Level Up – Life In A Post Pandemic Video Game

This event has already taken place.

The slide share.

The glossary of terms.

This Saturday August 22, 2020 from 10am to 1pm EST, Joseph Gonzalez and I will host a three-hour program through Incite Seminars exploring what it would mean to live in an augmented reality gamified police state. Capitalism isn’t dying. It has, in fact, jumped into the virtual world. A predatory digital infrastructure of surveillance and value extraction is being rolled out now in response to Covid-19. Very few people are aware of the bigger picture. This isn’t about a single outbreak, but rather the coercive normalization of technocracy using ongoing biosecurity threats as a mechanism of global domination. It is the billionaire oligarchs who will be controlling the data dashboard panopticon.

Pre-registration for the seminar is required. Sign up here. We’re asking for a donation in an amount that feels right to you. Joseph and I are volunteering our services, but it takes resources to run the platform we’re using, and we’re also hoping to direct some funding towards Lakota food growing efforts described in my prior post,  Timpsila, Medicine for Tech-No-Logic. Proceeds from the seminar will be split between the two. I know folks found a lot of comfort in the Timpsila post, so if you’re in a position to lend support directly, I know Chas Jewett (Venmo @chas-jewett-1) will definitely put a gift in any amount to good use.

My understanding is that this seminar will be recorded, and I plan to post a link once I get it. For those of who’d  like to start wrapping your head around what we’re planning to talk about, I’ve posted a glossary of terms. I invite you to consider them in relation to this short video about a poor family’s involvement with a “community care coordinator” named Kathy.

Given what I know is coming, I’ll take the liberty to read between the lines and offer my take on this video. The entire family is under state supervision due to the father’s involvement with the “justice” system. Remember, the state of “prison” is changing as for-profit companies like Geo Group and CoreCivic have shifted resources into social work and “continuum of care” programs.

Consider a future of criminalized poverty where the threat of family separation is forever held over people’s heads to get them to comply to draconian edicts. The mass impoverishment being created by the global response to Covid is straight up market-shaping for a Fourth Industrial Revolution economy that will run on social impact schemes. This is biocapitalism, coyly branded by the Davos crowd as stake-holder capitalism. The sources of data extraction fueling it will be education, healthcare, and housing services. Human behavior, our relationships to one another and to the earth, will be calibrated against United Nation’s Sustainability Goal metrics ensuring we’re “good” obedient citizens, the scope of our lives limited to the generation of harvestable “transparent” data that will profit sociopathic investors.

Though the video sidesteps it using extremely vague character portrayals that imply whiteness, these systems will continue to be highly racialized, because impact markets run on trauma. That fact makes Black and Indigenous people, whose communities have been systematically brutalized for centuries, attractive targets for the myriad predatory data-mining “solutions” that loom on the horizon.

The community care coordinator, Kathy, is still human (though faceless), but in the future could end up being a synthetic person, artificial intelligence attached to an avatar. All family members will be assigned digital identity numbers to track their movements through society and within “smart” Internet of Things connected environments, compliments of 5G.

As they’re tracked, geolocation and behavioral data will be collected to develop robust profiles of individuals and the household unit. That data-mining will determine the direction of their assigned pathways in the event revisions are deemed necessary. The pathway programs will be informed by behavioral economics, with digital nudges used to keep the poor “on track.” Through wearable technology and check-in apps, the system will learn THEM in intimate detail. This will be imposed on the family as a condition of receiving public benefits. They will not be able to withhold their consent.

Kathy is a gig worker, an independent contractor. She, too, will be assigned a digital identity to track her “efficacy” and “fidelity” in implementing the required programs and documenting the “social impact” she generates. That profile will shape the opportunities made available to her as well as her reimbursement and benefits. Each person has a pathway – a set of tasks they must complete to reach the end of the “game.” The investors, however, know the game is rigged, and neither the family nor the social worker is likely to escape – even if they do everything right.

Global investors put money into the “evidence-based” services Kathy queues up for her human capital bond “clients.” When the mother and daughter play along and complete specific tasks, sensors trigger a check box. This verifies a blockchain smart contract and a permanent record is added to the blockchain documenting their compliance. Kathy and her non-profit get a micro-payment, and a token is transferred to investors who collect them to prove the “social impact” they’ve created. It is these tokens that are redeemed for human capital bond profit.

