108

War Mongering for Artificial Intelligence

Binoy Kampmark

Eric Schmidt (left) and Robert Work (right) told congress they in danger of China becoming the AI superpower

The ghost of Edward Teller must have been doing the rounds between members of the National Commission on Artificial Intelligence.

The father of the hydrogen bomb was never one too bothered by the ethical niggles that came with inventing murderous technology. For instance:

[it is not] the scientist’s job to determine whether a hydrogen bomb should be constructed, whether it should be used, or how it should be used.”

Responsibility, however exercised, rested with the American people and their elected officials.

The application of AI in military systems has plagued the ethicist but excited certain leaders and inventors. Russian President Vladimir Putin has grandiloquently asserted that “it would be impossible to secure the future of our civilization” without a mastery of artificial intelligence, genetics, unmanned weapons systems and hypersonic weapons.

Campaigners against the use of autonomous weapons systems in war have been growing in number. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres is one of them.

“Autonomous machines with the power and discretion to select targets and take lives without human involvement,” he wrote on Twitter in March 2019, “are politically unacceptable, morally repugnant and should be prohibited by international law.”

The International Committee for Robot Arms Control, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and Human Rights Watch are also dedicated to banning lethal autonomous weapons systems. Weapons analysts such as Zachary Kallenborn see that absolute position as untenable, preferring a more modest ban on:

the highest-risk weapons: drone swarms and autonomous chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons”.

The critics of such weapons systems were far away in the Commission’s draft report for Congress. The document has more than a touch of the mad scientist in the bloody service of a master. This stood to reason, given its chairman was Eric Schmidt, technical advisor to Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google, of which he was formerly CEO.

With Schmidt holding the reins, we would be guaranteed a show shorn of moral restraint.

The AI promise – that a machine can perceive, decide, and act more quickly, in a more complex environment, with more accuracy than a human – represents a competitive advantage in any field. It will be employed for military ends, by governments and non-state groups.”

In his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 23, Schmidt was all about “fundamentals” in keeping the US ascendant. This involved preserving national competitiveness and shaping the military with those fundamentals in mind. But to do so required keeping the eyes of the security establishment wide open for any dangerous competitor. (Schmidt understands Congress well enough to know that spikes in funding and outlays tend to be attached to the promotion of threats.) He sees “the threat of Chinese leadership in key technology areas” as “a national crisis”.

In terms of AI, “only the United States and China” had the necessary “resources, commercial might, talent pool, and innovation ecosystem to lead the world”. Within the next decade, Beijing could even “surpass the United States as the world’s AI superpower.”

The testimony is generously spiked with the China threat thesis.

Never before in my lifetime have I been more worried that we will soon be displaced by a rival or more aware of what second place means for our economy, our security, and the future of our nation.”

He feared that such worries were not being shared by officials, with the DoD treating “software as a low priority”. Here, he could give advice on lessons learned in the spawning enterprises of Silicon Valley, where the principled live short lives. Those dedicated to defence could “form smart teams, drive hard deliverables, and move quickly.” Missiles, he argued, should be built “the way we now build cars: use a design studio to develop and simulate in software.”

This all meant necessarily praising a less repressible form of AI to the heavens, notably in its military applications.

Two days of public discussion saw the panel’s vice chairman Robert Work extol the virtues of AI in battle. “It is a moral imperative to at least pursue this hypothesis” claiming that “autonomous weapons will not be indiscriminate unless we design them that way.” The devil is in the human, as it has always been.

In a manner reminiscent of the debates about sharing atomic technology in the aftermath of the Second World War, the Committee urges that the US “pursue a comprehensive strategy in close coordination with our allies and partners for artificial intelligence (AI) innovation and adoption that promotes values critical to free and open societies.”

A proposed Emerging Technology Coalition of likeminded powers and partners would focus on the role of “emerging technologies according to democratic norms and values” and “coordinate policies to counter the malign use of these technologies by authoritarian regimes”. Fast forgotten is the fact that distinctions such as authoritarianism and democracy have little meaning at the end of a weapon.

Internal changes are also suggested to ruffle a few feathers. The US State Department comes in for special mention as needing reforms.

There is currently no clear lead for emerging technology policy or diplomacy within the State Department, which hinders the Department’s ability to make strategic technology decisions.”

Allies and partners were confused when approaching the State Department as to “which senior official would be their primary point of contact” for a range of topics, be they AI, quantum computing, 5G, biotechnology or new emerging technologies.

Overall, the US government comes in for a battering, reproached for operating “at human speed not machine speed.” It was lagging relative to commercial development of AI. It suffered from “technical deficits that range from digital workforce shortages to inadequate acquisition policies, insufficient network architecture, and weak data practices.”

The official Pentagon policy, as it stands, is that autonomous and semi-autonomous weapons systems should be “designed to allow commanders and operators to exercise appropriate levels of human judgment over the use of force.”

In October 2019, the Department of Defence adopted various ethical principles regarding the military use of AI, making the DoD Artificial Intelligence Centre the focal point.

These include the provision that:

DoD personnel will exercise appropriate levels of judgment and care, while remaining responsible for the development, deployment, and use of AI capabilities.”

The “traceable” principle is also shot through with the principle of human control, with personnel needing to “possess an appropriate understanding of the technology, development processes, and operational methods applicable to AI capabilities”.

The National Commission pays lip service to such protocols, acknowledging that operators, organisations and “the American people” would not support AI machines not “designed with predictability” and “clear principles” in mind. But the note of warning in not being too morally shackled becomes a screech. Risk was “inescapable” and not using AI “to solve real national security challenges risks putting the United States at a disadvantage”.

Especially when it comes to China.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]

can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media

Unlike the Guardian we are NOT funded by Bill & Melinda Gates, or any other NGO or government. So a few coins in our jar to help us keep going are always appreciated.

Our Bitcoin JTR code is: 1JR1whUa3G24wXpDyqMKpieckMGGW2u2VX

5 6 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
108 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kiwijoker
Kiwijoker
Mar 6, 2021 4:58 AM

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

– US President George W. Bush (August 5, 2004)

el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo
Mar 4, 2021 12:43 AM

This is not about war fighting, though these machines may be used in some wars to fine tune them. This is about the conversion of the planet as what remains of the current population, including the recently rather opulent upper middle classes and lower upper classes are reduced to abject poverty. Maybe 5% will be paid techies and enforcer thugs, and a tiny fraction of 1% will the rulers and oligarchs. Basically a neofeudal, high tech, Hunger Games society. The Overlords have all the advantages to pull this off and maintain it but one, they are vastly outnumbered by the growing serf class, and they also fear that their power pyramid will erode as the lower tiers wake up and switch sides. So to even up the number odds they want these AI killing machine a la The Terminator. They can’t very well tell the present day tax serfs that we are perfecting these machines to kill you and yours in a few years, perhaps very few, so they drape it in traditional warfare patriotism.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Mar 3, 2021 12:10 PM

Amy Boone is a kindred spirit, sharing many of the perspectives put forward in this thread.

