The V2V Bee Hive

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Ayn Rand, for all her quirks, had some solid things to say. One of these was that civilization exists – or declines – in proportion to privacy. The less privacy you’ve got, the more uncivilized the society in which you live.

Which is why this business of Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) technology is so extremely uncivilized. It is meant to make sure you are never alone on the road – even if you are the only car on the road.

The concept emulates the bee hive. Each bee is an integral part of a collective and no action taken by any individual bee is unknown to the other bees, who all exist and operate in lockstep.

Your V2V-equipped car (several new GM vehicles and all Teslas already have the technology) will “stream information” to the other V2V-equipped cars, so that each knows where the others are in relation to itself, their relative speed and direction.

The “queen” will know, too.

The government queen – because she likes to know where we are and what we are up to. And the insurance queen – for the same reasons. Both will use this information to keep track of us – and to charge us.

Elon Musk is a third queen.

He likes to keep up with what you’re up to, too. All Teslas “stream” data back to the Teslian hive. The cars are literally tethered – electronically – to the great collective. The data pack includes how fast you drive, how long you drive – even possibly what you talk about inside the car. Teslas – and almost all new cars, period – have microphones built in, as part of the “concierge” system (e.g., GM’s OnStar and similar systems) or for the voice command systems that almost all new cars either have or offer.

Of course, there’s no Off switch.

Just like air bags.

In addition to monitoring us – and dunning us for such things as ignoring arbitrary speed limits and stupid no U-Turn/right-on-red/HOV lane restrictions – V2V is the means by which things like congestion pricing – where you are dunned for using certain roads at certain times – and tax-by-mile (which is the tax intended to replace motor fuels taxes) will be imposed.

That word is italicized for a reason, because – as always – V2V will not be optional. If it were, no worries. The few who wanted Uncle and the insurance mafia (and Elon) along for the ride could open their passenger door – so to speak – and invite them in and the rest of us could slam the damned thing shut, hit the lock button and stomp on the gas – leaving Uncle, the insurance mafia and Elon rapidly receding the distance.

Naturally, this cannot be allowed.

NHTSA – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is the entity that somehow has acquired the power to jab us in the back with bayonets “for our safety” – has been scratching itself raw like an eczema-infested hound to impose mandatory V2V for every new car, not just those sold by GM and Elon and a few other hive-masters.

Because good ideas can’t be left up to us to say yes to.

NHSTA argues that V2V will reduce – possibly, eliminate – such things as accidents which occur when one car runs a red light and runs into another car. The V2V-equipped car entering the intersection would know about the other V2V-equipped car about to run the light – and would automatically brake itself to avoid the crash. More likely, the V2V equipped car on the verge of traducing the red would know its driver was in error – and stop his car automatically.

This is the sort of technocratic wet nursing that has come to define our age.

It goes without saying – or should – that most of the problems V2V is supposed to be the solution for could be solved without V2V. Without taking an obsidian dagger to what’s left of our privacy.

By expecting more attentive and better-skilled drivers.

But that would require the active encouragement of driving – the exercise of initiative in particular, which is the opposite of mindless rule-following – and thus runs counter to the technocratic wet nurse capo regime of our age.

But there is good – if probably temporary – news.

Trump has yanked NHTSA’s chain on this V2V business – which had been on the fast-track under Obama and was certain of passage into federal fatwa under his presumed successor, who didn’t quite make it to actual successor.

Still, the technocratic kudzu – the necessary precursors – are already in your new car, probably. In particular, wireless communication (send and receive) technology. In-car Wi-Fi. You can access the Net – and the Net can access you.

Also, most new cars already have or offer driver-usurpation “safety” technologies such as automated braking and steering/lane keep “assist” – with more to come and as standard rather than optional equipment.

The car companies are pushing it aggressively – and too many of us are accepting it passively.

If more of us would resent it – and refuse to have anything to do with it – we might get some of our privacy back.

And things would become more civilized, rather than less so.

. . .

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  1. After I fish tailed on wet tires and slick pavement pulling out of a car wash in my late model silverado a few years ago, uncle called on OnStar to ask what was wrong and if I was okay. I told the lady to F-off and hung up. Next day I found the fuse that powers OnStar and pulled it. Hoping to remove the unit entirely one day once I know ECM code and schematics better.

    • Hi Brazos,

      Yup. Same thing happened to me in a Caddy CTS test car. I whipped it up the mountain and rapid elevation change and lateral Gs triggered OnStar and the chirpy bimbo’s voice erupted into the cabin. I told her the same thing.

