Guest Post by Lynn Davenport, Social Impact Podcast, Dallas, TX
You can explore Lynn’s other work on her LinkedIn page here.
Jason spoke with Lynn about her article for a new episode of his “If We Were Honest” series. I jumped in at the end. The three of us did a Q&A when we live streamed it earlier this week.
Dallas has a history of significant influence in public education with the “Dallas Miracle” perpetuated by George W. Bush and other corporate education reformers. The lucrative ecosystem of education nonprofits and public-private partnerships relies heavily on underserved communities for cheap labor to build the future Metaverse. They prey upon the captive market of public school kids to train future coders and gamers. Pay close attention to words like ‘hub’ and ‘lab’ when referencing the so-called innovations, which are really just real-time experiments on children.
The pandemic and lockdowns served as a major boon for the esports industry with children stuck at home on devices. EdTech Magazine featured Richardson ISD when they wrote, “Launched online in the early days of the pandemic, the esports club not only served as a social lifeline for students in lockdown but also became the springboard for an impactful school program. Their online gameplay was so successful that when participants returned to campus full time, educators at the school doubled down on esports. They convinced Richardson Independent School District leaders to build a state-of-the-art esports room that opened last fall. The school also launched a popular esports class, educating students about careers and technical skills related to the growing esports field.”
A friend in education sent me this message:
The answer is yes. This is all wrong. And no, you are not paranoid. The agenda to gamify education and tokenize behaviors has impacted all aspects of education.
Mobile YMCA wrote, “The Tech Hub aims to introduce children, specifically those in underserved areas, to the same opportunities to improve literacy in science and technology, help build critical thinking skills, and encourage them to take on a more active role in the community. The Tech Hub’s primary use is as an eSports Gaming Center on the go!”
There’s a major push for out-of-school learning, STEM themes and gaming which often appeals to dads. The nonprofits say their programs like the YMCA or Big Thought will close the digital divide. Hybrid learning programs such as STEMuli in Dallas normalize life in a panopticon with two days in a physical building and the rest at home with their avatars being tracked by a virtual eyeball.
The data extracted from these programs feeds the insatiable appetite of collective impact and social impact investors. Services are bundled together for vulnerable children and the parents are not given informed consent for the impact data and surveillance imposed on them for digital twinning. The children are anchors and access points into at-risk families as profit centers. See this 2011 white paper on the imperative of data collection in blended learning settings.
In a Dallas Observer article they included a quote from a Dallas ISD trustee, “I’m thrilled you guys are going down this path,” said trustee Dustin Marshall, who is CEO of a logistics company and a former ranked Mortal Kombat and Warcraft player. “I think it’s great we’re meeting students where they are.”
Dallas has become a hub for the burgeoning industry. It’s home to id Software, creator of iconic games such as Quake and Doom, as well as Team Envy, an esports franchise funded by oil magnate Kenneth Hersh.”
Who is Kenneth Hersh?
Ken Hersh is the president and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. He is listed on the World Economic Forum website. According to Wikipedia, Hersh was born in 1963 in Dallas, Texas, where he spent his childhood. In 1969, Hersh attended the St. Mark’s School of Texasfor both his primary and secondary education. He graduated from St. Mark’s in 1981. Hersh subsequently attended Princeton University in New Jersey. He then attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Successful businessmen like Hersh forget they were educated in a classical model void of technology and screen addiction. They push harmful technologies on impressionable youth while they celebrate victory with their experimental investments. The expansion of education technology increased after Bush’s No Child Left Behind which baked in Reading Response to Intervention (RTI) software and companies like Istation were waiting in the wings until the bill was signed in 2002. By 2003, Istation was being piloted in all major urban school districts in Texas. Dallas Morning News featured Istation in 2018, “Dallas billionaire Dick Collins is building a digital curriculum that makes learning language and math skills as captivating as playing video games and measuring student success a snap for teachers.”
Buckminster Fuller and Buckyballs
My mom told me about a book a co-worker gave her in the 90s called The Hidden Dangers of The Rainbow by Constance Cumbey. In it Cumbey talks about Buckminster Fuller. She said, “Books by Buckminster Fuller clearly spell out an intent to give every world resident a number and require the usage of this number in all financial transactions of any sort including minor purchases – with a universal “credit card.” The Movement has also been promoting the establishment of gigantic global agencies for controlling the distribution of food and other vital resources. The motivation behind this proposal may be gleaned from the Fuller writings: in order to control the world, one must also control the world supply routes.” At Rice University in 1996, scientists figured out how to use carbon-nano tubes to create hollow balls they called Buckminster fullerenes or Bucky Balls.
