Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Need To Know

In the course of the chaos and turmoil that swept Old Earth at the close of the Toxic Age, during the final hours of Prehistory, many old systems, regimes and beliefs crashed. Some burned. All found themselves faced with the dilemna of having to reformat themselves or face being deprecated as irrelevant.

It literally was an age undreamed of, a time of great transformations and transfigurations that rewrote all the rules from the ground up as the disparate and balkanized proto-civilizations of Old Earth were faced with their ultimate challenge--to prove themselves worthy to continue, to demonstrate their true relevence.

The early generations of what evolved out of so-called 'artificial intelligence,' the AI, Artilects and the like didn't save humanity nor condemn it. But they did foster the beginnings of an Awakening akin to the Age of Reason or Enlightenment centuries previously, at least in some respects. In the face of terror, collapse and despair  the very first stirrings of what was to become Civilization took place. When a person could acquire food, shelter, communication and education independently of any state or government, the old-model society's found themselves having to answer for their excesses, and being held accountable for their abuses. Societies were drastically impacted by both the destabilizing chaos of irrational terror and the sudden flowering of rational discourse. These conflicting influences forced the nations, corporations and states to become viable and worthwhile, to provide relevant benefits, or else lose all credibility. When people became empowered outside of territorial or ethnic or even language-group distinctions, things changed dramatically.

Poverty is based on scarcity and social controls that punish those who do not conform to a particular society's expectations. Freedom to starve is not freedom. The mitigation or elimination of scarcity as a serious consideration in all subsequent human undertakings was an essential part of the development of the Deep Infrastructure.

Artificial restrictions imposed from enculturated fear and entrenched misanthropy become all the more glaring, obvious and hateful when revealed for what they truly are--the oppression of the many for the benefit of the few. All societies are founded on trust. There can be no trust without truth.

Security, a nebulous term that once excused all manner of atrocities, could not be left to the whims and schemes of politicians, corporations or institutions. If fear drives decision making, then there is no security. Speculation is an abstraction, not a reality. Being subject to the speculative policies of those caught-up in fear either as reactive victims or willful propagators is not security.

Violence that can transgress beyond the personal level is a direct and immediate threat to society. What goes beyond the purely personal enters into the sphere of the social and thus since society is being affected by these sorts of transpersonal interactions society has an interest and a stake in the matter. Irresponsible behavior that places a burden on society gives society a right to address this sort of behavior. Infringing on the rights of another brings your own rights into question and makes them subject to scrutiny. Being part of a society is a voluntary thing. Association is a choice. One always has the right to withdraw, for being vulnerable to state-mandated violence and repression through the threat or use of the force of arms is not liberty.

The free exchange of information, the unlocking of the Human Inheritance and making it freely accessible to all inheritors required a system of ubiquitous communication, accurate translation and contextual interpretation of the accumulated knowledge-base of all human contributors past, present and ongoing into the future. Knowledge is not only power, it is essential to the establishment of an actual Civilization.

Ignorance cannot be the default state of a responsible society that seeks to join Civilization.

But not everything was recorded, not all knowledge was--or is yet to this day--accessible by digital or psychometric means. There is an accumulated knowledge base shared by all, but it is not everything that has ever been known or is currently known for that matter. Much was lost, some things have been suppressed or studiously erased and witheld from public records. Many, many secrets were locked behind armored doors, trapped within vaults or hidden away within ciphers, codes or a few trusted confidantes.

Knowledge of these sorts of things was once very dangerous to the world at large or to vested interests such as wealthy industrialists, political clans, corporate boards, even nations and states. The study, recovery and piecing together of these secrets, black data, and encrypted trivia has led to the constant revision of historical records. Many duels have been fought over the acquisition, revelation or continued suppression of these aging bits of skullduggery and subterfuge. Assassinations have always been part of the mix. Espionage is as much concerned with the legacies of the past as it is in unraveling the conspiracies of the present and the threats of the future.

Not everyone lets sleeping dogs lie. Scholars are mandated to ask questions, to challenge authority and to be brave in the face of opposition or interferance. Wizards meddle. Geniuses disrupt the status quo. And through it all, secrets have a way of revealing themselves, of making themselves known, of leaking out from under the veils, the masks, the blots and jargon and word-static intended to hide them from prying eyes. Some of those prying eyes are billions of times smarter than the people who first attempted to hide their secrets behind concrete or encryption. But what do they do with such secrets as are revealed after all these years of languishing in obscurity? Who cares about the things that went on during the dark ages of proto-civilization, back before history truly began?

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