One angry old man against the world
It was a really old tree. Probably a couple of hundred years old, but Zack knew it as his tree. He had been climbing it after school to escape the other kids in his class since primary school. Some of the more daring kids who had tried climbing it had fallen when a rotten branch had given way under their weight. Zack was lighter than most of the other kids, but he knew not to climb too high, most of the branches were rotten, he was 10 and no fool. In fact Zack was very clever indeed, he was the next step in mans evolution and knew it. He knew that he could easily stop the other kids from bullying him with just a thought, but he also knew that the men who ran the world would attempt to destroy him if they knew of his existence. Therefore he kept his grades about average for his age, and tried to do nothing that would single him out as different, even though he found school so tedious and incredibly boring.
He had been orphaned when he was six, but remembered little of his parents, they were always working, so they were rarely home. They must have been rich, for he remembered the shock of the difference when he was sent to the orphanage. It was so drab and depressing compared to his previous life. The bitter old biddy who was assigned as his case worker had told him he was lucky to have been sent to one of the better orphanages! He had thought that “if this was supposed to be one of good one’s, what were the bad one’s like?” He already knew he was different way back then, and had decided that he would do something about things like this as soon as he could.
He later discovered that this orphanage was built and funded by an endowment from one of the towns rich mayors, back in the days when the rich were more free with their wealth, but the endowment had been ‘dipped’ into to fund maintenance and repairs over the years. Now it only partly covered the running costs, and the city council was always badgering the director to ‘cut back’ where he could. The director was a ‘good man’ and always tried to put the children first, and had cut ‘luxuries’ and then staff to the bone, but Zack discovered that the bad homes were no better funded, and in fact were little more than children’s prisons, one step above remand homes. But then they were filled with mostly junkies, child prostitutes, young thugs and the mentally unstable. His home, by contrast, received the more ‘stable’ kids, those from ‘better’ environments, and the ‘reject’ babies – the one’s that reached 18 months without adoption – from the very profitable ‘adoption service’.
He wished he could change much of the ‘injustice’ and greed that he saw all around him, but he knew he had to wait until he had matured enough before he could risk taking on the men of power.
He knew who most of them were, some like the Rothschild’s, the Morgan’s, Rockefeller’s and the other Banking families. The energy families like the Koch’s, and the Irving’s. The various ‘Royal’ families who seem to have their sticky fingers into so many ‘pies’ around the world. But the most dangerous, were the one’s who kept themselves out of the limelight, the people who ‘controlled’ the scary things like the ‘industrial military complex’, the men behind various Dictators around the world. The one’s who controlled the Dictators and Presidents. They could order the next war and kill billions. These were the one’s with no morals, and wouldn’t hesitate to nuke a city, even a whole Country to kill him if they knew he was here, so he quietly expanded his knowledge and skills, while he practised and waited.
He also knew why they feared a development like ‘the singularity’, and why they would do everything in their power to dispose of him! They knew they could not control someone like him and that he would be much more powerful than them, reducing and displacing their power and control. Stopping them from doing the things they could make large sums of money from, like; wars, famines, insurrections, creating the shortages and gluts of everything from food to oil, water to weapons, that allowed them to manipulate stock markets, trade, and the movement of everything – including people – that helped them control the populations of every country in the world. Zack knew he had to decide just how he would deal with them when the time came. He could easily kill them, but that was not his style. He would much rather ‘modify’ them and use their ‘skills’ for the benefit of all.
A much larger ‘problem’, was what to do about world population. It was already larger that the world’s resources could support, and growing rapidly. Many countries were already suffering shortages, particularly food and water. He considered letting them starve, but that seemed inhumane. He thought perhaps a virus, one that killed quickly and painlessly. But who should he allow to survive and who should die? He pondered this question for a long, long time. Many religious bigots served little or no purpose to mankind, particularly religions like the Muslims who seemed bent on the destruction of everyone and everything that wasn’t Muslim. After much thought, he decided that mankind would be far better off with no religions at all. He knew that some ‘intelligent’ individuals followed the more ‘benign’ religions, so he would need to ‘reprogram’ the more ‘useful’ one’s.
