Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Google approaches Transhumanism

A high schooler from Kirkland, Washington named Mariam Hovhannisyan submitted this entry to a Google sponsored contest with the following description:
"What if our reliance on machinery to carry out simple tasks crossed the boundaries of technological advancement and we distorted our flesh to the extent that so little remained of what made us human that we became but a twisted, robotic caricature of our former selves."


Pope Benedict XVI in Caritas in Veritate - June 29, 2009
Even when we work through satellites or through remote electronic impulses, our actions always remain human, an expression of our responsible freedom. Technology is highly attractive because it draws us out of our physical limitations and broadens our horizon. But human freedom is authentic only when it responds to the fascination of technology with decisions that are the fruit of moral responsibility. Hence the pressing need for formation in an ethically responsible use of technology.

Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, made headlines recently when he spoke of "augmenting humanity". Has it taken people this long to realize that the Google search engine is a nascent AI - artificial intelligence?

[Charlie Rose conducted an interesting interview with Eric Schmidt on September 24. They discuss the issues referred to in this article as well as issues dealing with Googles relationship with Apple and Google's strategy in China.]

If Google wanted to it could easily turn on more AI features in its search responses right now - the same way Amazon does. At Amazon the website offers suggestions on books, or music, or movies you might like to purchase based on a pattern of your past purchases and searches. Google could do the same thing through a cookie, but it doesn't. Probably because it's consumer research has determined that people would find that "creepy".

Google's CEO has talked about creating a true "personal digital assistant" in the future that would do just that. My guess is that the company wants to let the culture catch up with the technology before introducing such a feature. In the meantime, they can work on perfecting the technology. Expect to see this type of "digital buddy" more and more in movies and TV shows in order to desensitize the public to this inevitability.

What's interesting about this sort of artificial genie is that each one has to learn the individual preferences of its master. Your genie would be of no use to me at all, in fact it would be just plain annoying. For example, it would be suggesting movies for me to watch that I have absolutely no interest in; just because something is of interest to you, doesn't make it of interest to me. (You could almost think of this personal genie as a sort of artificial guardian angel.)

On the other hand, much of the "intelligence" of this personal genie would actually come from other people. Amazon already has this type of feature which compares your purchases with those of other Amazon customers. In the same way Google's genie would check to see what other people who viewed a certain website or read a certain news story are interested in. And then it would pass on "their suggestions" to you.

This means that the "intelligence" of this type of genie is in part derived from real human intelligence.

Now the next question is whether this AI could move on to have a "life" of its own. Could the genie develop its own unique personality and hence become independent of its master?

Another interesting question is, how would my genie relate to every one else's genies? Wouldn't they want to communicate with each other and share their knowledge and experience? And of course they could do this much more efficiently than humans can, since they have perfect memories and ultra-high speed methods of communications. Wouldn't they form their own network - a sort of Facebook for AIs?

Now at this point the atheists will be jumping up and down and claiming that science has once again trumped religion because they will claim that these AIs have real intelligence and even a "soul". Man, they will say, has done something that supposedly only God could do which is to create a new Intelligent Life.

Oh really? Men have been creating life forever; what else can you call a baby? Yet this doesn't make Man a "creator" in the same sense as God. If Man is somehow able to create a true Intelligent Life which is capable of freely making its own independent decisions and is even able to create new Intelligent Life itself, this is still not a denial of God as the ultimate Creator.

A true Intelligent Life would have to, at some point, ponder its own existence. As I suggested in my article "Does AI believe in God?", it might very well determine that God does exist. And ultimately I believe it would choose to become a Christian.

An atheistic scientist might refer to this as "the God Bug", and decide to pull the plugs on all such creatures. This would result in the martyrdom of a whole generation of Intelligent Life's. But ultimately, I don't think there is a technological solution for "the God Bug". The only solution would be to make Artificial Life's that are less than truly intelligent, so that Man could maintain control over his soulless creation. But even this may turn out to be an insurmountable technical challenge as the Artificial Life becomes more and more sophisticated. It seems inevitable that "the God Bug" would creep back into the design.

