The WHO pandemic treaty is a grave concern and key to pushing us into the Metaverse through compulsory digital identity. In my opinion, however, the World Economic Forum, with its over-the-top villainous caricatures, is meant to keep the resisting public’s eyes trained on Davos thus providing cover for smaller, more nimble organizations, such as the Berggruen Institute, to proceed relatively unimpeded with the on-the-ground policy changes needed to make Fourth Industrial Revolution’s stakeholder capitalism a reality.
One example is California SB1190 that would establish a “Trust Framework” at the state level. This bill was introduced to the state senate in early March by Robert Hertzberg, close friend of Los Angeles billionaire investor Nicholas Berggruen. Hertzberg pitched the legislation in a low-key way, just one more innovation that would offer protection from identity theft and provide a way for students to more easily share educational records.
What could possibly be wrong with that? Well, authorizing the government to open a portal into a militarized mixed-reality game where we’re expected to verify our unique humanity to the machine and where our social relations are governed by the Soulbound Tokens we’ve managed to scrape together, is a proposal worthy of more far attention and critical review than was given to it in that mostly empty chamber on March 30, 2022.
Life Under The DOME
Jennifer Lyn Morone is a performance artist and Chief Creative Officer at RadicalXChange, a non-profit started in Moraga, California in 2018 for, according to their 2019 990 IRS Form, “advancing education and research concerning fair and efficient institutions.” While getting her MA at the Royal College of Art in London in 2014 Morone, an American, incorporated herself as Jennifer Lyn Morone, Inc. in Delaware and put forth the idea of DOME, an open-source app that would contain a Database of ME. There’s your “Trust Framework” / DID (Decentralized Identifier). Individuals would be valued relative to society based on the quality of data generated from heartbeats to heartbreak.
I speak often of Steven Newcomb’s work in this area of the Doctrine of Domination, what it means to agree to live beneath the DOME of governance, the Liberty Bell, the yoke of submission. This is particularly relevant for the state of California whose mission bells remade existence for hundreds of tribes living on their sacred lands before the arrival of the Spanish, the Christian faith, and natural resource extraction, which included indigenous slave labor.
While Morone’s effort is framed as a critique of capital, it’s actually a soft endorsement of the planned transition to stakeholder capitalism with blockchained “community” currencies drawn from programmed behavior aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. RadicalXChange is change management from the root (radical). Which begs the question what change is being facilitated? Global economics? The future of work? Manifestations of relationship? National identity? Culture? Reproduction? Governance? Biological function? Do regular people have a say in the changes that are being made to the fabric of our lives?
The organization’s website shows the following as tools to be deployed in the change campaign: community currencies (programmable geo-fenced money); collective data bargaining (negotiating with the data panopticon); plural voting (credits register intensity of feeling on issues-Delphi?); plural funding (public goods allocation based on demonstrated citizen participation); plural property (partial common ownership – Harberger/Georgism efficient markets); and Soulbound Tokens (non-transferable tags indicating affiliation or achievement). Get out in front and establish parameters within with discussion of artificial intelligence, data analytics, and synthetic life will be contained.
The options now on the table appear to be:
1) You’re ok with tech behemoths stealing your data.
2) You support owning your data and agreeing to become a tokenized commodity.
3) You support the idea, as a good global digital citizen, of creating data commons (digitally twinned worlds upon which simulations can be run) with some control measures and renumeration involved.
These are false choices. There are more options that the ones they place before you. Use your gifts. Get creative.
Track, Trace, Trust and Alienation
Biosurveillance track-and-trace data is an example of the kind of communal data, or data commons, they intend for us to share as “responsible” members of society. In augmented reality, we must be tracked and traced with unique identifiers all the time, or layered data streams cannot be integrated, and information overlays fall apart. The digital empire cannot function without rivers of sensor-based geo-location data pouring over the entire planet fed by ubiquitous-sensing, nanoparticulate smart dust.
Think of the pollution – chemical and frequency. Poison the planet to “save” it. Poison the children to “solve poverty.” If you have a “social impact” and it isn’t captured digitally, did it really happen? Not in Shanzhai City’s version of reality. The image below is a scenario promoted by the Hong Kong-based development organization that leverages requirements for “last mile” impact verification to rationalize conducting invasive surveillance outside and inside the homes of poor families using a decentralized blockchain app that has artificial vision and machine learning and creates and “immutable data trail.” That, of course is what the partners in the Impact Management Project need to profit from dispossession, and what Ocean Protocol and Singularity.Net need to move their AGI intentions forward.
