Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategoryTechnocracy

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Anonymous crowd of people walking street wearing masks during covid 19 coronavirus pandemic

Let Him Who Would “Represent” Science Beware…

James B. Meigs looks at Anthony Fauci’s new book, On Call, asking what happened? What turned the highly esteemed doctor into a scheming authoritarian?
Fauci’s early career was brilliant; he gained the trust of angry opponents during the AIDS years. But the art of listening seemed to desert him later. Read More ›
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Man smoking cigarette

Tobacco and Technocracy

Is tobacco just the first villain to be punished by a growing technocracy that seeks to limit freedom?

I don’t smoke, but I am wary of efforts to prevent other people from so doing. Now, blue cities — and soon states, most likely — have hit upon a way to ban smoking known as “Tobacco Free Generation” (TFG). It’s Pretty Clever Allow people who can legally buy tobacco today to purchase it, but permanently outlaw the sale of tobacco products to people based on the date of their birth — even as they become adults — as described glowingly in the New England Journal of Medicine: The bylaw, passed by Brookline, Massachusetts, gradually phases out commercial tobacco by banning the sale of nicotine products to anyone born on or after January 1, 2000 (one of us cosponsored the bylaw). Read More ›

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Healthcare concept.

“The Right to Health” Isn’t as Good as It Sounds

Health and wellness are becoming technocracy's disguise.

Health and wellness are becoming the primary justifications for international technocracy, or “rule by experts.” Indeed, we are told that preventing the next pandemic will require that the World Health Organization be given the power to declare pandemics and impose emergency policies internationally. Anthony Fauci went even further, arguing that that the UN and the WHO must be given greater powers to “rebuild the infrastructures of human existence.” Imagine the authoritarian potential. We have been told, also, that climate change is a health emergency that justifies greater technocratic control. So is racism. Ditto, gun proliferation in the U.S. And we can’t forget the threats to biodiversity. On and on the proposed policy imperialism goes. This is why the seemingly good-sounding proposal for an international “right to health” is such Read More ›

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A space alien sits on a golden throne Ai generated art

William Dembski: Destroy the AI Idol Before It Destroys Us

Design theorist Dembski points to the way that chess adapted to computers to become better than ever as a way forward in the age of AI
Dembski warns that the promoters of AI as “taking over” have a vested interest in claims that keep them at the top of society’s intellectual and social order. Read More ›
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Why Don’t We Hear So Much About “False Information” Any More?

The new censorship target, “disinformation,” means something profoundly different, and the difference is scary
As Tablet editor Jacob Siegel shows, truth or falsehood is irrelevant to disinformation, which is whatever government does not want you to know. Read More ›
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businessman are floating on the sea of paper

The Modern World’s Bureaucracy Problem

The Iron law states that any market reform or government initiative aimed at shrinking bureaucracy ends up expanding it.
Bureaucracy keeps getting bigger, no matter how much politicians talk about taming it. Read More ›
Miracles CS Lewis Amazon

C.S. Lewis and “Technocracy”

Science needs its critics as much as any field of human endeavor does.

By David Klinghoffer Science needs its critics as much as any field of human endeavor does. Maybe even more so today, since there is a widespread feeling, hardly upset by our experience with the public health tyranny imposed in the context of Covid, that “the Science” is beyond question.  John West edited the book The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society and he talked recently with podcaster Joseph Weigel about the model of science criticism that Lewis provides. It’s a theme that threads through many of Lewis’s writings — including That Hideous Strength (a great novel, and Dr. West’s favorite, he says, though the choice is a tough one), the third chapter of The Abolition of Man, and elsewhere.  Lewis’s Prescience on “Technocracy” Read More ›

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Lit up black modern hallway

The Technocracy Continues to Grow

We live in a time where individual freedom is under material threat from an emerging technocracy
We live in a time where the most important policy and personal decisions are going to be made not by us but for us by “the experts.” Read More ›
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Anonymous crowd of people walking street wearing masks during Covid 19 pandemic in New York City

Doom and the Politics of Catastrophe

Setting the catastrophe of the 2020 pandemic in perspective

What happened in 2020? Why was there such confusion, contradicting information about Covid-19, and poor bureaucratic oversight of the pandemic? Setting the catastrophe of 2020 in historical perspective, renowned British historian Niall Ferguson explains why we are getting worse, not better, at handling disasters. The lessons of history that this country — indeed the West as a whole — should be closely heeded if we want to handle the next crisis better and avoid the ultimate doom of irreversible decline. We’ve been sharing a number of lectures from past COSM conferences. This video is just one of many you can find at the Bradley Center’s YouTube page. There you’ll find several lectures, interviews, and panels dealing with issues that range from Read More ›