    • How do you know that you didn’t just shut it up, and it has been listening to you since, just like it always has?
      How much do you have to know about the ECM code and schematic to disconnect the antenna?

  2. I will just drive along with fake data being sent to spoof them into thinking my car is equiped while I rev my 350 blasting Red Barchetta.

    These people want to live in a shithole country.

  3. I still remember a quote from the despot who used to be Secretary of Transportation, the despicable Ray (The Hood) Lahood, when he uttered after a major Missouri auto pile-up attributed to a youth driver texting on Interstate 44, that vehicles should have a communications shield around them which would prevent then from allowing communications devices from talking to the outside world.

    However, the horrible hood had an additional condition: The only communications devices that should be allowed in motor vehicles NEED to be on-board systems, not devices which can be hand-held.

    What the hell ever happened to drivers’ education? Has it become so poorly executed that no one cares to learn it anymore?

  4. Garth Brooks explains: “…our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain, but I’d of had to miss the [debt] dance.

    The “devil” was the angel that had to take the fall, because he was the one charged with “creating woman.” A feat at once the best and the worst thing that ever befell mankind IMO. He really outdid hisself with that one.

    Sure the mankind could have missed the pain, but we’d have had to miss the dance.


    “The Dance”

    Looking back on the memory of
    The dance we shared ‘neath the stars above
    For a moment all the world was right
    How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye (after the finances and ponzi schemes imploded)

    And now I’m glad I didn’t know
    The way it all would end the way it all would go
    Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
    But I’d have had to miss the dance

    Holding you I held everything
    For a moment wasn’t I a king
    But if I’d only known how the king would fall
    Hey who’s to say you know I might have changed it all

    Yes my life is better left to chance
    I could have missed the pain but I’d have had to miss the dance

  5. End of THE HANGING STRANGER, still gives me chills and vivid nightmares after reading…

    … As the sun set, the vice-president of the Oak Grove Merchants’ Bank came up out of the vault, threw the heavy time locks, put on his hat and coat, and hurried outside onto the sidewalk. Only a few people were there, hurrying home to dinner.

    “Good night,” the guard said, locking the door after him.

    “Good night,” Clarence Mason murmured. He started along the street toward his car. He was tired. He had been working all day down in the vault, examining the lay-out of the safety deposit boxes to see if there was room for another tier. He was glad to be finished.

    At the corner he halted. The street lights had not yet come on. The street was dim. Everything was vague. He looked around—and froze.

    From the telephone pole in front of the police station, something large and shapeless hung. It moved a little with the wind.

    What the hell was it?

    Mason approached it warily. He wanted to get home. He was tired and hungry. He thought of his wife, his kids, a hot meal on the dinner table. But there was something about the dark bundle, something ominous and ugly. The light was bad; he couldn’t tell what it was. Yet it drew him on, made him move closer for a better look. The shapeless thing made him uneasy. He was frightened by it. Frightened—and fascinated.

    And the strange part was that nobody else seemed to notice it.

    El Horchado – P.K.D.

    The Hanging Stranger – P.K.D.

  6. I wonder if anyone else has received an “offer” from their insurance company like the one that I got the other day. State Farm offered me the opportunity to lower my insurance premiums significantly. What did I have to do for this discount? Just install an app on my phone which would allow them to track my every movement! This way, they would know exactly how many miles that I drive, etc. (They mention this.) They would know exactly how fast I drive and where I go. (They don’t mention this.) Needless to say, I did not take their “generous” offer. I hardly need State Farm tracking my every move. Would anyone take this offer?

      • Good question Bill. I didn’t install the app so I’m not sure exactly how it works. It just occurred to me like once they saw me traveling 100 mph – whether on my bike or in my car – I was going to have some trouble with insurance.

        • State Farm is all I need to know to say for a certainty that you are going to have trouble with insurance.
          Flying or riding a roller coaster would be ill-advised as well.
          If they have your phone number, don’t be surprised if they install it themselves.

      • So I just did a little research. They give you a bluetooth beacon to pair with your phone. You keep the bluetooth beacon in the appropriate vehicle.

        • Does the beacon record regardless of contact with the phone? How would the beacon know if you were driving, riding, or had loaned the car to a friend, or left it with a mechanic, who might like high-speed test drives in cars like yours? With the commonality of commercial hacking, I’d watch closely for malware downloads from a good neighbor.