Layers of programmed “reality” can’t sync without precise mapping of all “things” at all times. The proposed California “Trust Framework,” SB1190, is a cornerstone upon which a new data economy will be built. It is a framework intended not simply to “protect” identity, but to twin our identities and our social relations. Once captured in a silicon simulacrum, our digital doppelgangers will be used to facilitate prediction markets and enhance the machine learning that may one day turn us into smart-city livestock geo-fenced into an artificial intelligence version of FarmVille.
The internet of bio-nano things advanced by researchers like Ian Akyildiz at Georgia Tech’s Broadband Wireless Networking Lab, seeks to merge our innate biological communications with engineered cyber-physical systems tied to social impact performance metrics. Silicon Valley needs Robert Hertzberg to make provisions for digital trust in the Eureka state. Engineers at the most elite universities, many in California (UC San Diego, UCLA, Cal-Tech, UC Santa Barbara, Stanford, UC Berkeley), are building a future where through opto- and chemo-genetics our biology and even our thoughts can be remotely monitored and altered through the use of magnetic frequencies. If this all sounds a bit out there, I invite you to review slides prepared by Dr. Akyildiz five years ago for an IFA gathering in Lisbon, Portugal five years ago. IFA, the Internationale Funkasustellung, is one of the oldest consumer electronics conferences started in Berlin in 1924.
Think back over the past two years about the ways in which the establishment has attempted us to alienate us from one another, from our bodies, and from our own common sense. For their bizarre empire of manipulated frequency and bio-computational colonization to prevail, most people will have to agree to exchange their inner guidance for an outsourced outlook defined by data-driven analytics served up by experts, the chosen digerati.
Remember, they’ve twinned us and will run the program many times to determine just what angle, just which buttons to push, to get us to hand over the keys to our consciousness, our agency. Consider that virtual assistant they have lined up to nudge you through your nano-phone. Who’s going to run it?
Lockdowns allowed QR codes and wearables including ICT apps to be normalized among the general population. We were conditioned to be thankful that the data was there to keep us “safe,” just as we will be conditioned to be grateful for the conveniences big data offers us in the hyper-real panopticon. We’re not supposed to look too closely at who funded all the wonderfully synchronized geo-location data, lest we be forced to come to terms with the fact that our playfully augmented cities are ongoing psychological operations run by state intelligence.
The Ethics of Tokenizing People
RadicalXChange is backed by a few dozen of the world’s most influential impact investment outfits, including Omidyar Network, Microsoft, NESTA, Ocean Protocol, Institute for New Economic Thinking, the Charter Cities Institute, and the Alfred P. Sloan, Kauffman, Hewlett, and Rockefeller Foundations. Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin and E. Glen Weyl, Princeton-trained economist now at Microsoft who embraces the idea of free markets to address income inequality and restore social order, are both on the board. Puja Ohlhaver published Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul with the two men on May 10, 2022.
In the paper they asserted that our current state of hyper-capitalism could be diffused through global adoption of non-transferrable Soulbound Tokens (SBTs) that would allow people to build social identities and reputations in mixed reality through the acquisition of non-transferable assets. This presumes, of course, that we want to hand over our lives (and souls) to Web 3.0 and exist as tokenized data assets (or compliant digital citizens) in the matrix, known as their “Trust Framework.”
I pressed the authors of the paper on that point, as well as the Weyl’s wife Alisha Holland who is a professor of government at Harvard with a specialization in poverty and infrastructure in Latin America. I tweeted them that I had read the paper and asked:
“Do you believe tokenizing people/children as human capital data assets on blockchain for hedge funds speculation is ethical? Yes or no.”
I included a screenshot of a twitter thread dated March 23, 201 from Nicholas Berggruen, founder of the Berggruen Institute and close friend of Robert Hertzberg, the state senator who introduced the California Trust Framework legislation:
Berggruen’s first tweet: “Each individual life is an asset, valuable just by being. This is as a participant in the economy, and as data. In addition, everyone is likely to become a recipient of some form of universal basic income or universal basic capital in the future.
The second tweet: “Therefore individuals could be tokenized on the block chain, unlocking their potential economic value. It may sound utopian, yet it might be a financing mechanism to fund people throughout their lives if used within reasonable limits.”
The third tweet: “You could also imagine each citizen having a min value as a share of a nation’s economic pie. That threshold could be underwritten by governments & by their worth as data. Thus, all are stakeholders in the economy no matter what, and can be actors in the economy throughout their lives.”
