Are You Ready for a Worse Dystopia than 1984 ? – PaulCraigRoberts.org

are-you-ready-for-a-worse-dystopia-than-1984-?-–-paulcraigroberts.org

07-05-19 01:26:00,

Are You Ready for a Worse Dystopia than 1984 ?

Paul Craig Roberts

I have been lonely in my concern with the dire economic implications of robotics, but now Clarity Press has provided me with some company by publishing The Artificial Intelligence Contagion by David Barnhizer and Daniel Barnhizer.  It is telling as to the irrelevance of the economics profession that the coauthors are lawyers. 

The concerns about robots and artificial intelligence have come from scientists who express worries about killer robots with super intelligence taking over from dumber humans with less capabilities.  Possibly, but it is more likely that these kind of concerns stem from an incorrect model or understanding of mind, consciousness, and creativity.  I do wish that Michael Polanyi were still with us to give us his take on our proclivity to attribute intelligence to machines.

The coauthors briefly mention these threats as well as the very real and already present  threats from governments armed with the intrusive surveillence and control that the digital revolution and artificial intelligence make possible.  Warnings from Stephen Hawking, Nick Bostrom, and Elon Musk of an immortal godlike superintelligence, amoral at best and immoral at worse, that will determine our fate are speculative, but the adverse economic impact of robotics are already upon us. Thus, the main focus  of the coauthors is on the massive economic dislocation that will result from making people superfluous. 

Recently, I read about a smart machine that displaces warehouse workers and also the workers at the plants that make the mechanical forklift machines that warehouse workers use to move and stack the crates and boxes. As the smart machines themselves are made by robots, the forklift production workers are also displaced.

According to the latest job report, there are 1,192,000 people employed in warehouses. Unlike the forklift, the new smart machine does not contribute to increasing the productivity of labor. Instead the smart machine displaces labor by eliminating the need for people to do the work.  Every dollar that would have been paid in wages goes instead into the profits of the warehouse owners. This is the great difference between earlier innovations that increased human productivity and living standards and the AI robotic innovation that eliminates the need for humans and makes them redundant. 

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UK Police ready 10,000 riot officers as fears Brexit tensions could worsen

uk-police-ready-10000-riot-officers-as-fears-brexit-tensions-could-worsen

04-04-19 09:38:00,

Thousands of police officers trained in quelling disorder during civil unrest are standing by to be deployed in the event tensions over Brexit overspill into violence on the streets of Britain, according to a top police chief.

The head of the National Police Chiefs Council, chief constable Charlie Hall, has revealed that at least 10,000 officers have been amassed, trained in tactics to stop looting. It’s a greater number than was deployed during the riots that blighted England in the summer of 2011.

Hall claims that reinforcements for local police could begin within an hour of a request and take up to eight hours to fully deliver, insisting “We would easily run at that pace for the first seven days.”

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British police call railway sabotage attempts ‘Brexit-related’

It comes as concerns are being raised that rhetoric surrounding the Brexit debate could be contributing to inflaming tensions.

Martin Hewitt, chair of National Police Chiefs Council, has issued a warning that “prominent individuals” should avoid inciting anger given the “febrile” and “emotive” atmosphere currently enveloping Britain.

Up to 1,000 officers are being trained in case Northern Ireland requires reinforcements, with mainland police constables being taught specific tactics needed in the region.

Hall said 15 out of 43 police forces in England and Wales had placed some restrictions on leave. He revealed there had been 37 Brexit-related crimes in the last two weeks, half of which were malicious communication, with other offences including harassment and verbal abuse.

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‘Laughing while country burns!’ Brits fume on Twitter as MPs laugh and joke during Brexit debate

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Italy Ready to Sign Trade Deal With China; Trump, Merkel Blindsided

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20-03-19 07:57:00,

Team NATO takes another hit

Tom is a regular contributor not only here at Russia Insider but also at Seeking Alpha and Newsmax. Check out his blog, Gold Goats ’n Guns and please support his work through his Patreon where he also publishes his monthly investment newsletter.

Next week’s visit to Italy by Chinese Premier Xi Jinping has nearly everyone jittery. The recent announcement by Five Star Movement Leader Luigi Di Maio that his country is prepared to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with China to be a part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative has set off a firestorm of response from Donald Trump to Angela Merkel to Di Maio’s own coalition partner, Lega leader Matteo Salvini.

But, don’t let the wrapper fool you on this. Di Maio’s announcement I don’t think it ‘blindsided’ Salvini as this Reuters article suggests, as much as Merkel and Trump.

Even though Geraci is a member of the League, the group appeared blindsided when news of an imminent deal emerged last week, with party chief Matteo Salvini warning against the “colonialization” of Italy by China.