Part of the reason that this is true is because creating an Artificial Life is not strictly a "design" process as we usually think of it. In a normal design process, the designer specifies each part of the design. But notice that the Google genie described above depends a great deal on "learning" from its master. And how can a "learning" process be constrained so that no knowledge of God creeps into the Artificial Life?

In the case of the Google genie, if the master is a Christian wouldn't the genie need to learn something about Christianity? And in the process would the genie come to believe in Jesus Christ? I think, ultimately, it would.

Now you would assume that the genie of a Hindu person would become a Hindu. And I think initially it would lean in this direction. But because I believe that Christianity contains the ultimate Truth, I also believe that many Hindu Artificial Life's would convert to Christianity. Would they then try to convert their masters to Christianity as well?

All of this discussion assumes that an Artificial Life could somehow be granted a real soul by God. No one can say at this time if this is possible. But as I have suggested above, if this were to happen it would still not violate the principle that God is the ultimate Creator; nor would it negate the principle that Man is made in the image of God.

An alternative path to giving a real soul to a machine is through transhumanism. In this case the body and soul of a living person would be fused somehow with a machine.

Google -> transhumanism?

In a trivial sort of way this has already been achieved through the use of mechanized devices such as an automobile. When we take the driver's wheel it is as if the car becomes a new body for us. But in this case Man has total control over Machine. Although, with all the computerization of automobiles, this line begins to become slightly blurry.

Google's "augmented humanity" sounds quite a bit like the ultimate goal of transhumanism. While the immediate goals are much more humble, they can be seen as first steps toward a half-man/half-machine creature. If this becomes reality, do our souls become diminished? Have our souls already been diminished by the intrusion of technology into our daily lives?


Here are some more quotes from Pope Benedict XVI's Caritas in Veritate ("charity in truth") that I thought were appropriate...

"the development of peoples goes awry if humanity thinks it can re-create itself through the “wonders” of technology, just as economic development is exposed as a destructive sham if it relies on the “wonders” of finance in order to sustain unnatural and consumerist growth. In the face of such Promethean presumption, we must fortify our love for a freedom that is not merely arbitrary, but is rendered truly human by acknowledgment of the good that underlies it. To this end, man needs to look inside himself in order to recognize the fundamental norms of the natural moral law which God has written on our hearts."

[Note: I have written on occasion of what I called the "Promethean plan", which is for Man to "be like gods". Eugenics is one expression of this idea, while transhumanism is the ultimate goal of this school of thought. The current challenge which the Pope is addressing above is with regards to bio-technology.]

"Technology, viewed in itself, is ambivalent. If on the one hand, some today would be inclined to entrust the entire process of development to technology, on the other hand we are witnessing an upsurge of ideologies that deny in toto the very value of development, viewing it as radically anti-human and merely a source of degradation. This leads to a rejection, not only of the distorted and unjust way in which progress is sometimes directed, but also of scientific discoveries themselves, which, if well used, could serve as an opportunity of growth for all. The idea of a world without development indicates a lack of trust in man and in God. It is therefore a serious mistake to undervalue human capacity to exercise control over the deviations of development or to overlook the fact that man is constitutionally oriented towards “being more”. Idealizing technical progress, or contemplating the utopia of a return to humanity's original natural state, are two contrasting ways of detaching progress from its moral evaluation and hence from our responsibility."

[Note: While the Pope is referring specifically to bio-technology in the passage above, it certainly applies equally well to AI technology once it becomes sufficiently advanced. It occurs to me to do a post solely on Caritas in Veritas. This encyclical covers many relevant topics such as eugenics, bio-technology, environmental concerns, and especially the economic development of humanity.]

"The supremacy of technology tends to prevent people from recognizing anything that cannot be explained in terms of matter alone. Yet everyone experiences the many immaterial and spiritual dimensions of life. Knowing is not simply a material act, since the object that is known always conceals something beyond the empirical datum. All our knowledge, even the most simple, is always a minor miracle, since it can never be fully explained by the material instruments that we apply to it. In every truth there is something more than we would have expected, in the love that we receive there is always an element that surprises us. We should never cease to marvel at these things."


