Tag: technology

Further Undermining

Further Undermining posted in Eleison Comments on July 13, 2019

These “Comments” have more than once recommended the Internet site of the American commentator on worldwide political and economic developments, Dr Paul Craig Roberts, because he may lack the fullness of perspective provided by the one true religion, but he sees a great deal of worldly truth, and he tells it on his site – paulcraigroberts.org – to the point that one asks oneself, when is he going to be assassinated? But murder is always messy, and the murder of a messenger always risks giving credit to his message. Be that as it may, Dr Roberts’ articles are widely read all over the world, and a recent article reinforces on a very practical level the starting of Fr Calderón’s dissection of the “new man” of Vatican II (see these “Comments” of June 22) by modern man’s being cut off from objective truth by subjectivism. Read Dr Roberts’ article, slightly resumed below, for a typical advance today of that cutting off—

Dr Roberts begins by quoting a truth-telling site, Zero Hedge, which reports that “the ability to falsify reality is growing by leaps and bounds. Thoughtless geeks have now developed technology that makes fake reality indistinguishable from real reality.I don’t think we’re well prepared at all. And I don’t think the public is aware of what’s coming,” said the Chairman of the U.S.A. House Intelligence Committee. He was discussing the rapid advance of synthesis technology. This new artificial intelligence capability allows competent programmers to create audio and video of anyone, saying absolutely anything. The creations are called “deepfakes” and however outrageous they may be, they’re virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. No sooner had we adjusted to a world where our reality seemed fake, than things that are fake became our reality.

We’re outgunned,” said a UC Berkeley digital-forensics expert, “The number of people now working on video-synthesis outnumber those working on detecting deepfakes by 100–1.” . . . . Already two-thirds of Americans say altered images and videos have become a major problem for understanding the basic facts of current events. Misinformation researchers warn of growing “reality apathy” whereby it takes so much effort to distinguish between what is real and what is fake that we simply give up and rely on our base instincts, tribal biases, impulses. Immersed in our leaders’ deceits, we come to believe in nothing.

For instance, two oil tankers burst into flames, billowing smoke. On cue, a suspicious Iranian Revolutionary Guard boat appeared on grainy video. Viral images flooded earth’s nine billion screens. Each side told a different story. No one quite knew who to trust. Conspiracy theories filled the void, as we each clung to what we most want to believe. https://​www.​zerohedge.​com/​news/​2019-06-16/​hedge-fund-cio-i-dont-think-public-aware-whats-coming Dr Roberts goes on, Why is it that tech geeks take pride in developing technology that makes truth even harder to find? What is wrong with their character as humans that they create methods of destroying the ability to know truth? How is this different from releasing an undetectable substance into the air that wipes out life? The only use of this technology is to allow the police state complete control. It is now possible to put words and deeds into the mouths and actions of anyone, and to use the faked evidence to convict them of the simulated crime. Without truth, there is no liberty, no freedom, no independent thought, and no awareness. There is only The Matrix. How has America so lost its way that corporations, investors, and scientists are motivated to develop truth-destroying technology? Aren’t these mindless idiots our real enemies? The most difficult thing in the world today is to ascertain the truth. And Dr Roberts’ article ends with a plea for support, which he surely deserves.

Readers, hold on to truth for dear life, because it is being undermined fast, as the world is putting liberty in front of truth, and fantasy in front of reality. The consequences will be humanly disastrous for us all.

Kyrie eleison.

Sorcerers Control?

Sorcerers Control? posted in Eleison Comments on October 28, 2017

In a recent interview the Managing Director of Mercedes Benz, a state-of-the-art German firm for the production of high quality motor cars, painted a picture of mankind’s near future in which computer software will disrupt most traditional industries, and in which their own main competitors will no longer be other motor car firms but Google, Apple and Amazon! Law, he says, nursing, car driving, insurance, real estate will all be substantially affected by computers. By 2027 10% of everything produced will be 3D printed. By 2037 70 to 80% of jobs will disappear. Cheap smart-phones will make world class education available worldwide, and so on, and so on. But such dramatic predictions need to be put in their place, which is secondary. Machines are only machines, and computers are only machines.

It is ever since the Industrial Revolution broke out over mankind in the 18th and 19th centuries that men began to wonder what the inhuman machines meant for the future of human beings. Since then many a wise observer has raised serious doubts as to the ultimate impact of the materially more and more marvellous inventions, but mankind as a whole has only hurtled forwards, trusting that the onrush of machines, compounded by electronics and computers, could only be more and more beneficent. Yet is it a wise or happy man whose nose is always buried in his smart-phone?

