Category Archives: Predictive Programming

Terminator-style self-healing robot skin moves closer to reality

rsc.org | Nov 12, 2012

by Simon Hadlington

Scientists have developed a self-healing, pressure sensitive polymer ‘skin’ © Moviestore collections/Rex Features

Synthetic skin for robots that can repair itself when it becomes damaged – akin to the idea of the T-800 cyborg in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator films – has taken a step closer to reality with new research by scientists in the US. The researchers, led by Zhenan Baoof Stanford University in California, have created a flexible, touch-sensitive, electrically conducting and pressure-sensitive polymer-based material that could have ‘e-skin’ applications for robots or prosthetic body parts, such as artificial hands.

The polymer matrix consists of a network of randomly branched oligomers that contain multiple urea groups. The presence of these groups results in a high density of hydrogen bonding within the network – contributing substantially to the structural integrity of the matrix’s scaffold. Nickel particles are dispersed throughout the matrix. The presence of oxygen on the surface of the nickel particles, in the form of an oxide, also allows hydrogen bonds to be made with the urea groups, further contributing to the structural stability of the composite.

The extensive hydrogen bonding accounts for the self-healing properties of the material and the nickel particles for its electrical conductivity and pressure-sensitivity, as team member Benjamin Tee explains. ‘Because hydrogen bonds are weaker than covalent bonds, when the material is damaged the hydrogen bonds break preferentially. Because hydrogen bonding is dynamic, the bonds can reassociate very quickly and this results in the material’s mechanical healing properties.’ If the material is ruptured, it spontaneously repairs itself and regains its mechanical strength within around 10 minutes.

Tiny spikes

The micro-nickel particles impart electrical conductivity to the material. ‘The particles do not need to be in contact with each other for electrical conductivity to occur,’ says Tee. ‘Electrons can hop between the particles through quantum tunnelling.’ The team found that particles that were microscopically rough, covered with tiny spikes, produced a more efficient conducting matrix than smooth particles. This, Tee says, is because the electronic charge accumulates at the tips of the surface spikes, enhancing quantum tunnelling and thereby enabling more efficient charge transfer throughout the matrix. The team showed that if the polymer is broken or damaged, once the damaged parts are placed together and the healing process starts, electrical conductivity is almost completely restored within about 15 seconds.

The ‘e-skin’ can detect the application of pressure. The harder someone presses the brighter the mannequin’s LED glows © NPG

If an external load is applied to the polymer, this changes the distance between the nickel particles, resulting in a change in conductivity. This allows the e-skin to detect changes in pressure or its shape – which would allow, for example, the position of moveable joints to be monitored. However, the material is not as stretchy as the researchers would like – something, Tee says, that is now being worked on.

Commenting on the work, Wayne Hayes, an expert in self-healing polymers at the University of Reading in the UK, says: ‘Although this isn’t the first example of a supramolecular polymer–metallic particle composite, the paper does report the successful use of electrical conductivity in the route to healable elastomers and materials of this type do offer a way towards healable devices, especially in coatings or the biomedical field.’ Hayes adds: ‘It is a nice preliminary result but there is a significantly more fundamental science needed to understand the healing mechanism within this type of composite and further development work required before such materials can be used in feasible devices.’

Rockefeller Foundation envisions 13,000 dead at London Olympics in “Decade of Doom”


The all-seeing-eyed Olympic Mascot ‘Wenlock’

libertytactics.com  | Jun 7, 2012

Posted by James

A 2010 Rockefeller Foundation document entitled “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development” outlines a scenario which results in the death of 13,000 during the 2012 Olympics.

Rise of Authoritarianism

The first worrying prediction begins in 2012 when ‘the pandemic the world had been anticipating for years’, finally hits, infecting nearly 20 percent of world population and claiming 8 million lives. Due to this pandemic, the Rockefeller Foundation outlines how the public will welcome a more authoritative government and a tighter control across all aspects of life, including Biometric IDs for all citizens.