Spaceship Earth is a dark ride attraction at the Epcot theme park at the Walt Disney World in Florida. The geodesic sphere called Spaceship Earth was influenced by Bucky Fuller and has served as the symbolic structure of Epcot since the park opened in 1982. Disney’s FastPass can be summed up as one giant study in human behavior and how to move people to desired outcomes through a series of nudges and incentives. Much like ants.
Life Under the DOME
Alison McDowell has written about the root meaning of the word ‘domination’ and ‘domes.’ She speaks often of Steven Newcomb’s work in the area of the Doctrine of Domination, what it means to agree to live beneath the DOME of governance and the yoke of submission. She said in her Soulbound Tokens, Trust Networks, and California’s Big Test article, “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 Magazine (I. B.M.), November/December wrote about Bucky Fuller’s World Game in 1969. World Game was sometimes referred to as World Peace Game. It was an educational simulation created in 1961 to address overpopulation and the uneven distribution of global resources. It was designed to be an alternative to war games by using Fuller’s Dymaxion map to solve metaphorical scenarios with a “total world” view. He was an avid futurist who dabbled in mathematics, engineering, environmental science, architecture, and art. He called the planet “Spaceship Earth.”
This photo of Bucky Fuller with LBJ gives me the creeps. Fuller straight up wanted to build a dome over Manhattan. Wired‘s Tim McKeogh wrote, “In 1960, Fuller hatched a plan to build a dome over Manhattan. It seems far-fetched, but only until you consider the geoengineering projects — space mirrors! atmospheric sulfur injections! — geoengineering currently being given serious thought.”
Growing up in Dallas in the 70s, I was fascinated with Reunion Tower. The geodesic dome or “microphone” tower is an icon within the famous Dallas skyline. The building originally served as a radio broadcast station. I could see it from my second-story bedroom in elementary school and begged my mother to let me celebrate my birthday there at the lookout deck which boasts a rotating cocktail lounge and restaurant at the top. I drew the Dallas skyline for my submission to an art contest.
Reunion Tower has been refitted with 259 custom LED fixtures manufactured by Altman Lighting and Color Kinetics, a division of Philips Solid State Lighting. The lighting on the globe is often used for celebrations and political messages across the city. They make it green for St. Patrick’s day and red white and blue for patriotic events. The globe was lit up in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015 to celebrate the supreme court ruling which legalized same sex marriage.
I featured the Reunion Tower ball in my 2019 article on the global hive mind being cultivated in our cities and neighborhoods to create the global workforce:
In late 2021, Alison McDowell wrote an in-depth article on Esports called Poverty, Identity, and Child Gamers in Rio’s Favelas. She said, “A January 2021 article in the E-Sports Observer states that Afrogames has partnered with the Rio De Janeiro Secretary of Sports, Recreation, and Youth. Children who participate in the program have access to trainers, psychologists, and mentorship programs. But how much data is collected on players’ physical and mental performance and where does it go? What are the ethics of creating a digital economy that expects youth to play first-person shooter video games so their family has enough to eat? It’s as if these battles royale have become today’s gladiator tournaments. This is happening in communities traumatized by perpetual gun violence, including violence carried out by the state.”
She included a debate with Derrick Broze where she said, “I presume he means my tweets stating his support of “play to earn” gaming schemes, that are promoted by the World Economic Forum, were “not cool.” She further responded, “I remind you these comments relate to the clip above and are about “play to earn” crypto gaming schemes targeting poor children in the Global South. Regarding consent – can children give consent in online spaces for transactions? Who is to say these spaces are safe? To me, enterprises like “Splinterlands” look like rackets that siphon money to the top. This doesn’t look like a space where children should be earning a living.”
Love is Metaphysical Gravity?
I saw this YouTube video suggesting Fuller said love is metaphysical gravity. I couldn’t disagree more.
In the video there was a quote that said, “The Universe is never at absolute zero; if our eyes were more sensitive to the different frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum we would be able to see that everything radiates photon vibrations continuously.” Fuller believed we belong to the collective universe rather than individuals endowed by our Creator.
Fuller wrote a book called Buckminster Fuller to Children of the Earth. One seller review said, “Youth, he says, sees this and will settle for nothing less. He sees man’s capabilities wonderfully reflected in the fresh minds of children…and speaks to the child who lives in all people.”
Children have long been the target of exploitation and extraction for cheap labor. Esports is cloaked in positive language to fool parents into supporting the movement. The agenda goes well beyond the obvious model for profit. Children are necessary players in this global simulation where every move is tracked and harvested for their energy source.
Give your kids a real ball and close the digital device.