The basic problem is that machines are purely material while human beings are primarily spiritual. So the most useful of machines can only sub-serve what is primary or most important in the life of human beings. Man is indeed composed of material body as well as spiritual soul, so that material machines can certainly serve his body, but that body is merely the carrier of his spiritual soul for the duration of his brief life on earth, and then at death either the soul without supernatural grace drags the body down to the eternal torments of Hell, or the soul with the grace of Christ lifts the body, normally through the temporary torments of Purgatory, to the permanent bliss of Heaven. Either way, whatever the body may have done or not done to the soul during life, after death it is the state of the soul which determines the fate of the body, and not the other way round.

However, in our terrible times even Catholics can lose their grip on these elementary realities of body and soul, life and death, so let us turn to music to illustrate the limitations of matter and machines. In a modern recording studio there may be dozens of high-performing machines and thousands of brilliant buttons, knobs and dials making up ever more perfect machines for the recording of what? For the ever more faithful reproduction of sound? What sound? The sound of a human being either singing or playing an instrument. And why record it? Because the recording will sell and make money. And why will it make money? Because music is a unique language for expressing emotions in the human soul, and be it Furtwaengler conducting a classical orchestra, or the Beatles strumming on guitars, the human musicians are by their musical gifts expressing through the material means of orchestra or guitar in the material-spiritual language of music those spiritual emotions which a whole public wants musicians to express for it. And if the musicians are soulless, the most brilliant of recording engineers will never make a living. In every human art, the mechanics are necessarily subordinate to the artists.

Therefore the more spiritual are the lives and activities of men, the less seriously will they take merely material upheavals in human affairs, such as the managing Director of Mercedes Benz evokes. On the other hand the more men turn away from God, the larger such upheavals bulk in their lives. Readers, take a spiritual Rosary into your material hands, and leave well behind you the looming disasters of our materialistic “civilisation.”

Kyrie eleison.

Double Virtuality

Double Virtuality posted in Eleison Comments on June 13, 2009

Most, if not all, of you know that in the early hours of June 1 an Air France jetliner with 228 souls on board fell out of the sky on its way from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. An extraordinary event? Or is not the extraordinary thing rather that not all of these 100- to 150-ton monsters fall out of the sky? Has not man’s technology virtually mastered reality?

The technology of these aerial Leviathans is indeed something to be marvelled at. Every day now thousands of them all over the world defy gravity to climb six miles high and blast hundreds of passengers at a time over mountain ranges, across vast oceans, from continent to continent, mostly in complete safety. The crashes always make headlines in the media, but they are so rare when compared with the total number of flights that the passengers may fear, but never think, that they will crash.

So with confidence they step into the monsters’ bellies at the airport of departure, stepping off earth and its real time-zones into the virtual world of soothing sounds, plastic meals and – virtuality within virtuality – “in-flight entertainment,” meaning, more and more, your own selection of movies in your own seat. Wrapped in this cosy cocoon of all-embracing technology, one has, normally, only the plane’s occasional shudder or change of its engines’ pitch to remind one that there is outside, starting only a few feet away, a potentially deadly reality, not always perfectly tamed . . .

 . . .What must those last moments have been like inside the cabins of Air France # 447? Horrible to imagine! Eleven days later the exact cause of the crash is still not known. Did blocked speed sensors so confuse the fly-by-wire computers as to cause erratic changes of speed, highly dangerous on flying into turbulence? Lucky for the passengers and crew if the plane broke apart on high, so that the instant de-pressurisation will have deprived them of consciousness for the several-minute tumble through darkness down to certain death on impact with the water, which behaves in the circumstances like concrete!

Or were they unlucky? Of the 228 souls on AF 447, how many will have had the need to make a perfect act of contrition before losing consciousness? Of these, how many will have had the necessary faith and presence of mind, not overwhelmed by panic and fear, to do so? In brief, how many were ready to save their souls? Concerning the moment of death, Our Lord tells all of us, “Watch ye therefore, for you know not when the lord of the house cometh . . .lest coming on a sudden, he find you sleeping” (Mk.XIII,38). And concerning apparently random accidents he says, “Except you do penance, you shall all likewise perish” (Lk,XIII,5). Penance enough today is to live by our Faith. Still too much? Anything less is haunted by AF 447.

Kyrie eleison.