Who’d have thunk it?
Yesterday I started reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury again. I read it for the first time about 25 years ago, around 1988. The book was published first in 1954 in Great Britain by Rupert Hart-Davis, Ltd. Ray Bradbury is an American Citizen but he found an English publisher for the book. I don’t know if this has something to do with the political circumstances of the USA of the 1950th, but some philosophic writers got problems in this political period and the novel is very sociocritical. It’s an utopian novel, virtually a dystopian story, that tries to show us, that if we loose our books, we loose everything. Why? Because if we loose our books, we loose our history and so the essences of the complete lives of all our predecessors. I was thinking if there are today technologies that are able to completely annihilate mankind and human history, more than the firemen in Bradbury’s novel and their programmable assassin robots can do.
This thoughts caused me to write down a list of the 10 most dangerous technologies in the world, ever invented by humans. Technologies that are able to kill the lives of the living and also technolgies that are able to kill the lives of the dead and of the unborn, too. The results were very interesting, I think.
After reading You will hopefully better understand, why some certain technologies are so difficult to enter for smaller companies, why there are so many military and intelligence observers in bigger high-tech companies and why our army and our police are talking more and more often about cyber-war in the newspapers. So, let’s begin the list of the ten most dangerous technologies ever:
Number 10 is ..
Long-Range Airplanes and Rockets
Fully refueled long-range airplanes, if crashing into buildings, can kill thousands of people, as it was shown by al-Qaeda terrorists in New York City on September, the 11th 2001. Fully operational big civil rockets as the Saturn 5 moon rocket or the Space Shuttle contain thousands of tons of fuel mixtures that if they hit a city the effect is comparable with a smaller atomic bomb. Long-range rockets can hit every point on earth within 40 minutes. And there is allways the danger that someone flies a long-range Airplane like the Airbus A380 or the Boing 747-8 into a nuclear power plant. Before 9/11 most scientists thought that modern reactor buildings where relatively save against terroristic attacks with the use of airplanes – today no one, I guess.
Number 9 is ..
The so called conventional weapons like tanks, fighter jets, battle ships, machine guns are meant to kill hundreds and thousands of people to pursue a certain objective. Normaly Army personal takes care of them and their distribution is well controlled by law. But if they are engaged, they kill very effectively with any single attack.
After the attack they are serviced an can be reused. That makes them cost-effective. The personal that survived may overcome their wounds and traumas and can become reinstated, at least as instructors to train enough new personal. As science and technology proceed these weapons get more and more durable, light, intelligent, automatic, effective, cost-effective.
Some philosophers say the goal would be the fully automated army without any human soldier. O.k. let’s face it, if You had the choice would You prefer to get killed by a human soldier, a young man with a home and a family, or to get killed by a combat robot, a machine? Or would You say it doesn’t matter, the command comes form the same person and the intended result is the same: I’m dead.
Number 8 is ..
Accidents in genetic engineering can kill or sterelize organisms by deseases that are unintentionaly released. In the worst case genetic engineering is able to kill thousands of people, maybe millions, but a total destruction of humanity by genetic engineering failure is very unlikely, because civil genetic engineering tries to avoid dangers, contrary to military genetic engineering that is working on creating new viruses and bacteria as weapons, and is on a higher position in this list.
A few years ago the common oppinion of scientists was that horizontal (asexual) genetic transfer is not possible. Today it is proofed that this happens , this means transgenic organisms can carry their manipulated genes to other organisms at any time, also to humans. But meanwhile the genetic industry makes so much money that no one wants to stop them no more. But if we had known all principles of genetic transfer before, we surely would never have invested our money in genetic engineering and founded these companies. So we prefer to live in a latent danger of a genetic disaster for the sake of reinvestment and regular share earnings. I think that is typical us.
Number 7 is ..
Nuclear Technology and Plutonium
Accidents in conventional nuclear technology can poison or kill thousands of people, like Chernobyl demonstrated in 1986. There’s allways the danger of new nuclear catastrophes, as Fukushima demonstrated last year.
Even if many politicians and decision makers took Fukushima as a proof that some reactor types can withstand a natural catastroph, and so they may feel relatively save, now, we should be allways aware of that the Fukushima technicians calculated the situation correctly and initiated the right actions. Next time, maybe the world could not get off so lightly, and the technicians will calculate the situation wrong and will initiate the wrong actions, like the Chernobyl technicians did. And there is also the danger of much higher death tolls than Chernobyl. The wind has only to blow the fallout by accident in the wrong direction to a big city.