The 2012 London Olympics Bombing

In the document, the Rockefeller Foundation ‘predicts’ that the decade of 2010-2020 will be named “The Doom Decade”, because of  a wave of terrorist attacks, natural disasters as well as civil uprisings and financial collapses.

The years 2010 to 2020 were dubbed the “doom decade” for good reason: the 2012 Olympic bombing, which killed 13,000, was followed closely by an earthquake in Indonesia killing 40,000, a tsunami that almost wiped

out Nicaragua, and the onset of the West China Famine, caused by a once-in-a-millennium drought linked to climate change.

Mirroring events in real life, the document also predicts that by 2015 a large share of the US’ armed forces are recalled from countries such as Afghanistan to be stationed domestically, apparently posse comitatus no longer being a concern.

 In 2015, the U.S. reallocated a large share of its defense spending to domestic concerns, pulling out of Afghanistan—where the resurgent Taliban seized power once again.

As is happening right now, the document outlines how nations will lose power over their own finances due to massive debt, apparently handing over financial sovereignty to the banking technocrats.

But the document doesn’t just cover these topics. The growing mistrust in vaccines is covered in the Rockefeller document, where they state  that due to corruption within national and global bodies such as WHO, “bogus” vaccines will result in mass deaths.  According to the paper, the resulting mistrust in vaccines results in a large number of parents who avoid vaccination, which causes infant and child morality to rise to levels not seen since the 1970s.

In the context of weak health systems, corruption, and inattention to standards—either within countries or

from global bodies like the World Health Organization—tainted vaccines entered the public health systems of several African countries. In 2021, 600 children in Cote d’Ivoire died from a bogus Hepatitis B vaccine, which paled in comparison to the scandal sparked by mass deaths from a tainted anti-malarial drug years later. The deaths and resulting scandals sharply affected public confidence in vaccine delivery; parents not just in Africa but elsewhere began to avoid vaccinating their children, and it wasn’t long before infant and child mortality rates rose to levels not seen since the 1970s.

Technology becomes an increasing theater of battle in the Doom Decade, with cyber terrorism and hacking mafia organizations becoming more and more widespread.  A worrying prediction outlined in the document covers “Bio-Hacking” where GMO and DoItYourself-Biotech push the Globalist’s love for Transhumanism forward.

Interestingly, not all of the “hacking” was bad. Genetically modified crops (GMOs) and do-it- yourself (DIY) biotech became backyard and garage activities, producing important advances. In 2017, a network of renegade African scientists who had returned to their home countries after working in Western multinationals unveiled the first of a range of new GMOs that boosted agricultural productivity on the continent.

Just as desired by Globalists for over a hundred years, the developed world begins to fall back into feudalism, with the gap between the rich and poor growing to levels not seen for hundreds of years as the middle class becomes extinct.

The rich moving into fortress like compounds, whereas the poor are forced to move into ghettos. By 2030, the document portrays the “developed” and “developing” nations to no longer be relevant or distinguishable.

Agenda 21

The report also outlines several Environmental scenarios stemming from Climate Change which include a new worldwide economic system based on Green Infrastructure by 2018.

The Foundation describes how the resulting collapse of society requires an exodus out of rural areas and into urban environments for survivability, a bizarre take on reality where those living in urban environments are far more restricted in being self sufficient than those in rural areas who have the ability to more easily grow their own food.

Another mirror to Agenda 21 is the documents prediction that only the very rich will have the ability to travel, as prices skyrocket and the restrictions in the name of security reach such high levels  that the poor simply cannot travel from their communities.

Conclusion

As with other such documents such as those released by RAND and the MoD in the UK, these predictive papers are a window into the think-tanks who help shape world events. Where the documents are always portrayed as simple predictions, it is important to realize that many such papers have been eerily accurate in the past and thus must be considered when such events unfold in the near future.

