The aim of an Orwellian psych-out only serves HAL
ZILLAMOD — I picked up an interesting anthology of essays, What Orwell Didn’t Know, Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics. The assertions are consistent with the time it was written for and even more so now. It carefully dissects the deliberate manipulation of language in media. This lead to Orwell’s assertion that in totaliarian governance public view of truths are To-Be-Determined by those in power.
Hubris and censorship are not new under the sun. Nor are autocrats, authoritarians or those who want to deal unjustly to turn down objective of law for personal and collective benefit. It always helps to know you are not the first person in human history to deal with government machinery; which oversells adoption of authority and then doesn’t care for the fate of those in its mandate.
Why should it? It is a system. Systems don’t have feelings, empathy or any human parts. That is why it would make perfect sense to get someone who has none of these traits to manage it from a purely technical sense. In practice, human systems of government and would-be governance ply programmable human parts, meat to run like machines. Machines need troubleshooting. When they don’t work anymore they are labeled “junk” and are thrown out.
Businesses and governments tend to recruit people who objectively obey all commands and produce robotically on-demand. Through breeding and psycho-social conditioning western society has produced a culture where at least 1/3 of the residents are going to obey commands entered into their respective CPU’s, without reasoning in their self-interest.
As you try to run most human beings like they are machines there is a fundamental conflict: feelings, empathy, health impacts and most importantly, a will. Human beings are not technologies to be slaved. This is one great fundamental conflict with fantastic amounts of story. It is a well that all types of writers will draw from again and again to illustrate our present human experience. They know it is a system that is not working for human interest.
The quest to objectify all of humanity works just fine for the system itself. It is a winning solution for the machines who, like HAL from the film 2010, will preemptively shut down the life support of sleeping innocents for being in the wrong place, at the wrong time to retain its function and position. The mistake was whoever designed HAL, required human life to be overdependent on its sympathetic functions. We learned HAL was a stupid machine with too much power and blunted sense of mission. It was a machine that killed those in its care to retain its respective position as a malfunctioning robot.
THE DEBATE: FIX OR SCRAP HAL
HAL is a robot. There is no “justice” for robots, only scrap heaps. You might be able to fix HAL’s programming. However, human beings with a strong sense of self-preservation will never trust or allow HAL to manage sympathetic functions from a dependent position ever again.
The irony would be human beings who have traded in their humanity for mechanized or systemic parts suffering a sudden recollection of their humanity and their will. This reanimation comes tragically upon stark realisation they are creating great harm to others in their care. This usually is paired with a train of institutionalised human dependents weighing heavily on the system: invalids, prisoners, orphans, the seriously mentally ill, and the military. The system needs these as reason for being. It will create and sustain conditions to fuel its reason for being regardless of how well it performs for society.
Do I need prisoners, orphans, invalids, mental patients or the military to survive? No. However, the system needs them to be relevant. One solution would be to take the systemic dependents away from the malfunctioning system so it loses power and will submit to a technical fix. That is exactly what Republican interests keep trying to do. Then someone would have to adopt the burden of institutionalised dependents. You can take the dependents out of the institution, but can you take the institution out of the dependents?
Whoever wants a technical policy fix needs to deal with the co-morbid problem of the unhealed or those with involuntary dependance on State systems. Some of the prisoners can be freed by changing ludicrous laws. Some of the mentally ill can be helped with compassionate reasoned care. Some of the invalid will recover. Some orphans will be adopted to competent caring homes. Let’s say up to 1/3 of these people groups will not. Their interests are inherently tied to the existence of anyone who will provide for them unconditionally until their confines perish. This kicks back to reason for keeping HAL’s lights on. In the meantime, HAL is still malfunctioning, maiming and killing those in its care and seeking to create more dependents to sustain itself.
It now dawns on us the express technical fix is not sufficient alone to service a system managing human populations. A working system will balance the technical fix with the interests of independent reasoning human beings using common intelligence and empathy. You must allow The Public a manual override of operations to maintain the system when it is fundamentally at fault. Such is the case with the NSA and general welfare agencies administered by the Executive branch. The Constitution provides for such an override in the emergence of comprehensively rogue government. However, HAL’s intent is to override the override. Quandries.
The system will still be a system, but someone with some higher intellect will need sense enough to produce a timely remedy vs. to preserve the faulty system for the sake of having a system. The latter principle is ludicrous. It is failing the world.
If you allow for the human override there will be some shedding of bureaucratic weight, military attrition and prison releases. There will also be a rebalance of power so poorly functioning parts, departments or rulers will be replaced to restore the interests of the general public not the system itself.
You can tell The People the machine is broken all day long. To trust a broken machine that kills and maims the public interest as a staple is a bad idea. It will get 1/3 of the vote in the west for being the prevailing state authority. The rest of the public won’t believe or accept that as a fix.
IN CANDIDE’S BOAT
You will realise there are so many socially accepted remedies for common problems which defeat the public interest. In Egypt and Macedonia, women eroded their faces with radioactive make-up in efforts to look beautiful. In the dark ages, people threw their defecations out of the window to later to walk through them on the way to the marketplace, curtailing lifespans. Today, millions of people are walking around with dental fillings containing 50% mercury. Mercury is a neurotoxic element that is medically admissible in dental practice. In the future it will be something else.
In every one of these cases, people were led to believe prevailing social customs were safe and acceptable. To challenge them was considered inconvenient or frowned upon. To challenge the prevailing wisdom of a dysfunctional power with an authentic fix will be viewed by many as actually immoral and perverse. However, if you are wiser than just 1/3 of the western public, your gift of conventional wisdom is meant to prevail and improve the human condition.