          • It appears that the beacon is activated when the phone with which it is paired is in the vehicle. If there are multiple drivers, they are all supposed to pair their phones with their vehicles. You are also required to send them photos of your odometer so that they now that the miles on your car match the data that they have collected. If you lend the car to a friend or a mechanic takes it on a joy ride, the driver wouldn’t have your phone so the system would know it wasn’t you that was driving. Of course, I suspect that they bluetooth beacon would still be recording the data about how the car is driven. This way, State Farm would know everything about who drives the car, how they drive it, etc. I’m not sure if the bluetooth beacon knows if it is removed from the car but presumably, it might. This is a loss of privacy that is quite stunning.

            • I don’t own a smartphone and neither of my dumbphones ever leave my van unless I’m expecting a call (about once every other year:-) I’m sure that they have checked the GPS on at least one of them, but absent the accelerometer, etc., there’d be little to see that would fail to corroborate a 40+ clean driving record. Does the bluetooth beacon plug into something or just dryride?

    • “Location/GPS is used in conjunction with the accelerometer and other sensors to measure speed, turning, braking, acceleration, time of day, and miles driven.”

      I cannot imagine what would happen to my insurance rates if this data was collected. Then again, I haven’t ever been in a major accident and I haven’t been involved in a fender bender for about 15 years (and I wasn’t at fault then).

      • Fault has been becoming less and less important to actuarials with time.
        My commercial drivers license has been completely clean (not even a logbook or scale ticket) since I got it in 1990 and my regular drivers license was clean 15 years before that, and my premiums keep going up, even though my personal risk keeps dropping.

        • They claim that they just want to keep track of miles driven. But then there is this in response to a question about how the “discount” will be calculated:

          Acceleration – The acceleration grade is measured by sharp increases in speed.
          Braking – The braking grade is measured by the abruptness of hard braking occurrences.
          Over the course of a year, a few hard-braking instances during the entire time your vehicle is driven will not cause a drastic change in your grade. State Farm understands sometimes it is necessary for drivers to brake suddenly, swerve, or make sensitive maneuvers in order to avoid an accident or other road hazards.
          Left/Right Turns – The turn grades are measured by the sharpness at which turns are taken.
          Mileage – The number of miles that are expected to be driven over a full one year period. This is calculated based on the average miles driven each day when data was collected
          Speed – The speed of the vehicle is captured; however, real time vehicle speeds are not stored or compared to posted speed limits for use in the calculation of the discount.
          Time of Day – The time of day is measured by the amount of time spent driving during risky times of day, which may include rush hour traffic or late-night driving.

          • I guess my insurance agent doesn’t need so much information about me because I only have state minimum liability coverage and haven’t been involved in an accident, received a ticket, or filed a claim for decades. I’d be in trouble if they wanted to know why the vehicle might display movement during overnights (when I might turn over in my sleep), because they won’t insure an RV I have never had.

          • Thanks Krista! The same message showed up in my spam folder this week. I ignored it and from your research sounds like that was the correct move.

            Interesting that hard braking is measured. The only time my Cherokee hard brakes is when the “smart” cruise control thinks someone sneaking in a lane change is too close and it slams on the brakes like a teenager on a learner’s permit.

    • We live in California, but drive across the country a few times each year. State Farm offered my husband this “discount,” and I am thankful that we declined. However, I think that California will soon offer this “feature” as a possible replacement (yeah, right) to the horrid 12 cents per gallon gasoline tax that Governor Brownnoser recently signed into law. I’m guessing–and I really hope I’m wrong–that in a few years, there will be no way to escape.
      Btw, on a loss-of-privacy note, recently, when we were driving on I-40 and crossed into Oklahoma, going west, a flash of light suggested that someone/something had just taken a picture of our Honda Odyssey (HO). I gave no permission for a photograph of the HO or any of its occupants.

      • The SCOTUS has made it clear several times that no one in public has any legal expectation of privacy. That is why window blinds were invented.

    • That sounds kinda like that “snapshot” malarky one company was offering for a while, I expect the(hopefully) lack of participation caused them to drop the whole idea. Frog soup , we are dead meat .

  7. Speaking of “safety” devices, can antilock breaking sometimes take away all braking power? If a car is on slick ice, and some braking might be coaxed out of a car by applying the right amount of pressure, and tapping a bit, does ABS take away that ability and leave a driver with nothing? Either I was on the slickest ice imaginable recently, or my antilock brakes took away any remnant of braking ability.

    • Modern ABS allows for skidding at low speed. Old ABS like in my ’97 Mustang will blank out at low speed and there will be no braking. The car will simply keep rolling at roughly a brisk walking pace or slower when non-ABS would stop the car. Lost a fog light on a landscaping rock thanks to that. Had enough space to stop if the car were skidding, hell only would require maybe a yard at the speed I was going, but with ABS blanking out….

