Techno-social engineering is freaking insiders out


Actually, while the first book does promote that assumption, all the others don’t so much walk it back as take a wrecking ball to it. But I never read Dune as anything other than a misanthropic dystopian romance written by someone with a profoundly negative view of humanity and religion. If you read the The Jesus Incident or any of the other WorShip books, you get a look at how much Herbert really hated religion. And Whipping Star is basically one long satire of organized anything.

That’s kind of my point though. That’s the fatal conceit. There’s no winning a fight against evolution, artificial or otherwise. We can unpredictably change the direction by throwing wrenches into the works, but as antibiotic resistant bacteria demonstrate, that can backfire as easily as it can work in our favor.


Don’t forget that it can take a couple of years to get from the opening line to launch date of a book. Longer if you include the cogitation time it takes to process what you know into an idea for a novel. A relevant google search would be one from 2013 or early 2014, not one for today.


When constitutionally protected corporate entities operate an “invisible hand” economy that robotically and senselessly privatizes social gains and socializes private costs … could it be that the democratically unaccountable AIs are already awake and active?

Did they also send a banal robot duplicate of Bill Gates to revive public discussion of “when the AIs will wake up like in science fiction” to normalize our roles in the robot economy?


I think this article was written recently… If the book preceded a trend
that came to pass, it’d probably be worth mentioning when hyping your book,

I get it, and I’m being cynical. I actually think this issue is extremely
important and I’m going to read this book. Everyone else should too.

Best Regards,
James David Moffet
Fulbright Research Fellow
Center for Media, Data and Society


You’re wrong, and wait until you see what you’re getting for Christmas!


And propaganda. But the tools have changed. You were disappointed with radio and tv because it was blanket broadcast only? Personalizing your message required loads of staff? You couldn’t tailor your message easily in a scalable way? Fear not, now we have electronic brains with vast databases about virtually everbody in your zone of influence that can easily and scalable tailor your message for every single one of your underlings.

EDIT: fuck. now i scared myself o.o


What if your insurance company could marry your biometric data with your health history and genetic profile and was able to, for example, predict you were 10 times more likely than average to suffer a heart attack? Might you one day be required by your insurer to live a certain lifestyle in order to minimize its financial risk?

We already have this, and no, you won’t.

Life insurance companies are allowed to raise your rates if you smoke. They’re also allowed to encourage you to quit, and probably even to offer free classes or something. But they can’t make you quit, because the law won’t allow it, and because life insurance is optional. The worst they can do is give your money back.

Health insurance, pretty much the same, but they also have access to your doctor. They can offer quit-smoking pills for free, and also weight-loss aids. But I work for a health insurance company, and we can’t even force our members to take a health survey or get a checkup.

Having really really cool computer internet of things things will not change any of this.


Worldwide, or US-only? And how much lobbying will it take to take the stops out?


Controlling your everyday decisions is not what the insurance companies lobby for. Insurance companies want profits, like any corporation. Forcing you to lose weight would make them slightly more profitable, but not enough to pay the bribes, let alone the mind-control nanobots.

What the insurance companies really want is a law that requires everybody to buy insurance. The Affordable Care Act, for example. That’s where the profit is. Republicans keep pretending to repeal it, but their corporate masters would never allow them to succeed.


Hm, aren’t “mutual organizations” supposed to be almost “non-profit” (in as much as profits would be reinvested into the company for the benefit of the members)? Do those still exist in the US in this form or are they all for-profit now?


These worries are legitimate when we’re living in a fucked-up system where everyone’s worried that one wrong move will ruin their lives or that of their families yes.

If we had a civilized society where everybody who joins is guaranteed a stable life with dignity and people self-organize into productive groups then then these aren’t things to worry about.

We really need to stop treating the status quo as the only option.


Hell, they can do that more easily by just tracking your credit/debit/loyalty card to your grocery/snack/alcohol/tobacco purchase. And maybe they already do. You don’t even need fancy futurism. It is simple stuff. How about a property manager that doesn’t want to rent to people with pets? Just check their shopping habits. No loyalty card needed - a grocery story, or pet food store, can already associate your purchase with your name and credit/debit card. Your name is right there, as well as a handy, unique tracking number.

Or, what if a property manager doesn’t want to rent to a smoker? A drinker? Someone with babies (illegal, but if you don’t know you’ve been illegally discriminated against you can’t sue…)


I’d say what they want is a world where everybody has to buy insurance, but they don’t have to sell it to everybody. Insurance companies would prefer to sell insurance only to those people who don’t actually need it.


Yes, insurance companies favor requiring everyone to pay premiums and also claim payments that may be easily reduced or avoided.


They exist. Thrivent Financial is one. I think the Knights of Columbus is another.


I would not and will not - ever - trust a profit-oriented company with my health. It’s an inherent conflict of interest.


After buying a Mitsubishi I was delivered 6 months of Mitsubishi adverts. Relevant, but they didn’t sell me a second car.

I’m more worried when I get bursts of “Hot Asian Chicks are waiting for you” ads. That’s looking into uncomfortable parts of my soul.


So you prefer volunteers to paid doctors?


I think @AntaBaka_ was referring to insurance.

As in the difference between 'You have a million dollars to spend and need to use it to help poor people ’ (Medicaid/Medicare) and ‘You have a million dollars to spend and can keep whatever you can avoid spending’ (commercial insurance)


So, your doctor doesn’t make a profit? Nor the pharmaceutical companies, nor the test labs, nor the surgical glove company, nor…

I think you are gonna have to be more specific.