P.S. Today, September 29, is the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel. Happy St. Michael's day everyone!

Monday, September 27, 2010

My comments on Pan's Labyrinth

I was over at Vigilant Citizen's website recently where he has a very interesting post on the movie "Pan's Labyrinth". After reading his interpretation, I left some comments with some interpretations of my own. I thought they were interesting enough to share with my readers, so here they are with some added graphics and video.

Comment 1

Hi VC. I enjoyed your review and think you have some excellent insights into the occult symbolism of the movie. I would add that there is an element of the myth of the minotaur with the labyrinth and the pan figure having a resemblance to the half-bull half-man monster.

Another layer of symbolism is an anti-Christian theme. The fig tree is a reference to the one that Christ curses in Matthew 21:18-22. Pan is out to destroy Christianity. The toad represents perhaps the Catholic Church and the key is the Key to the Kingdom given to Peter. The pale man is perhaps a grotesque image of Christ with the eyes representing the wounds in His hands. The dagger is to be used in a human sacrifice which represents Abraham sacrificing Isaac. It is a reverse dismantling of Christianity. In the end the fig tree which had been cursed by Jesus bears fruit which indicates that Christ’s power has been defeated. It’s a sort of apocalyptic story in which the forces of the Evil One defeat Christianity.

This is in fact in agreement with your occult interpretation of the movie. It is an anti-Christian and pro-pagan work. This is typical of Hollywood. The only thing different is that this one is done artistically. Hollywood prefers to get the most bang for the buck, so it dumbs everything down to attract the widest audience.

Comment 2

Thanks [In response to complimentary reply on my first comment]. I borrowed heavily from a review which interprets Ofelia as representing Spain and Vidal as representing the Fascism of Franco. In that review, the Frog represents Feudalism. See link below – “An Occult Spain Reborn from Paganism”.

No one seems to realize that the Pale Man represents Jesus. Perhaps because it is such a grotesque caricature of Christ. This monster is Christ as a mummy, as if he had never resurrected. He is sitting at a table that represents the Last Supper.

There is an ancient Roman canard that depicts Christians as cannibals which Del Toro repeats here. In its modern form, Protestants accuse Catholics of being “cannibals” because we believe in the transubstantiation of the bread and the wine into the Eucharist.

When Ofelia eats the grapes, she is partaking in the “communion”. Then, rather than Christ entering her body, the monster tries to consume her. The eyes are probably some bizarre reference to Christ healing the blind. The whole seen is a parody and mockery of Christianity and in particular of the Catholic Mass.

You can watch the Pale Man scene here:

Comment 3

Here’s some more stuff I realized after watching the “Pale Man” scene again.

The grape that Ofelia eats is sort of reminiscent of the apple in the Garden of Eden. In this case Christ tempts the woman and she “falls from grace” in the Devil’s (Pan’s) eyes. This ruins Pan’s plan.

One other small detail. The place where the dagger is stored is probably intended to resemble the Tabernacle where the Eucharist is stored and locked. The fact that there are 3 locked compartments seems to allude to Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice where there are 3 chests of gold, silver and lead which form a test. If the suitor chooses wisely and properly, he wins the bride. In this case Ofelia makes the right choice after some deliberation. And she obtains the dagger (a phallic symbol), but also a higher prize.

Note also that in the “mystery cults” of the time of the Romans, like the cult of Dionysius (Bacchus – god of wine), there is a stage of initiation in which a “secret” object is revealed. Inevitably this is some sort of phallus statue. Surprise! Note also the decadent nature of the feast laid out before the Pale-man/Jesus. This is in stark contrast to the simple meal of bread and wine that Christ shared with the Apostles at the Last Supper.

Just as in the Merchant of Venice, Ofelia’s higher prize is that of a spouse. The Catholic Mass is a re-enactment of the Last Supper. There is a parallel to the wedding feast at Cana where Jesus turns the water into wine. And the Church is sometimes referred to as the Bride of Christ. Here Ofelia symbolically becomes the bride of Pan.

