Benjamin S. Barnett

13 posts

Governance and Accountability

Technology is becoming more dangerous. More accurately, the new potential found in technology is opening new doors for humans to be more dangerous.

When it hits the fan, who will be held accountable? My fear is that no one will be accountable for tech centric "accidents" (we've already seen self driving car crashes). What happens though when gun carrying drones mar crowds of people? What happens when humanoid robots are programmed to do harm?

When these things happen WHO will be held accountable? We're heading into a gray area of technological scapegoatism where bad deeds can be done through 3rd parties who won't carry any of the liability.

What Level of Bliss?

I'll keep this short.

In today's society, most of us are afforded experiences and feelings that leave us feeling blissful. But what level of bliss is acceptable? And to a lesser extent, how often are these blissful experiences acceptable?

Maybe your bliss comes at the end of the week when you unwind with a few glasses of Jameson and Diet Coke.. Or maybe your bliss comes when you combine the aforementioned with nicotine, or pot, or more alcohol. And (hopefully not) maybe your bliss comes from things stronger than these being used more often.

How often do you feel blissful? More importantly, how often do you reflect on how you feel?

It is possible to feel blissful all the time, without any additives, supplements, etc..

How close are you to that goal?

Here You Go: A Conspiracy

I think every 30 years or so we, the people, are presented with society stretching events - events that test how much we as a collective unit buy into what the government and the media feeds us and how much influence and power we have as a society in questioning our leaders. In the past these events, these tests have been more contained to individual countries. The leaders during these trying times benefit from testing their people because it helps them prepare for the future. It helps them keep the people contained and learn more about what they can and cannot get away with and possibly in what order. Essentially these events are response tests. How will we respond, what is too much, and what will it take for us all to band together and successfully "overthrow" the organizations behind the tests who likely don't have our best interests in mind?

What is different now, is that we have the internet and more specifically we have social media. This is a tool that our world leaders likely fear because it helps us all band together. I mean just look at how much the leader(s) of China control their population by restricting the websites and apps their people have access to. China is on the more severe end of the spectrum where the United States is closer to the middle.

Given that this new tool (social media) is so powerful to the common man - for better or for worse - it makes sense that old world powers would be scared and would feel the need to collect data on how powerful of a tool it is currently and what it's potential is in the future.

When your only source of news is watching CNN or FOX, you are easy to control, influence and manipulate. A problem starts when you begin to think for yourself. An even bigger problem starts when you start to band together and think something other than the defined narrative that's been fed to you by the people in power that really only want to keep the power to themselves.

I have read that Mark Zuckerberg's success with Facebook in the long term is because he pushes the boundaries by taking "five steps forward and one step back." In other words he makes substantial changes to Facebook that can be offensive (increased tracking, more in depth data collection, manipulative ads, to name a few low level examples) and when people get upset with this "progress," Facebook will barely "walk it back" by updating their privacy statement and sending out an email to it's users.

Our world leaders are doing this same thing, but maybe dialed back to three steps forward instead of five - given the larger scale and impact these leaders have on their people versus the influence access to social media has on people.

Eventually our leaders will find more technological scapegoats in order to manipulate and test us on higher levels while taking less of the blame when things go haywire. Think Artificial Intelligence. Now think of "progress" being made by our governments who are really just hiding behind "AI."

This world is becoming an unstable experiment.

People Mining


There are people of interest identified by companies. Most consumers fit into a generic bucket where their data is largely ignored - other than to serve them more relevant advertisements - to get them to buy more products. There are some people, however, that are flagged in special tables or possibly brand new databases.

These companies identify persons of interest by analyzing all of their data. I imagine there is a "sweet spot" range of anomalousness that a person has to be in to be flagged as more "track-worthy" than the average consumer.

These companies have the ability to manipulate these people with even more targeted advertising and other methods on a honed in, micro-scale.


What is the goal? What do the companies hope to gain from analyzing these specifically selected people?

If there were a global election...

How would we possibly vote?

What power would the elected obtain?

What are the most likely term limits?

What are the general responsibilities that come with global governance?

Are other global governing bodies?

Is there a global court system?

Who qualifies to run?

How do we prevent global ruin?

What's the big secret?

What's the big secret? Why do we care so much about so many things that ten years ago didn't even register on our radar? Are we that easily manipulated by the media and the politicians? Yep! But why do they care? Why are they trying to manipulate us so much?

While they directly benefit from pushing a sense of chaos on us because it keeps us tied up and under their control... they also indirectly benefit by sewing division. This is a dangerous problem.

I understand the "divide and conquer" tactic all too well. I know people who use said tactic as their primary method of bonding with others. They sew division between two people so that the divided will in turn bond with the divider. What if there were two "dividers" who were really working together to keep all of the "divided" under their collective control?

Right now politicians and media outlets are doing this very thing, but they have gone into hyperdrive. They are the ones dividing the country so that they can have what they consider ultimate power. I mean seriously, are they all on cocaine?

Their efforts will end in one of two ways - they'll willingly let it all calm down OR there will be a one-sided, misguided revolt which in turn sparks country-wide division that rivals the Civil War.

Our societal problems really boil down the the media that we consume. If politicians did not have a way to manipulate us so effectively through insincere and manipulative PR stunts, speeches and reactions to other politicians - they would lose a significant amount of power.

Why do they care?

What power do they have that we're not seeing? I don't know about you but even if I were in a powerful position where I could easily manipulate the masses and actually wanted to... at some point the effect, the power high would wear off.

So what then are they chasing? What is so hidden and protected by the government that makes them crave power and control so much? What's the big secret? We all die eventually so you can't tell me they're after earthly riches - or else they're just plain stupid (although I'm not ruling that out).