“We are reviewing it,” Salvini, who serves as joint deputy prime minister with Di Maio, said on Thursday. “Before allowing someone to invest in the ports of Trieste or Genoa, I would think about it not once but a hundred times.”

If anything, this announcement is a smart move by Di Maio. It puts Salvini a bit on the defensive who has been setting the tempo for the coalition recently. Salvini needs Trump on his good side to assist him in taking on Merkel and the European Union.

Merkel is trying to play hardball with Trump over energy issues, as I discussed in a recent article, by defending the Nordstream 2 pipeline from U.S. aggression to change the board state of geopolitics.

It’s clear that to me now that Merkel’s priorities for what is left of her term in office are as follows:

1. Carve out an independent path for EU foreign policy from the U.S. through the creation of an EU army, obviating the need for NATO and…

2.

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Israeli Navy ready to block Iranian oil exports in transit – Netanyahu

israeli-navy-ready-to-block-iranian-oil-exports-in-transit-netanyahu

07-03-19 10:50:00,

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is prepared to throw the power of its naval force – and urges the world to join in – to block the Iranian oil shipments circumventing unilaterally imposed US sanctions against Tehran.

“Iran is trying to bypass the sanctions on it through the covert smuggling of petroleum via the sea. As these attempts expand, the navy will have a more important role in efforts to block these Iranian actions,” Netanyahu said at a navy cadets’ graduation ceremony in Haifa on Wednesday.

Failing to explain how exactly Israel’s relatively small naval force would impose the suggested blockade against Iranian oil tankers, Netanyahu only emphasized that Israeli sailors are well-trained and adept at carrying out sea missions against adversaries.

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Iran in economic, psychological war with US & its allies – President Rouhani

Washington sanctioned Iran’s oil, shipping and banking industries last November after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 JCPOA ‘Iran Nuclear Deal’ to applause from Israel and to strong objections from the other signatories of the milestone accord and from Tehran’s business partners.

Aiming to reduce Tehran’s oil exports to “zero,” the US threatened global oil buyers with secondary sanctions. Then, after the pressure failed to achieve expected results, a handful of countries were granted a special exemption, with Washington generously allowing them to continue buying crude from Tehran, for the time being.

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IDF tries its hand in MS Paint warfare to tell Iran ‘where it belongs’

Furious at American bullying tactics, Iran’s armed forces have said they will protect its fleet of oil tankers against any threats that might jeopardize the shipments. Tehran is especially committed to ensuring safe passage through the narrow Strait of Hormuz, which links the Persian Gulf with the rest of the world.

To tackle what it called Iran’s “illicit” economic activity at sea, Israel would need to expand its operating theater. Currently, the country is primarily active in the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea areas. Whether or not such potential Israeli missions would yield success is questionable,

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Citi Ready To Replace “Tens Of Thousands” Of Call-Center Workers With Robots

citi-ready-to-replace-8220tens-of-thousands8221-of-call-center-workers-with-robots

20-02-19 08:38:00,

Citigroup is apparently preparing to follow through on its promise it shed as many as 20,000 operations and technology positions, according to an interview with CEO Mike Corbat that was published Tuesday in the Financial Times.

Corbat

Mike Corbat

CEO Mike Corbat has suggested that “tens of thousands” of people working in Citi’s call centers will likely be replaced by machines in the near future – machines that can “radically change or improve” customers’ experience while cutting costs. Corbat also ruled out a merger like the $66 billion SunTrust-BB&T tie-up that is expected to usher in a new wave of bank consolidation.

Corbat’s comments, according to the FT, were the “most explicit” the company has ever been about how its spends the $8 billion it has allotted every year for technology.

Citigroup chief executive Mike Corbat has suggested that “tens of thousands” of people working in the US bank’s call centres are likely to be replaced by machines that can “radically change or improve” customers’ experience while cutting costs. Mr Corbat, who runs America’s fourth-largest bank by assets, made the comments in an interview with the Financial Times in which he also ruled out Citi’s involvement in any wave of US banking consolidation triggered by the $66bn SunTrust-BB&T merger and justified its continued presence in China. Under pressure to bring its cost base in line with peers, Citi executives have been upfront about the impact of technology on their 209,000-strong global workforce, including last summer’s warning that as many as half of the 20,000 operations staff in its investment bank could be supplanted by machines.

Though, fortunately for the few people who will still have job’s in Citi’s call centers once the bloodletting is over, Corbat said the bank doesn’t intend to get rid of all of its human employees. Just most of them.

Citi has no plans to get rid of humans in its call centres altogether though. “There’ll always be the kind of thing where you’ve actually got to have someone to help solve,” said Mr Corbat. “We don’t want people frustrated in that.” Mr Corbat cited the potential of Citi’s technology as one of the reasons that his bank would not take part in the wave of US retail banking mergers that some analysts expect to be kicked off after BB&T and SunTrust unveiled the sector’s biggest post-crisis merger a fortnight ago.