Documentation:

Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development – The Rockefeller Foundation

Zombie Apocalypse Not Caused by Virus, CDC Claims


Rudy Eugene, 31, shot and killed after attacking homeless man and eating his face. (PHOTO:Twitter/Diario DiaaDia ‏)

christianpost.com | Jun 1, 2012

By Christine Thomasos

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) denies that there is any existence of zombies, despite public speculation stemming from various cases of cannibalism this week.

Last Saturday, a Miami man was shot dead by police after he was seen naked, growling and consuming the flesh of a homeless man’s face. On Sunday, a man in New Jersey reportedly stabbed himself 50 times before throwing his flesh and intestines at police officers. On Tuesday, a Maryland man told authorities that he had eaten the heart and brain of his roommates.

While many have been speculating about the events, “Zombie Apocalypse” became a trending term on search engines this week. Still, the CDC denies that zombies exist.

A zombie, by defition in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: “A person held to resemble the so-called walking dead.”

When reports surfaced that many of the assailants involved in the recent crimes had consumed human flesh, news outlets began to refer to them as zombies.

“The CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms),” CDC spokesman David Daigle told The Huffington Post.

However, Gawker reported about a “mysterious rash” in a Hollywood, Fla., school earlier this month along with an unknown chemical that sent five people to the hospital at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. While the HazMat investigation crew was unable to provide conclusive data concerning the two incidents, some believed they were related to zombie activity.

However, Daigle said there are many factors that could cause a “Zombie Apocalypse” outside of exposure to chemicals and viruses.

“Films have included radiation as well as mutations of existing conditions such as prions, mad-cow disease, measles, and rabies,” the CDC spokesman said.

While authorities have stated that 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, known as the “Miami Zombie,” may have eaten the flesh of a homeless man’s face after ingesting a cocktail of drugs called “bath salt,” his friends do not believe this could have been possible.

“It had to be some sort of drug that somebody must have slipped on him, because Rudy wouldn’t so much as pop a Tylenol pill,” Eugene’s friend Bobby Chery told CBS.

The results of toxicology tests have yet to be determined in the cases of the men engaging in zombie-like behavior. Although the CDC has not acknowledged that any of the cases involved actual zombies, the agency still has available a zombie preparedness section on its website that features books and kits.

The section was launched earlier this year as part of a campaign to educate the public about preparedness for certain hazards.

“If you are generally well equipped to deal with a ‘zombie apocalypse’ you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack,” CDC director director Dr. Ali Khan said in a statement on the website.

Will Your Future Be Full of Robot Assassins and Spy Aircraft?

With Its “Roadmap” in Tatters, The Pentagon Detours to Terminator Planet

A Drone-Eat-Drone World

At the end of World War II, General Henry “Hap” Arnold of the U.S. Army Air Forces praised American pilots for their wartime performance, but suggested their days might be numbered.  “The next war may be fought by airplanes with no men in them at all,” he explained.  The future of combat aviation, he announced, would be “different from anything the world has ever seen.”

alternet.org | Jun 2, 2012

By Nick Turse

Today’s armed drones are actually the weak sisters of the weapons world.  Even the Reaper is slow, clumsy, unarmored, generally unable to perceive threats around it, and — writes defense expert Winslow Wheeler — “fundamentally incapable of defending itself.”  While Reapers have been outfitted with missiles for theoretical air-to-air combat capabilities, those armaments would be functionally useless in a real-world dogfight.

Similarly, in a 2011 report, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board admitted that modern air defense systems “would quickly decimate the current Predator/Reaper fleet and be a serious threat against the high-flying Global Hawk.”  Unlike that MQ-1000 of 2030, today’s top drone would be a sitting duck if any reasonably armed enemy wanted to take it on.  In this sense, as in many others, it compares unfavorably to current manned combat aircraft.

The Navy’s even newer MQ-8B Fire Scout, a much-hyped drone helicopter that has been tested as a weapons platform, has also gone bust.  Not only was one shot down in Libya last year, but repeated crashes have caused the Navy to ground the robo-copter “for the indefinite future.”