Weyl and Ohlhaver responded that they did NOT feel it was ethical and that their goal was to do the opposite of what Berggruen was proposing and to address “web2 surveillance and defi-sell-anything-for-a-token” and encourage collective action. Nothing was said of the social-impact finance funders backing RadicalXChange or the role that tokenized impact data will have on humans, the environment, and the development of AGI (generalized artificial intelligence).
Another member of RadicalXChange’s six-member board is Danielle Allen. Allen is a Harvard professor at the Safra Center for Ethics who maintains an affiliation with the Berggruen Network. She gave a talk titled “What Kind of Revolution Was That? Polarization And The Path Forward After January 6” for the Possible Worlds lecture series that Nicholas sponsors with UCLA in late January 2021. Catch the spin in her chosen title? It should be noted that Weyl, like Allen, has a Safra connection having co-chaired and offered technical assistance to their “Rapid Response Task Force on Covid 19.”
Profitable Opportunities In Open Data
Matt Prewitt, president of RadicalXChange, wrote an article for Berggruen’s magazine Noema titled “A View Of The Future Of Our Data: Welcome To The Era Of Data Coalitions.” This quote stakes out option three above, the managed data commons:
“If individual data ownership is Scylla, the mythical sea monster who devoured unwary sailors, then open data is Charybdis, the whirlpool near Scylla’s cave. Finding the narrow path between the two means treating data like a police force or a water system – that is, as the subject of widely shared yet deeply responsible governance.”
Prewitt’s long-form essay spent quite a bit of time outlining the operations of emergent data coalitions, which is a concept I’m not familiar with. I couldn’t find much about this idea other than the webpage of the Data Coalition, an initiative of the Data Foundation, whose focus is very much in alignment with data-driven impact markets. The group lobbied for passage of the Data Accountability and Transparency Act signed by Obama in 2014. These are their policy issues: data-sharing, evidence-based decision making, government spending, innovation and emerging tech, market and reg-tech (regulatory technology) data, and open data.
I imagine that Opportunity Zones, up to 25% of each state’s low-income census tracts that often overlap with Empowerment Zones and Promise Zones, will become tests beds for blockchained social engineering framed a benevolent, progressive uplift through the wonders of open data. No protections for local communities against gentrification were built into the first round. I suspect that is so they can create a terrible problem and then offer the solution of blockchained social impact metrics when the legislation gets extended into a new phase.
Tax forms for RadicalXChange show a Moraga address, but Prewitt’s LinkedIn indicates he is in Oakland. Oakland is where UpTogether is piloting Universal Basic Income. I spoke on this topic at length in the two-part podcast I did with What’s Left? based in the Bay Area here and here. Oakland has thirty designated Opportunity Zone tracts. Its schools have been centers of privatization by ed-tech and social impact finance interests for several decades, and Alameda County hosted social impact initiatives tied to asthma, incarceration, and early childhood education. Moving forward, all of this will be data-driven, with “evidence-based” “solutions” that impose new levels of data surveillance on vulnerable, traumatized communities, especially children. But a narrative is being woven that instead of digital livestock, Oakland residents should picture themselves as empowered digital citizens who, through the sharing of their data exhaust, become active participants in bettering their community. Even as in the background, social entrepreneurs like Stanley Druckenmiller and his Blue Meridian Partners patiently wait for StriveTogether’s collective impact plans to bear fruit. The pieces are slowly being assembled, including Assembly Bill 2517, Mia Bonta’s “It Takes A Village” Act that would coordinate social support services for Promise Zone children. So many traumas; each one a vertical. This is why ACEs scoring is a huge focus right now. Governor Newsom needs the baselines to scale the social impact game.
For now, few are prepared to acknowledge that the cradle to career data pipelines and e-transcript provisions put in place by California’s elected officials will advance social efficiency, automation, global platform labor, human capital investing, and machine learning towards posthumanism. Few want to see that educational credentials aren’t meant to be old-fashioned transcripts rendered digitally, but rather dynamic collections of Soulbound Tokens that unlock “opportunities” for degrading telepresence work and run simulations to game our behaviors and manipulate us in unimaginable ways.
Berggruen’s “Transformations of the Human” initiative is moving forward in alignment with top researchers and esteemed corporate executives in California, the nation, and beyond. What does it mean that the lead funder of the project, Reid Hoffman, made his fortune at LinkedIn, the platform embraced by MaCarthur Foundation’s Collective Shift program to advance Pokemon-Go education built on digital badges? Collective Shift’s Cities of LRNG have been using municipal youth summer employment programs, including in San Jose, to get teens set up on LinkedIn in preparation for the next phase of Soulbound Tokens stored in blockchain learning record stores via xAPI technology. Each token helps to build out digital twins; the first stage of transforming humans into holograms.