Though the video doesn’t show it, all pathways will be part of the Internet of Things surveillance program associated with United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 “Health,” which has been backed by the predatory philanthropy of Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, among others.

Below is a glossary of terms. I’d like to thank all my friends in the virtual world out there who helped me put this together. I look forward to “seeing” some of you this weekend! If you have thoughts about what you’d like to have covered in this seminar, shoot me an email at awrenchinthegears@gmail.com.

Level Up: Life In A Post Pandemic Video Game

Technocracy – highly-regulated form of governance in which industrial engineering experts apply the scientific method and energy expenditure analysis to individual and social activities

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – mechanism through which the World Economic Forum intends to implement a program of global technocracy combined with predatory social impact investing

Data – Information, often stored on a computer, used to analyze and plan

Biometric Data – unique human elements that identify us individually to devices and systems

Digital ID – unique identifier that aggregates all of a person’s data as a permanent record

Data-Mining – new insights and patterns derived from analysis of large data sets

Cloud Computing – use of remote, internet-based servers to store and access information

5G – high frequency cellular network conceived of in 2008 and first implemented in South Korea in 2019. It relies on intrusive small cell infrastructure to operate the Internet of Things.

6G – planned infrastructure to advance cyber-physical fusion, digital twins, holograms, and communication between artificial intelligence agents and robots

Interoperability – structured systems that allow free flow of data

Algorithm – rules to achieve a desired outcome, fixed decision trees, if x then y

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – software that can covertly learn and predict behavior, often without consent

Machine Learning – computers figuring out how to carry out tasks they were not explicitly programmed with training data – structured, unstructured, and reinforcement techniques.

Behavioral Economics – psychology behind economic decision-making

Gamification – design strategies that make desired behaviors seem “fun”

Nudge – design features encouraging a preferred choice

Blockchain – database using decentralized nodes, un-erasable, encrypted

Crypto-Currency – digital value created and stored on blockchain

Smart Contracts – self-executing digital agreements (if x condition is met then y happens) that are activated by sensor data and then permanently authenticated and recorded on blockchain

Smart Cities – environments that collect data in order to modify behavior

Charter Cities – set zones governed by interests outside the elected government

Biometric Data – unique human elements identifying us to devices / systems

Transhumanism – humans evolving beyond physical bodies to merge with computing systems via ingestibles, injections, and implants.

Cyborg – mechanical element(s) added to an organic body to enhance function

Human Piezoelectric Energy Harvest – use of wearable and nano-technology to capture mechanical energy from life processes (blood flow, blinking, walking, swallowing, heart beat)

Internet of Things (IoT) – sensor networks that collect and transmit data

Internet of Bodies (IoB) – human life processes tracked by sensor networks

Digital Twin – virtual replicas connected by sensors to the people, environments, or systems they represent used for real time simulation modeling

Wearable Technology – materials worn on or close to the skin that transmit vital signs, receive and process ambient data, and provide biofeedback.

Haptic –relating to touch and manipulation of objects, can involve mechanical controllers

Geo-Location – Movement patterns of a person or device monitored and predicted using aggregated Internet data

Geo-Fencing – digitally established boundaries within which certain actions are automatically triggered in the presence of a mobile device or sensor

Behavioral Economics – psychology behind economic decision-making

Nudge – design features encouraging a preferred choice

Augmented Reality – digital information overlay on the real world – Pokémon-Go

Virtual Reality – Immersive digital experience that uses a head set and haptic controllers to generate two-way data capture with nudges

Social Impact Investing – a virtue-washing program that entails gambling on and managing impoverished people and degraded natural systems

Human Capital Bonds – financial instruments generating profit for investors using privatized social welfare systems to compel recipients to perform “life” on data-generating pathways of “self-improvement.” Bonds can be securitized, creating opportunities for financiers to bet for OR against compliance of the poor.

Pathway – tasks assigned to individuals / groups that generate the personally identifiable information needed to fuel human capital bond markets

Evidence-Based – social welfare interventions in which “success” is “proven” when a recipient’s data is steered towards an outcome that benefits investors

Nano-Technology – field of manipulating matter at one billionth of a meter, which can unlock unusual magnetic, chemical, and biological properties.

3 thoughts on “Level Up – Life In A Post Pandemic Video Game

  1. Laura H. Chapman says:

    Thanks for the “definitions” you have created to help demystify the aims behind some of the verbiage, too often ignored or greeted with acceptance as perfectly normal…e.g., social impact bonds.

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