If the term surveillance capitalism is as new to you as it was to me, it may need a little clarification.
Shosha Zuboff, author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power defines it as follows:1. A new economic order that claims human experience as free raw material for hidden commercial practices of extraction, prediction, and sales; 2. A parasitic economic logic in which the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new global architecture of behavioral modification; 3. A rogue mutation of capitalism marked by concentrations of wealth, knowledge, and power unprecedented in human history; 4. The foundational framework of a surveillance economy; 5. As significant a threat to human nature in the twenty-first century as industrial capitalism was to the natural world in the nineteenth and twentieth; 6. The origin of a new instrumentarian power that asserts dominance over society and presents startling challenges to market democracy; 7. A movement that aims to impose a new collective order based on total certainty; 8. An expropriation of critical human rights that is best understood as a coup from above: an overthrow of the people’s sovereignty.
Far from diminishing the power of humanity in the face of technological development, this emergent economic system highlights the vast potential of the human mind and offers an opportunity for us to become even more human in response to this artificial (in terms of artificial intelligence) and trans/anti-human threat.
The internet, despite what people like to say, is not a new idea, in fact, theorists have proposed that the universe itself is information based and linked to other parts of itself through analogy. An idea that the german philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz helped develop in the late 17th century and early 18th. This makes surveillance capitalism not only a technological and humanitarian threat, but a religious/ spiritual one too. And if it is true that the fourth industrial revolution (and the third world war) is not about money, commodities or surplus, but about control, then we are the ones in control and we are the ones with the power, because what is the point of controlling something that has no power?
Make no mistake, consciousness is more important to Them (The Masters of the Internet, The Powers That Be) than they want you to believe. Their whole raison d’être has become machine learning and artificial intelligence in the quest for a conscious machine. Leibniz conceived of similar ideas (albeit not for global domination) over 300 years ago with his idea of monads (https://wordpress.com/post/shadowmounds.wordpress.com/309) i.e. extentionless, but active simple substances which endure through change, a lot like the modern idea of holons, voxels, and process fractals; units of holographic reality which when combined with a Daemon (computer algorithm) make up a very strange virtual ecosystem indeed, one where the daemon feeds on information like fish in a pond - in this case the pond is the internet.
Consciousness and the human mind is perhaps the last untapped resource, the key to the unification of physics i.e. the quintessential fifth force, like the philosopher’s stone that literally determines whether a particle exists or not.
I’m sure that those who control technology, and by extension control information, also think they can control consciousness (or at least a conscious AI), but whether that’s possible or not will not stop them from trying, since they have nothing else to do with the vast surveillance system that has been assembled.
Whatever the case, this only proves that we have something that they want, which is also something they don’t want us to know about.
They wouldn’t want it, if we didn’t have it and they wouldn’t be able to get it, if we didn’t give it away (or didn’t know we had it to give away in the first place), which is arguably the biggest threat to our freedom of all; that we don’t know our own power. If we did, it wouldn’t be so easy for them to use us (and our information) against us. After all, intellectual rights (the rights to our own minds) are an extension of our human rights. That is to say, if we give up our rights to intelligence we also give up our other rights as well, maybe even our consciousness.
Is this why the Internet was created in the first place? Have they given us their easter egg hunt of conspiracy theories to find out how the human mind works? Is it all just a collective journey into consciousness to see what’s in there? Are they conducting a kind of market research in the same way that companies send out surveys to tell them how they’re doing?
Information technology is the 6th largest industry in the world (check it out: https://www.edudwar.com/biggest-industries-in-the-world/) and the majority of that money is being generated by your online presence.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram don’t have products, you are their product; your likes and dislikes, your experiences, your family and everything they like and dislike. Choose wisely and you take the power away from them and keep it for yourself. Choose poorly and you risk polluting not only your own mental and intellectual environment, but that of others.
Perhaps the best thing about all of this is that They (The Powers That Be) have fallen for their own hype. That out of all the batshit crazy movements in elite circles through this century and ones past, beginning with the medieval fraternal orders and progressing through certain new age cults i.e. scientology, they have come to believe that they are somehow godlike and that this makes them the gods of this world. But it is the same world that you and I live in, the world that we control.
By now I have strayed probably too far from my original thesis, but to bring it back around, here is a nice article that might sum it up.