Fitts: Solari Report PDF: Control 101

Living in an agricultural community helps me understand human control systems. Once you learn livestock management when it applies to animals, it helps you to understand much more about what is happening in the human control systems. We are, after all, animals and mammals. There are many parallels between the animal livestock systems and our livestock systems. It takes a bit of getting over the unpleasantness of fathoming that the leadership views themselves as ‘the farmer’ and we as ‘the chickens’.

The important thing to understand about our control systems is that they are ancient; they’ve been evolving organically for centuries. This is complex, this is deep, and this involves numerous different aspects. On one hand, many of the systems that involve control were not created just for the reason of control; there are systems that were created because that is what civilizations do. They build systems that help them leverage their combined knowledge and infrastructure to lead their daily lives.

The reality is that every system that we create is an opportunity for those with the greatest power to build more control into the system and more dependency on the system. So the benefit of each system often comes with a price that relates to control. We have amazing smartphones that give us access to immense amounts of delightful information and useful information and instant communication, but they also come with mind control, predatory capitalism, and surveillance. So it’s a double-edged sword. …

Throughout history, control has been progressively reinvented in response to the introduction of new technology. I’m always trying to encourage people to read Tim Wu’s book The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires.

What it really shows is from the time that information technology truly exploded – whether it was the telegraph, the telephone, the TV, the radio –periods of innovation followed by consolidation into one or two monopolies that then further centralize control. This has been occurring for a long, long time. As that integration happens, we find that the centralizing becomes more powerful. Clearly, with digital technology, that centralization has exploded over the last 20-30 years, and it’s really come to the point where, if you look at where it’s headed, it raises the question about the very existence of human civilization.

I would say that human civilization is now, in fact, in question. That means that if we are going to preserve – let alone grow – a human civilization, we must understand the control systems, and we need to understand how to reverse the balance of power. …

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