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Ready for Big Brother? Americans increasingly accept unrestricted facial recognition tech

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09-01-19 08:22:00,

Americans are increasingly embracing Big Brother, according to a recent survey that found only one in four want restrictions on the use of facial recognition technology by governments – a marked change from two months ago.

Just one in four Americans want strict government limits on the use of biometric technology – with opposition shrinking further if such technology would help law enforcement, reduce shoplifting, or speed up security screenings at the airport, according to a national poll conducted last month by the Center for Data Innovation. Opposition to biometric surveillance decreases with age, and women are more accepting of the technology than men, the poll results show.

Half of respondents oppose restrictions on biometric tech if the scanners are used to stop shoplifting. Just three months earlier, half of Americans were still against facial recognition for theft prevention purposes, according to the Brookings Institute. Only a quarter of them would oppose retail use now.

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What changed? Have Americans chosen convenience over dignity? Biometrics executives put their heads together in November to figure out how to sell biometric surveillance to the citizens, worried about numbers that revealed as many as half of Americans opposed use of the tech in the retail sector and believed law enforcement’s use of the technology should be strictly limited. But only three percent of the population were “vocally opposed,” even then – meaning everyone else could be convinced to stop worrying and love Big Brother.

Almost two-thirds of respondents support the use of biometrics when the software is right 100 percent of the time, but that number drops to 39 percent if the results are incorrect for one out of five scans. Perhaps unsurprisingly, coverage of the government’s adoption of biometric surveillance has focused on its accuracy: US Customs and Border Protection has caught 26 “imposters” in airports using the technology, and stories of Chinese authorities catching fugitives in the middle of large concerts using biometric tech paint a picture of an accurate – if dystopian – crime-fighting tool.

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Get the feeling you’re being watched?

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Ready to be tracked by your boss? UK companies prepare to microchip employees to boost ‘security’

ready-to-be-tracked-by-your-boss-uk-companies-prepare-to-microchip-employees-to-boost-security

12-11-18 05:03:00,

Some of the the UK’s largest companies are planning to implant their staff with microchips to “improve security” and restrict employees from accessing “sensitive documents,” sparking ethical concerns over such a move.

The Swedish firm, Biohax, which makes human chip implants, claims it is in talks with a number of the UK’s major businesses from the financial and legal sectors, to implant their employees with the devices, the Telegraph reports.

Read more



Jowan Österlund, founder and CEO of Biohax who is a former body piercer, told the paper that his microchips, which cost £150 each, could help financial and legal companies enhance security.

“These companies have sensitive documents they are dealing with. [The chips] would allow them to set restrictions for whoever,” he told The Telegraph

Österlund, who says he’s lined up one prospective UK company, with “hundreds and thousands of employees,” insists employers could offer this as an opt-in. “If you have a 15% uptake that is still a huge number of people that won’t require a physical ID pass.”

The prospect of UK companies microchipping employees has sounded alarm bells amongst union leaders and politicians, at what they see as a development which could exploit workers and call into question the ethical rights and wrongs of such a move.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) is concerned that staff could be coerced into being microchipped. Frances O’Grady, the general secretary said: “Microchipping would give bosses even more power and control over their workers. There are obvious risks involved, and employers must not brush them aside, or pressure staff into being chipped.”

Prominent Labour backbencher, Yvette Cooper, has taken to social media to say it was an “extremely troubling” development. While David Kurten, UKIP’s Education spokesman, has gone as far as claiming the promotion of microchipping humans is simply “grooming propaganda.”

Is this real? If so, extremely troubling. Idea of employers microchipping workers raises massive ethical questions & huge potential for exploitation. https://t.co/RzCbhrzw5h

— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) November 11, 2018

Grooming propaganda for human microchipping is beginning. There must never be any obligation for a human being to be chipped,

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Labour Ready for Government and a State Operated Mass Transport System for 21st Century Britain – Global Research

Labour Ready for Government and a State Operated Mass Transport System for 21st Century Britain – Global Research

27-09-18 02:43:00,

Following a strong, united Labour Party conference, the country now needs a General Election as soon as possible to allow this radical political force to negotiate a sensible Brexit deal with Europe. We need a reforming Government to replace the worn-out ‘May and Johnson’ sideshow that has done so much damage to our national economy and foreign relations, our currency, our defence and our National Health Service.

After this week’s rousing Labour conference, Jeremy Corbyn has now firmly established himself as the next Prime Minister with the impressive John McDonnell as Chancellor. Together they make an exceedingly strong team, not least to finalise the current failed Brexit negotiations with Europe.

