It Takes an Algorithm To Know a Lot About You

“I believe the primary role of the state is to teach, train, and raise children. Parents have a secondary role.”
– Hillary Clinton, “It Takes a Village”

Sci-fi movies like Minority Report, with a trio of psychics called “recogs” who can see “pre-visions” of crimes yet to be committed, setting in motion a Pre Crime Unit, came to mind when reading about China’s effort to detect “pre-crime.”

Bloomberg Business is reporting that “The Communist Party has directed one of the country’s largest state-run defense contractors, China Electronics Technology Group, to develop software to collect data on jobs, hobbies, consumption habits, and other behavior of ordinary citizens to predict terrorist acts before they occur.”

It was reported that the DOD’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) called for research proposals to study social media and how it could facilitate insights into people’s real thoughts, emotions and beliefs, and thus predict behavior.

It is obvious that Facebook is collecting data on people’s beliefs, likes and dislikes, often prompting them to play silly personal discovery games that yield a score after ten questions are asked which may seem random to the average person but they are cleverly designed to mine data and information on that person.

Algorithms are said to “accurately detect key features of speech linked to structural patterns such as humor, metaphor, emotion, language innovations, and subtle non-verbal elements of communication such as pitch, posture, gesture, from text, audio, and visual media.”

Measuring cognitive behavior, it is alleged that a software called ‘Beware’ is already being used to analyze social media activity, property records, records of friends and associates, assigning a “threat score.” Police might use such a “threat score” to pre-judge if a person is dangerous.

Can computers accurately predict the future? Amazon uses algorithms to guess what you are likely to purchase, meteorologists make short-term accurate weather forecasts, and Facebook pop up ads from companies you liked or offering similar items you have purchased on line from various vendors; videos of movies you may like to watch may pop up on the screen as suggestions based on your past viewing. In certain cases computers have made strides in “predicting who will commit a violent crime.”

Controlling someone’s life, whether through data-mining or medical breakthroughs that involve DNA typing, does not stop with intrusive research and computer manipulation. Overt government control of our children is promoted by many on the left, including presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. She is of the opinion that parents are secondary in raising their child, the state comes first in its job to teach, train, and raise a child in order to better influence who they are, what they become, and where their loyalties reside.

I still remember the wife of the socialist dictator Ceausescu, Elena, who told the soldiers who arrested her in 1989 that she raised them, how dare they put handcuffs on her? We were to refer to her as our mother and the mother of the country, that our biological parents were just caretakers entrusted by the state.

Ambry Genetics, a prominent DNA-testing firm located in Orange County, CA, revealed a new database that contains the aggregated genetic information of 10,000 patients with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. With the explanation that insights may lead to better medicines and a healthier future for everybody, the company welcomes “collaboration with pharmaceutical companies to speed the discovery of new diagnostic targets, treatments, and cures to save more lives, sooner.” Ambry Genetics “hopes to expand the database by adding genetic information from 20,000 individuals each year.”

Drug Discovery and Development magazine interviewed Ambry CEO Charlie Dunlop who said, “Based on the sheer volume of the data we have released, we have already close to 200 new genes implicated in breast and ovarian cancer. This is about 10 times more genes than was publicly known yesterday, broadening understanding and potentially opening up more drug targets than from any single data release in history.”

But certain risk factors do not necessarily mean that a patient typed with such risk will actually get the disease. Are such genetic banks only about “preventing” genetic diseases? Might they have culling implications? Is playing God a good idea? Doing in vitro fertilization, screening the embryos, discarding the imperfect ones, creating 3-parent embryos, where will it stop? If you have changes in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, might insurance be refused to you, or perhaps a birth permit will be denied if it goes that far.

Might life imitate art eventually? In the 1997 movie “Gattaca,” the main character, Vincent Freeman, cannot travel into outer space because he is genetically inferior, an “in-valid.” In order to pursue his dream, he must purchase the genes of a laboratory-engineered “valid.”

From an unclassified document released in January, Money Morning is reporting that “the FBI’s Office of Partner Engagement revealed a new agency initiative based on Britain’s ‘anti-terror’ mass surveillance program.” This agency “requests that high school educators across the country inform on students who express ‘anti-government’ or ‘anarchist’ political beliefs.” Upon their observations, teachers report behaviors that they think might lead to violence, including persons who believe in conspiracy theories such as global government, police state, are those who believe in “libertarianism or constitutionalism.”

Is Brave New World, Aldous Huxley’s vision of a dystopian future in which “humans were genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order” still just his dark fiction that has frightened readers since 1931?

In our new and highly computerized world, “the lives of others” can be effortlessly watched and dissected to the DNA level and then lovingly controlled in order to preserve them the right way.

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