Saturday, November 29, 2008

Asimov's Mule

Has the world changed? In 1941, FDR and top military brass knew weeks in advance of an impending Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbor, but commanders at Pearl were not informed. In the 1960s, there was the Gulf of Tonkin incident, where by way of US propaganda, it was said that the North Vietnamese bombed a US ship, which as we came to find did not really happen. In 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany following those who died in the Reichstag fire, and in 1939, led in staging a Polish attack against Germany, launching the Germans into their first aggression, later to be collectively known as World War II. In 2001, inside elements of the US, Israel and Great Britain created a false flag attack against the United States, as conducted by modern-day “sand Poles”. Through all of this, the one major distinction that appears to me is that of the emerging network of networks; the decentralized and uncontrolled internet.

I believe the role of the Internet altogether to be directly analogous to a character from a series of books know as "Foundation" (1950), by Isaac Asimov. In his story, Asimov paints the picture of an established society where science has developed the ability to calculate any and all of the variables, and to then be able to definitively say where one would be, for example, next Wednesday at 8 AM. It gives them total control.

One central character in the Foundation series is "the Mule". As a human with the head of a mule, he is an incalculable mutation. Society's scientists experience problems with their ability to determine, at any time, his causal chains. The Mule includes variables within himself that defy the scientist’s capacity to calculate his next move. He relishes in his ability to go where he pleases, when he pleases, and without detection.

Where established powers are incapable of predicting what it will produce next, I find the Internet itself to be perfectly analogous to Asimov's Mule. I find contemporary developments in population statistics, such as; over half the US knowing that something is wrong with the 911 Commission, with this administration’s failure – led by Cheney – to gain entry into Iran in spite of such extensive efforts to achieve that end, or by way of something as simple as the new political model created by the Howard Dean campaign of 2004, to only be possible by way of an uncontrolled information agency. Meanwhile, in China, where by way of total internet control, the students of Beijing University don’t even know what happened in their own Tiananmen Square. The internet is a new infrastructure for the people, and it has been serving the people’s needs in ways that no traditional channels of information have even dared. God bless the internet; may it forever be free!

And congratulations to:

Cheers -


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