Over the threshold to technocracy by Amy Boone, “on the 3-in-a-bed romp between amoral technology, the political class and the surveillance community”.

Lutz Barz
Lutz Barz
Mar 3, 2021 10:46 AM

When I got my ninth pc it took days to get it to work the way I wanted it to. Which is less not more. That is as a word processor, save photos, play music and films and do some digital art. However the way MS had loaded it up it took around 48 hrs to unclogg it. Plus get it to work as advertised. The list is long and tedious so that it took two weeks to get it running because it kept in interfering with its own functions, Using word.docx for some reason when starting a new page when on line three I press enter two lines vanish. Press backspace and they reappear and stay only if I don’t press enter which leaves me stuck on line two. I had a special MS too downloaded and no luck. The other read to fix file didn’t work either. Reuploadeing Office 365 didn’t solve it either. However that was nothing compared to being locked out when it would not recognise my password. Until I realised that UK English is not the same as US English. There are other glitches. Ask the pilots of the F 35 about their glitches. Point being AI is a myth. Like the epidemic. This excellent waste of money stops anything effective ever getting off the ground. That a V1 today could be conceived seems so simple it isn’t happening. No profit. Computational machines may get one order of codes to command to engage exe.run to execute to solution — oops too late. enemy has vanished. Or it has stopped operating because with no emr no signature no presence and so AI is blind. It is the politicians who declare wars that are the danger. And we have seen what a menace they are. Especially those green inside their mouldy heads. Bain rot. What happens from being green behind the ears.

Ian Thorpe
Ian Thorpe
Mar 4, 2021 5:48 PM
Reply to  Lutz Barz

I guess you are using Windows 10 so if it only took 48 hours to get it working the way you wanted. I bought a Win 10 PC three months ago and I still haven’t got it working anything like the way I want it to. This is mainly because I get so frustrated with Windows 10 after a few minutes trying to use it I’m ready to throw the computer through the Window. The only times I have got anything done on it, I opened the CMD window and worked from the old DOS command line. Much less annoying.
I intend eventually to remove all the shite, partition the hard drive and put Linux on it (got it at a knockdown price so no loss,) but as I have three working computers, running Linux, Win 7 and Win XP (still the best to work with but useless online these days,) I just keep getting distracted.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Mar 2, 2021 7:02 PM

I’m afraid that this particular train left the station a long time ago. The lesson of the hydrogen bomb is that just because a weapon is lethal to the point of utter impracticality won’t stop it being developed and deployed. AI and associated technologies are extremely powerful and cost effective — witness what happened recently with the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia — so no amount of posturing about morality is going to stop the development and deployment of these weapons. We simply have to learn to live with them and — probably more relevant to most of us — how they be adapted and deployed in law enforcement situations. Its not all doom and gloom; we’ve been living with crime prediction software (for example) since the early 70s and its not as effective as it might seem. Surveillance drones may be a more pressing issue judging by the almost hysterical race to find ways to control civilian ownership and use of them.

Its not just computers that we need to keep an eye on. I read just this morning that there is what looks like a very practical laser weapon in development which should be read to demonstrate this year. It uses ultra short light pulses which not only maintain the beam energy over long distances but also allow it to use a fraction of the power that’s been needed up to now — “20 to 50 watts total”. It also looks like it will be relatively easy to make and robust enough to deploy reliably. The weapon will appear to us to be something out of a typical science fiction movie.

NickM
NickM
Mar 3, 2021 11:36 AM
Reply to  Martin Usher

@Martin Usher: “ultra short light pulses which not only maintain the beam energy over long distances but also allow…”

…also allow the transmission of electric power in a straight line through the air? As a technical expert, have you perchance come across pipe dreams of generating solar power in distant desert areas and using ultrashort electromagnetic pulses to transmit that power to customers without need for cables?

Paul Vonharnish
Paul Vonharnish
Mar 2, 2021 3:12 PM

Regarding artificial intelligence: > The “Daisy Bell” was composed by Harry Dacre in 1892. In 1961, the IBM 7094 became the first computer to sing.

First computer to sing – Daisy Bell
First computer to sing – Daisy Bell – YouTube

What the human race sounds like as it sings it’s last song: >

HAL 9000 Sings ‘Daisy’ As He Is Deactivated | From Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey
HAL 9000 Sings ‘Daisey’ As He Is Deactivated | From Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey – YouTube

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do
I’m half crazy all for the love of you
It won’t be a stylish marriage
I can’t afford a carriage
But you’ll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two…

NickM
NickM
Mar 3, 2021 11:45 AM

Thanks, Paul; brought back distant memories of Xmas 1961 in an ICI computer lab when the machine suddenly started to beep Jingle Bells. My first earful of that digital music which (in much improved quality) is now my staple fare.

Magie
Magie
Mar 2, 2021 1:02 PM

Their is a thing in PR called ‘over saturation’ its been heavy studied hence why ‘they’ ‘them’ switch up it a bit with the ways they do things 

but on this whole Bs19, their is a few things that have been over hyped and definitely ‘over saturation’ The vaccine thing for one. 

I have seen the testing stations local to me they are in most town and cities i have also seen the vaccine centers, They are empty.

I no of decent none political researchers (i find them more trust worthy than politically aligned researchers for obvious reasons) they have shown also the testing stations and vaccine centers to be dead no one in them no one visiting them.

Being slightly optimistic about things like the getting rid of cash thing did not work out still many business’s take cash. (well done those’s who pushed back)

The track and trace uptake doesn’t work out, people are not scanning the Qrcodes when out nor many downloaded the app and having to get the Queen on to flog the vaccine again, it is her 2nd time and having to get black actors to sell it to the black lot then it shows this hasn’t gone towards the target hit they wanted to achieve.

Even the shill htichen jab psyop thing stunk of desperation just like bojo and trump fake diagnoses many normal folks thought was lies.

Even the local press has said ‘many haven’t gone to get it ‘ after saying it was running out hurry hurry go get it.

The doctors surgery have been stalking people to come down and get it. it seems slightly desperate . they are even posting testing kits to people, of course shill hitckeh been paid to say he got it just like the shit actors and popstars x list celebs and politicians say they have.