Maybe they can see into the future?

Likely not (but not certainly not) an exact movie quality depiction like in Amazon's "Devs," but maybe they can foresee probability much better than most "forward thinking" organizations? This would make sense if you really think about it...

Why do they care? Because the associated high isn't directly tied to the here and now, but more so in manipulating the future and seeing it come to fruition. The high they are chasing is in creation.

What can they bring into reality? Riots? Protests? Prosperity?

They're likely not concerned with any of those examples. I can't see how they would be directly impacted or would directly benefit. What they are concerned with is the future that those examples spawn, or allow them to spawn.

Our societal stability and underlying public confidence are just tools that people in power can use to steer the country. The more chaos and uncertainty there is, the more vulnerable we are and the more likely it is that we're being manipulated.

Let's all stop consuming the news for two weeks a year. The same two weeks. This small effort would undoubtedly reset our tolerance for manipulation and give more of the power back to the people.

Just thinking out loud.

After thought...

Maybe this is why top global governments are always in some level of conflict. The ability to control the future could mean the ability to "own" or represent the world - eventually.

Maybe that's why Elon Musk is obsessed with Mars? Is he just privy to this competition to represent earth to the universe and has just decided to forfeit it for another floating sphere?

Novel Ideas: May 2020


Invisibility isn't just for cloaks.

Impromptu Video Messages

Think of it like being hacked and all of a sudden your phone can't be used until you view a blasted message, or complete a video call with the hacker.

The Next HUGE Thing

The next huge thing is a tech-neural interface. Smart computers that respond to input like Alexa does but smarter. Not as direct as "write this code," but even more intuitive and intelligent. On twitter while scrolling through your feed and muttering or thinking "only me, only me" because you want to see your profile - this system automatically navigates.

Novel Ideas: April 2020

AI Meditation Music

AI Music that links with your Fitbit Heart Rate to better calm you down / get you to focus.

TV You Can Control

TV shows that let you influence / steer the plot. Like those books you used to read in elementary school.

Personalized Content Streaming

Subscribe to just a few TV shows on a quarterly basis at a fraction of the normal cost.

Washer Dryer Combination Machine

One of our original posts, this machine does both cycles of a full load of laundry in one machine. What's better is the fact that the machine accepts a hamper insert - so you never have to touch dirty laundry again!

Bi-focal Reality

AR or VR available for a small section of your visual field. What's better, if the display can swivel up or down, you can control how much of the virtual screen to use, and when to use it.

Sharable TV, Music Streaming Options

If you're the only person active on one of these shared services, you have complete control. Otherwise the most popularly chosen (sorted with a smart algorithm) episode or song is played next. After your media plays, your next selections carry less weight until your turn comes back around. Groups split the cost of this service equally or based on individual use.

AirBNB for Startup Founders

Find other startups or solo entrepreneurs to co-work with in your (or their) home office. Payment doesn't have be cash, and can include donated services.

Automated, Consistent Tipping

Choose a flat amount (percent) to automatically tip your servers and bartenders.

Let Me Blow Ya Mind

There's no question about it, we live in a crazy age. An age where nearly anything is possible. I once listened to, and scoffed at a Graduation Speech, delivered by Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting star), where he remarked "what if this is all a simulation?" Before you laugh, honestly and sincerely consider the following.

We live in an age of "fake news," a time of virtual reality, and are witnessing what we're told is the dawn of Artificial Intelligence. All of these things are fun to think about separately (among other "futuristic" technologies), but imagine the possibility of using these technologies together.

Technology has the power to shape our perception of reality.

What if what we're told about the world, about existence, about reality is all one big facade? Not to shelter us, or harm us in any way, but to keep things running smoothly (or, at times, not so much). What if virtual reality applied to our TV screens? What if "fake news" was tailored to each of us? What if Artificially Intelligent CGI existed so that the faces that we all recognize could be made and manipulated to say what we, on an individual level need to hear? Throw Big Data in there and there's no telling what's really possible...

We all know about planned obsolescence... What about planned innovation? For how far into the "future" have companies prepared? Not only that... what agreements these companies have with the other giants in the world (i.e. governmental agencies) when it comes to "classified" technologies.

What if the real problem wasn't preventing nuclear weapons from being created / used, but rather was preventing the existence of light sabers and laser guns from being common knowledge. What if the celebrated "greats" of innovation were just the ones that discovered this alternate (honest) reality and negotiated with the right people to maintain the illusion? What if their job was to plan the release of "The Next Big Thing," which really existed over twenty years ago?

How good are we at concealing our secrets, our most valuable innovations?

There's no question that Bill Gates' reality is different than mine. But how different? How profound of a difference is there between his public life, and his private life? Does he live in the public eye, anticipating the camera flash and the printed photographs, only to go home to take and print pictures with his mind? Take some time to laugh at this dramatic example, but at the same time - consider my point.

How many veils have been pulled over our eyes? And for whom will they be lifted? Is there someone out there who knows for a fact that aliens have visited earth, that time-travel is real, and that we live in a cyclical reality? If there were, all that's needed to keep this person quiet is the possibility of public embarrassment / shaming.

As a society we do not ask "higher level" questions because we've been conditioned not to. We're raised to accept our reality, and to not question it. We barely push the envelope when it comes to the real truth. We ask "was the election rigged," but don't ask whether our President is picked decades in advance by artificially intelligent machines that have existed for over a century (another dramatization).

If you do anything with your time in 2017 - branch out! Ask yourself questions you once considered "crazy," because the truth is - crazy is the new possible. There's no telling what lies ahead - the world is only going to continue on this trend of "innovation" and this is a great way to prepare! In the words of Mythbuster Adam Savage "Reject [their] reality and substitute [your] own."