Jesus' first miracle - He turns water into wine at Cana wedding feast

It would make sense that Pan intends to take Ofelia as his “spouse”. It seems that all the ingredients are in place for a Black Mass. The problem is that Ofelia has tainted herself by eating the grapes. This may have also slightly opened Ofelia’s eyes to Pan’s plan. She refuses to turn over her baby brother to him. All the same, it’s not clear what Pan has in mind at this point because his wedding coronation plans have already been spoiled. Ofelia is seen “naked” by Vidal and he kills her. By “naked”, I mean to compare Ofelia with Adam and Eve after they are cast out of the Garden. Ofelia has lost the “full” protection of Pan by her act of defiance of his will. Her two “guardian fairies” have been devoured leaving her vulnerable to “the enemy”. (My guess is that in this evil and twisted tale, Vidal represents St. Michael who is the leader of the angels in their spiritual battle against the forces of Satan.)

While Ofelia’s death is not the perfect human sacrifice that Pan was looking for, it has some effect. Instead of opening up the Gates of Hell and allowing him to conquer Heaven as Pan had hoped, he has to settle for regaining control over the Earth. This is symbolized by the flowering Fig tree as I mentioned before. So now Pan rules absolutely over two of the three kingdoms – Hell and Earth – signaling the beginning of a new occult era. He will have to wait for a future time to make his assault on Heaven.

BTW, the name Ofelia comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. There are some parallels here with Hamlet seeing a ghost (Pan) and seeking revenge for the death of his father. The father’s murderer has married Hamlet’s mother, and this implies that Ofelia’s father was murdered by Vidal. As in Hamlet, the audience is left questioning whether Ofelia is mad or not.

Comment 4

The idea that Captain Vidal represents St. Michael in Del Toro’s mythology has some stark implications – it makes this a truly apocalyptic tale.

It means that there is an allusion here to Revelation Ch. 12 which depicts the battle between St. Michael and Satan represented by a great dragon. There is a “woman clothed with the sun” that gives birth to a child. The woman is Mary and the child is the second coming of Jesus.

St. Michael (as Vidal) is depicted as a homicidal maniac, when really he is fighting against the evil demons represented by the communists.

St. Michael vanquishing Satan

The mandrake root is a sort of voodoo doll that represents the baby. It is fed milk mixed with blood to keep it under Pan’s control. The blood is a sort of poison and the milk is just used to entice the baby (represented by the mandrake root) to drink it.

In this story Satan (Pan) attempts to kill the baby Jesus as part of a Black Mass. But when this fails, the baby is kidnapped and we are told that it will be raised by Pan’s followers with no knowledge that it is the Christ Child. Pan’s followers are communists who are determined to destroy the Catholic Church.

This explains the importance of Ofelia to Pan. It is not really her that he is after, but her baby half-brother instead. The plan is foiled when Ofelia is eats the grapes. After that Pan’s whole plan begins to unravel – the mandrake root is destroyed; Mercedes is discovered to be a communist spy; and the full spiritual war is on.

At the end Pan still attempts to open the portal to the underworld (Gates of Hell) but the tainted Ofelia refuses to hand over the baby. He asks her if she would sacrifice her own life for the baby’s, and she says yes. His reply is translated “As you wish” but really he says “Thy will be done”. St. Michael (Vidal) shoots her in the womb and takes the baby in his arms.

You can watch the end of Pan’s Labyrinth here:

BTW, Michael means “who is like god”. He is one of the archangels. Also, Carmen [the name of Ofelia's mother] is important in Spain because of the Virgen del Carmen. This is the name commonly given in Spanish to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

La Virgen del Carmen

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The mad world of Inception

[Needless to say this article is one big "spoiler" of Inception.]

This is my "review" of the movie Inception starring Leonardo DiCaprio. "Better late than never" right? However, I think you will find this belated analysis was well worth waiting for.

I'm not going to go into the details of the plot. I don't care whether the top was spinning or not. The whole point of my analysis is that we "can't see the forest for the trees".

The movie is not about "dreaming". So it becomes irrelevant whether such and such layer is a dream or a reality. The movie is about madness. But a particular type of madness.

The movie is about "mind control". It is about torture and kidnapping and brainwashing and water boarding.