Even the highly classified RQ-170 Sentinel couldn’t stay airborne over Iran during a secret mission that suddenly became very public last year.  Whether or not an Iranian attack brought down the drone, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board report makes it clear that there are numerous methods by which remotely piloted aircraft can potentially be thwarted or downed, from the use of lasers and dazzlers to blind or damage sensors to simple jammers to disrupt global positioning systems, not to mention a wide range of cyber-attacks, the jamming of commercial satellite communications, and the spoofing or hijacking of drone data links.

Smaller tactical unmanned aircraft may be even more susceptible to low-tech attacks, not to mention constrained in their abilities and cumbersome to use.  Sergeant Christopher Harris, an Army drone pilot and infantryman, described the limitations of the larger of the two hand-launched drones he’s operated in Afghanistan this way: the 13-pound Puma was best used from an observation post with some elevation; it only had a 12-mile range and, though theoretically possible to take on patrol, was “a beast to carry around” once the weight of extra batteries and equipment was factored in.

Terminators of Tomorrow?

As for the future, the Air Force’s 2011-2036 Roadmap has already hit a major detour.  In 2010, Air Force magazine breathlessly announced, “Early in the next decade, the Air Force will deploy a new, stealthy RPA — currently called the MQ-X — capable of surviving in heavily defended airspace and performing a wide variety of ISR [intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance] and strike missions.”

Indeed, the 2011 Roadmap lists the MQ-X as the future of Air Force drones.  In February 2012 however, Lieutenant General Larry James told an Aviation Week-sponsored conference: “At this point… we don’t plan, in the near term, to invest in any sort of MQ-X like program.”  Instead, James said, the Air Force will be content simply to upgrade the Reaper fleet and watch the Navy’s development of its Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike or UCLASS drone to see if it soars or, like so many RPAs, crashes and burns.

The Holy Grail of drone ops is the ability of an aircraft to linger over suspected target areas for long durations.  But ultra-long-term loitering operations still remain in the realm of fantasy.  Admittedly, the Pentagon’s blue skies research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is pursuing an ambitious drone project to provide intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and “communication missions over an area of interest” for five or more years at a time.  The project, dubbed “Vulture,” is meant to provide satellite-like capabilities “in an aircraft package.”

Right now, it sounds downright unlikely.

While the Air Force has had a hush-hush unmanned space plane orbiting the Earth for more than a year, much like a standard satellite, the longest a U.S. military drone has reportedly stayed aloft within the planet’s atmosphere is a little more than336 hours.  Plans for ultra-long duration flights took a major hit last year, according to scientists at Sandia National Laboratories and defense giant Northrop Grumman.

In an effort to “to increase UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] sortie duration from days to months while increasing available electrical power at least two-fold,” according to a 2011 report made public by the Federation of American Scientists’Secrecy News, the Sandia and Northrop Grumman researchers identified a technology that “would have provided system performance unparalleled by other existing technologies.”  In a year in which the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster turned a swath of Japan into an irradiated no-go zone, the use of that mystery technology, never named in the report but assumed to be nuclear power, was deemed untenable due to “current political conditions.”

With the Pentagon now lobbying the Federal Aviation Administration to open U.S. airspace to its robotic aircraft and ever more articles emerging about dronecrashes, don’t bet on nuclear-powered, long-loitering drones appearing anytime soon, nor on many of the other major promised innovations in Drone World to come online in the near term either.

From Dystopian Fiction to Dystopian Reality

Until recently, drones looked like a can’t-miss technology primed for big budgetincreases and revolutionary advances, but all that’s changing fast.  “Realistic expectations are for zero growth in the unmanned systems funding,” Weatherington explained by email.  “Most increases will be in technical innovations improving application of delivered systems on the battlefield, and driving down the cost of ownership.”

Major Jeffrey Poquette of the Army’s Small Unmanned Air Systems Product Office talked about just such an effort.  By the late summer, he said, the Army planned to introduce more sophisticated sensors, including the ability to track targets more easily, in its four-pound Raven surveillance drones.  Put less politely, what this means is no roll-outs of sophisticated new drone systems or revolutionary new drone technology: the Army will simply upgrade a glorified model airplane that first took flight more than a decade ago.

