Several days ago, I was visiting a friend who is very involved in technology. He purchased a 3-D printer about a year ago, and he was showing me how he uses it to print toys for his children. At the time of our conversation, he was printing a small “gear” toy-widget type thing, and he already showed me toys that he printed with his children and for his children, which were all plastic but of good quality. His own son, he said, was able to operate the printer and he lets him pick a new toy that he has uploaded into the memory on the machine, and then print it each day.
Now printing anything- be it a toy, a replacement part for a broken object (such as a handle or a small hinge), or even other projects can and does take time. Depending if a model for the object in question has already been uploaded, or if one wants to develop one using a CAD program (which anybody can learn to do, as it is quite simple with the current tools available), or to use a design that somebody else made, one must first design the object and the printing process takes from one to six hours. This is not terribly efficient as far as money and economization is concerned for “mass production,” and so one could only expect to earn a small profit assuming one prints regularly (which this person does, as he runs it almost 24 hours a day) of a set of pre-selected stock. This is also not to mention to the many modifications he explained which need to be regularly performed in order to keep the machine in proper working order.
In spite of all these nuances and problems, the actual concept of the printer itself is very good and it holds prospects for the future that, following more innovations, will be able to help in combination with already existing tools, such as the falling prices in CNC milling machines and lathes and A.I. integration will potentially re-define the concept of manufacturing and how one is able to generate a profit in a society. In other words, it will not eliminate “mass” manufacturing, but it will allow for individuals and small cooperatives to compete in a profitable manner with the larger companies.
To that extent, one should look at the changes in 3-D printing in light of the following “censorship” by Google and other search engines and mega-companies of various websites and Google saying how it was a great thing:
GOOGLE CEO SUNDAR PICHAI has refused to answer a list of questions from U.S. lawmakers about the company’s secretive plan for a censored search engine in China.
In a letter newly obtained by The Intercept, Pichai told a bipartisan group of six senators that Google could have “broad benefits inside and outside of China,” but said he could not share details about the censored search engine because it “remains unclear” whether the company “would or could release a search service” in the country.
Pichai’s letter contradicts the company’s search engine chief, Ben Gomes, who informed staff during a private meeting that the company was aiming to release the platform in China between January and April 2019. Gomes told employees working on the Chinese search engine that they should get it ready to be “brought off the shelf and quickly deployed.”
According to sources and confidential Google documents, the search engine for China, codenamed Dragonfly, was designed to comply with the strict censorship regime imposed by China’s ruling Communist Party. It would restrict people’s access to broad categories of information, blacklisting phrases like “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize.”
The Chinese platform was designed to link people’s searches to their phone number, track their location, and then share that data with a Chinese partner company. This would make it easy to track individual users’ searches, raising concerns that any person in China using Google to seek out information banned by the government could be at risk of interrogation or detention if security agencies were to obtain copies of their search records.
In his letter to the senators, dated August 31, Pichai did not mention the word “censorship” or address human rights concerns. He told the senators that “providing access to information to people around the world is central to our mission,” and said he believed Google’s tools could “help to facilitate an exchange of information and learning.” The company was committed to “promoting access to information, freedom of expression, and user privacy,” he wrote, while also “respecting the laws of jurisdictions in which we operate.”
After The Intercept first revealed Dragonfly in early August, Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., demanded information from Pichai. They called Dragonfly “deeply troubling” and said it “risks making Google complicit in human rights abuses related to China’s rigorous censorship regime.” Launching the censored search engine would be “a coup for the Chinese government” and set “a worrying precedent for other companies seeking to do business in China without compromising their core values,” they wrote in a letter that was also signed by Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; Cory Gardner, R-Colo.; and Robert Menendez, D-N.J.
Pichai did not answer nine specific questions the senators asked, including, “Which ‘blacklist’ of censored searches and websites are you using? Are there any phrases or words that Google is refusing to censor?”
Instead, Pichai wrote, “Google has been open about our desire to increase our ability to serve users in China and other countries. We are thoughtfully considering a variety of options for how to offer services in China in a way that is consistent with our mission. … [W]e can confirm that our work will continue to reflect our best assessment of how best to serve people around the world, as set forth in our mission and our code of conduct. Of course, should we have something to announce in the future, we would be more than happy to brief you and your staff on those plans.”
