Dienstag, 4. Dezember 2018

Global Blackout - Are We Prepared?

Ministries of Defense of many countries are aware of a blackout lasting for several days or weeks.

What may sound hypothetical in today's tech-savvy world characterized by digitization, stored data in clouds, on external data carriers, hangs over our heads as many are  widely unprepared for this emergency, anytime possible for various reasons, given how highly energy-dependent our world has become.

Sure, data-saving backup systems do exist, but they all depend on electricity, and it's questionable, if your data is considered by officials important enough to survive even EMP emergencies?

As author publishing digitally I'm pondering not only about a local, but a global blackout? Sure, I do regularly backup my data but mainly physically, not on paper, since - like many - I find it convenient to write my texts digitally and I don't print them all the time. Many do save their data electronically, but few think about how to gain access to their data without electricity. A blackout with destructive effects on our data reminds of book burnings, this time digitally.

Power generators will provide electricity in emergencies, but during a blackout it's still questionable, how long and to whom? Regarding those relying on generators, who have their own power generator and who only rely on government measures?

Sure, there are generators run by the government and corporations but during a blackout for how long these generators will work, and would not the government give priority to public interest over providing you access to your data?

So, it's questionable if you are considered system-relevant to save your data, with granted access to your data at scarce electricity, or will they abandon your data not hanging in the cloud but in limbo then?

Imagine, coordinated cyber attacks suddenly cloaking wide regions in darkness. Are we prepared for this, given how we managed past disasters?

Are we only within a fair weather period, governed by well-paid "fair weather politicians" rarely tested on reality with bureaucracy and managerial competence to protect us during a broad, even global blackout?

Why so dark thoughts? Well, nothing in life is certain - well, death and taxes, but that's another story - neither dying before experiencing a broad blackout, nor being spared. But one is certain: Those never considering a broad blackout - or only trusting in their governments' preparations for this case - are taken by complete surprise how then things are handled, prioritized, reminding of those in blind faith never anticipated the once mighty USSR to collapse someday, not even on the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall, though history shows, all empires fell someday.

However, those not being into anticipatory thoughts, but to live unburdened from "worst case scenarios" usually prolong their naivety with belittling those speaking out and raising inconvenient questions, not trusting in their governments' emergency plans. Trust is important, but what's wrong with precautions?

Many take precautions today, but is it really best to invest your hard-earned money in expensive home security, promising via the media prominently to protect your home against intruders, through modifying, upgrading your home - a "ring" at your doorbell, alarming you on your mobile of "uninvited guests" gaining entry to your property detected by installed sensors and cameras. Sounds great, right?

Another trend: Locking your entire home with one click on your mobile. Convenient? Not so fast. What about prominently advertised companies making money with luring people to fall for relying their security concept on their technology, making them think implicitly their home was save, while downplaying the dangers to them and their home during a blackout after replacing all mechanic locks by digital ones. Imagine a blackout, don't these "secure homes" stay unprotected then, meaning wide open?

Maybe I'm old-school - into real stuff, a kid of the '80s - not afraid of appearing conservative, individualistic, reluctant, but I don't feel like following every trend only because it's fashionable. Oscar Wilde, the Irish poet and playwright, once put it as follows: "Be yourself, everyone else is already taken."

Today many are busy jumping on the tech-bandwagon pushed by their environment and corporations advertising their products media-effectively. Personally, I don't feel more secure when spending much money on modifying my home to follow the latest security trend, run and promoted by geeks pretending to know they knew what they were doing, to have thought of everything but while they think their thinking was thoughtful and driven by wisdom and responsibility are only driven by making money fast. Seriously, am I supposed to entrust my home security to those money-driven and easy to enthuse, whose security concept only works with enough energy, whereas without electricity my home stays wide open inviting plunderers during a broad blackout?

Mechanical locks, as unsexy as they might seem, defy blackouts and plunderers, even extended electricity outages.