Sci-fi it isn’t, but that doesn’t mean that nothing will change in the world of drone warfare.

The Terminator films weren’t exactly original in predicting a future of unmanned planes dominating the world’s skies.  At the end of World War II, General Henry “Hap” Arnold of the U.S. Army Air Forces praised American pilots for their wartime performance, but suggested their days might be numbered.  “The next war may be fought by airplanes with no men in them at all,” he explained.  The future of combat aviation, he announced, would be “different from anything the world has ever seen.”

The most salient and accurate of Arnold’s predictions was not, however, his forecast about drone warfare.  Pilotless planes had taken flight years before the Wright Brothers launched their manned airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903, and drones would not become a signature piece of American weaponry until the 2000s.  Instead, Arnold’s faith in a “next war” — a clear departure from thesentiments of so many Americans after World War I — proved accurate again and again.  Over the following decades, American aircraft would strike in North Korea, South Korea, Indonesia, Guatemala, Cuba, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Grenada, Libya, Panama, Iraq, Kuwait, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq (again), Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen (again), Libya (again), and the Philippines.  New technologies came and went, air strikes were the constant.

In Vietnam, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and the Philippines, the U.S. deployed pilotless planes as per Arnold’s other prediction.  From Afghanistan onward, all of the countries that have experienced American air power have also experienced lethal drone attacks — just how many is unknown because figures on drone strikes are kept secret “for security reasons,” the Air Force’s Spires recently told TomDispatch.  What we do know is that drone attacks have increased radically over the years.  “More” has been the name of the game.

Still, barely a decade after our drone wars began, dreams of Terminator-esque efficiency and technological perfection are all but dead, even if the drone itself is increasingly embedded in our world.  Fantasies of autonomous drones and submarines fighting robot wars off the coast of Africa are already fading for any near-term future.  But drone warfare is here to stay.  Count on drones to be an essential part of the American way of war for a long time to come.

Air Force contracting documents suggest that the estimated five Reaper sorties flown each day in 2012 will jump to 66 per day by 2016.  What that undoubtedly means is more countries with drones flying over them, more drone bases, more crashes, more mistakes.  What we’re unlikely to see is armed drones scoring decisive military victories, offering solutions to complex foreign-policy problems, or even providing an answer to the issue of terrorism, despite the hopes of policymakers and the military brass.

Keep in mind as well that those global skies are going to fill with the hunter-killer drones of other nations in what could soon enough become a drone-eat-drone world.  With that still largely in the future, however, the Pentagon continues to glow with enthusiasm over the advantages drones offer the U.S.

Regarding the importance of military robots, for instance, the Pentagon’s Dyke Weatherington explained, “Combatant commanders and warfighters place value in the inherent features of unmanned systems — especially their persistence, versatility, and reduced risk to human life.”

On that last point, of course, Weatherington is only thinking about American military personnel and American lives.  Tomorrow’s drone warfare will likely mean “more” in one other area: more dead civilians.  We’ve left behind the fiction of Hollywood for a less high-tech but distinctly dystopian reality.  It isn’t quite the movies and it isn’t what the Pentagon mapped out, but it indisputably provides a clear path to a grim and grimy Terminator Planet.

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Shooting zombies is the fad among gun enthusiasts


Two young attendees get their picture taken with a zombie poster during the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) 141st Annual Meetings & Exhibits in St. Louis, in this April 13, 2012 file photo. The Hollywood-inspired zombie craze has extended to gun enthusiasts. REUTERS/Tom Gannam

Reuters | Apr 15, 2012

By Greg McCune

ST. LOUIS | One of Patrick Flanagan’s favorite movies as a kid was “Night of the Living Dead,” a 1968 horror film about a family trapped in a rural Pennsylvania house and attacked by zombies.

“I really dug zombie stuff since then,” said Flanagan, 23, an unemployed concrete worker from Alton, in southern Illinois.