Seems ‘over saturation’ and desperate. More importantly people i thought would of gone for it haven’t (yet)

Corina = crown mind its a mind virus pushed though the TV media

Not over until the fat lady sings -.dont let them get in your minds

Germourt
Germourt
Mar 2, 2021 12:41 PM

Using the term AI is deceptive, it does not exist, what exists will be the logarithm which are programmed into the ‘AI’ computers.

The ‘Computer will say NO’, but it will not be the computers decision, it will be the writer of the algorithm as we know too well with google and Facebook and Youtube. AI is a way of hiding control behind a curtain.

dr death
dr death
Mar 2, 2021 10:46 PM
Reply to  Germourt

presumably you mean algorithm , still you are half way there, Ai is a misnomer what they sell as AI is merely data capture and machine learning the same as it has always been.. what differs is scale, and access…
thank the web for that, or as I prefer to call it darpa net..

Aethelred
Aethelred
Mar 4, 2021 9:05 AM
Reply to  dr death

Correct. AI can only “decide” within parameters set by programmers. Those decisions only take effect if the AI is connected to a machine equipped to do work (i.e. a robot). AI is not autonomous but complex algorithms can give it the appearance of autonomy. AI could be compared with the familiar state functionary, who appears autonomous but is governed by a complex body of rules written (laws, regulations, procedures) and unwritten (culture, norms, force). Power guides both the functionary and the robot, if not by the same techniques, in the same motive.

Williams Hill
Williams Hill
Mar 6, 2021 9:20 AM
Reply to  dr death

Why are you repeating what he said?

Barry Bird
Barry Bird
Mar 6, 2021 6:59 PM
Reply to  Williams Hill

He didn’t. He didn’t say ‘logarithm’.

Germourt
Germourt
Mar 2, 2021 12:37 PM

I suspect the number of cases of the common cold & flu they are testing for with the PCR tests are going to collapse in Europe in the coming weeks as this early spring starts to kick in, and they will decline without the vaccine.

The decline in ‘cases’ will match exactly the decline the UK, which they are claiming is due to the vaccination programme. Me thinks the emperor vaccine is going to look very naked, very soon, as they wake up from their madness and the side effects start to cause serious health problems.

Lost in a dark wood
Lost in a dark wood
Mar 2, 2021 12:19 PM

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

 – T.S. Eliot; The Hollow Men

Having spent the last year watching legions of zombified mask wearers, I find some strange reassurance in the idea that in a secure bunker somewhere there’s a millennialist Christian with a direct line to God and a finger hovering over the big red, Rapture button. But A.I. wouldn’t be the same!

Magie
Magie
Mar 2, 2021 12:48 PM

comment image

Lost in a dark wood
Lost in a dark wood
Mar 2, 2021 12:54 PM
Reply to  Magie

Exactly!

Voz 0db
Voz 0db
Mar 2, 2021 3:53 PM
Reply to  Magie

SMART MUZZLE for a MORON SLAVE… Perfect!

This is not the Author Original Picture… This is just my updated version.

comment image

Saint Jimmy
Saint Jimmy
Mar 2, 2021 3:17 PM

Blondie was about as hollow as it gets.

Voz 0db
Voz 0db
Mar 2, 2021 4:04 PM
Reply to  Saint Jimmy

Yep…

Germourt
Germourt
Mar 2, 2021 10:28 AM

When in doubt start a ‘Man Hunt’. The hunt for the ‘terrorist’ Brazilian ‘variant’ Jihadi-covid’ hots up in the UK.

Why do people not see the patterns & the role-out of the same old tricks by the UK’s military state, to keep the people locked into this narrative of idiocy and lies.

Aethelred
Aethelred
Mar 4, 2021 9:11 AM
Reply to  Germourt

Think of it as an endless succession of Scooby-Doo episodes. Most people are gulled by plot and never grasp theme.

Jacques
Jacques
Mar 2, 2021 9:56 AM

The Art of Judo a.k.a. using your enemy’s strength against the motherfucker

The suit-n-tie assholes in the office where they control everything from (as coined by Frank Zappa), have imposed a strict lockdown over here, preventing people from traveling between districts (districts actually don’t exist, they were abolished years ago, but that just shows how stupid the imbeciles are and provides a handy reason for cases to be thrown out of court should it come to that). They got pigs and the army (outrageous, for the first time in history the army has been turned against citizens!!!!) patrolling the roads and highways.

Solution: WAZE. Within seconds, people can share with others where the pigs happen to be stationed and circumvent their position.

Two can play this game.

Too bad the weather is getting warmer. Let them freeze their asses off there.

Voz 0db
Voz 0db
Mar 2, 2021 9:28 AM

eheheheheh this is not even up for debate!

Every tech we, degenerate uman animals, develop will always be used in the activity we MOST LOVE and ENJOY

VIOLENCE & WAR!

After all millennia after millennia have passed and we remain the same…
comment image

Howard
Howard
Mar 2, 2021 3:28 PM
Reply to  Voz 0db

Couldn’t possibly have said it any better. Of course AI will be installed everywhere; of course it will be used for the vilest evil imaginable – I’m sure they’re working on a way to get AI to take over the torture of people and other animals.

Insanity, to paraphrase, is adding yet another layer of technology and expecting a less hideous result (not that its purveyors want anything less than perfect evil).

Edwige
Edwige
Mar 2, 2021 9:25 AM

The UK’s record and position on this is in danger of passing unnoticed, for example:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/robot-soldiers-british-army-nick-carter-b1705452.html

Military tech need not look like great hulks of metal. Rumours of ‘super soldiers’ have been knocking about for many years. The Van Damme film UNIVERSAL SOLDIER is nearly 30 years old and there was plenty about Timothy McVeigh to suggest some weird medical goings-on had occurred with him. Of course planting stories that your soldiers have remarkable powers would be a useful weapon in itself so who knows?

Brian Sides
Brian Sides
Mar 2, 2021 9:20 AM

Artificial Intelligence does not exist. Intelligence is either real or not. One definition of intelligence is “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills” another is “the collection of information of use”. A computer is as dumb as a rock. It needs instructions for actions. These instructions have to be given to it by people. A computer is a store of such instructions. Before if some one learned a skill they could only pass it on in person. Then they learnt to write down the skill in a book. Though learning a skill from a book can be a long way from one to one teaching. In the 1970’s I remember being beaten by a Chess computer. But if you try any chatbot you will see how little progress has been made since then.