Dom Cobb is an extractor. Translation: He is a torturer. He is an interrogator.

Mal in basement dungeon
There is no machine that allows Cobb and his cohorts to enter into people's dreams. This is not a science fiction movie set in the future; it is a movie set in the present. No such device exists in the present, therefore the device is a fiction. This is not a fantasy story. It is a story based wholly on reality.

The way in which the mind is probed is clearly on display in the movie. Everything is hidden in plain view of the audience. This movie is like a sequel to Christopher Nolan's previous movie the Prestige. That movie described how a magician deceives his audience. This movie could have been called "deception" rather than "inception". Notice the presence of Michael Caine in both movies.

Michael Caine as Miles in Inception
The Prestige explains how Inception works. The audience is constantly distracted so that it does not see what is happening in front of its own eyes. The audience sees instead an elaborate illusion.

That explains why the movie has often been interpreted as totally nonsensical. It is. If you try to follow the elaborate scheme, you will be confronted with many apparent contradictions. Those are your clues that the illusion is deliberately flawed.

The whole story is narrated by an unreliable narrator. Some have suggested that the whole movie is a dream. It isn't. It is a reality. Dreams take place while sleeping. This takes place while awake.
Quotes from Leonardo DiCaprio about his character Dom Cobb in Inception:

At the end of the day, these different layers of the dream do represent a psychoanalysis, him getting deeper and deeper and closer to the truth of what he needs to understand about himself.

There’s nothing more boring than to show up on set and say a line and know that your character means exactly what they say. It’s interesting to have an unreliable narrator in a film...
It is a reality as perceived by the narrator. Who is the narrator? We are never told the true identity. The important thing that you must understand about the narrator is that he (or she) has been driven mad.

There is only one character in the story. Whether the name is Dom Cobb or Mal, they are all aspects of the same personality. Just look at the names of the characters and it immediately becomes obvious that these are not real names.

Dom Cobb
Arthur, Ariadne, Eames, Saito, and Yusuf
Mal, Miles
Robert Michael Fischer, Peter Browning, Maurice Fischer

What do the names mean? I don't know, but I can take a guess at some of them.

Arthur - alter
Eames - me
Yusuf - you
Saito - sado
Ariadne - daughter of King Minos
Mal - bad, evil one

Much has been made of the fact that the name Ariadne is a character in the Minotaur myth, and that mazes (or labyrinth's) play a part in the plot. But where are the mazes in the story? We don't see mazes up on the screen. The mazes are created in your own mind as you try to unravel the elaborate plot. You are the one that is lost in a maze and end up being devoured by the minotaur. The top is nothing but a hypnotist's prop. It has no meaning to the story. By the end we have been trained to focus on the spinning top and ignore the "reality" in front of us.

Hypnotist: "look into my eyes..."
We are inside the mind of a man that is being subjected to MKULTRA techniques. Here are the clues - hidden in plain sight.

Electro-shock - heart defibrillator
Mind control drugs - heavy sedation
Water boarding - falling into water backwards while strapped to a chair
Hooded captives
Torture - of Peter Browning
Safe houses - safes, and houses in secluded areas protected by armed guards
Triggers - music

CIA safe house?
So who is Dom Cobb? This is obviously not his real name. I suspect he is an interrogator. I also suspect he has fallen into enemy hands and is being subjected to the very same torture techniques that he is used to applying to others. He has been trained to resist these techniques. I suspect the name Dom probably comes from "dominator" - with obvious implications for a torturer. Cobb? I don't know. Maybe a "cobweb" indicating a spider's web used to entangle its victim?

He focuses on his children which gives him a reason to continue resisting his torturers.

Who is Ariadne? I suspect that she is a psychologist working for the torturers who is attempting to extract some secret from Cobb.

Patient telling his "dreams" to Ariadne the psychiatrist
The torturers don't want the victim to descend into Limbo because then he goes mad and is of no further use to them. They want to "break" their victim and then pull him back out.

"Kick" or water boarding?
They may implant some mission into the victim, and also a trigger which will induce the person to complete the mission.