So Flanagan combined his interest in zombies with another hobby – guns.

He was one of many gun owners crowded around a display of lifelike zombie paper shooting targets at the National Rifle Association’s Guns and Gear exhibition on Saturday during the NRA annual conference in St. Louis.

CDC Warns Public to Prepare for ‘Zombie Apocalypse’

The Hollywood-inspired zombie craze – featuring blood-soaked ghouls rising from the dead to attack the living – has extended to gun enthusiasts. At the huge NRA exhibition, vendors displayed zombie targets, zombie bullets, zombie paint coating for guns and zombie patches for a shooting jacket.

Firing ranges across the country are offering zombie-themed shooting events, some held as daylight fades for atmosphere, said Brad Ross, a division manager for Law Enforcement Targets, Inc, a maker of zombie targets.

Flanagan, who said he owns 19 guns, likes to drive out into rural areas to practice shooting. He is bored with shooting cans or simple bullseye targets and the zombie targets will be more fun, he said, clutching his roll of 40 poster-sized images.

Sales of zombie targets are booming and are expected to grow about 30 percent to a million targets this year, Ross said.

“It is absolutely dumbfounding,” said Addison Sovine, a salesman hustling on Saturday to keep up with the demand for the shooting accessory at the Law Enforcement Targets booth.

For the truly zombie-obsessed, Sovine demonstrated small packets of blood-colored liquid that can be purchased to attach to the back of the zombie target so that it bleeds when shot. If an explosion is desired, a grainy mixture is for sale that will blast like a firecracker when hit.

TAKING AIM ON “ZOMBILADIN” TARGET

Among the most popular of the 18 zombie target designs offered in its catalog are “Becky,” an image of a wounded, pale and dark-eyed female, and “ZombiLadin” a bearded and bloody likeness of the late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, company officials said.

Ammunition maker Hornady introduced a zombie bullet last fall with a green painted tip and it was one of their most successful product launches ever, according to marketing communications manager Everett Deger. The bullets come in a bright green box saying “20 rounds certified Zombie ammunition” with a warning that it is not a toy.

Zombie-themed paint coatings for guns are among the 10 most popular camouflage designs offered by DuraCoat Firearm Finishes, which paints guns, said Operations Manager Amy Lauer-Potaczek.

Much of the interest in zombies has been fed by popular culture, such as the movie “Zombieland,” starring Woody Harrelson, and the “Walking Dead” television series about a group of people trying to survive in a world overrun by zombies. But Sovine said the obsession has gained momentum from “preppers” – people who are preparing for doomsday – and the belief by some that, according to the Mayan calendar, the world as we know it will end in December.

“As soon as we pass December if we are not all dead, we live on, and it is really not the end of the world … I think you will see it (zombie target sales) start to come back down the other side,” Sovine said.

In the future, I’m right: Letter from Aldous Huxley to George Orwell over 1984 novel sheds light on their different ideas

“The lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.”

Daily Mail | Mar 7, 2012

By Rob King


The novel 1984 predicted a different world to that envisaged by Aldous Huxley

They were both critically acclaimed writers who were ahead of their time, creating imaginative visions of the future in their novels.

But an enlightening letter sent by Aldous Huxley to his fellow author George Orwell more than 60 years ago reveals that the two men had very different ideas of how the world would change.

Huxley’s 1949 letter – the latest addition to a website that collects fascinating missives from the past – praises Orwell for the novel 1984, which offers a terrifying portrayal of a future totalitarian society.

But the late California-based author – who had coincidentally taught Orwell more than three decades earlier – went on to focus on the differences between Orwell’s vision and that revealed in his own masterpiece.

His novel Brave New World, published 17 years before Orwell’s, had foreseen a society characterised by medicated contentment, a widely accepted, eugenics-supported caste system, and a government-enforced obsession with consumerism.

But Orwell’s novel presented a nightmarish vision and gave birth to the phrases ‘Big Brother’, ‘thought crime’ and ‘double think’, all now commonly used to describe increasing state control.