      • I ran over another pickup with mine and he hit the pickup in front of him. I had to emergency change lanes when an idiot guy with his girl pulled out right in my path…and even at that could have stopped with no drama but the ABS just laughed and wouldn’t let me stop or even get a decent braking force. I felt like I was on ice. Years later it would do that again, twice in one week. I unplugged it for good and never had to worry. That pickup had big sticky tires and good brakes and stopped fine with no ABS. They drove me crazy on steep inclines with slick conditions anyway. Since that pickup had NO computer it was some weird thing it used to identify or misidentify a stop.

        • It doesn’t matter how sticky tires are when they are cold. The greater the footprint, the less friction generated per unit. Less friction equals less traction. If the tires were larger than standard, they might have hosed the sensor function on the axles.

          • thing is, with a greater footprint, there are more total units.
            typically a larger footprint will be more forgiving of imperfections on the road surface. think about big tire cars vs 10 inch tire cars at the dragstrip. both can get a great launch but the big tire cars are more consistent when track prep is less than stellar.

            • For one, it was ‘hot’ and the tires weren’t, at that time, larger than stock but later when it fcked up, certainly were.

              This doesn’t mean the ABS didn’t malfunction. It did, repeatedly and I can control a brake on a vehicle I drive every day down to a T.

              • Anytime the brake pedal is not directly connected to a master cylinder which is directly connect to slave cylinders and/or calipers, you cannot control the brakes, regardless of hallucinations to the contrary.

        • ABS systems have their own processor.
          A toothed wheel and magnet type sensor used to determine wheel speed. I kicks in when there is a difference between wheel speeds great enough to determine sliding is going on. How it tells the difference between a dead stop and a four wheel slide I am uncertain. Maybe it doesn’t. ABS systems were, at least in those days, blind to anything but what the wheel sensors and pedal switch told them.

          • Each wheel has its own sensor and is independently controlled via PWM to ensure that braking is maximised. The toothed wheel is sensed by a Hall-effect switch, all of which can be installed in the differential housing for durability. When electric vehicles with regenerative braking and wheel motors are involved, the output of the motors provides the sensing.

    • Properly operating anti-skid braking simply applies as much as braking as can be supported without the initiation of skidding. The secession of braking is a failure of ABS. Early ABSs were too brute force to work properly where friction is virtually absent. Having learned to drive before ABS became popular, I’d like to be able to turn it off, because a controlled skid is better than a uncontrollable one.

    • ABS brakes increase your stopping distance. I’ve had mine come on several times and since the wheels don’t lock, the stop distance increases substantially. Leading me to tap a bumper bar recently and have a claim due to the abs kicking in. Without the abs, I would have stopped in time to avoid an incident. They do not lead to fewer accidents because few drivers know how to use the abs properly, and the dealers don’t know how to use the systems. ABS is causing insurance premiums to RISE.

    • The 4 wheel ABS I had on my 99 Frontier was like that and I despised it the 06 Dakotas 2 wheel ABS doesn’t work or its “transparent”.

  8. 5G network has been pushed thru FCC and Congress by bug Telecom. 5G is “SKY NET”. Once 5G is operational it is game over for privacy globally. For you sheep that have not been keeping up with 5G implementation, it is now streaming from tate Houses and into Counties as all local control is stripped away.

    There is no opt out! The devices will be placed on most telephone poles and your space will not be private.
    Areas of the globe not connected with networks will be satellite connected. Total Surveillance. Your device will be the transponder connecting you to the network. It will ping your location and you will carry it because all payments will require it.

    All this information is stored at the NSA (Rothschilds) mass data storage facility as SLC. Every aspect of our lives, every movement and every interaction or transaction will be stored. As government policy changes it will be easy to see what you own and where to confiscate your items such as chemicals, tools or weapons the Rothschild debt /slave crime family deem unacceptable and a threat. The banned list will constantly expand and you will be required to turn in these items or face probable extermination or starvation as your commerce is turned off globally.

    5G is the current #1 threat to humanity. The Globalists are 100% on board and all Telecoms have a global standard established and the governmental implementation is about 90% finished. Any country refusing will be invaded and and governments replaced with Rothschid agents. Look at the countries that recognize the ICC (commercial code) and you can see it is 99%. There will be no place to go or hide and there will be no choice.

    This is the brave new world. Thank you sheep now go back to the couch, watch the mindless smut or masterbate with your devices.

      • One of the comments.