The various ‘state murder mechanisms’ would need to be dismantled. The weapons would be easy to dispose of, he would simply vaporise them, and the ‘trained killers’ could be included in the virus victims. But what about those among them that never picked up a gun? How could he make the virus ‘selective’? What would be the main para-metrics? He reasoned that the main parameter should be a good level of intelligence, followed by compassion for others, and they should speak good English, (far too many past problems were caused by misunderstandings in translation.) Many other things should be weeded out completely; violence, drug addiction (including alcohol,) disease (including all mental varieties,) a clean, pure strain would make for a better chance of survival of the race. After much careful research, he knew he could make a virus that was ‘selective’ enough to ignore the above ‘criteria’. The required ‘survivors’ all had similar DNA and Brain neuron pathways, any ‘anomalies’ could be dealt with afterwards. He realised that the same ‘criteria’ would eliminate most of the power men, which would solve that problem too.
The ‘system’ itself needed radical change; the carrot and stick of reward and punishment didn’t work and far too much time, effort and resources was expended on police, lawyers, courts and the whole legal system. The root cause of all this ‘mess’ was the monetary system, it had to go. Without money, there would be no greed, injustice, envy, power structure, and probably little or no crime. He could replace it with something like Jacque Fresco’s Venus Project; a resourced based economy that uses existing resources rather than money, where resources are shared equally and without favour. If he could get the population well below 1 Billion, that would be a much more stable figure and give everyone a much larger share. He decided he wouldn’t make the virus just yet, he needed to ‘progress’ more.
Whereas most people use less than 10% of their brains, Zack was already using over 35% and it was growing steadily. He could change his appearance, size, apparent age, sex and even make himself invisible. He was learning to do the same in others and change what others took to be ‘real’ into any image he could imagine and he had a vivid imagination. He practiced these things on animals or the very young, those that could not talk about what they had seen, or felt and alert the power men. He was very careful to practice away from the eyes of others, for he knew his life could be at risk along with perhaps millions of others far around him.
The orphanage was the perfect place to practice, lots of young unsupervised kids of all ages. Kids that were glad of any attention and often left alone for hours on end. The nursery, a large room with a few battered toys that had seen better days, was the home for most of the very young ones. A few of the older girls – who liked to play Mum – were often in charge. They would get them all up, changed, dressed and fed each morning and would play with them for awhile, until they lost interest and would go out to play, or to school. If any of the older ones were still around when Zack came in, it was very easy to ‘persuade’ them that they needed to be somewhere else.
As to animals, lots of cats and dogs wandered this neighbourhood, particularly at night when he could slip out invisibly and practice unseen. Dogs were easier to work with and much more trusting that cats, but some cats would come to him and allow their minds to be ‘used’.
The orphanage had a patch of ‘garden’ at the back, worn bare to hard packed dirt by the many older boys who monopolised it for ball games and many other noisy, violent games. But early evenings, after ‘tea’ at around 5pm, the ‘garden’ was quiet. The fence along the back had a large hole, where Zack would ‘call’ the animals mentally and they would come, individually or in groups, whatever he commanded. The younger kids loved the company of the animals, and he would amuse them with this small ‘treat’ whenever he could. Many of the animals were strays and seem to enjoy being ‘petted’, ‘patted’ and generally made a fuss of as much as the kids did.