The book was later made into a film starring John Hurt, Richard Burton and Suzanna Hamilton.

In the letter Huxley began by echoing the positive reviews for 1984, telling Orwell ‘how fine and how profoundly important the book is’.

Going on to focus on the differences between their predictions, however, Huxley wrote: ‘The philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen Eighty-Four is a sadism which has been carried to its logical conclusion by going beyond sex and denying it.

‘Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful.

‘My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World.’

The letter was written at Huxley’s California home in October 1949, a few months after the release of Orwell’s book.

It has been added to the website Letters of Note, which gathers and posts fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos.

The relationship between the two authors began in 1917, while Huxley was a tutor at Eton and Orwell was a pupil. Huxley taught French.

Huxley’s other students at Eton included the writer and scholar, Harold Acton.

ALDOUS HUXLEY’S LETTER IN FULL…

Wrightwood. California.
21 October, 1949

Dear Mr. Orwell,

It was very kind of you to tell your publishers to send me a copy of your book.

It arrived as I was in the midst of a piece of work that required much reading and consulting of references; and since poor sight makes it necessary for me to ration my reading, I had to wait a long time before being able to embark on Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Agreeing with all that the critics have written of it, I need not tell you, yet once more, how fine and how profoundly important the book is.

May I speak instead of the thing with which the book deals — the ultimate revolution?

The first hints of a philosophy of the ultimate revolution — the revolution which lies beyond politics and economics, and which aims at total subversion of the individual’s psychology and physiology — are to be found in the Marquis de Sade, who regarded himself as the continuator, the consummator, of Robespierre and Babeuf.

The philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen Eighty-Four is a sadism which has been carried to its logical conclusion by going beyond sex and denying it.

Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful.

My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World.

I have had occasion recently to look into the history of animal magnetism and hypnotism, and have been greatly struck by the way in which, for a hundred and fifty years, the world has refused to take serious cognizance of the discoveries of Mesmer, Braid, Esdaile, and the rest.

Partly because of the prevailing materialism and partly because of prevailing respectability, nineteenth-century philosophers and men of science were not willing to investigate the odder facts of psychology for practical men, such as politicians, soldiers and policemen, to apply in the field of government.

Thanks to the voluntary ignorance of our fathers, the advent of the ultimate revolution was delayed for five or six generations.

Another lucky accident was Freud’s inability to hypnotize successfully and his consequent disparagement of hypnotism.

This delayed the general application of hypnotism to psychiatry for at least forty years.

But now psycho-analysis is being combined with hypnosis; and hypnosis has been made easy and indefinitely extensible through the use of barbiturates, which induce a hypnoid and suggestible state in even the most recalcitrant subjects.

Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.

In other words, I feel that the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World.

The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency.

Meanwhile, of course, there may be a large scale biological and atomic war — in which case we shall have nightmares of other and scarcely imaginable kinds.

Thank you once again for the book.

Yours sincerely,

Aldous Huxley

Our Frightening Future, Brought to You by Microsoft

Motley Fool | Jan 18, 2012

By Alex Planes

Hey, look! Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) found a way to squeeze more functionality from the motion-sensing Kinect. Since many news-driven writers (including yours truly) are rushed and lazy, we often repeat pop culture references: You can open your files in Windows 8 by pointing at them aggressively, just like Tom Cruise in Minority Report!

But get this: Microsoft isn’t only jumping on board the Tom Cruise future-semaphore bandwagon. One new Kinect application is a creepy foot forward into the film’s more troubling technological advancements — specifically, its omnipresent and ominously precise biometric sensors. It might be good for the company’s bottom line, but quite threatening to the average person’s privacy.

A great algorithmic leap forward

The Kinect needed a certain level of hardware precision to work — but its software was the real breakthrough. That bleeding-edge programming package is so detailed that the Kinect’s next iteration is rumored to read lips and detect emotional cues when paired with more accurate sensors that track nuanced facial movements. The device is already accurate enough for Microsoft to use it to create a mall advertising system that that changes content based on who it thinks you are.