The danger of a nuclear disaster is also more realistic and predictable than genetic engineering accidents, because bigger nuclear accidents have happened several times in history and genetic accidents not yet. From Three Mile Island / Harrisburg 1979, Chernobyl 1986 and Fukushima 2011 we can simply deduce, for example, that dangerous nuclear meltdowns occur on average every 32:3 = 10.6 years. It’s a very simplificated calculation but it is a calculation.
Accidents with plutonium can poison or kill even more people than conventional nuclear technology can do, because of the highly dangerous and poisonous plutonium. Many experts say that plutonium is the most dangerous chemical mankind handles in industry. After a first euphorism many governments have decided, meanwhile, to stop their broad plutonium efforts. It’s just too dangerous, they say. Countries that need plutonium for their nuclear weapons still use plutonium technology.
Number 6 is ..
Observation and Extermination Techniques
Observation is meant to terrorize and frighten political opponents. One could counter now: no, it’s only meant to get information to lower the danger that arises from them. Aha, they are dangerous to You? Why are they? Because they are mad, I see.
I hope You guess what I want to get at: The only intention You can have to observate others is that You are afraid of them. You are scared and You are angry that You have to be scared. You may now say: we do this observations only, if they are dangerous to us. But there’s only one answer: of course, otherwise they weren’t Your opponents and would be in Your team.
There are so many modern observation technologies with the help of computers and networks, much more than ever before. Think about public observation cameras, automatic face detecting, speech recognition, road charge (Maut) or machine readable passport cards just as a few examples.
Today our technologies for the observation of people are much more effective and so they are much more dangerous than in the 1920th to 1940th, the time of National Socialism and Stalinism. Governments would find their new defined enemies so much faster and so precise, it’s terrifying.
Extermination techniques and strategies then kill the identified opponents as secret and effective as possible. History showed that these techniques can kill percentages of a countries population in a few years in absolute secrecy. So the combination of observation and extermination technologies is one of the most dangerous technologies man has ever created. There is a acute danger, that every observation results in extermination just for the reason of cost.
Number 5 is ..
In the right hands E-Money is the ultimate perfection of observation and extermination. E-Money makes it possible to muzzle any political enemy just by transforming citicens to beggars by the push of a button! It makes political oppositon enduringly powerless without having to kill them. So it is more effective and more ‚human‘ than classic observation and extermination techniques. It manipulates history by preventing the unborn successors of the opponents. You can’t rise a family without access to Your money. And You can’t send Your children to adequate schools without access.
You can think what You want about the Wikileaks publication of illegaly obtained video material that embarassingly presented unknown war-crimes by two U.S. Army combat helicopter crew members. But the companies PayPal and Mastercard failed in 2010 under political pressure and they will fail again, whenever a government put the bite on them. From this day on, it will never be save using E-Money. Countries that abolish paper money, can now observe and control any of their citizens, uninterruptible. It’s no technical problem to follow a person through it’s complete life, to see what he is eating, where he is sleeping, where he drives too, what he is doing, which tools and chemicals and materials he buys, which books he buys. Just ask Visa or the company where Your target person is a customer and threaten them with economical reprisals, or legal penalty if Your laws make this possible – and You will get all information about this ominous person, of course.
I am very alarmed that this is commonly tolerated practice, today, as we all have watched in 2010. I have heard no outcry from the established opposition, did You? No, I think governments do this routinely today. They may call this Homeland Security or whatever and it is surely meant to prevent terrorism. But it is a VERY DANGEROUS tool. I’m not talking about ethos or attitude or good will, I’m only talking about the danger of it: the use of E-Money technology for observation purpuses is at least as dangerous than the terrorists themselfs are. This is natural, because if it wouldn’t be dangerous, how could it be a weapon against those terrorists? You can’t fight a tank with a wooden sword.
We citizens can only hope, that these immense power does not corrupt our governments, we must hope that terrorists make no government-terrorists in reverse. But it would not be a wonder to the reader. If he is still able to buy history books which tell us such cases, and if he can buy psychology books which tell us exactly why this happens.
But there’s allways a chance to escape potential E-Money terrorism, e.g. with the use of land for producing food and the use of gold for means of exchange, so it is my number 5 in the list. E-Money is by far more dangerous than other observation technologies, extermination camps, plutonium industry and genetic engineering accidents, but still less dangerous than the things that come next in my list:
Number 4 is ..