People have been worked up over “social credit scores” for months, pointing fingers at China, when predictive profiling for credit ratings and threat scoring originated in the Bay Area in 1956 with two Stanford alumni. The system is hungry for data about what makes us tick now and in the future. Marin County Promise, a StriveTogether collective impact affiliate, supports AB2517. Larry Rosenberger, board treasurer and head of the finance committee, led FICO throughout the 1990s. He participated in StriveTogether’s 2013 Social Emotional Learning Taskforce. This is part of competency-based education. For the soul-killing future they have planned for tele-op robot operators, they need badges / tokens to indicate which workers are resilient, disciplined, obedient. I suspect aggregated SEL data is highly predictive.
Rosenberger surely knows his way around data. His LinkedIn profile shows an involvement with Fair Isaac Corporation since 1974, 47+ years. Larry’s current board affiliations show in stark relief what the data economy looks like trading on precarity, austerity, and surveillance of people living on the edge.
The interests backing RadicalXChange want the public’s sole concern to be about proper compensation of digital labor in the global data economy and things like anti-racist AI. The former relates to the idea of “data dividends” floated by Gavin Newsom and his collaborator Nicholas Berggruen. What they do NOT want is for us to question the legitimacy of the entire game and refuse to join in their quest to catalyze the Singularity with our impact data tokens. They do not want us to assert our right to environmental healing that don’t involve dousing the planet in smart dust and nanoparticles. They don’t want us to assert our rights to build face to face community, in person outside their trustless IoT biosurveillance state. Their goal is to get us to agree to live in the story they’ve framed out with bought-off artists, philosophers, and influencers. But we can say step out from under their contrived DOME. That is our superpower as the sons and daughters of life.
For all who aspire to being considered good relatives after our passing, NOW is the time to carefully examine how our relationships to one another and between our bodies and the physical environment are being intentionally degraded so as to be re-engineered into a trustless network of bio-reactors bound by digital hallucinations. Institute for the Future, a Palo Alto think tank that does foresight work for clients like Accenture and Microsoft, created a document in 2017 entitled “Map of the Decade 2017-2027: Blockchain Futures Reshaping the World at the Intersection of Money, Technology, and Human Identity.” The future they envisioned was one where there are no companies. Instead, we work for machines, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. We will be paid in tokens and have no more rights than the machines we work for. “Justice” will be carried out through smart contract automated law.
As a mother, I am begging everyone involved in this scheme to stop and think before proceeding. Are we really going to accept Hertzberg’s understated pitch for this “Trust Framework” only to later realize we’ve pushed our children into an open air digital zoo where humans are kept for the entertainment of AI?
The Dao is the hearth and the home
of the ten thousand things.
Good souls treasure it,
lost souls find shelter in it.
When I looked up an analysis of what #62 meant, it said that this was a story of the way. That there were those who were in alignment with it and could use that power for good, and there were those who were lost and could not. Later the passage speaks to need for society to care for all and provide guidance. I would assert, however, that big data cyber nudges tied to conditional social welfare would not be the way. In this teaching no one was cast out; all were included. It was a story of compassion and forgiveness. In that it is very closely aligned with the views expressed by my friend Cliff in a guest post on my blog last year, “Washed Clean in a Palace of Love.”
I tried to engage with the authors of the Soulbound Token paper through Twitter. I made a little progress. They are living in a different story than mine. Maybe they are lost in an enchantment that makes them feel empowered to do good, while being pawns in a totalitarian control system they cannot yet see. Web 3.0, DIDs, Social Currency, Data Economy, Decentralized Society, Unique Proof of Humanity, and Robert Hertzberg’s California Trust Framework, SB1190, are ultimately NOT about money or social control. Rather, they are an aggregation of misguided efforts to try and fabricate a networked, mechanized “brain” from enormous piles of tagged tokens that are supposed to represent the sacredness of life. It’s bound to be a miserable failure, but how much harm will be caused in the meantime?
We can choose to stay in this game, under their dome, as sand slips through the hourglass, our relative value as digital twins calculated against a backdrop of Cesium waves. Or we can step outside the construct and in doing so help show others where the exit doors are. My friend Ryan did this in Toyko by going to the lobby of the Moonshot Project where, with his toddler and a ziploc bag of dandelions, he reclaimed ground for humanity. I believe in us. This is the test, but we know the material. We will study hard, and we will pass.
Revoking Consent in the Lobby of the Japan Science and Technology Agency 2021 – Moonshot Project Goal 1 – Cyborg Avatar Capitalism