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Post-Human Dystopia - A Cybernetic Future in Neon

Jacques Ellul and the Technocratic Society

Unhappy is the society dominated by "technique"

Jacques Ellul was a twentieth-century writer and philosopher who left us an abundance of riches on the impact of technology on our modern world, or what he called the “technological society.” I’ve been working through his book The Technological Society for a while now. It’s dense, slow reading, but is jam packed with insights. Aside from merely the proliferation and growth of technology in the West over the last century, Ellul notes that we’ve become a culture obsessed with “technique,” performing tasks for efficiency instead of intrinsic purpose, and training ourselves to relate to other people in like manner. What matters under technique’s domination is not morals or human dignity but about outcome and “results,” being bigger, better, and faster. Read More ›

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COVID-19 coronavirus and crisis concept, US president Franklin`s eyes and face mask on 100 dollar money bill. Corona virus affects global stock market.

Is the Public Health Technocracy Faltering?

Technocrats don’t rely on mandates but eagerly impose policies that render society less free

In February, I warned about a treaty being negotiated to empower the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic, which would trigger governments assuming mandatory emergency powers. From, “Transforming WHO into a Public-Health Technocracy“: The WHO director-general would be granted the power to “declare pandemics,” at which point emergency provisions of the treaty to impose public-health policies would go into effect. . . . The WHO would be able to dictate policies if international consensus were not obtained by a vote of the two presidents and four vice presidents of the WHO CA+. . . The International Court of Justice would also be granted decisive power. . . . It would centralize pandemic planning and response into itself. . . Read More ›

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Vienna - lion for national library

Michael Aeschliman on C.S. Lewis and Scientism

Aeschliman observes how technological progress and scientific mastery, when it isn't wedded with virtue and moral knowledge, wreaks havoc

Michael D. Aeschliman first wrote The Restoration of Man: C.S. Lewis and the Continuing Case Against Scientism in 1983. It was praised as a remarkable achievement upon its arrival by eminent writers and thinkers like Russell Kirk, Malcolm Muggeridge, and George Gilder. Discovery Institute Press published an expanded and updated edition of the book in 2019, and a recent podcast episode featuring Aeschliman piqued my own interest in the book. Aeschliman writes on the advent of “scientism,” the belief that science is the only viable path to knowledge and should therefore be esteemed above all other disciplines. Such a view leads to the reckless moral relativism and “will to power” that arguably brought about the bloodbaths of the twentieth century, Read More ›

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A man on the background of a gloomy city

Science, Safety, & Slavery to the State

Revisiting a 2022 conversation between Paul Kingsnorth and Jonathan Pageau

Paul Kingsnorth is a writer and novelist living in Ireland who operates a Substack account called the Abbey of Misrule. For years his work has focused on the many forms of civilizational control that human beings seek to exert over their fellow man and how such power, whether it be technological, governmental, or corporate, diminishes our humanity and freedom. He is also a newly converted Christian, and he wrote his conversion story for First Things last summer, which you can find here. In April, Kingsnorth joined Jonathan Pageau on his YouTube channel. Pageau is an Eastern Orthodox iconographer from Canada. In their discussion, Kingsnorth uses the word “Machine” to describe the massive technological control that’s now not so subtly creeping up on many western countries. From Read More ›

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Hand holding smart phone with abstract glowing squares

The Government Can Bug Your Phone

Discovery Institute Fellow Debra Saunders raises the alarm of present-day technocratic measures

Debra J. Saunders, a fellow at Discovery Institute’s Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership, wrote an article for The Daily Caller this week on the mounting problem of privacy regarding cell phone usage. Saunders expresses concern about the ease in which government and Big Tech companies can mine data and track people through their cell phones.  Saunders thinks the COVID pandemic sped up the process of privacy violations. She recalls a 2021 incident in which the state of Massachusetts purportedly worked with Google to download a COVID tracker app without users’ notice or consent. Now, the state is facing a lawsuit. Saunders reports, The New Civil Liberties Alliance filed a class-action lawsuit this month against the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to end Read More ›

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Close up of a man hand is using a futuristic latest innovative technology glass tablet with augmented reality holograms as a remote control of smart home appliances at home or office.

Never Mind Alexa; Is Even Roomba Spying on Us?

