They say life imitates art. Personally, while I believe there is a powerful symbiotic relationship between the two, like the chicken and the egg, once the cycle has begun, it is virtually impossible to visualise where the line, turned circle, has been expertly and seamlessly welded together. Both have an immense influence on one another, and in the same vein as many endless and fruitless debates, it is the outcome of the clash between opposing schools of thought which is more important and revealing, than frequently the positions actually held. Now I am not supporting the vicious philosophy of deconstructionism here, nor do I agree with the post-modernist wet dream of situation ethics. There are indeed concrete and immutable positions of right and wrong, truth and falsehood, good and evil. I just wanted to highlight the importance of the mechanics of Hegelian dialectic, or to simplify this concept – problem, reaction, solution. For without the reaction acting as a glue between such polar opposites, neither side of the equation will balance.
It is crucial in these troubling times that we, as individuals, must start making some very difficult decisions. I am not talking here so much in the macro, but the micro. What house we buy, what career we follow, who we chose to marry, all are major and life changing decisions. The success or failure we achieve by making decisions in these arenas are of course, important. Many a man or woman has been shipwrecked on the rocks of personal disaster by making a poor decision at those crossroads. One of the biggest lies we have been told however, is that we can safely dispense with any scepticism or mistrust when it comes down to areas we have no knowledge about, or to rephrase this another way, it is safe to trust the experts. The high priesthood of professionalism is a simple church, insofar as all that it requires is faith and corresponding action for the congregation to receive the appropriate blessing of the guru. This simple rule of thumb applies in so many walks of life from banks to lawyers, from doctors to vets, from politicians to journalists. While society pretty much leaves us to our own unmolested devices when it comes to the macro (big) decisions, we are funneled towards the aforementioned church, willingly or unwilling, concerning the small (micro) decisions. We have a lot less choice than we think we have. And that, my dear friends, is where we are so often led astray. Cloaked in a seemingly impervious cloud of infallibility, the decisions made out of sight on our behalf truly matter. The devil is in the detail, and I for one have been betrayed by professional both accidental and deliberate incompetence, more often than I care to elucidate. Some would say I have just been unlucky, others foolhardy, but I disagree most violently. I have played a straight game and been robbed, betrayed and deceived as a consequence. The reason for this is straightforward. As a layman, I was not been given the privilege of seeing “Behind the curtain”. If I knew then what I know now, there would have been a very different outcome. Rather than trust in a system that delegates accountability to groups that are there to protect the professional rather than the individual from professional malpractice, I would not have engaged on their terms purely on the basis of trust. It was not until I fully emerged from the chrysalis of innocence did I see the full extent of how the game was played, that indeed many others did not view the world in the same fashion as I. I truly believed that if you were honest, hardworking, decent and cut others the same amount of leeway as you would expect for yourself, you would be rewarded with the same and a relatively trouble free existence. Oh how foolish and naive was I! The only comfort I have obtained is a simple and honest one, in that I can place my head on the pillow at night and sleep with the comfort of a clear conscience. Older and wiser, I still subscribe to the simple approach to life, on the basis that if you tell no lies you don’t have to remember much. As for our moral guardians, and indeed those bodies that purport to police the professional sector, I believe their lives are somewhat more complex.
There are many though, that do not sleep like babies. Their deeds and thoughts are wicked, and to have them implemented requires cunning, falsehood and deception. How else could they achieve their darkest dreams which would be rejected by the majority of people if the truth were to be fully revealed? That is why this article is a plea for everyone to peel back the curtain and the seeming witchcraft of the professional, to shine the light of objective truth into the dark corners of society that hide behind title, qualification, or expertise. We need to wise up and stop being suckered. I have always been an advocate of the opening up of knowledge freely to all, for the ability for others to see, share and improve and collaborate on every aspect of human endeavour. Peer review is an excellent method of scientifically substantiating truth. Not only are two pairs of eyes better than one, but the ability to perpetually recreate the same effect is the basis of empirical science and indeed, beauty. Accountability is essential in this, for unrestrained power and authority, especially when twinned with esoteric knowledge, is a very dangerous mix indeed. The corrupting influence of such environments leads to the situation we have today, where a technocratic elite holds court over the innocent, unaware, unititiated and uninformed. There lies an ever bigger trap than the rocky shores of life. While these may take our life, our finances, our health, we have only ourselves to blame for our choices, made of free will. The professional expert magician desires our very soul by proxy, and like a bloody toothed vampire, is not content until they suck the very essence of our being from our rapidly collapsing veins. All the time while standing on the twin pillars of respectibility and consent. Knowledge is indeed power, and the less the neophyte knows about how the system works, so much the better. How dare we question the established order or authority! Our signature has sealed our compliance to the ongoing conspiracy against us by our consent. We are now entwined in a deathly dance between hidden knowledge and executive power, our expectations and desires, truth, freedom and reality. Any individual dealing with a local authority or similar organisation will recognise this journey akin to a grey, gloomy travel through the deepest caverns of Hades. Once committed to the path of the expert knowledge, we relinquish control and must by faith, trust that the destination will be favourable.