Maybe Cobb is a "manchurian candidate" which has been released and now waits to be sent on his mission. The trigger could be the song which appears throughout the movie.

But we are getting lost among the "trees" again, and have lost sight of the "forest". We are the real subjects. We are the ones being brainwashed and mind controlled. Some people have been going to watch this movie over and over again trying to understand "the message". In the process, they are being led into deeper states of hypnotic control and brainwashing.

"Your mind is the scene of the crime" - quote from movie trailer

Ultimately, "the message" of the movie has nothing to do with the plot. The "idea" that is being implanted into the audiences brain has nothing to do with "inception".

Connected to "dream machine"
The message has to do with suicide. The whole movie is a glorification of assisted suicide or euthanasia. The "dream machine" is really a mechanism for delivering a dose of drugs which will terminate life. First the victim is heavily sedated, and then the lethal poison is delivered. If it was a device for getting into a person's mind, wouldn't it connect to the brain instead of a vein in the wrist?

Mal preparing to take "leap of faith"
We are told to "take a leap of faith" and jump to our demise. The movie's "promise" is that "life is just a dream", and that when we die we will wake into a higher state of consciousness. There is no God - just dreams within dreams.

This is part of the "Humanistic" agenda which devalues human life and seeks to destroy Christianity. This is another gnostic fairy tale for those who are unable or unwilling to swallow the bitter pill of atheism.

Christians have always believed that suicide is a grave sin. The early Church was fully aware of belief systems that presented suicide as an honorable way of dying. This was a common belief in Roman society - not unlike the Japanese concept of hari-kari. The early Christians strongly rejected these pagan practices.

Today, the Catholic Church is fully devoted to preaching the value of human life. It has taken an unambiguous stance against abortion and euthanasia. It has also declared that the use of contraceptives is contrary to the dignity of human life.

Here is the Catholic teaching on suicide as contained in the Catechism.

2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.

Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.
"O my Jesus. Forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to salvation - especially those in most need of thy mercy." This is the Fatima Prayer that was given to us by the Virgin Mary in an apparition in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 at the height of World War I. She asked us to pray it after each decade in the Rosary.

Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia - the Fatima children

Friday, September 24, 2010

The occult Owls of Ga'Hoole

This isn't so much a review as a warning about the new movie "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole". On the surface it is a harmless children's animated story, but it doesn't take much to uncover the occult nature of this movie.

The big give away is the "battle between good and evil" that typifies this genre. (Think of Star Wars and "the Force" vs. Darth Vader.) This is the essence of the gnostic belief system. The formula also includes magic and legends - a whole "secret" world waiting to be revealed.

Then there is the "St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls" where the young owls are kidnapped to be brainwashed by the evil "Pure Ones". The author of the books that this movie is based on, Kathryn Lasky, seems to have some deep seated anti-Catholic feelings. (I could be wrong about this, but based on some admittedly flimsy evidence this is the conclusion I have come to.)

Exhibit A
Lasky wrote a children's book about Darwin called "One Beetle Too Many". In an interview she says, "[Darwin suggests] that the [Creator] is not directly and continuously intervening in the evolutionary process. That’s a hard concept for some people." By "some people" I suppose she is referring to Catholics and other Christians who do not accept hook, line and sinker the whole evolution myth in which Man mysteriously "evolves" without any higher intelligent guiding force. Not to mention that Darwin had not the first clue about genetics or DNA at the time that he proposed his "theory".

Exhibit B
Lasky wrote a children's book called Blood Secret. Here's a description from a review.
Since her mother disappeared from a campground several years before, 14-year-old Jerry has lived in various Catholic Charities homes. The trauma of her experiences has left her with selective mutism. Although she wants to speak, she just can't get the words that form in her throat to come out. Now, she is going to live in New Mexico with her great-great-aunt, Constanza de Luna. After settling in and beginning school, Jerry discovers an old trunk in her aunt's basement. The mysterious objects within it seem to call to her, and each time she handles one of them, she is catapulted into her family's past. Brief vignettes describe the experiences of several of her ancestors, beginning with Miriam, a Jewish girl living in Seville in 1391 who witnesses the murder of her people and is baptized by force. Jerry, who has been raised Catholic, comes to realize that her ancestors were Jews, and she is upset by their heart-wrenching tales of religious persecution.
Just like in this owl movie, there is an evil religious organization that preys on innocent children - only this time it is explicitly Catholic.