Voz 0db
Voz 0db
Mar 2, 2021 9:31 AM
Reply to  Brian Sides

Well try tell that to the morons writing “AI” code!

comment image

Brian Sides
Brian Sides
Mar 2, 2021 9:46 AM
Reply to  Voz 0db

I spent some 35 years writing computer code. The most useful was for fire prevention. The least was for fruit machines. I help develop a moving target system for the Hong Kong gun club controlled by a psion organiser (an early hand held computer) . When they tried to sell it to the army the psion organiser menu had to be replaced by a box with buttons they could hit. All soldiers have to be brainwashed to obey orders without question . Intelligence is not a priority.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Mar 2, 2021 3:12 PM
Reply to  Brian Sides

I remember the Psion Organiser well. I interviewed its inventor several times. David Potter I think.

What few people know is that the mobile phone began a an add on to the organiser… not the other way around. The Palm Pilot offered the option.
The interface of the Pilot (Later called Handspring) has never been equalled in my opinion.

In 2005 I insisted on having a mobile phone with WiFi. People thought I was nuts. Few phones had it and I wanted to use a phone as a work device with editing apps.

Then everyone forgets, the paradigm shift is accomplished and ’twas ever thus.

Howard
Howard
Mar 2, 2021 3:36 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Though I greatly respect your contributions to this comment forum, I must herein issue a sarcastic “Thank You” for helping make WiFi what it is today.

To say WiFi will be the death of us all is not as great an exaggeration as it sounds.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Mar 2, 2021 3:40 PM
Reply to  Howard

Accepted!

Despite (because of) my meanderings I sometimes fail to get to the point, which is this:

The smartphone is one of the dumbest instruments developed because it is still after all the time invested, by USERS, pretty crap as a working or creative device — by comparison with the Palm Pilot launched in 1997 or a high end Nokia with physical keypad, such as the 9000 Communicator.

This is deliberate. The smartphone is a device for tracking – nothing more nor less: your location, your emails, your Fitbit, the sites you visit, with a built-in microphone to pick up your conversations, and facial recognition and fingerprint options to collect the obvious.

If Google or Apple or Microsoft or any of the Johnny-Come-Lateys to the handheld business were interested in the NEEDS of their customers, the device would look very different… and so would productivity.

The same applies to PCs. Very basic functions like searching for files on the device are crippled. On Microsoft you are better served by a third-party search app and on Mac you are pretty much stuffed as most of them use the underlying Spotlight.

Do you imagine the NSA struggles on with Cortana or Spotlight?

If a computer cannot even search itself effectively, you are being conned. You are being sold a PC under false pretenses. The objective is clearly to empower someone other than the user.

sanitycheck
sanitycheck
Mar 2, 2021 9:50 PM
Reply to  Moneycircus

So you are such an uber geek that wanted WiFi for editing on your device in ’05 but never heard of find (command) in BSD (OS X) or Linux? (And you made such a brilliant comment a few weeks ago; now I have to review that comment.)

Linux:
https://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man1/find.1.html

OS X version is pretty similar. Just open up Terminal (std app) and type ‘man find’.

Checkout the options galore on find. Very powerful and hardly ‘crippled’.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Mar 3, 2021 12:37 PM
Reply to  sanitycheck

It’s important to pitch a topic at the the right level — accessible but not viral 😉 but you’re right, of course.

My point is about the default settings – there is no doubt that PCs, like smartphones, are built to limit the general user’s functionality.

We’ll have to kick the hacking up a notch soon if this guy’s right: “The establishment media wants to trace the origin of all digital content so that “trusted providers” can be distinguished from non-trusted providers.”
Bokhari: Microsoft and Friends Want to Destroy Online Privacy

It’ll be interesting to see if this stops at the level of “cryptographic integrity of the claims and assertions regarding provenance and authenticity” of images and documents…
or whether it reaches into censorship and the capacity to post content.

C2PA or Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity is specifically targeting not copyright but your right to speak out.

  • content authentication starts at the silicon level.
  • together, we’ll address issues of misinformation and disinformation and work to establish technical solutions.
  • a technology standard across the web, client devices, and anywhere people create or consume content, from professional cameras to newsfeeds on smartphones.
Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Mar 3, 2021 11:54 AM
Reply to  Moneycircus

And smartphones are actually terrible – ergonomically speaking – as telephones. I was reminded of this while watching a sort of Scandi-noir on TV (in my defence, it’s based on a true story, so documentary-like), and although the police officers portrayed all have “proper” office phones on their desks, they invariably actually use their smart phones. One officer was trying to talk, write and hold her phone at the same time (can’t cradle them in the neck like you can with phones that are designed as phones), and looked like a contortionist.

The original basic Nokias were actually better in this respect.

Similarly, smart phones are awful – ergonomically speaking – as cameras, no matter how “smart” the technology is.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Mar 2, 2021 6:46 PM
Reply to  Brian Sides

Touchscreens don’t work in a tactical environment. They are replaced by ‘buttons’ but even these are carefully designed and placed so that they can be operated by personnel who are wearing protective gear who may be under stress.

Brainwashing to obey orders is a signature feature of military disciplne. That’s why recruits are typically mid to late teenagers — you want them at an age where they’re mentally and physically at their peak but not so old that they start to have misgivings about what they’re being asked to do. The actual training process is also subtle — it was discovered by the US during WW2 that training soldiers to shoot at bullseye targets was ineffective because when faced with actual bodies to shoot at people tended to shoot to miss (to intimidate rather than kill). This caused the change to human sillouhettes.

martin
martin
Mar 2, 2021 9:59 AM
Reply to  Brian Sides

Yes, but it is a matter of how far a human decision is taken away from the point of action, both in time and place and level of authority. A tax bill or social security repayment demand can be calculated and delivered on the basis of an algorithm. It can be deducted direct from you bank account without any human official’s knowledge. You can even have humans at the delivery point eg Police or Compulsory Injection Team. They will take orders from a procedure instruction that is entirely generated without human instruction (apart from the original systems design team and who they report to). In a sense procedural systems that remove human decision are already AI. But your point is still valid.

Howard
Howard
Mar 2, 2021 3:31 PM
Reply to  Brian Sides

Most of what passes for “intelligence” is purely artificial anyway (i.e., it is simply parroting official narratives).

Arby
Arby
Mar 2, 2021 8:50 AM

Just replace ‘America’ (from the Chinese ruling class’s propganda perspective), ‘China’ or ‘Russia’ with ‘the people’ and you’ll have a crystal clear idea what’s going on here.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Mar 2, 2021 8:38 AM

The Eric Schmidt phenomenon represents the melding of the military-tech-political machine in pursuit of permanent power. 

As Binoy Kampmark notes, the testimony of Schmidt to the Senate Armed Services Committee was “generously spiked with the China threat thesis”. This is the current dialectic: we arm China and point to it as a threat, while demanding more money to arm ourselves.

