.
4. Evidence, much public, surfacing that many Capitol assaulters were fascist ANTIFAs, not Trump supporters.
All of this just seems very odd to me.
Just as a debate about the evidence of election irregularities was about to begin in the halls of Congress, riots conveniently broke out directly in front of the U.S. Capitol.
Members of Congress were quickly evacuated, and the millions of Americans that were watching never got to see an honest debate about the 2020 election.
When proceedings finally resumed, the entire atmosphere had completely changed, and all of a sudden hardly anyone was interested in debating whether the election results were legitimate or not.
So who actually benefitted from the riots?
I think that question is the key to this whole thing.
Also, it is important to note that these riots have dealt a severe blow to any political future that President Trump hoped to have.
So with one stone, activists have neutered the debate over the legitimacy of the election and they have devastated the Trump movement as well.
It appears that someone really was playing “3D chess”, and it wasn’t Trump and his supporters.
And this is just the beginning. As I keep warning, the radical left will never be satisfied until they accomplish all of their goals.
Electing Joe Biden was just a way to get rid of Trump. The radical left actually doesn’t like Biden either, and they will fight him bitterly if Biden does not go along with their full agenda.
In the end, what they want is a full-blown “revolution” in this country. And as we witnessed on Wednesday, they will go to extreme lengths in order to get what they want.
The China lockdown of 50 million citizens overnight was a key element in the long-standing plan to foist a fake pandemic on humanity.
That lockdown provided the model for the rest of the world.
We are now in phase one of Lockdown Civilization.
The “scientific” rationale? THE VIRUS. The virus that isn’t there. The virus whose existence is unproven.
But the story line works: “We have to follow the China model because the pandemic is sweeping across the globe…”
Close on the heels of this con job, we have the intro to phase two: “In order to deal with future pandemics, we must install a new planetary system of command and control; human behavior must be modified.”
Translation: wall to wall surveillance at a level never achieved before; universal guaranteed income for every human, tied to obedience to all state directives; violate those directives and income is reduced or canceled; the planting of nano devices inside the body which will broadcast physiological changes to central command, and which will receive instructions that modify mood and reaction…
Phase one lockdowns prepare the citizenry to accept phase two.
In other words, phase one had nothing to do with a virus. It was part of the technocratic revolution.
“Artificial intelligence has applications in nearly every human domain, from the instant translation of spoken language to early viral-outbreak detection. But Xi [Xi Jinping, president of China] also wants to use AI’s awesome analytical powers to push China to the cutting edge of surveillance. He wants to build an all-seeing digital system of social control, patrolled by precog algorithms that identify potential dissenters in real time.”
“China already has hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras in place. Xi’s government hopes to soon achieve full video coverage of key public areas. Much of the footage collected by China’s cameras is parsed by algorithms for security threats of one kind or another. In the near future, every person who enters a public space could be identified, instantly, by AI matching them to an ocean of personal data, including their every text communication, and their body’s one-of-a-kind protein-construction schema. In time, algorithms will be able to string together data points from a broad range of sources—travel records, friends and associates, reading habits, purchases—to predict political resistance before it happens. China’s government could soon achieve an unprecedented political stranglehold on more than 1 billion people.”
“China is already developing powerful new surveillance tools, and exporting them to dozens of the world’s actual and would-be autocracies. Over the next few years, those technologies will be refined and integrated into all-encompassing surveillance systems that dictators can plug and play.”
“China’s government could harvest footage from equivalent Chinese products. They could tap the cameras attached to ride-share cars, or the self-driving vehicles that may soon replace them: Automated vehicles will be covered in a whole host of sensors, including some that will take in information much richer than 2-D video. Data from a massive fleet of them could be stitched together, and supplemented by other City Brain streams, to produce a 3-D model of the city that’s updated second by second. Each refresh could log every human’s location within the model. Such a system would make unidentified faces a priority, perhaps by sending drone swarms to secure a positive ID.”
“An authoritarian state with enough processing power could force the makers of such software to feed every blip of a citizen’s neural activity into a government database. China has recently been pushing citizens to download and use a propaganda app. The government could use emotion-tracking software to monitor reactions to a political stimulus within an app. A silent, suppressed response to a meme or a clip from a Xi speech would be a meaningful data point to a precog algorithm.”
“All of these time-synced feeds of on-the-ground data could be supplemented by footage from drones, whose gigapixel cameras can record whole cityscapes in the kind of crystalline detail that allows for license-plate reading and gait recognition. ‘Spy bird’ drones already swoop and circle above Chinese cities, disguised as doves. City Brain’s feeds could be synthesized with data from systems in other urban areas, to form a multidimensional, real-time account of nearly all human activity within China. Server farms across China will soon be able to hold multiple angles of high-definition footage of every moment of every Chinese person’s life.”
