Waves of crises and disasters, often engineered, have made it hard for most to see the sweeping changes the Fourth Industrial Revolution has in the works. Namely the billionaires’ plan to hand entire job sectors over to robots and algorithms, forcing millions into poverty. Dispossessed of their means of economic support the masses can be more readily transformed into “social impact” data commodities, compelled to navigate an augmented reality police state “game,” otherwise known as “smart” cities.
In the wreckage of the global economy, who’s coming out ahead? Forbes reported ten billionaires netted $51 billion in a market rebound that ended April 9. Among them were tech oligarchs Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Elon Musk, Larry Ellison, and Mark Zuckerberg. Indeed they will be well-positioned to invest in the human capital bonds the Federal Reserve will be promoting in the coming years.
As the 2015-2035 timeline of Global Education Futures predicts, portfolios of the future will be portfolios comprised of people. Indeed last summer Microsoft filed a patent at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to mine crypto-currency through bodily activity, including brain waves. Great, so perhaps we won’t simply be portfolio items, but actual batteries creating wealth for predators from our human essence. Just like the Matrix. Please, someone get me off this ride that is “stakeholder capitalism.”
Against a rapidly changing backdrop of Covid-19, many find themselves adrift, anxious, frantically flipping through dog-eared rulebooks for the game they thought they were playing. In fact the switch has flipped, and we’re in a NEW game. We’ve gone over the cliff, and it’s vital that we truly understand our field of operations before biometric identity Covid-19 certificates come online.
Those of us who can see what is coming are kind of like Wile E. Coyotes scrambling in mid air before we drop likes stones. I’d say we have a year tops to educate and organize the masses to stop the rise of digital biocapitalism, the intended fallout of this pandemic.
If we don’t stop this treacherous techno-fascist enterprise, we’re going to face a future of compliance to AI-determined “personalized” “pay for success” pathways. We expect everyone to behave and play along in their wearable tech so investors get paid. Smart phones as minders with assistance from drones, Amazon Ring, and zealous neighbors.
Silicon Valley Pandemic and Pay for Success
The gears have started to turn, with talk stirring of “back-to-work.” So much harm done, so many impact opportunities generated. You can be sure the diabolical social entrepreneurs are at the ready. On March 31, 2020, Tracy Palandjian, CEO of Social Finance, and Paul Brest, Professor of Impact Investing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, jointly penned a missive to social entrepreneurs titled, “After the Pandemic, Addressing The Permanent Crisis With Pay For Success Finance” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Please note the framing here of a “permanent” crisis.
They admonished philanthropists to be intentional about using the short-term emergency created by Covid-19 to push for systems change via outcomes-based contracting. Silicon Valley has spoken. This next round of grants to immiserated non-profits are meant to ensure forced compliance with the data-driven rules of fin-tech’s new pay for success game. In particular, Palandjian and Brest promoted using it to fund supportive housing and online education and training.
Education and health data, including behavioral health (social-emotional learning / SEL data), are cued up to drive global markets. The two have become intertwined, feeding off one another. This is why it was not at all surprising when I saw that Learning Economy was a partner in the new Covid Credential Initiative. A digital identity passport on Blockchain can hold many types of tokens – health status, skills badges, to financiers there’s not much difference. The rich can extract impact data from these tokens to gamble on them singly or in combination. The higher the stack of credentials the bigger the payout on the game.
The screen shot below is taken from the Covid Credentials Initiative website. I suppose we are supposed to believe these 60+ organizations came together in under a month to bring blockchain identity to scale. If we’re going to get back to “normal,” you can be sure the elite want it “controlled” and “measured.” I mean if life is lived OFF a dashboard does it really “count” as living? I imagine that’s what newly-minted data analysts are trained to think. Where’s the “social impact value” to be derived from that? The “privacy-preserving” language here is code for Blockchain.
The first community study of Covid-19 antibodies was published this week by Stanford Medical School. The study determined there had been substantially higher rates of infection, which in turn lowered the mortality rate for Santa Clara County, CA, the focus of the study. An article in the Mercury News stated the number of cases was 50 to 85 times the original estimate, which revised fatality rates downward from 3% to .12 to .2%.
It should be noted that Santa Clara and neighboring San Mateo Counties are also part of the Project Baseline Covid-19 screening program rolled out by Google’s subsidiary Verily. Google and Apple have stepped up to take the lead on contact tracing, and my suspicion is that despite these more promising numbers, there will be a continued push for digital disease surveillance, the cattle prod that could open the door to health passports on Blockchain and health data impact investing.
Interactive version of map here.
It just so happens that San Jose, a tech hub, is the Santa Clara County seat. It is a Bloomberg-financed “smart city” with 5G and Facebook Terragraph pilots. Santa Clara and San Mateo are hotbeds of pay for success finance. Proofs of concept for early childhood education, literacy, housing and mental health were advanced through a partnership with Third Sector Capital Partners. Google backed two of these projects – “Big Lift” the literacy effort and a social impact bond called Project Welcome Home.
In this “welcome home” scenario, however, Palantir (predictive policing, and ICE contracts) reviews the data of all receiving services; so in the end this supportive housing is not welcoming at all. The region is also home to Datazone and the Silicon Valley Regional Data Trust, the pilot interoperability data warehouse affiliated with Stewards of Change and the National Interoperability Collaborative. Data is the new oil and the electrical engineers and innovative financiers of Silicon Valley have teamed up to devise a plan to frack it from our minds and from our bodies while framing it as a social good.
So as we consider the scaling up of national disease surveillance efforts, we must understand them within a larger context of genomic profiling, financialization, and expansive Internet of Things (IoT) sensor networks. This is all in play in Silicon Valley, in Santa Clara. There is a reason this county was chosen for the first Covid-19 anti-body study. These are the dots that those in power prefer we not connect.
Interactive map of Santa Clara County / San Jose Impact Investing here.