The reading of minds seemed easy at first (those close to him,) but distance reading was much more difficult because of the surrounding ‘noise’ from other minds in the path, but as he practised more and increased his range, it was becoming clearer how to ‘home in’ on a single mind and block out all the others. He learned how to make suggestions that would be seen by the recipient as their own ideas. How to make permanent changes in character, belief and prejudice, in essence; to make them a much nicer person. How to ‘see’, ‘hear’ and ‘feel’ through others. As he progressed, he found it quite amazing how many individuals viewed the world through ‘selfish’ eyes. In particular, those with plenty, those that in the past, would have shared their ‘good fortune’. It was obvious to him that Philanthropy was an almost forgotten word and deed, even the few that did indulge in this generous pastime, seem to do so only with ulterior motives. Therefore changes to the character of these rich individuals was more important than ever. So he began to make very subtle changes to the people he considered should be more generous with their wealth, not enough that it would be noticed by those close to them, but enough to make a difference. He reasoned that he could increase that generosity slowly, as it became more ‘fashionable’. He made sure their money benefited the ‘real’ charities, not the one’s set up by the rich to ‘launder’ their ‘dirty’ money and benefit them. He figured that making life a little better for everyone until he was ready to act, was the ‘right’ thing to do.
By the time he was 13, he could ‘read’ or ‘send’ anything through the NET simply by tapping into the nearest server with his mind. He started by using a NAP (Network Access Point), but as he became more proficient and needed more speed, he used part of his mind as a server and went directly into the ‘Backbone’. He was now learning at a fantastic rate and had to suppress his enthusiasm in school and continue to act as dumb as those around him. He made sure his ‘server’ was ‘invisible’ to the many Government spy outfits such as the NSA, CIA, MI6, etc., by just passing ‘packets’ straight through the server and returning them to the ‘Backbone’, that way, his server didn’t exist as part of the NET. He could read the ‘packets’ fast enough that any delay was so small that it would be mistaken for normal bandwidth delay. He could also ‘spoof’ the headers of some to carry his own inquires and replies.
He discovered that the ‘normal’ NET represented less than 30% of the total NET. There was another NET – The Dark NET – that was far more active and generally unknown by the majority of the population. Much of the activity was illegal on many levels and the ‘powers that be’ were trying hard to close it down. Unfortunately for them, for every 10 sites they closed down, 11 or 12 new one’s appeared, so the ‘Dark NET’ was steadily growing. From playing ‘man in the middle’ he was learning that much of the ‘normal’ NET was extremely boring, the real ‘interesting stuff’ circulated on the ‘Dark NET’. The normal NET was mostly social media, e-mails, searches and streaming, with much of the content of little interest to him, because it seemed to be aimed at the people with about as much ‘intelligence’ as a stick of celery. The Dark NET by contrast was peopled by those who questioned everything, not content to accept the ‘crap and pap’ of the normal NET, they had created a NET that met their expectations. It was exciting, dynamic and bristling with new ideas and ‘Freedoms’, yes much of it was illegal, but as Oscar Wilde once said; “Everything I like is either ‘illegal, immoral, or fattening.”
Here were people who understood what was happening in the world around them and trying to change it by ‘publishing’ what they found, which was probably the ‘real‘ reason the power men were trying so hard to close it down. Zack loved it, and changed his server algorithms to read and assemble only Dark NET packets, now he was learning many of the things he needed to defeat the power men, or at least to ‘control’ them if he was discovered before he was ‘ready.’
There was also a good deal of pornography, much of it historic. Which proved something else to Zack; that pornography played a much larger role in society than those in power cared to admit. Historically, pornography was a far more major part of society and much more readily accepted in many past periods. There were periods when the pendulum swung in the direction of puritanical hypocrisy, and if you dug deep enough into these rare anomalies, the hypocrisy was extreme, with those high in society and the church indulging the most bestial sexual acts, while enforcing the ‘laws’ of purity on those below them. It seemed that the further Zack dug into the past, the more of ‘mans’ problems – both mental and physical – could be laid at the doors of the church and all religions in general with their enormous hypocrisy, plus the rich and powerful of the period. This information confirmed to Zack that he was right to get rid of all religions and the rich and powerful.
After another 2 years Zack was ready. He found a lab in the local University that was equipped with the things he needed. Waited invisibly until it closed and he was locked in for the night, he knew that his virus would take most of the night to prepare and refine anyway, and set to work. He had given a great deal of thought to ‘distribution’, and decided that it would be better to do that via the virus itself.