“The government might soon have a rich, auto-populating data profile for all of its 1 billion–plus citizens. Each profile would comprise millions of data points, including the person’s every appearance in surveilled space, as well as all of her communications and purchases. Her threat risk to the party’s power could constantly be updated in real time, with a more granular score than those used in China’s pilot ‘social credit’ schemes, which already aim to give every citizen a public social-reputation score based on things like social-media connections and buying habits. Algorithms could monitor her digital data score, along with everyone else’s, continuously, without ever feeling the fatigue that hit Stasi officers working the late shift. False positives—deeming someone a threat for innocuous behavior—would be encouraged, in order to boost the system’s built-in chilling effects, so that she’d turn her sharp eyes on her own behavior, to avoid the slightest appearance of dissent.”
“If her risk factor fluctuated upward—whether due to some suspicious pattern in her movements, her social associations, her insufficient attention to a propaganda-consumption app, or some correlation known only to the AI—a purely automated system could limit her movement. It could prevent her from purchasing plane or train tickets. It could disallow passage through checkpoints. It could remotely commandeer ‘smart locks’ in public or private spaces, to confine her until security forces arrived.”
“Each time a person’s face is recognized, or her voice recorded, or her text messages intercepted, this information could be attached, instantly, to her government-ID number, police records, tax returns, property filings, and employment history. It could be cross-referenced with her medical records and DNA, of which the Chinese police boast they have the world’s largest collection.”
“The country [China] is now the world’s leading seller of AI-powered surveillance equipment. In Malaysia, the government is working with Yitu, a Chinese AI start-up, to bring facial-recognition technology to Kuala Lumpur’s police as a complement to Alibaba’s City Brain platform. Chinese companies also bid to outfit every one of Singapore’s 110,000 lampposts with facial-recognition cameras.
In South Asia, the Chinese government has supplied surveillance equipment to Sri Lanka. On the old Silk Road, the Chinese company Dahua is lining the streets of Mongolia’s capital with AI-assisted surveillance cameras. Farther west, in Serbia, Huawei is helping set up a ‘safe-city system,’ complete with facial-recognition cameras and joint patrols conducted by Serbian and Chinese police aimed at helping Chinese tourists to feel safe.”
“In the early aughts, the Chinese telecom titan ZTE sold Ethiopia a wireless network with built-in backdoor access for the government. In a later crackdown, dissidents were rounded up for brutal interrogations, during which they were played audio from recent phone calls they’d made. Today, Kenya, Uganda, and Mauritius are outfitting major cities with Chinese-made surveillance networks.”
“In Egypt, Chinese developers are looking to finance the construction of a new capital. It’s slated to run on a ‘smart city’ platform similar to City Brain, although a vendor has not yet been named. In southern Africa, Zambia has agreed to buy more than $1 billion in telecom equipment from China, including internet-monitoring technology. China’s Hikvision, the world’s largest manufacturer of AI-enabled surveillance cameras, has an office in Johannesburg.”
“In 2018, CloudWalk Technology, a Guangzhou-based start-up spun out of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, inked a deal with the Zimbabwean government to set up a surveillance network. Its terms require Harare to send images of its inhabitants—a rich data set, given that Zimbabwe has absorbed migration flows from all across sub-Saharan Africa—back to CloudWalk’s Chinese offices, allowing the company to fine-tune its software’s ability to recognize dark-skinned faces, which have previously proved tricky for its algorithms.”
“Having set up beachheads in Asia, Europe, and Africa, China’s AI companies are now pushing into Latin America, a region the Chinese government describes as a ‘core economic interest.’ China financed Ecuador’s $240 million purchase of a surveillance-camera system. Bolivia, too, has bought surveillance equipment with help from a loan from Beijing. Venezuela recently debuted a new national ID-card system that logs citizens’ political affiliations in a database built by ZTE…”
That gives you a chilling outline of Lockdown, phase two.
Lockdowns were never about a virus or a pandemic.
Lockdown Civilization has been in the planning and development stage for a long time.
People say, “Why? Why are they doing this?”
The short answer is, because they want to and they can.
Technocrats don’t view life as life. They view it as a system, and this is their most comprehensive system to date.
Instagram’s New Shopping Feature Exploits Users, Promotes Surveillance Capitalism
Instagram claims its new redesign will support small businesses and connect users with their favorite brands. But researchers warn the new “Shop” tab is more about collecting data and exploiting users’ emotions.
By Nazanin Andalibi
Recently, when I opened Instagram, I noticed that the usual spot for checking notifications is now a “Shop” tab. The Instagram blog post announcing the redesign said that the change will support small businesses and connect people with their favorite brands and creators.