No one has been more central to the technological weaponizing of China that Eric Schmidt’s Alphabet, the inside-joke-of-a-company-name that in turn runs Google.

The essence of power is do what I say, not what I do. Or as Schmidt put it: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” Which didn’t apply when CNET searched Schmidt’s own salary, neighborhood, hobbies and political donations.

It all comes down to power, which is the primary issue with AI: whose power it serves. As a system for real-time, communal decision making of the People, by the People, and for the People, AI could make possible a harmonious future in which competing wants would be resolved with minimal conflict. So why is the debate around AI so often confined to drones, policing, robots and war machines? 

The problem of AI lies in saying, ‘no’. In order for the machines to know what to do, the humans who program them must first also say, ‘no’. Eric Schmidt is the poster child for the boy who can’t say, ‘no’. 

That’s been his strength and weakness in his personal life, business relationships and his approach to the boundaries of what is acceptable in technology and politics. If his judgement has sometimes been questionable — and it may seem unfair to single him out — he has put himself in the limelight. Indeed, he has done society a service by his plain speaking, will to act and open pursuit of power and wealth.

Take Schmidt’s quote: “Here is what I call the creepy line. The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”

The problem is there is no creepy line. There is no fixed border. The only creep is mission creep. Several times Google employees have protested at the company’s involvement in building military drones, China’s social credit system and tailoring of the Dragonfly search engine to the CCP’s need for censorship. Google’s AI work for the Pentagon has attracted particular protest. A dozen employees resigned form Project Maven in 2018. Google fired two scientists from its AI ethics team, one in Dec 2020, the other in January 2021.

MANAGED OUTCOMES
Modern government faces a huge ethical challenge once you move from minimal to total government. Presenting humans with free will, subject to firm boundaries, is one thing. The concept of equity, in which you handicap particular humans in the race for academic, sporting, material or political success, and determine the winner, is quite another. There is no room for moral decision in such a system because the outcome is predetermined. The moral correctness of the outcome was decided a priori. The only correct behaviour is not moral but political, which is to say you abide by the rules even though they may enforce contradictory behaviour from one day to the next.

It is no secret that the Democratic Party has become the party of the CIA. By transforming into the natural home of the politicised bureaucrat and the secret policeman, electoral politics confronts the reality of the Democratic Deep State — constitutional in that bureaucrats take control through elections; unconstitutional in that it folds the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government into one party of permanent rule. Parallels with technocratic regimes like China are obvious.

THE OCTOPUS TURNS CANNIBAL
We may be witnessing what happens when the state eats itself — or to put it another way, when the rival imperatives of “national security,” which in plain English is simply, state security combine with the interest of corporations and come into conflict with other legs of the octopus.

There is a reason for the separation of powers that has nothing to do with democracy. As Alexis de Tocqueville noted 200 years ago, the voice of the people in the United States is strangely subdued. His enthusiasm for the still-young nation prevented him following his observation to its conclusion: the U.S. is not a democracy; it is a republic and, an oligarchic one at that, as several academic studies have asserted recently. 

Even an oligarchic republic needs the separation of powers in order to save it from itself. A nation is not an operating system and neither is AI. They are protocols governed by a Constitution. In place of ‘if this, then that’, the Constitution pauses one leg of the octopus and gives priority to another: ‘if this perhaps not that, at least, not yet’. The legislature is supposed to provide updates to the Constitution while the judiciary advises the executive on how to interpret them.

Such a system is already way ahead of AI, and yet even the political system is still only a poor simulation of the human mind in the presence of other competing minds, under the system of a shared moral code reflected, imperfectly, in written laws. 

CONTINUED AT: https://moneycircus.blogspot.com/2021/03/artificial-intelligence-and-schmidts-law.html

Arby
Arby
Mar 2, 2021 9:02 AM
Reply to  Moneycircus

I skimmed over the Slashdot discussion about Google’s firing of two ethics employees. Sometime wondered about an evil company like Google having an ethics department. Well, Sure. But that’s what evil people do. They pretend to be good.

Arby
Arby
Mar 2, 2021 9:06 AM
Reply to  Arby

Weird stuff is happening on OG right now. I was on Pale Moon (which is crap) and in this discussion but noticed that all of the formatting features were gone. So I fired up my Epic browser and lo and behold, there’s the missing formatting features. But entering in my personal information makes me look like a different Arby. One comment I made, while in Pale Moon, shows my avatar, a black and white fracal (frosty twist). The comment, above, omits that. -?

Arby
Arby
Mar 2, 2021 9:16 AM
Reply to  Arby

There’s too many security settings and too little (almost none actually) plain English instructions in browsers. I have to guess at settings and click (risky when you don’t know what you’re clicking on or off) on stuff hoping to get the right result. This time I got lucky. I changed something in Pale Moon and the formatting features returned. Let’s see whether my avatar returns.

Arby
Arby
Mar 2, 2021 12:52 PM
Reply to  Arby

That should have been someone, not sometimes.

Moneycircus
Moneycircus
Mar 2, 2021 11:37 AM
Reply to  Moneycircus

Just updated the article. While AI is put to work in elections, it is not to create a new participatory systems but to game the existing one.

Election studies became a bit of a family business. In an article for The Canary, 13th May, 2017, Serious money is buying and selling our votes, and democracy is the loser, Tom Coburg wrote: 

Previously The Canary reported the links between Britain’s pro-Brexit campaigns and associates of US President Donald Trump. As well as the subsequent investigations by statutory bodies into those links and possible undeclared spends. The Canary also alleged that US-based technology agencies used or advised on behavioural management technologies to ensure a Brexit win. 

Reportedly, Sophie Schmidt advised SCL head Alexander Nix to check out the work of US data intelligence agency Palantir Technologies. Schmidt, the daughter of Google chairman Eric Schmidt, used to work for SCL Elections (which was later renamed Cambridge Analytica).

What Mr Schmidt represents is not a geek turned activist but someone birthed by the military-technocrat complex. With so much at stake, why take risks with meritocracy? Like the rest of the big tech overlords, he is put in a role to do a job.

The State Corporatists know what they want and it is not a system emerging from scientific debate or political negotiation. As James Corbett reminds us, in the video linked elsewhere in this thread, the NWO-technocracy-global governance agenda is at least a century in the making.