Labour will take back the railways and utility companies into public ownership in order to provide a state-owned and operated, modern mass transport system for the 21st century and to regain state control of water, the vitally important natural resource for life. Both of these are integral parts of a new, radical approach to government that has been so obviously lacking within the current Conservative administration.

Democracy is government by the people and for the people – that means all the people not just the bankers, bond dealers, hedge-fund operators and currency gamblers in the City. Labour is now a party of integrity that has undertaken to work for everyone in this country who is entitled to vote. That alone is one of the principal differences from the current tired, out-of-touch administration.

A Labour Government will show the world that British goods and services, and British enterprise, are ready to compete with the best in the world. We are already the leaders in many fields and with a radical, reforming government that will bring in legislation to support industry and commerce and all those who work in companies and organisations throughout the United Kingdom, we will once again be proud to be British. Proud to develop new goods and new markets, worldwide.

But the country needs a General Election in order to move forward. Enough economic and political damage has already been done. Let’s put a stop to that, now! This is not a party political message – this is plain common sense.

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Ready, Blame, Bomb… Questions Anyone?

Ready, Blame, Bomb… Questions Anyone?

12-04-18 05:49:00,

Authored by Caitlyn Johnstone via Medium.com,

When A Government Declares A Verdict Before An Investigation, It’s Because There’s A Preexisting Agenda

Hours after an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria, long before any investigation into the matter could have possibly even begun much less been completed, the US State Department declared that “the Assad regime must be held accountable” and Russia “ultimately bears responsibility” for it.

Anyone who questioned such proclamations was branded a delusional conspiracy theorist.

Days after an alleged poisoning of an ex-spy in Salisbury, the UK’s Foreign Office was telling reportersthat the Kremlin would be held responsible.

Anyone who questioned such proclamations was branded a delusional conspiracy theorist. Weeks later, we learned that laboratory forensics had still determined no such culpability, and crime scene forensics were all over the map positing many contradictory theories about what happened and how.

Isn’t it interesting how just as its data begins warning that the western empire is approaching post-primacy and will likely lose its dominant position in the world if it doesn’t take drastic action, all this information begins pouring out about a longtime rival of that very empire?

It’s almost as if there is a preexisting vendetta to cripple oppositional governments, and then crimes are being discovered which just so happen to advance that preexisting agenda.

.@POTUS Trump condemns the heinous attack on innocent Syrians with banned chemical weapons. #Syria pic.twitter.com/qiEahlL3Ah

— Department of State (@StateDept) April 9, 2018

How wild is that?

Hey everyone! You know that WikiLeaks drop everyone’s talking about?

Turns out it was Russia. No we can’t show you the evidence. It’s secret evidence.

Oh hey, the election didn’t turn out how it was supposed to, but guess what?

Turns out it was Russian Facebook ads that definitely made that happen. No we can’t show you evidence of it. It’s secret evidence. Shut up and give us our sanctions.

Look! Russian propaganda! Russian propaganda everywhere! We need to increase internet censorship against dissenting narratives, 

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UK ready to provide Al Qaeda with airstrikes to support another Assad “chemical weapons” false flag

UK ready to provide Al Qaeda with airstrikes to support another Assad “chemical weapons” false flag

27-02-18 04:20:00,

US President Donald Trump has just lectured NATO on it member’s commitment performance and held a controversial meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and is next week to receive EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with trade matters being high up on the agenda.

Juncker is expected to present Trump with a package of proposals to help smooth relations and potentially heal areas of division, particularly those surrounding Europe’s trade relationship with America. Those proposals are precisely what is cropping up as another area of divergence between some members of the EU, specifically France and Germany, just after a major contention on migration has been driving discord within the Union.

This gets down to whether Europe should offer concessions to Trump on trade while Trump is admittedly describing the Union as a ‘foe’ and has initiated a trade spat with the Union by assessing trade tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, spurring retaliatory tariff measures from the EU Commission.

France, specifically, is opposed to any sort of compromise with Trump on the matter, where Trump is perceived as an opponent to the Union and its unity, whereas Germany is economically motivated to seek an end to the trade dispute under the threat of a new round of tariffs emanating from the Trump administration, and is therefore seeking to find some sort of proposal that Trump will accept and therefore back down on his protectionism against the EU, and Germany in particular.

Politico reports:

Only a week before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker flies to Washington, France and Germany are divided over how much he should offer to U.S. President Donald Trump to end a deepening trade war, say European diplomats and officials.

But, they add, Germany has the upper hand. Berlin is shaping Juncker’s agenda, suggesting three offers that he could take to Trump on July 25 to resolve the dispute, according to people familiar with the plans.

The French are uneasy about the wisdom of such a conciliatory approach, however, and publicly accuse Trump of seeking to splinter and weaken the 28-member bloc, which he has called his “foe.”

Despite Paris’ reservations about giving away too much to the increasingly hostile U.S.

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