Why does that sound so familiar?

Aggressively targeted advertising

In the video, everything Tom Cruise passes changes to what it thinks he wants based on his personal information, which is accessed with eye scans. We might cringe at the unflattering personalized ads on Facebook. The filter bubble — a term for what you miss when Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) customizes its search results based on what it knows about you — has the potential to keep us in the dark. But as intrusive as these systems are, you can still opt out.

The only way to “opt out” of Microsoft’s individualized ads is to avoid places that use it. As long as these locations are on the fringe this isn’t a problem, but by 2054 (when Minority Report is set) things might look quite different. To build interest, Microsoft will do everything it can to further the personalization for passerby. Kinect-ed advertisements could send more detailed info to ad viewers’ Windows Phones. This might be done with devices that are enabled with near-field communication, raising major privacy issues — though the privacy issues raised by using biometric scanning in public for marketing purposes are probably somewhat larger.

Not quite science fiction

It’s hard to swallow the idea that biometric tracking could be this good this soon, but we’ve already seen plenty of signs that the film’s other signature technologies are fast becoming reality:

  • Responsive gesture-based computing is already on its way. Microsoft built Kinect compatibility into Windows 8 and has lent support to a Kinect-centric start-up accelerator.
  • Personalized ads? You’ve been reading this article, I hope.
  • An eye-scanning system developed by nonprofit research firm SRI International can read irises from up to three meters away, and can process up to 1,800 people per hour.
  • MIT and the University of Arizona created a semi-real-time holographic video system late in 2010. One of its key components was, unsurprisingly, a Kinect camera.
  • Google’s already proved that automated cars work well enough to be street-legal.
  • Electronic paper pioneer E Ink earned a billion dollars in revenue last year, and Universal Display‘s (Nasdaq: PANL  ) flexible organic LEDs featured prominently at Samsung’s CES booth earlier this month.

Many of the real-world analogues to Minority Report technologies could trounce Spielberg’s imagination by 2054. But Minority Report wasn’t really about any of these things. They were well-designed window dressing to the film’s main theme: Grievous crimes can be predicted and stopped with perfect accuracy before they happen.

There’s nothing to fear if you’ve got nothing to hide

“Precrime” technology might be furthest away from reality, but not due to any lack of trying. IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) boasts of its predictive crime-fighting solutions, which include blanketing a South Korean city with cameras and hooking them up to analytical programs. Data mining software from the jack-of-all-tech-trades also helped Richmond go from the fifth-most-dangerous American city to the 99th. It’s easy to imagine IBM upgrading from cameras to Kinects, or at least pairing visual cues with biometric analytics. It’s not a trio of all-seeing telepaths, but it’s a start.

Baltimore, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. already use predictive analytics to reduce crime rates, but none of these work on an individual level. Scale up the resources, though, and solutions start to look more menacing. The Department of Homeland Security’s secretive pre-crime system uses biometric readings to detect potential ne’er-do-wells based on (among other things) emotional cues and physical attributes. Government researchers could probably save some taxpayer money by grabbing a few Kinects for the next build.

Why are we running?

Microsoft’s only doing what any sensible self-interested company would by seeking out new business opportunities. Combining Kinect capabilities with advanced analytics on a widespread scale could help the company overcome the PC’s slow decline and present a major recurring revenue stream, given significant global adoption. But how much intrusion will consumers — citizens, really — accept?

I found enough evidence to predict that targeted advertising will get pushier this year, and it looks as though Microsoft is going to prove me right. I can’t say I appreciate, from a privacy standpoint, the way this prediction is coming true, but such applications should have seemed inevitable. Without understanding how it works, the Kinect is essentially a magical stick that knows exactly what you’re doing and can tell if you’re sad. How could that not have wound up as a powerful marketing tool? I only hope it doesn’t become something much more dangerous in the name of security. By the time we find ourselves in that web, it’ll be much too late to opt out.