Jacques
Jacques
Mar 2, 2021 8:35 AM

My opinionated opinion is that any person anywhere in the world who allows himself to be drafted, who doesn’t desert, who allows his fucked up self to take part in making weapons, or who in any other way allows himself to kill or take part in the killing of other human beings anywhere in the world in the employ of unscrupulous pieces of shit on their mission to fuck up the world (that would be your favorite “democratic” politician) is a no good motherfucker who deserves nothing but contempt, excommunication.

I didn’t quite desert from the army; I ran away before they motherfuckers could draft me, but I would have. I wouldn’t have stayed one second. And so can anyone else if need be.

People who volunteer or allow themselves to be recruited are fucking idiots of the highest order. They voluntarily give up their body and soul to a politician assholes and their handlers. People who feel proud about “serving their country” (by killing people on the other side of the world) are a) misguided, brainwashed fucking idiots or b) natural fucking idiots.

That’s all there is to it.

Donald Duck
Donald Duck
Mar 2, 2021 9:25 AM
Reply to  Jacques

You know something, you’re absolutely right.

Voz 0db
Voz 0db
Mar 2, 2021 9:35 AM
Reply to  Jacques

Indeed… So the natural conclusion is that just a tiny fraction of the uman herd is capable of evolving.

DomoebaMalingera
DomoebaMalingera
Mar 2, 2021 7:27 AM

There is NO CONSCIOUSNESS NO ETHICAL EMPATHY NO LOVE because it IS ARTIFICIAL. COLD MECHANICAL STUPIDITY NOT INTELLIGENT IMHO.

Buster Bloodvessel
Buster Bloodvessel
Mar 2, 2021 5:38 AM

Whether these two are deeply worried or not it’s too late, where have they been hiding ?

The CCP has been conducting unrestricted warfare on the west and US in particular for over 25 years, aided and abetted by the legions of useful idiots and the compromised controlled and bribed national elites.
The top levels of science R&D manufacturing and infrastructure, local to national political and judicial structures have been systematically infiltrated and corrupted by CCP allied agents.
The western societies have been will fully hollowed out by the combined attack of greed and corruption.
This has been enabled and orchestrated via the banking elites. What we are living through now is just the next phase of the ever closing net of total control over the vast majority of peoples world wide.
AI military applications is the least of the issues , but it is ideal suited to control surveillance and the envisaged totalitarian future that is rapidly approaching.

Messers Schmidt and Work look like smokescreen layers to me , more diversionary tactics. May be this is laying groundwork for a US China conflict in coming years weakening the power/reach of both.

wardropper
wardropper
Mar 2, 2021 5:59 AM

With domestic enemies given free rein in Washington the way they are today, who needs the CCP…?
Mao died a heck of a long time ago.
Corruption has moved on a lot since then.

Edith
Edith
Mar 2, 2021 6:59 AM
Reply to  wardropper

I thought that the transfers of money, technology was deliberate in order to make huge profits from the slave labour of Chinese…and sold to both internal population of US and countries like aust as being for our benefit,,,,goods became cheaper and there was more money for coffee shops etc…this rather than the Chinese actually doing much until recently….then they arrived with huge bank accounts to buy up assets…

how much of the said money was real and how much just created by digital flick of the switch who knows…but that too was a learned behaviour …the yanks and others have been running the printing presses hot for years now…

point being not really any need for them to spy to get anything…as you say the willing idiots simply gave it to them or let it happen…the elite were in on the game, making huge profits from/with China and anywhere else they could rip the guts out of…all Ukraine, Iraq etc…

we will see if the day of reckoning arrives but I am pretty sure when it does the smaller fry of the economy will do the paying while the upper 10% continue on their merry way…

Arby
Arby
Mar 2, 2021 8:40 AM
Reply to  Edith

“Globalization Is Dead. Long Live The New World Order!” by James Corbett :
https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-369-globalization-is-dead-long-live-the-new-world-order/

Buster Bloodvessel
Buster Bloodvessel
Mar 2, 2021 8:21 PM
Reply to  wardropper

Clearly “unrestricted warfare” is strong language and may lead to misunderstanding the message here.
Mao has been dead a long time , so what , Marx died long before but still occupies an undeserved amount of space in the modern world.
China has been used just as much as everyone else to further the true globalist aims.

But anyone doubting the consequences of the global agenda and the implementation of the Chinese unrestricted warfare doctrine should read this book :-

https://www.oodaloop.com/documents/unrestricted.pdf

and examine the eye watering levels of mutual corruption between the Chinese and US /western elites , politicians industrialists and financiers.
Start with top US politicians eg Mconnell /pelosi and work through.

The duly elected leader of the US , like or loath him , is playing golf in Florida while a senile pervert is bumbling around “in charge” and nobody is even allowed to mention it .
What levels of corruption/coercion/bribery could possibly support this outcome without vast coordinated input ?

Doctortrinate
Doctortrinate
Mar 2, 2021 4:47 AM

humans have been intellectually simplified, become those reactive machines with limited memory – and have little knowledge of there own character and feelings, therefore, are ever more likely to seek replacement to fill the void – It’s happened already.
The greater the reliance, and assistance required – the more alive the artificial replacement.

show Me the switch – I wouldn’t hesitate to shut this down.

wardropper
wardropper
Mar 2, 2021 6:12 AM
Reply to  Doctortrinate

It’s all a question of access to information and decent teaching.
People can learn and they can change, but first they need access to material which does more than deliver mathematical formulae.
Being a human being is something which people sense without needing to be told that they are human, But they also need mental nourishment, which is exactly why those who are currently ‘simplifying’ us are actively shutting down our access to nourishing mental material.
The MSM, of course, are the main suppliers of educational crap suitable only for three-year-olds, except that currently their main target is fully-grown adults, whom they constantly address as if they were, in fact, three-year-olds.
That perversion of educational tradition is bound to wreck the mental health of a large percentage of human beings, who simply don’t realize that real education is still out there somewhere…

Jan J
Jan J
Mar 2, 2021 8:14 AM
Reply to  wardropper

The “education” we get now a days is more like “indoctrination”. Real education is about challenging established truths, truly understanding the material being taught from multiple angles and viewpoints, and to truly understand the scientific method. This last part is esp. important as clearly scientific “thinking” is on a sharp decline these days in the general population.

The way “education” is doled out today it’s more like “animal training” – memorize this, regurgitate for this test = good grade. Reflection and critical thinking don’t exist anymore in formal “education”.

My own true “education” stems not from the courses I took to obtain the masters degree I have, but what I myself initiated BEYOND my formal “education” – both in my own field of technical competence and in philosophy, politics and just general understanding of the world, various disciplines and how it all ties together, and what is being systematically hidden from view vs. what is paraded in front of you as “truth”.

