A letter from the labyrinth – Bristol, UK. Note the Quaker involvement in the early slave trade as ship owners and financiers.
March 18, 2023
It’s Sea, from Bristol, UK. I thought I’d write and send a few links concerning developments around 4IR and smart cities from my corner of the labyrinth. Bristol is home base for the Merchant Venturers Society, the historic colonialist and technocratic chattel slave masters that operated the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The Merchant Venturers were major players in capitalism’s early technological development and the expansion of the British Empire.
They were also the appointed rulers of the city through the Royal Charter of King Edward in 1552. The charter is still in force to this day, though in the modern times they fob us off with one of their ‘democratic’ tentacles, the Bristol City council. The Merchants made headlines following the toppling of Edward Colston’s Statue a number of years ago. Local people pulled it down following demonstrations here in 2020.
Bristol was selected as a smart city testing ground back in 2014/15. I thought I’d send the links below, as you may be interested. It shows the big push from organisations inside and outside the city that are attempting to develop a framework and infrastructure for the future here. One recent development on the streets, a pilot to draw us in, is cashless payment e-tech skooters and e-bikes for rent. They are leaving this e-tech around all areas and neighbourhoods of the city. This is a test project/partnership between our local council and VOI, a company that’s involved in Bristol’s smart tech roll out.
Also homeless vendors I know for The Big Issue Charity (a homelessness charity and newspaper), were issued cashless payment devices during the COVID crisis. This paper prints articles in support of e-tech and has entered into charitable promotions with VOI, allegedly donating credits that people spend while using the companies e-bikes to the charity. The general narrative pushed around the tech by local authorities, political parties, and business concerns is that these projects are sustainable, ecological alternatives to conventional transport, with the adage to convince us, they are supporting charity.
It’s a bit weird seeing a once quite rebellious rural, working class city turning into a gentrified technological smart hub, in what is obviously a propaganda exercise for spreading future developments around this island and elsewhere.
There is a lot more going on in Bristol that can be found online, this city is one of the main testing grounds for 4IR and the promotion of smart cities. I hope this information is helpful.
Here are a few links related to the Merchants Venturers’ current and past roles within the city, as well as links related to smart city developments in Bristol:
8 thoughts on “E-Skooters, Slavery, and Smart Charity – A Letter From the Labyrinth Bristol, UK”
E-scooters and bicycles instead of buses or cars. You couldn’t make this crap up. What about the very young, very old, frail elderly, or everybody when it’s raining, or during the long winter months of freezing temperatures, snow and icy roads. Sounds like another population-reducing measures, with the hospitals filling up with e-scooter accident victims of all ages and old folk with potentially fatal cold-induced illnesses. And where’s all the “green” eletricity coming from to power these daft and dangerous new electrically-powered modes of transport? We’re not moving towards dystopia. We’re already there.
What Michael says – exactly – pleasant sounding total crap to lure the brainwashed sheeple into the internet of things/internet of bodies, TOTAL SLAVERY!
Great observations on e-scooters as a vehicle to advance the agenda. As a parallel to a city I live near to in the United States — Portland Oregon, what you wrote here had me cracking up:
“It’s a bit weird seeing a once quite rebellious rural, working class city turning into a gentrified technological smart hub, in what is obviously a propaganda exercise for spreading future developments around this island and elsewhere”
Before Portland had a e-scooter program, they originally experimented with a ‘bike share’ in the early 2000’s, apparently following the lead by other cities such as Toronto and Lyon. The original ‘Yellow Bikes’ idea made them “open and free” but for obvious reasons, that program failed. A ‘Yellow Bikes 2.0’ program in 2006 was described in this article here: https://www.portlandmercury.com/news/2006/08/31/55919/yellow-bikes-version-20
“The bikes—there are currently 1,500 in use—are equipped with tiny electronic sensors that alert city workers to mechanical problems. If the bikes become unusable, they automatically become locked until they’re repaired—that way, bike commuters don’t inadvertently hop on a dangerously damaged bike.”
As Michael indicated above, this is about forming a new caste system. The elderly in particular cannot ride these things. Something like 10,000 boomers reach retirement age every day in the US. And instead we are making the sidewalks much more dangerous for pedestrians as well as designing transportation that requires good balance, a helmet and great medical insurance. So dangerous! Insulting really, to think that this is pitched as ‘mobility’ and ‘social equity’ when it is about marginalizing entire populations of people.
The ‘homeless’ or those without sufficient credentials (digital wallet) are also unable to participate. The disgruntled homeless have been known to simply pick them up and hurl them into the river in Portland. In 2019, divers found almost 60 scooters in the Willamette river. These e-scooter programs are not profitable on the front end, and the pilot programs have all yielded similar “data,” yet they refuse to go away.
