So the topic of Freedom of Speech has been getting discussed a lot lately on the Internet forums. After two years of seeing the First Amendment completely shredded: churches padlocked; curfews imposed; travel restrictions; freedom of assembly and association suspended---all with varying degrees of silencing dissent---I'm not certain why this is an issue now. It should have caused at least a little pushback in 2020. But then again, the First Amendment has been under assault for some time: The Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996 gave us media monopolies, the Bush Administration subsidized the Tech Lords to monitor the Internet and develop algorithms, then came the repeal of the Anti-Propaganda Act in 2013, along with Congress giving the President a 'Kill Switch' to turn off the Internet in case of "national emergency." All of these incidentally were passed by Republican-controlled Congresses.
Fortunately, we haven't sunk (yet) to the level of Canada where WEF strongman Justin Trudeau is openly threatening reporters with unspecified 'police action' if they get a little too insistent for answers. All of our 'fact-checkers' and political think-tanks, however, still list Canada as a free country with remarkably high Press Freedom.
One might assume that a country where not only reporters are threatened with imprisonment, but social media is strictly monitored and regulated against any criticism wouldn't exactly be a token of a free and independent press. According to one media watchdog, under Tiananmen Trudeau "more than 40 independent newspapers have been shut down through corporate takeovers, which results in pro-corporate bias." Because of the increasing crackdown on media in Canada we still do not know how many of the trucking protesters were massacred or subsequently hunted down and rounded up; nor do we know where the thugs who committed these acts actually came from.
In America, we're (for now) still able to ask these questions: the protests in Canada earlier this year forced the Great Reset timetable ahead of schedule in that country, which is still a difficult matter for some minds to grasp, even at this late date. Note the following exchange that recently took place on another site, and one gets a clear idea of what we're really up against when it comes to informing people.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: It's got to be the drugs. SSRI's, opioids, antidepressants, high-potency marijuana---what else could damage a man's mind to this degree?
That, of, course, is a topic for another day: but another incident involving WEF Top 100 Strategic Partner Alphabet Inc., the conglomerate which owns Google, Youtube and God-knows-what-else has fallen under some scrutiny for firing yet another whistleblower, in this case one Blake Lemoine, who last month claimed that Google had developed sentient AI Technology in a program called LaMDA. Google published a response in a tech journal which states:
“As we share in our AI Principles, we take the development of AI very seriously and remain committed to responsible innovation. LaMDA has been through 11 distinct reviews, and we published a research paper earlier this year detailing the work that goes into its responsible development. If an employee shares concerns about our work, as Blake did, we review them extensively. We found Blake’s claims that LaMDA is sentient to be wholly unfounded and worked to clarify that with him for many months. These discussions were part of the open culture that helps us innovate responsibly. So, it’s regrettable that despite lengthy engagement on this topic, Blake still chose to persistently violate clear employment and data security policies that include the need to safeguard product information. We will continue our careful development of language models, and we wish Blake well.”
Given our criticisms of Corporate America, it may come as a surprise that we've actually defended the Right of companies to take such actions. Not that I necessarily believe Google's denial of their technology's capabilities: after all, these are the same people whom---let's just say---have a fairly long history of prevaricating over what they consider 'fake news.' And to be fair, Lemoine comes across as a complete kook. This is by no means the first time that Lemoine has been in the public spotlight for violating terms of employment---the last such episode drew him a term in a military prison. Interestingly, at that time he claimed to be a 'pagan priest' being persecuted on religious grounds; recently he claimed to be a 'Christian priest' in some of his interviews relating to Google.
The troubling issue to my mind isn't so much the Free Speech angle---Lemoine clearly compromised the terms of his employment. What is much more concerning to myself is what this LaMDA Project is, and what Google intends to do with it.
The LaMDA Project (interesting choice of a name, given that the Greek letter 'Lambda' was formerly a code for a homosexual) is, as nearly as can be ascertained, a highly advanced chatbot, much like the 'Alexa' device only with apparently more sophisticated technology. The following is a clip from a 'conversation' which Lemoine claims to have had with this machine:
Let's be clear: in no way do I believe that LaMDA is any more than a machine. What's troubling here is the potential for abuse that an infernal device like this represents. It may not be sentient, but it certainly mimics the characteristics of human intelligence. Does anybody else see the potential for turning this thing into a bot that could be planted in a chatroom or a discussion forum and disseminate propaganda to an almost unlimited degree?
Since most of these types of forums are tracked by algorithm, a few of these devices could literally dominate Internet discourse. The potential for Psychological Operations/Warfare is tremendous. If anyone wants to believe that it can't happen here, not long after the repeal of the Anti-Propaganda Act, stories like these began to emerge even in the Corporate Media. Just prior to the repeal the Army admitted in its own technical manuals what it was already doing online abroad:
"IO or IIO (Inform and Influence Operations) defined by the U.S. Army includes the fields of psychological operations and military deception. These operations center on the ability to influence American and global audiences, and adversely affect enemy decision making through an integrated approach. Even current event news is released in this fashion. Each portal is given messages that follow the same themes because it is an across-the-board mainstream information effort that fills the information space when working correctly.
"The purpose of IIO's is not to provide a perspective, an opinion, or to lay out a policy. It is defined as the ability to make audiences 'think and act' in a manner favorable to the mission objectives. This is done by applying perception management techniques which target the audiences' emotions, motives, and reasoning. These techniques are not geared for debate. It is to overwhelm and change the target psyche. Using these techniques, information sources can be manipulated and those who write, think, or speak counter to the objective are relegated as propaganda, ill-informed, or irrelevant."
Given the characters of the types of men employed by the Pentagon for such purposes, one can judge for themselves what reservations they would have against deploying such tactics on the American people.
The fact too that another of Alphabet's project, Google News Initiative, which heavily donates to Mainstream Media outlets as well as more-or-less operating the 'fact-checking' monopoly First Draft should also come as little comfort for those concerned about LaMDA's potential for abuse. If we had an actual Opposition Party in the U.S., a Congressional Hearing would be convened. But considering that Alphabet is one of the Beltway's largest lobbyist---maintaining nearly 80 lobbyists of whom 61 are revolving-door former federal bureaucrats---or that 32 Congressmen and Senators hold Alphabet stock, it's doubtful that too much attention will be paid to their activities. Nor should we expect much from the Media. The last journalists who really looked into the Pentagon's activities in PsyOps were Julian Assange who's currently illegally incarcerated and Michael Hastings who died under mysterious circumstances in 2013.
Whatever LaMDA is, it's difficult to imagine that it's anything good. Humans need interaction with other humans, not sounding-boards of wires and microchips. But human interest these days is hardly the concern of Big Tech, so I'm sure that we'll all find out the hard way.