Features like Instagram’s “Shop” tab facilitate surveillance capitalism, so it’s important to look at their consequences. Many people use Instagram to share their lives with other people, but the redesign is shifting the nature of the social media platform toward online commerce. This shift opens people to highly targeted advertising and makes them vulnerable to advertising that exploits their emotional experiences.
Shift to shopping
Research, including my own, shows that people use Instagram to record their big and mundane moments, find community, exchange social support, express identities and keep in touch with friends.
In 2017, colleagues and I showed how ad hoc communities form around the tag #depression on the platform, and how much of the discourse is to make sense of the experience of depression, record it, share it with others and exchange support with other people dealing with depression. I argued that it is important for the platform to recognize the value users find in these communities and support them, rather than ban or nudge them to go elsewhere, when they come to the platform to express themselves and build solidarity.
The notification button, represented as a heart icon, brings up a screen that indicates the interactions people have had with your Instagram presence — for example, who has liked your posts and comments. It’s likely that the notification button was the most frequently clicked tab.
When people interact with technology, they form habits. I am probably not the only one clicking the new “Shop” tab when I mean to click the notification button. It’s possible that the company did this simply to ensure that Instagram users encounter the new feature, but there are other ways to accomplish that.
By choosing to make the “Shop” tab central to its platform, Instagram is sending its users a message: This platform is a business, and interactions on this platform are going to be commodified.
Though some people may come to Instagram to find things to buy, many don’t. App designers can provide an unneeded feature and create a need for it over time. This is not without precedence in the context of social media and shopping. For example, when Facebook, which owns Instagram, relaunched Facebook Marketplace in 2016, the Marketplace product manager, Bowen Pan, said: “We show you the most relevant items for you, even if you don’t know what you want.”
People share all kinds of personal information on Instagram, such as mental health, physical health, traumatic events, pregnancy, loss, infertility, becoming new parents and getting married. Social media companies’ access to such sensitive information is a concern, for how the companies could exploit the information and the risk of third-party access to the data.
Instagram can use computational techniques to infer people’s affective states — their emotions and moods — based on many signals available to the platform. These include what content users view and post. There is substantial evidence that emotions and affective states play a key role in advertising. While capitalizing on emotions and emotional personal experiences for profit is not unique to social media or algorithms, the data-driven, opaque and hyper-personalized approaches boost the scale of potential harm.
Presumably, what people see in Instagram’s “Shop” is personalized based on what the platform’s recommendation algorithm determines they would like and be inclined to purchase. How does the inferred socioeconomic, gender, age, race and other attributes shape what the platform recommends to users in the “Shop” tab? What shops get to be recommended and visible?
Instagram users can be as young as 13, the age required to open an account. How does personalization work for children? How does this feature affect the experience of individuals with low socioeconomic status? What principles and values is the platform adhering to in designing these recommendation algorithms, “Staff Picks” and other means of presenting products?
A major consideration is when people get recommendations to purchase items during vulnerable moments. Sharing or seeking information about a difficult, personal experience on a social media platform and then having the platform capitalize on an algorithmic understanding of the experience — which might or might not be accurate — is problematic.
What are the implications for impulsive buyers who may turn to Instagram as a space for community and peer support to resist impulsive purchasing, but who are instead confronted with things to purchase and have no way of opting out? How about for someone who is on the platform to find support while coping with a substance use disorder, but instead encounters recommendations to purchase items related to drinking? What happens if a person posting about experiences with pregnancy loss begins seeing ads for baby clothes? This last scenario has happened.
In recent and upcoming studies, I observed that, to varying degrees, people find social media platforms capitalizing on their personal, intimate experiences — especially those associated with negative emotions — manipulative and harmful. Social media platform designers and decision-makers should consider ways to address potential harms preemptively rather than retroactively.
The Instagram blog post announcing the “Shop” feature states that there are marketers and influencers on the platform and young people who want to purchase the same products their favorite creators use. This might be a need for some Instagram users, but not all. If Instagram is determined to emphasize shopping, and if opting in is not possible, I believe the company should allow users to opt out of the “Shop” feature.
Losing personal connections
Recent research has shown that people share less and less personal information on Facebook, which has had its Marketplace feature since 2016, and use platforms like Instagram to engage in more personal, intimate discourse. This is due in part to site features and whom people are connected to on each platform. By moving away from a focus on people and their connections, and by commodifying and potentially manipulating users to purchase items on the platform, Instagram could go down the road that Facebook did — fewer personal connections and less personal, meaningful content.
Instagram’s website states that it is “bringing you closer to the people and things you love.” But people and things are different phenomena, and the ways people feel closer to each other are different from the ways they are drawn to things, businesses and brands. By wanting to do both, or perhaps by using the former to benefit the latter, the company may be missing the mark on how to bring people closer together.
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