That’s really interesting, I see there are quite a lot of similarities between Portland and Bristol, in both the past and present. In Bristol the projects pretty much have run the same as you’ve mentioned above in Portland, but they didn’t let us use the Bikes for free, probably if they did more people would have used them. They were pretty heavy crappy bikes, fitted with cashless payment devices, trackers, and alarms. Now it seems these have been replaced with more popular e-tech, I haven’t seen the old bikes around for a few years, since around 2020, when these new e-tech skooters and bikes seem to have gone public.
Lots of other stuff going on here, such as sensors in The central harbour and lamp posts within the Bristol Square mile, alongside H/D CCTV networks. Everything from schooling to health, even community related stuff seems to being heading towards apps & devices rather than reel human contact. My elders have a few cronic health problems, and the local doctors surgery are always advising us, either in person through the docs and nurses, or through flat screan T.Vs that they have installed over the last few years that bombard people with messages to download apps for particular conditions, I don’t really see how this helps our conditions. Plus not all of us use Smart Devices or even want to have them.
During the winter after the statue came down (Colstons statue) community organisation were calling for online virtual protests for defendants, instead of protests on the streets. Covid was their reasonings, probably with threats of repression from local and national government/Home office, or at least a few organisations admitted to beng preasured, despite the statue coming down in te summer prior, during the first covid lockdown, towards the end of the first lockdown. Protest organisers wanted us to register online, then put our messages of protest through some online chat box on their website, the site ended up getting hacked by some fascists and racists, who ended up spouting filth & racist crap all over the virtual protest. There were a lot of attempts generally in the media and from the government, alongside talking heads to create polarisations around the Colston statue felling, this largely seems to have failed, at least in the city.
I’d be interested to learn more about the Edward Colston statue being toppled and more about the actions of that specific day in Bristol. Do you remember anything odd or seemingly strange about the coordination or the way the protests took place?
The interesting notion that the “George Floyd Protests,” like so many slaves on Colston’s ships, also made their own transatlantic voyage, is a bit ironic isn’t it?
According to Wikipedia, “On 7 June 2020, the [Colston] statue was toppled, defaced, and pushed into Bristol Harbour during the George Floyd protests related to the Black Lives Matter movement.”
I find this additional mirror of irony between Bristol and Portland equally puzzling when considered in the broader, McDowellian framework of cybernetics, sensors, 4th IR, etc.
The death of George Floyd and some of the narrative around the events of the May 25th is deserving of its own full discourse which I will not disparage our conversation with. But important to note is that Floyd was killed on Memorial Day, which was originally known as ‘Decoration Day’ and is a day steeped in Military history (military worship) and largely grew out of the post-civil war era in the united states. Now, I’m not sure that having a whole day to celebrate how we almost slaughtered ourselves (620,000 dead, still more died in civil war than all the rest of America’s wars) as a country is something worth honoring. But thats just me.
The subsequent events that the Floyd killing and BLM protests spawned, such as the toppling of a ‘select’ number of statues (Colston included apparently), that, in my opinion, were pre-selected targets as part of a larger operation, is part of building that ‘ant-computer’ and gathering the crowd metrics (data) in a relatively quiet EMF environment. Even though the protests were explosive in some parts of the cities like Portland, Bristol, etc, the surrounding environment was relatively free from what we might call the ‘smog’ of other IoBNT as most everyone not protesting was still ‘Locked Down to Flatten the Curve’. A rather quiet environment to conduct some psyops.
I think we have to look at these protests in a 30,000 foot view, a “God’s Eye View” to understand why limiting the interference of other humans, automobiles, and other sensor enabled tech in order to capture more finite crowd movement (ant movement) data is akin to a controlled experiment, limiting variables when able too in order minimize interference with the experiment. Does that make sense?
In Portland, we knocked down some statues and riots took the streets for weeks on end. But at the beginning of it all, we had the ‘Burnside Bridge Die-In’ — on June 2nd — a unpermitted protest that the mayor and other city leaders actually endorsed.
The “die-In”, (like the statue toppling’s), was a major moment for me personally and I have been writing about it in a long form essay that I hope to finish soon.
Heres a link to a seminar on Bristol Is Open from a number of years ago.
This is great. Thanks for posting this. Does Bristol have a ‘Silicon’ nickname or other moniker?
In the states we have the following areas of concern (I’m sure Alison can add to this list):
Silicon Valley — SF Bay Area California, USA
Silicon Slopes — Lehi, Utah area, USA
Silicon Forest — Washington County, Oregon, USA
Something decidedly British for Bristol perhaps? I would not know where to start…
Thanks for the heads up. I’ve just found out that it does have a Silicon name, or at least is positioned within Silicon Gorge.
Silicon Gorge is a region in South West England in which several high-tech and research companies are based, specifically the triangle of Bristol, Swindon and Gloucester. It is ranked fifth of such areas in Europe, and is named after the Avon Gorge.