This is why I am going to draw a very definite line in the sand here. While I am not too deeply concerned about the concept of contact tracing by human beings when it comes to genuine pandemics, that is a very different concept from the one currently offered by Google and Apple, no doubt to be shortly taken up by our government. Our mobile phone data is going to be used for proximity checks, so that we may discover if we have been close to a fellow infected individual. Or to put this another way, as individuals, we will be traced within metres in a similar way our cars are by ANPR and CCTV. Such control is very much a two edged sword. In the right hands, with sufficient safeguards against the abuse of such data, it is a blessing. As we know though, these things do not end up well. Social media has caused more distress than can possibly be imagined. People are being named and shamed on Facebook for not joining in with the weekly, seal-like, public clapathon. Once our personal movements can be backtracked in history, the amount of potential abuse is unimaginable in the wrong hands. The 64 million dollar question is will this become compulsory? Mass vaccination is on the horizon, and it would make sense to include the prophylactic of automated contact tracing into the mix. Considering the immense amount of manpower taken to perform this using traditional methods, this, along with rapid development of Geographical Information Systems, is a no-brainer. GIS traditionally is very expensive, complex, and difficult to scale. With the advent of cloud computing, the possibilities are endless, especially when one realises that every local authority in the country must have a GIS system by law. If you haven’t already, I suggest you look on your LA’s website. What is for public consumption is only a small sliver of what data that will be held on their servers behind the scenes. Most of that will be fairly innocuous, but people would be stunned if they truly understood the scale of how much information is available on any individual. The supermarkets are the worse culprits, they had technology in the late 1990’s that would put even the most up to date LA to shame. That is why I have never used loyalty cards, or indeed subscribed to many of the money back schemes promoted by the banks and credit card companies. Any financial benefit is a false front for intelligence gathering on you. And naturally, all this is fed back to the government. You did know, for instance, every loyalty card transaction is shared with the HMRC?
If I am right, the next domino to fall will be our physical position. Currently only available to the police, and those foolish enough to have disclosed too much already to other commercial actors, if this is indeed handed over to the healthcare sector it will inevatibly fall into the hands of other trusted partners whether we like it or not. Which is why I am so cynical about this placing the NHS on such a high and lofty pedestal. The government knows full well it hasn’t got the public credibility to be the custodian of such sensitive information, so who could they turn to as a safe pair of hands? Once in place, we will be trapped in an invisible, electronic prison, potentially to be forcibly, physically quarantined after any contact with an infected individual. Before you get too complacent about this, just think the fun and games any hackers will have with this. Flag an individual as infected, stand back and watch the full force of the law move into action. Naturally, those of a criminal mindset will evade this. Quietly forgotten about, is the increase of number plate thefts which skyrocketed after ANPR was introduced. The key of course, is to steal a plate from a similar model and colour of vehicle than you intend to use for your nefarious activities. This then places a perfectly innocent individual at risk of investigation and possibly prosecution. Which is why you should report such matters to the police, rather than just go and purchase a new one.
This new infringement on personal freedom is too much for this old codger. While my wife and daughter require surgical intervention to remove them from their phones, mine is still firmly attached to the wall via a piece of wire. If we are to retain our freedoms, more people need to do the same. When the time comes, when Bill Gates comes knocking on my door demanding that I take his vaccination, I will politely refuse and no doubt end up in some darkened room while Serco or some other global partner will attach a tag to my psoriasis-encrusted ankles for non-compliance. I will then promptly sue the government for breaching my human right to have a damn good scratch. At least my dog can do that in peace.
© Rookwood 2020
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file