        “After having read most of the commentaries on the National Toxicology Program Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Hsd: Sprague Dawley® SD rats (Whole Body Exposure), I just wanted to underscore the significance of this study. Taken as a whole, there were 62 cases of rodents coming down with either: malignant glioma; glial cell hyperplasia; schwannoma; or schwan cell hyperplasia; in the course of this study. But there were no cases of any of these four types of conditions recorded in the control group. Since the control group represented 1/7 of the seven groups tested at one time, each having an equal population of 90 rodents, this means that the probability of any single one of the 62 affected animals not showing up in the control population was 6/7, if these animals had been distributed randomly. But they weren’t. Not one of the 62 cases showed up in the control group. The probability that not one of the 62 reported cases showed up in the control group is then (6/7) raised to the 62nd power. Calculating that probability, you get: 0.00007068, which is approximately one chance in 14,000 that such a distribution of rodents (none of the 62 showing up in the control group) could occur purely by chance. Clearly, the data is trying to tell us all something, and the probability that these results were just a fluke, is miniscule.”

        • Just when everybody was happy, we found out “we were screwing the pooch” no offense intended, things like this occur all the time .

            • Nah, any dumbass knows that molecules consist of atoms and in Europe, they found out the Nano-particles are passing the Blood-Brain Barrier and generally getting where they should not be and causing illness( been verified) that is why they want to get rid of Diesels in the congested areas. What you can’t see can kill you.
              Internal combustion engines are a necessary evil now and will be phased out when something better comes along

  9. You’re missing another key player in location tracking: The banks. As long as there’s a loan on your vehicle they have a pretty compelling reason to want to know the location at any given moment.

    The FAA is moving forward with their requirement of ADS-B transponders in every aircraft. The goal is to allow aircraft to operate closer together because the forecast traffic demand won’t work with today’s spacing. That and ATC can barely handle the workload today at a busy airport like Atlanta. There has been some resistance from general aviation pilots, many of whom never fly in congested airspace and certainly not in class-A (where commercial jets fly) airspace, but the edict has been issued and they have to comply. This will add about $2500 worth of avionics to every aircraft, many of which aren’t really worth upgrading after you consider that it probably shouldn’t (or can’t) be installed by a home-gamer, only a certified mechanic. Some of these older aircraft have very simple instruments because the pilot has no interest in flying IFR* nor the time or budget to learn.

    For the big commercial operators ADS-B is not a problem. A $2500 line item on a 787 is lost in the rest of the BOM. V2V will be the same for automobiles. No big deal for fleet operators, maybe not too bad for the high-end crowd, but a pretty big percentage of the value of an automobile, especially used. This will drive more leasing too, another advantage for intrenched and bureaucratic corporations looking for margin. But the FAA is part of the Department of Transportation, a multi-headed hydra that has its fingers in everything that moves. Just wait until the full implementation (Jan 1, 2020 is the deadline) of ADS-B is complete for the crowing to begin. Then see what happens to automobiles. NHTSA will get “technology envy” and begin issuing edicts demanding full compliance. There will be retrofit kits, basically black boxes that will be required at some point. Expect them to operate over the cellular networks, which means yet another monthly fee. And they will become mandatory, even on your $500 s***box, your antique that only gets driven twice a year, and your motorcycles (even now, there are FAA policy wonks working on ways to integrate small drones into the ADS-B system, so doubtful bikes will get a pass).

    “Air traffic controllers aren’t always required to keep VFR aircraft separated from each other like they do for IFR traffic. The responsibility for traffic separation lies solely with the pilot during VFR operations, which means he needs to be able to see in front of and around his aircraft while in the air.” Sounds like a pretty nice way to fly.

    • People are conditioned to see more centralized control as the solution to every problem and thus it becomes the solution to every problem.

      • I don’t know if people really are as stupid as they present themselves, or just that they’ve been led to believe they are. Just about everything created by mankind is usually pretty easy to figure out, and a good bit of nature too. But by presenting everything as extremely complicated (because that feeds the ego of the high priests, no matter what they’re the high priest of) it seems like most people just assume the complex is impossible to understand.

        And once the processes are so complicated thanks to the scale problem you end up having “experts” who have to be able to cut through all the different departments if you want to actually accomplish anything. Eventually you end up siloing so much that you might as well have a distributed system anyway.

        I hear it all the time, especially during company “rah-rah” meetings. Some manager will bring up their powerpoint deck with a bunch of eye chart graphs and talk about how many millions of whatever their “team” was responsible for last quarter/year/decade. They never mention how effective they were or if their team members have any idea what all the button clicking is really doing, just that they made the buttons push better than anyone. And they don’t have to pay for talent but because stupid doesn’t really scale anymore they end up building empires, justified by all the scaling up that was supposed to save money.