Warner told The Intercept he was “really disappointed with Google’s response,” which he said “failed to provide any information” about the censored search engine plan. “Any effort to get back into China could enable the Chinese government in repressing and manipulating their citizens,” said Warner. “Google owes us some honest answers, or it risks losing the trust of Congress and the public.”
Google launched a censored search engine in China in 2006, but stopped operating the service in the country in 2010, citing Chinese government efforts to limit free speech and hack activists’ Gmail accounts. At that time, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said he was “particularly sensitive to the stifling of individual liberties,” due to his family’s experiences in the Soviet Union. Brin told the Wall Street Journal that “with respect to censorship, with respect to surveillance of dissidents,” he saw “earmarks of totalitarianism [in China], and I find that personally quite troubling.”
The effort to relaunch a censored search engine in China was a closely guarded secret within Google. A team of about 300 staff — 0.35 percent of Google’s 88,000-strong workforce — was briefed about the project, which began in early 2017. When details about Dragonfly were publicly exposed, the news spread through the company’s offices across the world, and many Google employees were disturbed by the details. More than 1,400 staff signed a letter demanding an independent ethics review of the plan, and at least five Google employees have since quit the company in protest, including Jack Poulson, a former senior research scientist. “I view our intent to capitulate to censorship and surveillance demands in exchange for access to the Chinese market as a forfeiture of our values,” Poulson told Google bosses in his resignation letter.
It has been addressed before by us that some of the censorship taking place does not appear to be genuinely organic, but rather a part of a trial directed at both generating popular support for causes related to eugenics or the neo-nationalist movement, and at measuring public response to future attempts at more censorship of unpopular activities.
But there is a fact to be said in all of this, which is how the Internet really is changing. Nobody can deny this. As somebody who lived in the days before the Internet and grew up during his pre-teen years when the Internet and all its facets, good and bad, were initially wide open to be seen willingly or not by all, I have seen, first hand, many of the changes taking place up close.
The Internet in its early days- and by this I do not speak of the dial-up boards of the 1970s and 1980s, but the early services and soon after the emergence of early message boards and chat protocols as well as the early websites, I can say that the Internet was a true “wild west” where anything went for anybody who wanted whatever. There was minimal censorship for either good or bad, there were no rules, and as anybody knows, when it comes to human beings, a lack of rules naturally gives way to a power-based structure by the darwinian concept of the “survival of the fittest”. Those considered “weak” or “vulnerable” can be exploited and often are by those with evil aims, and because of the lack of rules it brings out the worst but also the best in man, although often times more the former than the latter.
I am not unique in my situation, for at the time when the Internet made its first major advent I was a student in middle school and experienced many of the same things as my fellow classmates did, especially if they were into computers or programming. Likewise, we saw the development of better websites, social media, the use of visuals, and the gradual introduction of A.I. and other advanced technologies. We saw good things happen, such as the needed crack-down on many of the worst evils that one can imagine, as well as unfortunate things, such as the gradual decline in civility and the propagation of poisonous ideas in manners that are more efficient than ever before and have re-shaped the structure of human relationships throughout the world.
Right now, the future of the Internet truly is at a crossroads as far as the “mainstream” Internet is concerned. ICANN, which is the essential “ruling body” of the Internet, is by decision allowing for greater censorship of materials on the Internet for better or for worse, although most often it is for the latter.
If the “Internet” is the last “wild west,” where does one go from here?
However, just as with the example of the 3-D printing, as one door closes, another one opens.
There is a “second Internet” that already exists and which one can access. It is sometimes referred to as the “dark web,” and it can only be accessed with a specific kind of web browser. This browser can access normal websites, but its intended purpose is to access information routes through a series of cloud-esque servers throughout the world, and gives access to different “layers” of data that people put out but, like an onion, can only be seen if one “peels” away the “layers” that cover them up, and is also why the deep web is sometimes described as “onionland” and the website extensions, which are all code named, have the extension “.onion”.
The darkweb is not a place for children. It is a land filled with drug dealing, counterfeiting, child predators, murderers, and the worst that the human race has to offer. All of these things are openly and shamelessly advertised even on the most average and unassuming of websites. You do not have to seek out the deviancy in Onionland, for just as the evil one offers temptations to man regardless of his desires, the deviancy will offer itself to you whether or not you want its offers.