Chemical Weapons, Neutron Bombs, Dirty Bombs
These weapons do not destroy any targets but kill their owners very effective. They are ideal to take over enemy industries, equipment and infrastructure. This is what makes these weapons so interesting for power corrupted rulers and, sadly, for this reason their application probable.
Chemical weapons are not as deadly as biological weapons, but they are controllable. After an application the enemy has just to wait until it has rained, because the rain washes most chemicals away. Then he can march in, bury the death and occupy the industries, equipment and infrastructure.
Number 3 is ..
Atomic and Thermonuclear Bombs
Atomic bombs are the most cost-effective means of destroying any kind of targets that are not deeper than 10 meters beneath the surface. And because they are the most cost-effective weapons, and on the other hand conventional wars cost billions of Dollars, there is allways a realistic danger that they get used, especially in times of parallel foreign policy crisis and financial crisis.
Thermonuclear or hydrogen or fusion bombs are not limited in size as atomic (fission) bombs are. So it is possible to destroy big cities or small countries with only one bomb. When we talk about Nuclear Holocaust we actually mean the application of thermonuclear bombs. Atomic bombs only have a fraction of their power. A nuclear war with todays thermonuclear warheads stops after a few hours, because most military target will be destroyed then and the atmosphere is full of radiation that any electronic aiming equipment fails. But the maximum kill rate can be very high, above 3.5 Billion people (number of humans living in cities today) or even more because of massive nuclear fallout.
Number 2 is ..
Artificial Viruses and Bacteria
Biological weapons are the most dangerous weapons, mankind has ever created. They are able to kill more than 90 percent of a countries population with one strike. With a global attack in many countries at the same time with the use of long-range airplanes or rockets the maximum kill rate is 6.3 Billion people and more.
But who wants to start such an insane madness? Because biological weapons are not controllable, there is a high inhibition threshold to use them. What, if they are released just by accident? But the most important question is: why do these weapons actually exist?
Number 1 is ..
E-Books and Search Engines
You could ask now: What a nonsense, why shall my harmless E-Books on my tiny Amazon Kindle or Apple iPad Reader be more dangerous than deadly biological weapons or hydrogen bombs? I have never heard such a absurdity! I understand You completely, but I give You the simple and short answer: it’s because E-Book technology allone gives mankind for the first time the power to completely delete and rewrite human history without effort.
First, E-Books make it very easy to find out who, when, where reads the wrong oppinions. You can track the chapters, even single pages a certain person likes . So it’s easy to attack any political opposition long before it starts, even before young people themself know that they will become future opponents. Only by analyzing the books and pages people read, You are able to find Your future enemies and to kill them preventively (and they have no idea why)! You only have to know and to analyze the contents of all political relevant books. Expert systems, a form of artificial intelligence (AI) well established since the 1960th, included in modern search engines like Google, will do the rest. This is actually a comparable technology to that offers You products in webstores like Amazon. So, our harmless E-Books in conjunction with specialized search engines and classic AI emerge surprisingly as the most diabolic, the most insane technology man has ever build. It reduces to just one decicion of one leading government and within hours You change the world.
What is personality? Many philosophers say it is simply the assemblage of books a person has read in it’s life. If You know the books someone read, You know anything about him, and You know exactly if he is rather Your friend or Your potential political enemy.
What is history? From now on You can change worlds history in real-time! A new government will have a new oppinion about things that happened and will just change the content of all E-Books within a few hours and that’s it. Who will remember the truth after two generations?
Who says E-Books are just another and more modern medium than paper, really doesn’t know what he is talking about. Because he is mixing matter (which freezes ideas) with information flux (which changes ideas). Think about it.
E-Books have the power to mentally kill all people that have ever lived on Earth. Our thoughts are all that remains when we are dead. Until today it was very difficult to ultimately kill a person after his death by destroying his lifework, as long it was printed and distributed. From now on it’s no problem. So the maximum theoretic kill rate of E-Books lies at about 100 Billion human beings – the approximate number of all human beings that ever lived on planet Earth. For the survival of civilisation E-Books with Search Engines are by far the most dangerous technologies man has ever invented. Computer hackers ever knew that, somehow.
Your E-Book that You are just reading is potentially more dangerous than a hydrogen bomb. Isn’t that amazing?
I’m not sure if it is thus far, but we will feel it, if it is time to start memorizing books. I will be Fahrenheit 451, which book will You be?