  10. Panasonic adding Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to future in-car infotainment:

    Today at CES, Panasonic announced it has worked with Google on a new generation of automotive infotainment systems, and at the same time is working with Amazon to give in-car Alexa capabilities.

    The company’s automotive division says the latest version of Skip Generation In-Vehicle Infotainment was upgraded to Android 8.1 Oreo, which now gives the system Google Assistant capability. Panasonic says the system also runs natively through the infotainment system, enabling a lockout feature as a nod to curbing distracted driving. Android Automotive Applications will also be able to perform some vehicle functions that control heating and ventilation as well as media and navigation.

    Panasonic also said Monday it will put Alexa capability in its next-generation infotainment systems. The company says the collaboration would allow functions such as heating and ventilation systems as well as audio and navigation functions to be controlled through Alexa skills. It is also working with Amazon to provide Alexa Onboard with the infotainment system to let some skills work when the car is not connected to the internet through public wifi or an in-car hotspot.

  11. Hmmm.. makes me wonder jjust how long “they” will “let” me continue driving my antique old mechainical injectioin diesel pickup I recently got for about $300, not running. A few tweaks on the air leaks in the fuel feed system, and it runs like a top. Cruises right along, is returning somewhere in the mid 30’s per gallon in mixed driving, comfortable, reasonably fast, and reliable. The ONLY electronic gadgets abouard are the alternator (solid state regulator) and the automatic “sophisticated” two stage glow plug controller Black Box, whih had failed. So, three wires and a SPDT momentary “ON” switch now interfaces my brain with the four glow plugs to light it off in the morning. That electronic voltage regulater is INSIDE the heavy aluminium alternator’s housing, so might be protected enough to survive.

  12. Where will this all end? Tangentially speaking, my wife’s borrowed digital sewing machine can be programmed to stitch a design or word; the operator can then hit enter and walk away while the machine hums and sews and moves its needle on its way. The operator basically loads a spool of line from time to time.

    Thus has even the homeliest of home crafts, sewing, begun to bow before automation. It’s spooky, but who cares? Now the seamstress can do two things at once and as we know, efficiency is everything.

    • Hi Ross,

      This is part of a concerted effort to remove the individual operator – a goal long desired and now technically feasible. This is why I harp on automated vs. autonomous cars.

    • I would argue that the automatic sewing machine is actually a good thing. Because of it she is able to produce much high quality goods on her own, in competition with mass producers, in your home. Just add bulk cloth and thread. Sure, she can’t compete with the $2.00 T-shirt from Vietnam, but why would she when she now has the ability to produce very strong stitches and make clothes tailored to her family that don’t look like a 1970s cheap pattern. As a hobby maybe sewing isn’t as engaging using the sewing machine, but sewing as a hobby is a very recent phenomenon. Even as late as the 1980s some of my friend’s mothers were home seamstresses, and my mother was pretty good at re-hemming and letting out pants to get more milage out of my clothes as I grew. But that was utilitarian work, not a hobby. International trade and ultra-cheap clothing has pretty much made clothes disposable. Producing a high quality wardrobe that doesn’t look “home made” is a great thing and will only be better in time. Not to mention the massive deflationary impact it will have when these sweatshops have to compete with labor costs that consist of electricity and uploading a pattern. And capital outlay of the cost of the sewing machine and maybe a big table for layout.

      • You can make similar arguments about automated cars–safety, efficiency, machines doing better than what people can. You really should read the short sci-fi classic “With Folded Hands.”

        • I’ll check it out. Vonnegut’s Player Piano pretty much nailed the downside of massive automation and the overall premise seems to be playing out today. Even the idea of automation being driven by war is pretty much spot on when you look at Predator drones and the idea of self-driving vehicles coming out of the DARPA grand challenges.

          Automation is a pretty good deal if you’re the one who owns the machine. Not so much if you don’t though.

      • I wonder: is it ludditism to wish technology hadn’t advanced so far as to allow government the ability to spy on us all the time, even from our ovens and washing machines?

        • Hi Ross,

          I don’t think it’s Ludditism. The thing I dislike is being carried along, rip-tide style, by the mob’s embrace of technology, of trends generally.

        • It wasn’t supposed to be like this. If you look at the early Internet it was all about protocols. There weren’t servers and clients per say, just nodes. If you wanted to try something you installed a program that used the protocol on your node. Other users’ nodes would connect to yours. Data security was your problem. The idea that something like Facebook exists is the antithesis of computer networks. Today’s Internet looks more like a cable system than a computer network. Which makes sense given most people use an adapted cable system to get online.