So why do I call this place the “future of the Internet?”
Because what the “deep web” is today is what much of the Internet was back in the mid-1990s in its essence.
Make no mistake, I am not encouraging any of the activity described above that is found with little effort on the dark web. However, one of the reasons these evils openly exist is because of the lack of censorship and policing on it- the policing that, if one is willing to admit it, also was necessary to clean up the mainstream Internet from the objective hive of debauchery that it was two decades ago.
For all of the complaining about how “THE INTERNET IS BEING CENSORED”, and while this is true, the fact is that as the door to the “mainstream” internet is closing, the “darkweb” is in its infant stages as far a comparative development is concerned. There exists a great potential for good and for the development of a current and at the same time potentially better form of the Internet except on the “underside” of the web. This is a very positive thing.
During the early years of the Internet, there was a tendency towards complete openness. This continues today but is most pronounced with the Baby Boomers, who have not only taken over Facebook, but continue to post personal information that one would normally not share with random strangers as Millennials did (and some still do) as well as Generation X. However, Generation Z, while using social media, has veered away from such open posting, using more quasi-private means and certainly giving away less information as well as avoiding Facebook all together for many.
The future of the Internet will be towards privacy, and the darknet is but one form of said privacy manifesting. Certainly one must say that not everything will be “private,” as total anonymity is never true in the absolute sense, and just as a child chases after a bug, so will there always be a pursuit between the ideals for privacy or security versus the ever-changing reality and said tactics to catch up. Some days the bug will prevail, and some days the child will prevail. There is no such thing as a “perfect” situation. But there is a more level arena of competition, and that is what is happening now.
I think back again to that 3-D printer and the little gears that the nozzle was, by careful and computer-guided motion, squirting layer after layer of plastic onto as it danced across the glass bed following the CAD-loaded pattern from its memory bank. CNC milling is not going anywhere, but 3-D printing in combination with the current tools will re-shape in time how manufacturing works, and ultimately the changes will become normal and efficient.
The same is with the darknet and the current state of censorship on the mainstream Internet. Censorship will grow on the mainstream Internet, but this naturally gives way for the dark paths of onionland, currently filled with many of the worst types of human beings known to man, to be dispersed by a natural migration of good and normal Internet users who will bring a healthy form of censorship to push out these social deviants while bringing with them ideas currently being restricted on major public forums.
Life changes, and one cannot stop all changes because change is often times the sum of previous decisions, and as all change operates on an exponential scale as opposed to a linear one, changes in motion were propelled to motion by significant efforts that are often times in the best cases curbed rather than stopped. However, this does not mean that one simply gives up to changing times and situations, especially as far as moral truth is concerned. If man was simply ruled by trends and patterns, then he would need only to follow in the ways of the fools who by their words are but the men of antiquity who would promote the same perversities found on the darkweb today:
Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are here, and make use of creation with youthful zest.
Let us have our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let no springtime blossom pass us by; let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither.
Let no meadow be free from our wantonness; everywhere let us leave tokens of our merriment, for this is our portion, and this our lot.
Let us oppress the righteous poor let us neither spare the widow nor revere the aged for hair grown white with time. But let our strength be our norm of righteousness; for weakness proves itself useless. (Wisdom 2:6-11)
The Christian is to engage in war against evil for the sake of objective good, for objective and absolute truth does not change because it is absolutely true. If one door is closed, then one often times needs only to look hard enough to see that another one is opening or has already opened and is waiting to be developed.
Right now, there is a tremendous amount of discussion about the LGBT issue that is not only the dominant force of public discussion, but is taking it over to such a point that it is facilitating the legalized repaganization of the USA and entire world, and with it the suppression of Christianity being done in the like name of legality. It is only a matter of time that criticism of them, let alone other ideas, will result in one being “censored” from the mainstream Internet.
Instead of worrying about the present issues, which does little good, one must start looking at the plans to resolve the situation based on its changing nature.
The normie Internet and current social media is dead.
The future is greater attempts at privacy, and most importantly, the rise of the next phase of the Internet, the darknet, and it will transform it just as how 3-D printing has and will continue to transform manufacturing.
And as always, truth will triumph over evil, for as Jesus Himself said, “I have conquered the world.”