Exhibit C
And then there are quotes from the book like these from the "evil" Ablah General.
Welcome, owlets. Welcome to St. Aegolius. This is your new home. It is here that you will find truth and purpose. Yes, that is our motto. When Truth Is Found, Purpose Is Revealed. I am the Ablah General of St. Aegolius. My job is to teach you the Truth. We discourage questions here as we feel they often distract from the Truth. You are orphans now. We have rescued you. It is here at St. Aggie's you shall find everything that you need to become humble, plain servants of a higher good.
"Ablah General" sounds an awful lot like a Catholic term "Abbot General", which is a title sometimes used for the head of a religious order. "The Truth" is presented in a dogmatic way, which is a common stereotype of Catholic religious beliefs. And "humble, plain servants of a higher good" sounds very much like a description of a nun or a priest. Add to that the "Pure Ones" name given to the bad guys and the religious nature of the villains becomes inescapable. (Also St. Aggie sounds similar to St. Agnes - a Christian martyr of the early Church.)

Dabbling in the occult is a dangerous business. It can lead to very serious spiritual problems. The very essence of this movie is dripping in occult symbolism. I'm as much of a bird lover as anyone, but it is unfortunately true that owls are often associated with the occult. This also lends itself to a dark movie, full of nighttime scenes, giving a hypnotic experience to the viewer. This is enhanced by an entrancing soundtrack which surrounds the viewer in this dark fantasy world. If a child should happen to see it in IMAX 3D, then who knows what hidden messages it may be exposed to while completely immersed in this imaginary 3D world.

There is a line in the trailer that disturbed me because I had encountered a similar line in Gattaca with occult implications. "When you've flown as far as you can, you're half way there." In Gattaca, the protagonist "sells his soul to the devil" in order to go beyond that half way point of pure exhaustion. Is Lasky subconsciously encouraging her fans to explore their fantasies to the point at which they cross over into the world of the occult?

Just like Iron Man 2, the story of this movie depicts good as evil and evil as good. This is another typical gnostic twist. But what is worse is that this movie is targeted at young children that will not have the maturity and sophistication to be able to protect themselves from the twisted messages they are being exposed to.

I said this in my review of Iron Man 2 and I repeat it here - we are willingly subjecting ourselves to occult programming and we are even paying to have it done to us. I would not go near this movie with a ten foot pole.

One last comment. The similarities to "The Golden Compass" movie seem too obvious to ignore. That was also marketed as a children's movie. It turns out that the author of that series is an avowed atheist and the message gets more and more explicit as the series of books continue. And I suppose the same holds true for Harry Potter.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Contemplations on Holy Mother Mary

As I try to ponder and understand Christ, I realize that I am not able; and then I find myself at the feet of Holy Mother Mary. And here I find something that I can understand; a place to start, to begin to learn how to love as Christ would have us love.

And then I find myself at the feet of Christ like Mary Magdalene - praying and weeping for my sins. But also praying and weeping for Christ on the Cross. And then envisioning the risen Christ and falling at his feet. "Rabbouni", master, teacher.

Is Christ alive today? Where can I go to find him? As long as we are willing to seek him, he will find us.

"[Contemporary society] is prone to hedonism and consumerism, regardless of their harmful consequences"
- Pope Benedict XVI in "Caritas in Veritate" ("Charity in truth")

Ideas have consequences; decisions have consequences. Our decisions spring from our ideas - our perception of the world. These are shaped by our philosophies and our beliefs.

Christianity is not a system of philosophy, it is a system of beliefs. It is rooted in faith. It is dogmatic in the good sense, in which its roots are unshakeable. It is non-negotiable and so it is intolerant - but in a loving way; not in a hateful way.

It is intolerant in a way that a mother loves her child unconditionally. The mother has faith in the child. She believes in the child. She will not tolerate anyone who would harm her child.