          But peer to peer is hard to monetize. It means people have to buy hardware and pay for software, something most of us don’t seem willing to do. It also means you need some fairly high-horsepower computing, something that won’t necessarily fit in a shirt pocket and run all day on a minuscule battery. So we move computing power to the core of the network. Make the edge equipment into dumb terminals with pretty displays. And no one needs to understand how any of it works. As a side effect it also is much easier to maintain control that way. Control of intellectual property, control of software updates, control over what people see. And if you can control who gets to play the game you can get rich. So much for breaking down barriers.

          So now everything is centralized and sent “on demand” all the time. There’s no need to store anything locally. And that creates a big target for just about everyone’s data. If you’re Uncle, you can just tap into every line and ship whatever comes across to Utah. If you’re a Chinese hacker you can trick some idiot working in the core network to give up their password. And if you’re an end user you can watch your good name be stolen from some central server somewhere because you don’t have any control over information in any way once it leaves your keyboard.

          • There is still considerable scattering and the underlying old internet still largely exists although sparsely populated.

            What I miss is things naturally expiring. Every site now forces the user to go and manually delete things one by one.

            In the old internet there were space limitations and stuff expired. It disappeared. Oddly google patched together scattered archives and recovered a considerable amount of usenet from the 1990s.

  13. Hi Eric, Forget mics – the new model 3 has a camera inside !! No actual reason why…. but again the mainstream media talks about all the wonderful and innovative ideas Lord Musk can use this for!!!!

    One place you are wrong – ” tax-by-mile (which is the tax intended to replace motor fuels taxes)” the word you are looking for supplement – as i doubt they will stop charging fuel taxes the minute they bring in pay by mile!! But dont worry sure they will use it for something noble like feeding starving one eyed birds….

    • Well, they are going to take it from both ends, actually. The fuels taxes will increase at the power plant end AND consumers will be charged a mileage tax. Why? Because they will have the usage data being provided by every automobile as it operates, so why not? Insurance companies are now running ads for “low-mileage-discounts” off your monthly rapist fee, er policy installment. This, incidentally, was how the voluntary electronic data sharing started during the OBDII days, when insurance companies began giving rate discount for you voluntarily tattling and spying on yourself, for money, of course! This is why I said earlier that it’s consumer greed that enables these bastards above all else. My answer? Just Say NO!

  14. What can stop this? Well, a nice big ol’ electromagnetic pulse for one thing. Sure, it might mean a nuclear blast that leave it as residue but, not to worry, because the U.S. military contractors are on the job…

    yes, the country that stands to lose the most if an emp weapon is discharged is developing them.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    When this happens, and it will, there will be great turmoil but, it will also destroy the Great Electronic Panopticon. Perhaps it will be then we recover our Freedom.

    • When I was just out of High School, I seriously considered getting with some pals and building a pinch, at least a portable one. Then I got married and had kids and other shit kinda occupied my time, lol! Now would be an even better time to have one, or two, or several.

  15. V2V could also stand for “5 to 5”, as in 5 am to 5 am, or, 24-hour surveillance of everyone. And I don’t think I’m clever enough to be the 1st to come up with that either. So, jump right in with all 4 feet, sheeple.

  16. Ayn Rand, as some may know, wrote “Atlas Shrugged”, a novel about our society’s downfall at the hands of Technocracy, and a small group of people determine to preserve Liberty with a technological “secret” of their own. Her grandparents were independent business owners in Russia prior to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, and subsequently her entire family was forced to flee for the U.S. By the 1950’s it was apparent that our government was using our superior technology to enslave our society as well, and so she was inspired to write “Atlas”. She was a good 50 years ahead of us on waking up to this “crap” we are being force-fed, and she was persecuted socially, and politically, if not financially. Our 20th century politics have shaped our society to be aggressive toward any individual who stands up for individual liberty and refuses to play “on the team”! Why won’t people say the one thing that would stop this? I heard it all the time in the early 70’s on the news or in newspapers……..boycott, that was THE word of the 70’s, at least until the Arab Oil Embargo and the Carter Administration. You see, they may be a nation of camel jockeys and bandits, but they learned that trick from us, how to say NO! Are we going to have to live in tents in a desert wasteland before we learn to do the same again?? I suspect it will take worse than that, because too many people are addicted to their PETs. You know, your Personal Electronic Thingy, and being constantly “connected” to everyone else, voluntarily, selfishly, and greedily. Our society has been begging for an ass-reaming, and it’s already in the process, so grab you ankles.

    • Warnings and sales pitches to the population went out from those close to the so-called elite and those who paid attention from very early on. Just off the top of my head in film:
      “Things To Come”
      “Tomorrow’s Children”
      As we get into the television era we get shows like the Twilight Zone.
      “Number 12 looks just like You”
      “The Obsolete Man”
      and I could go on….