Not forgetting, how being "old-school" - rather "well prepared" - suddenly will be "sexy" again, as well as those still able to write with pen and paper - even when it's "dark" - when things created to make our life easier suddenly turn against us, making life hostile in seconds, as electronics don't work anymore. Books last for centuries, electronic storage for years. So it's handy to still master cultural achievements like writing in the old-fashioned way, knowing how to live without "intelligent devices", withstanding to feel "stupid" when not following the "smart" trend. I suppose, you will feel saver still locking your home the traditional way and your mechanical locks hold back looters coming after you during blackouts.

Instantaneously this becomes reality, when governments and corporations fail to protect you from coordinated EMP attacks (electromagnetic pulse) or even a "global blackout" caused by a major solar storm hitting Earth's magnetic field, wiping out our technology and data in seconds, a matter of "when, not if", and due anytime as scientists sound the alarm.

No electronic cash, paying with cards, smartphones, computers, no electric heating, lights, water supply, refrigerator, cooking, no electronic security, phones, elevators, airplanes, electric cars, trains etc. Shouldn't we prepare ourselves for such a life-threatening blackout?

Philosopher and Systemic Analyst
Dr. Dr. Immanuel Fruhmann

Sonntag, 9. September 2018

It Is Beyond Good and Evil

The universal remedy of so many is education. When asking: "What's education?" many reply: "Education stands for wealth and socialization, while transporting knowledge." Further asking uncovers: "Education is institutionalized homogenization of different levels." Especially from the left you hear: "Education for all!". A nice idea, right? But what does it really mean?

In many Western countries the political agenda to welcome people from abroad relies on education as remedy through which a common sense, a homogenized level of understanding is to be created, wherefore people are in education programs, the kids in schools, the grown-ups in vocational training, colleges or universities. Institutionally, students obtain an upgrade of what to think, what to believe in, to differentiate right from wrong, but mostly not critical thinking...

In contrast to religion and tradition, education is the maxim of many confident to handle any integration challenge while rejecting the maxim on the right of strong borders and closing the borders against "foreign" influences.

Ideology aside, when looking on education analytically - not ideologically and culture-centered - then via education not facts are transported but content, a propagated collection, a canon, meaning values and convictions, many considering themselves educated regard as facts.
Those willing and able to put ideology aside might realize: On the surface via education facts - often considered as truth - are transported, but subliminally values and convictions, since self-evidently the "best content" is without the desired impact, when not accepted by recipients with values and convictions deviant from the presented content.

Why is that left out even by the political left considering themselves educated in their ideologically ingrained analysis and approach? Further widely unreported: Many with different cultural backgrounds perceive Western education as left side and expansive economic endeavors of Western corporations as right side of a double-edged sword, often considered as cultural imperialism, self-evidently when taking groups into account such as Northern Nigerian internationally classified terrorist organisation "Boku Haram" (translated: "Western education is evil").

Analytically speaking, criticism of ideology is widely under-highlighted by the media perhaps for a "good" reason, as criticism of ideology scrutinizes 360°, therefore also the practiced propagation of democracy of a certain kind, meaning a worldwide forcefully and militarily installed (Western) ideology in liaisons with (Western) corporations exploiting natural and human resources of a region, cultural imperialists are "interested in", i.e. falling in, a model Asian regimes with expansive influence on other continents copied.

Many propagating democracy don't have democracy in mind, as many tribes worldwide can go on in age-old archaic traditions they are used to, live in stark contrast with human rights, without any public attention, as long these tribes inhabit regions, economically worthless, unattractive for corporations to fall in.

Exporting the American Way of Life worldwide has a long tradition, reminding dreadfully of US history: After cultural imperialists systematically took land and killed large parts of Native Americans, the survivors of this "ethnic cleansing" were expelled from their ancestral land deported to and "herded up" in reservations, without any economic interest for the government and companies, areas sans natural resources to exploit, only to be driven away again, once profitable natural resources were discovered in their reservations, which suddenly gained economic value for the government and businesses.