ZenPriest
ZenPriest
Mar 2, 2021 5:13 PM
Reply to  Jan J

You should see the stuff my teacher pal is having to teach her kids about Covid and Covid deniers etc. It is sickening.

Doctortrinate
Doctortrinate
Mar 2, 2021 7:04 PM
Reply to  ZenPriest

If the teaching directs/trains to “educations” instruction – then before it enters the process, intelligence should be given time to flourish naturally, thus weakening the ability for it to be shaped into some deformed shadow that favors the system.

Arby
Arby
Mar 2, 2021 8:41 AM
Reply to  wardropper

The CIA certainly knows all that. What is one of their main torture techniques? Answer: Deprive someone of all external stimuli.

Howard
Howard
Mar 2, 2021 3:49 PM
Reply to  wardropper

Which is exactly why the Humanities have been scaled down almost to the size of Ronald Reagan’s idea of government – and for the same purpose (flushing down the drain).

It’s no coincidence that when dictatorial forces take over, it’s always the artists and intellectuals (i.e., the real ones, as opposed to the installed ones) they go after first. They know where humanity resides in a culture.

NickM
NickM
Mar 2, 2021 4:45 AM

“Never before in my lifetime have I been more worried that we will soon be displaced by a rival …”

… “we” being the militarists and their rivals being autonomous killing machines (militarists being killing machines themselves but notoriously not autonomous).

Geoff S
Geoff S
Mar 2, 2021 3:25 AM

When the UN secretary general says something should be prohibited by international law, it means made off-limits to the smaller nations, while the big players all continue to do as they please.

NickM
NickM
Mar 2, 2021 4:52 AM
Reply to  Geoff S

As happened with nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Edwige
Edwige
Mar 2, 2021 8:18 AM
Reply to  Geoff S

Big players doesn’t necessarily mean big nations here.

Indeed weaponised tech may be most attractive to smaller, money-rich nations as a way of levelling the killing field with the populous powers. I’m very much including the UK in that thought. It would free them from the trouble of their usual strategy, hiring proxies to do the dirty work.

It also takes the brakes off probably the only argument against population reduction that most leaders would be bothered about, having fewer soldiers.

RobG
RobG
Mar 2, 2021 3:14 AM

You need to understand what AI is.

‘Strong AI’ is the ability to express human consciousness in mathematical terms, which can then be expressed in an algorithm (computer programme).

No one has ever come anywhere close to explaining ‘consciousness’, so what you are citing here is complete and utter bollocks.

But good luck with it.

Roberto
Roberto
Mar 2, 2021 3:39 AM
Reply to  RobG

Consciousness? It’s just 1s and 0s, and electricity, so almost the same thing, but nuanced.
Nuance is the hard part. They still can’t make a decent translation programme, and spell check is a problem seemingly without a solution, thus all the comments with loose for lose, and too many apostrophes everywhere.
In military applications, AI has been bad news for wedding parties for years.

NickM
NickM
Mar 2, 2021 5:03 AM
Reply to  Roberto

All military applications have been bad news for wedded parties for years (read Homer), but that hasn’t stopped wars.

There are 4 grades of intelligence: Divine, Animal, Artificial and Military; military being the lowest grade.

wardropper
wardropper
Mar 2, 2021 6:18 AM
Reply to  NickM

I think you could put the third and fourth categories together as being the lowest grade.
After all, ‘military thinking’ is a famous oxymoron. It isn’t thinking at all, and it only requires regular oiling to be a perfect artificial machine.

Arby
Arby
Mar 2, 2021 9:10 AM
Reply to  wardropper

Indeed. For a military’s purposes, ‘thinking’ must be re-defined. (And that applies generally to all components of a police State.)

“Thinking About Thinking”

NickM
NickM
Mar 3, 2021 11:02 AM
Reply to  wardropper

Wardropper, I rate Artificial Intelligence above Military Intelligence despite soldiers being drilled to resemble robots. AI was popularized by two great mathematicians, Leibnitz and Pascal. Their concept — reducing Logic to Numbers, feeding the numbers into a machine and solving a problem by hitting the key marked Calculemus — has proved remarkably fruitful and done more good than all the military Leaders from their time (Louis 14th and Frederick the Great) to ours (Joe Biden).

Howard
Howard
Mar 2, 2021 3:53 PM
Reply to  NickM

You omit perhaps the highest form of intelligence: plant, which doesn’t even need a brain or nervous system to function better than anything else that ever lived.

NickM
NickM
Mar 3, 2021 11:18 AM
Reply to  Howard

Howard, I agree with you 100%, and thought about it before writing. But I had already reduced “Human” intelligence to “Animal” intelligence, and thought further reduction might be hard to understand in a casual post. Biologically, of course, both plants and animals inherited their intelligence from single-celled organisms (eukaryotes) whose own intelligence in turn developed by cooperation between intelligent bacteria, whose own intelligence ….

…. and that is why flu viruses are smarter than we are.

Barry
Barry
Mar 3, 2021 4:58 PM
Reply to  NickM

Troll or twit? Hard to believe that a genuine OG reader would believe that a virus is alive, let alone intelligent and contagious.

Voz 0db
Voz 0db
Mar 2, 2021 9:41 AM
Reply to  Roberto

Funny… We have put so many garbage in orbit and we’ve so many processing power and yet most of the days we can’t even get the weather right!

Nuance indeed.

Destroy the data centers and enjoy the SHOW!

David G Horsman
David G Horsman
Mar 2, 2021 2:46 AM

“Eric Schmidt (left) and Robert Work (right) told congress they [are] in danger of China becoming the AI superpower”…. because the two can both form a sentence.

Saint Jimmy
Saint Jimmy
Mar 2, 2021 2:42 AM

Old McBiden had a farm
A-I-A-I-O
And on that farm he had some technology corporations
A-I-A-I-O
With a gap gap here
And a gap gap there
Here a gap
There a gap
Everywhere a gap gap
A-I-A-I-O

~ Saint Jimmy

Bill Kalivas
Bill Kalivas
Mar 2, 2021 2:34 AM

Skynet anyone?

wardropper
wardropper
Mar 2, 2021 4:01 AM
Reply to  Bill Kalivas

Hollywood has always been a great middle man for military exploitation games.

Sally Snyder
Sally Snyder
Mar 2, 2021 2:30 AM

As shown in this article, Democratic members of Congress are proposing legislation that would significantly change the president’s role in a nuclear exchange:

http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2021/02/relinquishing-presidential-nuclear.html

wardropper
wardropper
Mar 2, 2021 6:27 AM
Reply to  Peter

You gotta luv the way they call those injuries “adverse events” – like a rainstorm which postpones a tennis match…
There are significant numbers of deaths among those ‘events’…

Voz 0db
Voz 0db
Mar 2, 2021 9:46 AM
Reply to  Peter

The FUN part will start when the SILENT DEATHS caused by the miracle jab start to roll-out!