      Technocracy took the schools first and it makes most people impervious to any messages.

      • My 14-year-old son is currently reading an Ayn Rand book, and my husband read a lot of her work. However, I don’t think I’ve ever read a thing by her. I think a lot of city people–my husband grew up in Miami–are introduced to libertarian thinking with her work. However, I think my freedom-loving ideas came from growing up in the country.
        All I wanted to do while growing up was to move to a city, but living in Los Angeles has taught me that most city folk are quite brainwashed toward government thinking. At the moment, we are in the rural area of the South were I grew up and I try to spend as much time here as possible. I love the way that country people have a somewhat natural disdain for government policies, and aren’t afraid to state that disdain. Unfortunately, the globalists figured out a while ago how smart people are when they don’t have to live in the beehive of a big city. NAFTA and other policies have driven manufacturing away from this area and many like it. It’s clear that the gun-loving self-reliance I grew up with is threatening to those who try to rule us. As they continue to try and push us into “human settlements,” perhaps Ayn Rand’s work will be one of the few ways left to open minds to freedom.

        • Hi Trish,

          My sentiments exactly.

          I chose to live in a very rural area for all the reasons you list. While not quite Galt’s Gulch, in my little county you can enjoy a degree of practical/everyday liberty unimaginable to “city folk” – and no doubt alarming to them. Just imagine: I can walk out my back door with a “high powered” rifle and shoot pumpkins and such to my heart’s desire… put up a new shed without permission… park a car out in the field (not that I do, but I could)… there’s no emissions inspection and getting around the rest is easy enough.

          I’m enjoying it while I still can!

          • As someone who grew up in a small town and then lived in half a dozen cities of over a million, I’ll tell what the appeal is to me.

            In the country you are who you are, things are pretty cut and dried.

            But in the 9 circles of hell of the urban city, or the 9 circles of purgatory of the suburban sprawl, where the fountains of debts spout 24-7, you can (seem to) be so much more.

            Imagine the 18 circles as a kind of class system. All of them are inferior to living in the country where you’re not so completely subject to debt predation and dole degradation.

            The appeal is, at least for me, is you can go from your level to a lesser level, where you find you have great powers and influence, at least until the crack up boom comes and all the debt self destructs.

            It’s all a fiat money illusion, but the city folks just can’t see it. They honestly think they’re baubles and piles of debt make them superior to a country man’s tangible property and productive land.

            Circles of Urban Hell

            Circles of Suburban Hell

            Kill All Others (10th episode of Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams, based on The Hanging Stranger, plausibly shows our uber automated future, in all its depressing anti-splendor.)

            • Hi Kevin,

              Rand, for all her good works, was not a principle defender of individual liberty. She derided Libertarians as “hippies” and mocked people’s personal choices which she did not agree with.

              She was also glaringly blind about the philosophical incoherence of being opposed to moochers and parasites who live by the gun and taxation to support exactly that… provided the moochers and parasites were involved in the “defense” business.

              She was also just plain weird. Which is ok as such – hell, I am, too – but there was a meanness to hers. If you didn’t share her tastes in music, for instance, you had an “anti-life” mentality. Meanwhile, she smoked – a practice demonstrably “anti-life” (that gave her cancer).

              She was not a live – and let live – kind of person.

              • Ayn Rand founded Objectivism, which has disintegrated in her passing.
                Everyone has cancer all the time. Those who die of it are negligent about maintaining their immune systems, just as anyone who dies from an infection is. Medical doctors tend to die younger than microbiologists and immunologists.

                • Hi Bill,

                  I admire Rand; but I also do not regard her as a deity. She had blind spots, as we all do. Among these was her support, on the one hand, for property rights while – on the other hand – also supporting collectivist expropriation of people’s property to fund the things she supported. This included the military; that is, the standing army of the state.

                  She opposed entitlement moochers and wealth redistribution yet partook of them when she “needed” them.

                  But the thing about her I found most disturbing was her Stalinist insistence upon conformity (within her circle) with her views as to good (vs. bad) art, including music and her abusive treatment of people close to her, including her own husband.

                  • Eric,
                    I do not believe in deities.
                    People who believe in deities have to constantly justify those deities’ deficiencies to themselves.
                    Rand was no more Stalinist than Leo Strauss, whose philosophy was picked up by the neo-cons and run with. There are those who have done the same with Rand’s philosophy, to their own detriment.
                    I don’t have a rigid philosophy, but Rand’s is the closest to what I have wound up with for my own that I have studied.


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