No, that’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s easy and profitable today to embed monitoring apps — and people don’t seem to mind

In PC Mag’s “Best Home Smart Devices for 2022,” tech reviewer Angela Moscaritolo tells us “My house is working toward a PhD. Little by little, it’s getting smarter.” No. That house is not getting any smarter. But smart people — whom no one asked in — are getting to know way more about what goes on in it. A couple of data management scientists recently offered some thoughts about that: Back in 2007, it would have been hard to imagine the revolution of useful apps and services that smartphones ushered in. But they came with a cost in terms of intrusiveness and loss of privacy. Smart devices collect a wide range of data about their users. Smart security cameras and Read More ›

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Automotive Engineer Use Virtual Reality Headset for Virtual Electric Car 3D Model Design Analysis and Improvement. 3D Graphics Visualization Shows Fully Developed Vehicle Prototype Analysed Optimized

Why Don’t Some Tech Moguls Like Web3, the New Internet?

Web3 is a decentralized, less controlled version of the internet, as George Gilder predicted in Life After Google

In this week’s podcast, “Web3: The next generation of the internet” (August 4, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviews graduate student Adam Goad and Dr. Austin Egbert, both in computer engineering at Baylor University, on the coming decentralization of the internet. With developments like the ones they discuss looming, Big Tech may be seeing a waistline trim. This is the Part I of the first of the three discussions. https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/08/Mind-Matters-198-Adam-Goad-Austin-Egbert.mp3 A partial transcript and Additional Resources follow. Dr. Marks began by discussing all the services he gets from Google, confessing that he has not needed to go to a library in over two decades. But… Robert J. Marks: Now, is Google just being nice in giving me Read More ›

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Double exposure of business woman and Big Data concept. Digital neural network.Introduction of artificial intelligence. Cyberspace of future.Science and innovation of technology.city background.

Google’s Most Ambitious Project to Date: Reshaping Your Thinking

Controlling so much communication — and fired up by ideology — it’s in a better position for that than many suppose

In a column yesterday at Spiked, urban studies specialist Joel Kotkin, author of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class (2020), provided depressing evidence that the power of Big Tech is beginning to genuinely resemble the power medieval lords had over their serfs. It’s not just an office joke any more. Google, he recounts, was part of an anti-authoritarian high tech culture when it went public in 2004. Its search engine technology, and others, were seen as empowering the little guy. In 2018, for unclear reasons, Google dropped the famous “Don’t be evil” slogan. Since then, in Kotkin’s view, it is “increasingly becoming a force not for good, but for, well, evil.” He musters an impressive Read More ›

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New strong password and weak ones near keyboard.

Forget Your Password? Apple Wants To End Them for Good But…

Do you want to give Apple your face- and fingerprints, maybe other “biometrics” down the road…?

We’ve all heard the tales of woe about people whose password was “password” or “123456” or “BertJones”. Currently, Big Tech, tired of the flak and the fallout, is trying to end passwords. Here’s Apple’s approach: When Apple’s latest software updates for iPhones, iPads and Macs arrive this fall, they will include a way for users to log into various online accounts without entering passwords or relying on password managers to save and fill in credentials. The technology generates unique passkeys for each app or browser-based service in the place of characters. Those passkeys, a new type of identity authentication, prompt a scan of your face or fingerprints to log you in… Passkeys, like those from Apple, are made up of Read More ›

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Chinese hacker. Laptop with binary computer code and china flag on the screen. Internet and network security.

The Internet Is Freedom? Not for Exiled Democracy Activists

Modern electronic communications ensure that persecution need not stop at the border, as many expat Chinese are discovering

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a U.S. citizen and four Chinese intelligence officers “had been charged with spying on “prominent dissidents, human rights leaders and pro-democracy activists” in the United States on behalf of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Americans and others who live in open societies may not be aware of this transnational oppression problem if they do not have contacts who have escaped totalitarian regimes. Briefly, today, the persecution doesn’t stop at the border. Modern electronic communications are part of the reason why not: “If anyone doubts how serious the Chinese government is about silencing its critics, this case should eliminate any uncertainty,” said Acting Executive Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler Jr. Read More ›

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Social but not social

Will AI Overtake Humans? Only If We Let It

We are getting too cozy with dependence on high tech to ease the burden of thinking for ourselves

This story originally appeared at Newsmax. (May 19, 2022) As I reported last year, there’s been a lot of talk about a Singularity in the last decade. That’s the point when machine intelligence (AI) exceeds human intelligence and begins to rule humanity and eventually the entire universe. It’s a scary proposition to be sure, but we can rest easy on that front, because it’s not going to happen. The futurists assume there’s a bridge between narrow applications of AI and the general intelligence humans possess. But no such bridge exists. As Erik J. Larson explains in his book The Myth of Artificial Intelligence, we’re not even on the right road to such a bridge. You can also take George Gilder’s word for it. One Read More ›