The Darkening Condition of Modern Life is Caused by Manipulation Through Consumer Technology

Let’s face it, social media was designed by military and intelligence agencies to occupy our attention, control our thoughts and record our every move.

The people who invented our favorite mobile technologies, smart phones and tablets, wouldn’t let their own children use them. Why?

Because it’s poison, that’s why.

As the data shows, we’re increasingly less happy and more divided in our lives as this government and tech manipulation ramps up.

It’s time to reconsider our use of these technologies and their control and manipulation over our lives. If not by getting rid of them completely, then strictly managing our use of them while closely monitoring their effects on us.

Reclaim Your Mind Terence McKenna

Tom Petty was Right

CLUSTERFUCK NATION – BLOG April 29, 2019

How to account for Americans being the most anxious, fearful, and stressed-out people among the supposedly advanced nations? Do we not live in the world’s greatest democratic utopia where dreams come true?

What if the dreaming part is actually driving us insane? What if we have engineered a society in which fantasy has so grotesquely over-run reality that coping with daily life is nearly impossible. What if an existence mediated by pixel screens large and small presents a virtual world more compelling than the real world and turns out to be a kind of contagious avoidance behavior — until reality is so fugitive that we can barely discern its colors and outlines beyond the screens?

You end up in a virtual world of advertising and agit-prop where manipulation is the primary driver of human activity. That is, a world where the idea of personal liberty (including any act of free thought) becomes a philosophical sick joke, whether you believe in the possibility of free will or not. You get a land full of college kids trained to think that coercion of others is the highest-and-best use of their time on earth — and that it represents “inclusion.” You get a news industry that makes its own reality, churning out narratives (i.e. constructed psychodramas) to excite numbed minds. You get politics that play out like a Deputy Dawg cartoon. You get a corporate tyranny of racketeering that herds spellbound citizens like so many sheep into chutes for shearing, not only of their money, but their autonomy, dignity, and finally their will to live.

Can a people recover from such an excursion into unreality? The USA’s sojourn into an alternative universe of the mind accelerated sharply after Wall Street nearly detonated the global financial system in 2008. That debacle was only one manifestation of an array of accumulating threats to the postmodern order, including the burdens of empire, onerous global debt, population overshoot, fracturing globalism, worries about energy, disruptive technologies, ecological havoc, and the specter of climate change — things that hurt to think about.

Read More: https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/tom-petty-was-right/

Fragmented

Are societies becoming hopelessly fragmented to the point that democracies are no longer functional as compromise solutions become impossible? Is technology tearing us apart? What are the consequences?

Big questions and probably deserving intense study and I find these questions on my mind a lot these days. Look, as much as it all seems like an old hat now the internet and social media is still new, but it has already dramatically changed the way we interact and process information and it may well be changing cultures in a big way and not necessarily for the better.

Think of all the kids today that don’t even know what a world without internet looks like. Heck I see 3 years olds glued to screens in cars, at fast food joints and every kid is running around with a smart phone. Their brains are perceiving reality quite differently than perhaps people just 20 years ago. I don’t know what it’s like to grow up being bombarded with constant content at such an early age. But we all are now.

Read More: https://northmantrader.com/2019/04/24/fragmented/

THE WORLD IS SADDER AND ANGRIER THAN EVER

Mac Slavo April 29th, 2019

In this day and age when most people have everything they could possibly need and then some, the world is sadder and angrier than ever before. The standard of living around the globe has never been higher, but neither has the discontentment.

According to a major analysis of global well-being, the world really is getting more miserable. Human beings worldwide are sadder, angrier and more fearful than they have ever been before.  Something just isn’t right on Earth. In Gallup’s annual Global State of Emotions report, all three emotions (sadness, anger, and fear) rose to record levels in 2018, for the second consecutive year.

Read More: https://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/the-world-is-sadder-and-angrier-than-ever_04292019

The Erosion of Everyday Life

Charles Hugh Smith

MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2019

Working hard and doing what you’re told is no longer yielding the promised American Dream of security, agency and liberty.
Volume One of Fernand Braudel’s oft-recommended (by me) trilogy Civilization & Capitalism, 15th to 18th Century is titled The Structures of Everyday Life. The book describes how life slowly became better and freer as the roots of modern capitalism and liberty spread in western Europe, slowly destabilizing and obsoleting the sclerotic tyrannies of feudalism.
Today I want to discuss the erosion of everyday life as a manifestation of the endgame of the current version of state capitalism, more precisely neofeudal state-cartel financialization, which combines financial predation of the home (core) economy and global exploitation of the Periphery (a.k.a. neocolonialism.)
Unlike the era Braudel describes, our era is characterized by the decline of liberty and the distortion of capitalism to serve the few at the expense of the many.
The over-used analogy of the boiled frog remains apt in understanding the erosion of everyday life: everyday life has become increasingly more difficult, more stressful, less rewarding financially, more deranging and less free for the past two generations. This erosion has gathered momentum in the 21st century as the status quo has ramped up its dysfunctional dynamics to keep the increasingly unequal distribution of wealth, power and liberty in place.
Consider the costs and capital flows of planned obsolescence. The consumer, who once was implicitly assured decades of reliable service from an American-made appliance, now gets an appliance that rarely lasts more than a decade, regardless of the brand or origin.
In the relentless drive for higher profits, every component is outsourced to the lowest cost supplier. I can assure you nobody checks the electronic components for durability; the circuit boards that operate your dryer, washer, refrigerator, etc. are checked to make sure they function coming out of the factory (though even this step is slipshod), but that’s it.
Since I’ve replaced defective boards in appliances, I can report that 1) the labor component of the repair is insanely expensive (which is why I did it myself, of course) 2) the boards are insanely expensive–$150 for what I estimate is $10 of commodity chips embedded in a $5 board, to more than $300, depending on the age and brand and 3) replacing the board is no guarantee the new board will last more than a few years, being made of the cheapest components in the lowest-quality factories.
This is the only profitable model of late-stage state-cartel corporate capitalism: force the consumer to upgrade their perfectly functional mobile phone, tablet, etc., every few years, or engineer the appliance/device to fail in a few years.
The favored corporate exploitation/predation mechanism is the long-term maintenance plan: since consumer, distributor (Best Buy et al.) and manufacturer all know the product has been engineered to fail in a few years, consumers are blackmailed into buying incredibly costly long-term maintenance plans, which work for the blackmailers because:
1) many consumers will lose the paperwork or get confused by the claims process and give up
2) other consumers will just decide to buy a new product, having been conned by “new features” or the ease of buying new rather than being on hold for hours trying to get Corporate America to do anything remotely beneficial to customers and
3) if the consumer is especially obdurate and grinds through all the barriers Corporate America sets up to wear them down and gets a repair person to actually show up, the corporation pays its actual cost for the replacement part–$15–not the $150 the consumer is charged should they fail to buy the long-term maintenance plan.