Moreover Native American children systemically were forced into Western education, meaning forcefully snatched from their parents, transported to boarding schools, wherein they were bottled with Western values and convictions in effort to make them "Good Americans", while prohibited from speaking their native language, wearing their traditional attire and using their genuine symbols.
This cultural imperialist US-doctrine against Native Americans - whereupon an area in the Black Hills sacred to Native Americans were chosen by US government for engraving in stone the heads of US-presidents (Mount Rushmore N.M., finished in 1941) - was still practiced in the 1960s, many years after the horrors of the Second World War with e.g. German/Japanese institutionalized terror and nationalism, as if those having lost WW2 were barred from developing nationalism ever again, whereas the victors flourished in their nationalism without regulatory.

All this reminds of the age-old conflict between good and evil, a battle based on binary friend-foe-scheme, Manichean logic, until today fought between ideologies, science and religion, a war, wherein conveniently each side considers itself good and the others as enemies, as false, as evil.
Many, heavily relying on education as cure-all seemingly forget: No matter how good they consider themselves, it's not truth or facts they transport with education, but analytically speaking, only content considered as truth or facts.

All sides rely on education to pass on content they consider right to their youth, filling the young with content beneficial for the continuance of the ideology, meaning values and convictions the given side - even on the left - considers right, as the truth, and therefore the others' position as lie, propaganda, false or even evil. Here, Philosophy of Science en passant, esp. "Paradigm Shift" in Harvard professor Thomas S. Kuhn's book: "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" (1962), wherein "incommensurability" describes rivaling paradigms, way too different to have common ground.

Referring to German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's book: "Beyond Good and Evil", it's beyond good and evil, it's about you, your self-reflection and emancipation from political power play, ideology, manipulative agendas of groups and parties - even in science and media - urging you not to reflect but to follow them in blind faith. Therein "impeccable" authorities claim to propagate "the truth" and to be always closer to "the truth" than you are, an undemocratic attitude awfully reminding of the very same religion those condemn while themselves demanding your followship and subordination to their propagated content, i.e. to believe them, adopt their convictions, share their values, and submit to their belief system only.

Analytically speaking, it's beyond good and evil, beyond truth or facts, it's all about you, what you believe in, what you sponsor with your attention and devotion. It's up to you, how you lead your life, whom you follow: Yourself or somebody else. You decide. One exit: Take the qualities working best for you from ideology, religion and science.

Dr. Dr. Immanuel Fruhmann
Systemic Analyst and Philosopher

Donnerstag, 12. April 2018

Ancient Rome Now

Looking to the United Kingdom and analysing the recent move of Prime Minister Theresa May reminds me of the Ancient Roman Empire. As for PM May it is currently obviously necessary to draw the Untied Kingdom into a quagmire in Syria militarily, seemingly officially, meaning according to the main storyline, because of the latest chemical attacks on civilians allegedly conducted by Syrian governmental forces in Eastern Ghouta just East of Damascus.

But unofficially this latest move of Theresa May - admittedly the violence against the Syrian civilians is outrageous - can be seen from a criticism of ideology point of view as effort to distract from bigger internal problems, domestic problems, political issues, which are current and overbearing in the UK.

PM May's move matches with many of the former PM ministers' moves, meaning mainly military interventions, but more interestingly these reminds of the Ancient Roman Empire and it's Caesars, Emperors, who often ruled as war lords, as tribunes, distinguishing themselves not only via wars and invasions, but also following the ideology of distraction (Ablenkungsideologie), one of the main ideology types one is aware of, if trained in criticism of ideology at university by Kurt Lenk and others, which in core is about distracting the public from internal, domestic problems, even often personal political struggles by leading the public into war, by war-mongering enough to manipulate the public to follow the very personal or political convenient interests of their leaders.

In other words these distracting moves by the government are intended to make the majority of the constituency to look the other way, in this case to Syria, and distract therefore the people from Brexit and its repercussions or from other burning issues.

So reminding of the years before the 1st World War, when so many were lured into war by people in charge having a benefit from it, I want to close with the question: Have we really progressed in contrast to Ancient Roman Empire, which is the basis of many countries' law system, our "modern" rule of law, or did we not only have advanced technology-wise, in terms of being more efficient and effective to invade, to exterminate, in others words to kill each other, but not at all advanced in becoming wise?

Systemic Analyst and Philosopher
Dr. Dr. Immanuel Fruhmann