“The most effective form of tracking or tracing is obviously the one powered by technology: it not only allows backtracking of all the contacts with whom the user of a mobile phone has been in touch. But also tracking the user’s real time movements, which in turn affords the possibility to better enforce a lockdown and to warn other mobile users in the proximity of the carrier that they have been exposed to someone infected.” Pages 160-161.
Let’s be honest here, for years now the NSA has been doing what is described up above. The recent shooter in Boulder Colorado was on the FBI watch list and was able to buy an AR-15 and shoot ten people six days later. I know that this suddenly changed from pandemic to gun control, but hear me out. Just like the failure of stopping a mass shooting on behalf of the FBI, the CDC will not be able to stop the spread of a pandemic by following every citizen digitally. This section talks about proximity but it does not discuss the usual method that a virus is spread, droplet. The CDC starts to look into patient zero and finds that they were on a train for thirty minutes returning home from work. There were a dozen other people on the car. But let’s say this person had a disease like Ebola which is spread through body fluids. Patient zero sneezes into his hand, puts his hand on a rail before leaving, and exits the train car. None of the other passengers touched that hand rail but yet according to this paragraph those are the ones who will be contacted and put into isolation even though they are not at risk. Meanwhile, several people board the train over the next hour, touching the handrail, following by their eyes, nose, mouth, biting their finger nails, etc. now you have infected people and nobody will know until they start to show symptoms. Digital surveillance is a nightmare waiting to happen and we already saw what can happen when the wrong people are using it like in China.
The Risk of Dystopia
“As the last few pages have exposed beyond a reasonable doubt, the pandemic could open an era of active health surveillance made possible by location-detecting smartphones, facial-recognition cameras and other technologies that identify sources of infection and track the spread of a disease in quasi real time.” Page 168.
To be fair this section of the book sounded like a general warning of what could happen if policies are put into place and expanded beyond what is considered safe for society. It is difficult to know if this was added as an insurance policy against what will likely happen so that the authors can say “we warned you” instead of “this is what we wanted.” This chapter maps out what could happen if surveillance is taken to new extremes. While the book focuses on the spread of diseases in the near future it is not difficult to see this same technology being used to control the population in regard to climate change, social justice, or pollution. Could we receive warnings via cell phone saying that our stop to the local grocery store was not justified because we didn’t buy enough to warrant the trip and the carbon emissions created? Maybe our cellphone hears us using a word that is no longer allowed even though it was said in the privacy of your own home and now you have to pay a tax or a fine for saying it. In China we are already seeing trash cans that monitor how much food is being thrown away and penalizing these people for wasting food.
The people who implement these policies don’t think they are creating a dystopia. Nobody in history ever thought they were making the world worse than it was before. Stalin thought that he had created paradise but in doing so it was against the law to criticize the new society that he had created. Mao thought that he was standing up for the little guy while invading Tibet, changing the social structure, outlawing any symbols of the “old way” and in the end millions of people died. None of these people thought they were doing more harm than good. In the future, will people look back at those implementing the Great Reset and wonder how we could have gotten things so wrong by following a policy that will, in the end, kill billions of people, for what is considered, the great good?
There are two movements that are happening at the moment. One pushes the ability to monitor the public through cell phones that the majority of people own. The other is looking at using less or no technology in order to save the planet. The mostly peaceful anti-technology protestor Theodore Kaczynski wrote a handful of books about technological slavery and an anti tech revolution. In the last year Greta Thunberg, the now 18-year-old environmental activist, has been writing Kaczynski trying to figure out a way to push an anti-tech agenda in order to save the planet. If people starting tossing their cell phones aside and start to live a life with less where does that leave the CDC with contact tracing and monitoring the public? I have to say that this is not such a bad idea, minus the mail bombs and killing innocent people. The FDA is in the process of requiring farmers to have GPS coordinance for all of their crops in order to sell their product, but where does that leave the Amish? There are still large populations of people who do not participate in the modern world and I am happy to see that they are there. It’s a control group in a scientific sense of the word. During Covid-19 the Amish have refused to wear mask because they believe that only sinners can catch the disease. We have not seen any numbers for the infection rate of the Amish during the pandemic. These people do not own cell phones or travel very far from their homes, but they still interact with the general public through trade. Furniture stores and grocery stores remained open and yet we did not hear about anyone in the Amish community contracting Covid-19. In a place as rural and remote as Amish community how does the CDC do their job in contact tracing and isolating the disease? Or do they not care?