The funniest case so far is of the “sisters”…

They’ve spent the entire year of 2020 without a single cold/flu/pneumonia case but then in 2021 they decided to allow the executioners inside the monastery and they got what they deserve!

comment image

Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK)
Mar 3, 2021 12:02 PM
Reply to  Voz 0db

A little harsh to say that they “deserved” it. I don’t know exactly what degree of self-deception is involved in joining a nunnery or monastery in the first place, but they all take vows, one of which is obedience. So if they are told to take something, especially if it’s supposed to be for the good of others, not just themselves, they are going to take it.

S Cooper
S Cooper
Mar 2, 2021 1:50 AM

“Sounds like a PROMO PIECE for the WAR RACKETEER CORPORATE FASCIST OLIGARCH MOBSTER PSYCHOPATHS to rob, pillage and mass murder some more. They need to GET OF THE PLANET, THE SOONER THE BETTER.”
comment image

wardropper
wardropper
Mar 2, 2021 4:08 AM
Reply to  S Cooper

Please stop, S.

The same four pictures every single day for months on end looks like a serious attempt to make this site look ridiculous.

All that’s necessary is to make your point once or twice.
Everybody who found the pictures informative, inspiring and highly relevant, downloaded and archived them long ago…

S Cooper
S Cooper
Mar 2, 2021 5:16 AM
Reply to  wardropper

Off Guardian is far from ridiculous, no matter who it lets on.

wardropper
wardropper
Mar 2, 2021 5:54 AM
Reply to  S Cooper

Quite right, but there’s no need to try so hard.

S Cooper
S Cooper
Mar 2, 2021 9:25 PM
Reply to  wardropper

“Such witty repartee. You are a regular Algonquin Round Table. Do you have plans to commit to writing any more vicious snarkicisms for us?”

DomoebaMalingera
DomoebaMalingera
Mar 2, 2021 7:38 AM
Reply to  S Cooper

No thanks to you……If flesh and blood why do you have the constitution of a robotic parrot?

Arby
Arby
Mar 2, 2021 9:11 AM
Reply to  S Cooper

Did you see wardropper’s point?

S Cooper
S Cooper
Mar 2, 2021 11:32 AM
Reply to  Arby

Newbies. Noted.

Voz 0db
Voz 0db
Mar 2, 2021 6:47 PM
Reply to  wardropper

Clearly S Cooper must keep the posting because moron slaves have a very difficult task at understand the BASICS… So REPETITION is fundamental!

S Cooper
S Cooper
Mar 2, 2021 7:00 PM
Reply to  wardropper

Smedley said it so well.

Langley-Land’s asset on the ground, Saddam is dead and gone. Hanged by them. But the War Racketeers are still in Iraq committing crimes against humanity. For shame.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/video-joe-bidens-on-iraq-war-taking-this-son-of-a-taking-saddam-down/5738747

Davemass
Davemass
Mar 2, 2021 1:38 AM

Do not be evil- where did I hear that somewhere…
I have a better idea.
Make war illegal, buy bitcoin

DM:
DM:
Mar 2, 2021 1:44 AM
Reply to  Davemass

Tulip bulbs can be eaten, but it is not common. Using bulbs as a source of food traces back to the winter of 1944-1945, deep into the second World War.
The situation in Amsterdam had grown hopeless, and in December a freeze started that would last for several months. Starvation became extremely common, and many perished. It was here, for the first time, that Tulip bulbs were eaten, along several other agricultural products not typically considered edible (such as sugar beets). 
Growers, unable to export their bulbs, began to sell them as food and market the high starch content. Doctors even began to provide recipes on how to prepare bulbs, such as:

  • Remove the brown skin and cut off the remnants of the roots
  • Cut the bulb in half from top to bottom, remove flower stem
  • Wash thoroughly to clear remaining soil
  • Cook for roughly thirty minutes, similar to potatoes.

Should you ever find yourself eating a Tulip bulb, you will find the taste similar to that of onions or potatoes!

fame
fame
Mar 2, 2021 3:00 AM
Reply to  DM:

Make sure you cut out the inner core of the bulb referred to above as the “flower stem”. This is the part of the bulb which will grow eventually grow to sprout out of the ground. It is toxic.

Loverat
Loverat
Mar 2, 2021 3:37 AM
Reply to  DM:

An interesting story. Yes, I recall from history lessons towards the end of the war the Nazis still held parts of Holland. There was a terrible food shortage. Now we see similar in the form of Syria sanctions. That probably means we in the West will be on the receiving end of something where we will have to be similarly creative and resourceful. In this case, the great reset and upcoming self imposed hardships. That’s how history goes.

Roberto
Roberto
Mar 2, 2021 3:41 AM
Reply to  DM:

And [fill in blank] tastes like chicken.

Dayne
Dayne
Mar 2, 2021 3:55 AM
Reply to  DM:

Potatoes only came to Europe after Columbus. And meat or even poultry were a luxury until not too long ago (eating chicken on a Sunday was considered rich living). So was tea and coffee. That means our ancestors often subsisted on grains and roots whose names we wouldn’t recognise today.

NickM
NickM
Mar 2, 2021 5:19 AM
Reply to  Dayne

One of the greatest unsung inventions of the Dark Ages was the turnip — together with the horse-collar which improved ploughing, the rudder which improved sailing and the escapement clock which popularized timekeeping. I read that in a book by a professor at UCL, around 1950.

DomoebaMalingera
DomoebaMalingera
Mar 2, 2021 7:48 AM
Reply to  NickM

We are still in the Dark Ages and I would venture to add that the last harmonious inventions that we as a human race came up with are the bicycle and the sewing machine. Everything else is running before we can even crawl imo.

Jacques
Jacques
Mar 2, 2021 7:22 AM
Reply to  DM:

Sounds like tulips on your organ are better than roses on the piano after all …

DomoebaMalingera
DomoebaMalingera
Mar 2, 2021 8:13 AM
Reply to  Davemass

I have an even better idea. Make money illegal. Love what you do. Live what you love.
Slaving for an illusion is never going to end in a bed of roses.
Some people are so poor all they have is money.

DomoebaMalingera
DomoebaMalingera
Mar 2, 2021 8:43 AM
Reply to  Davemass

I have an even better idea. Make money illegal. Love what you do. Live what you love. Slaving for an illusion will never end in a bed of roses.
Some people are so poor all they have is money.