Once an individual was infected he would show no symptoms except a slightly elevated temperature for three weeks, but he would be highly contagious. By the end of the 3rd week, he would begin to feel lethargic, and quickly fall into a coma, where his organs would fail rapidly and the coma would last just hours until death. The virus would be airborne, breathed out by the infected, it would last outside the body for several hours. Therefore one man could infect thousands in three weeks, particularly in cities. Everyone would catch it, but the virus would detect certain DNA pattens and brain pattens. When these were found, the virus would ‘self-destruct’, but only after a two week period, which would help the spread and it wouldn’t effect the host during this period.
By the morning Zack had completed all the tests and confirmed that virus worked as it should, but thought he should give it one final test, by infecting a patent in a ‘high isolation’ ward were complete isolation was the norm. That way, if anything went wrong, it would ‘stop’ there.
After it ‘passed’ this test Zack was ready. He had calculated that the spread would be so rapid, that by the time the ‘powers that be’ figured out it’s existence, it would be impossible to pinpoint where it began, let alone control it. Therefore he put it in a small aerosol, went to the city center, and sprayed it about as he walked around the crowded area. He felt the tingle of a small thrill, at the enormous consequences of this simple action.
In case you think I’m ‘out of line’ with a story like this, here are a few simple facts:
The Vatican in Rome has the largest collection of pornography in the world.
The British Museum in London has the 2nd biggest, only accessible by the Royals, the rich and a few academics with the ‘right’ connections.
(The majority of the following words were written over 10 years ago, so most of these facts will have changed for the worse.)
We all face common threats that transcend national boundaries:
Overpopulation, energy shortages, water scarcity, economic catastrophe, the spread of uncontrollable diseases, and the technological displacement of people by machines, to name a few. Eight hundred and fifty two million people across the world are hungry. Every day, more than 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes- one child every five seconds. World wide more than 1 billion people currently live below the international poverty line, earning less than $1 per day. A very small percentage of the people own most of the world’s wealth and resources. The gap between the rich and poor is widening. In the US as of 2002, the average CEO made 282 times as much as the average worker. In 2005 the compensation of CEOs of major U.S. corporations rose 12% to an average of $9.8 million per year. Oil company CEOs did even better with raises that averaged a whopping 109% to $16.6 million per year.
Meanwhile, workers’ salaries barely kept up with inflation in most industries and occupations across the U.S. In Oregon, minimum wage workers saw their pay rise by a modest 2.8% to $15,080 per year.
In 2005 there were 43,200 thousand deaths in the US from car accidents, plus hundreds of thousands of injuries. But consider another way we get people from one place to another – the elevator. How many people have been killed in collisions between elevators? These devices carry millions of people every day without a single mishap because of their intelligent design. How might highway transportation be similarly arranged?
(I know that most of these ‘facts’ are from America, but they can just as easily be applied to the rest of the world, with a few changes.)
New generations, who will live and breathe the scientific spirit, will supplant us. Prejudice, like guessing, and emotional thinking will be rare. People of the future will, as suggested by John Dewey, achieve, “. . . the habit of suspended judgment, of skepticism, of desire for evidence, of appeal to observation rather than sentiment, discussion rather than bias, inquiry rather than conventional idealizations.” They will know when further logical manipulation is fruitless. They will know when to stop discussing and check the facts. They will be like the proverbial “Man from Missouri”—show me. If they want to know whether a pudding’s good, they won’t just read the recipe; they know that “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” They will feel, as Karl Pearson does, that, “There is no short cut to truth, no way to gain a knowledge of the universe except through the gateway of scientific method.” (All very nice sentiments. Assuming that mankind survives long enough to put them into effect!)
“Absolute certainty,” said C. J. Keyser, “is a privilege of uneducated minds—and fanatics.”
“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” Albert Einstein
“We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” Albert Einstein
Remember that almost every new concept was ridiculed, rejected, and laughed at when first
presented, especially by the experts of the time.