“As of April 2021, the Department of Defense has been working on 685 projects which are deeply invested in the development of artificial intelligence. Their budget mainly in the joint AI Center has increased dramatically from 89 million dollars in 2019 to 278 million dollars in 2021.
Ralph welcomes professor Karen Levy, who talks to us about how regulations aimed at making trucking safer have been turned into a tool of corporate surveillance as chronicled in her book Data Driven: Truckers, Technology, and the New Workplace Surveillance.
“General Dynamics develops biometric technologies which have collected data on over 230 million individuals as well as to develop surveillance systems to legally and illegally monitor their targets.” — Will Griffin
In Ray Nayler’s novel The Mountain in the Sea he explores the marine habitat of a hyperintelligent species of octopus, endowed with its own language and culture, is seized by a global tech corporation determined to harness this non-human intelligence for profit in new systems of artificial intelligence.
What would we do in a world lacking police, prisons, surveillance, borders, wars, nuclear weapons, and capitalism? Well, we might survive. We might sustain life on this little blue dot a little longer. That — in contrast to the status quo — ought to be sufficient. We might, in addition, do a lot more than sustain life. We might transform the lives of billions of people including each person reading these words. We might have lives with less fear and worry, more joy and accomplishment, more control and cooperation.
According to William I. Robinson, the COVID pandemic has further intensified the structural crisis of global capitalism and has caused numerous uprisings and revolts around the world, which global elites are trying to suppress via militarization, police repression, and surveillance.
The Chicago-based Crown Family might be known for their philanthropic efforts around the country, donating millions of dollars to universities, art institutions and a variety of other causes. Where did all that wealth come from? James Crown is the current director of General Dynamics (GD), the 5th largest weapons producer in the country and has their hands dirty in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, in Palestine and even at the Mexico border. His father, Lester Crown, was a previous president and chair of GD. His grandfather, Henry Crown, created the Material Service Corporation which eventually merged with GD, and gained controlling interest in GD in 1959, also becoming its director and chair.
“Since the dawn of capitalism, the capitalist class has had to keep an eye on the working class in order to keep them in check. This surveillance has been around for a long time but the story of the modern surveillance state begins about a century ago.”
There is a line I keep seeing repeated on social media. It goes something like this: “They are allowed to decide what is acceptable to post and what is not. It’s free, after all.” Things like that may make snappy and snarky comebacks to people complaining about internet censorship. Only it isn’t true. Not by a long shot.
On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to Wikileaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson about the shocking revelations that the Trump Administration and CIA considered assassinating or kidnapping Julian Assange, with planned shootouts with Russian agents on Britain’s streets, a car crash kidnapping and an assault on a passenger jet should Julian Assange decide to leave for Russia.
The world that late-stage capitalism is creating is one where the only stable states—or things that resemble states—will be the fortified high-tech enclaves that the super-rich create in the wake of a collapsed civilization. In the scenarios that some futurists have been anticipating, by the end of this century the only places with reliable electricity are going to be the walled off communities of these elites, guarded by those seeking to be rewarded with food and housing and sustained by a neo-feudal network of farming.