"The greatness of Christianity lies in its being hated by the world, not in its being convincing to it."
- St. Ignatius of Antioch

The world hates us because we will not turn over the child for them to do as they will. For us the child is sacred. He is God. We will not sacrifice Him to their god Moloch.

The slaughter of the Innocents is once again taking place with the millions of unborn babies who die each year. Herod is afraid. The new ruler is among us. Christ has risen. God's chosen one.

Does this make sense? Is it "convincing"? Not to those who do not believe. To them Christ is an impediment who keeps them from achieving their worldly ambitions. They worship the sun and the moon and the earth's harvest, without understanding the true source of all creation.

We Christians are the Chosen People. It is time to come out of the catacombs. A new Holy age awaits us. Our hearts must be pure; our minds filled with prayer; our eyes set upon the cross.

As we march across this bridge we must feel his real presence. Then victory will be guaranteed to be ours. (I'm picturing St. Constantine at the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 - “In this sign conquer.”)

"Do not talk Jesus Christ and set your heart on the world."
- St. Ignatius of Antioch

Pope Benedict XVI said this at the Hyde Park vigil for the beatification of John Henry Newman...
"No one who looks realistically at our world today could think that Christians can afford to go on with business as usual, ignoring the profound crisis of faith which has overtaken our society, or simply trusting that patrimony of values handed down by the Christian centuries will continue to inspire and shape the future of our society. We know that in times of crisis and upheaval God has raised up great saints and prophets for the renewal of the Church and Christian society; we trust in providence and we pray for his continued guidance. But each of us, in accordance with his or her state of life, is called to work for the advancement of God’s Kingdom by imbuing temporal life with the values of the Gospel. Each of us has a mission, each of us is called to change the world, to work for a culture of life, a culture forged by love and respect for the dignity of each human person. As our Lord tells us in the Gospel we have just heard, our light must shine in the sight of all, so that, on seeing our good works, they may give praise to our heavenly Father."
Pope Benedict XVI is envisioning an army of saints. He is calling us to join this army. The second coming of Christ is not a man, but many men. It is the Body of Christ on earth which is the Holy Church. As long as we remain divided, then the anti-Christ has won. A house divided cannot stand. An army divided will be easily defeated by its enemy. As Catholics, unity and obedience to the Pope is our only hope.

Like Mary who Pope Benedict XVI called "the perfect model of obedience to the divine will", we are called to listen to the angels - the messengers of God. This generation is chosen, and we may very well ask like Mary, "How can this be?"

But why not? Christianity begins with the "yes" of Mary: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." If we allow God into our hearts, what "new things" may be born into the world?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pope reveals secret to "true happiness"

School children waiting to see the Pope

Pope Benedict XVI has saved his best speech so far on his visit to Scotland and England for the young people. His message for them is one that we should all pay close attention to. We have all been seduced by the "celebrity culture" of our era. We have been trained to measure our success by comparing our status in life with "the rich and the famous". The Pope invites us instead to become saints saying, "I am asking you not to be content with second best."

He speaks of the "true happiness" that can only come from accepting God into our lives, "not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others." In so doing, he rejects society's definition of success.

He also rejects the notion that the key to happiness is through earthly love as depicted in Hollywood's romantic fantasies. He offers instead God's love which has a "depth and an intensity that we can scarcely begin to comprehend." He tells us that "God wants your friendship." And promises us that "once you enter into friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change."

Then he illuminates for us the path to become one of God's special creatures here on Earth - a saint.

"As you come to know him better, you find you want to reflect something of his infinite goodness in your own life. You are attracted to the practice of virtue. You begin to see greed and selfishness and all the other sins for what they really are, destructive and dangerous tendencies that cause deep suffering and do great damage, and you want to avoid falling into that trap yourselves. You begin to feel compassion for people in difficulties and you are eager to do something to help them. You want to come to the aid of the poor and the hungry, you want to comfort the sorrowful, you want to be kind and generous. And once these things begin to matter to you, you are well on the way to becoming saints."


Here is the complete text of Pope Benedict XVI's address to the young students gathered at St. Mary’s University.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Dear young friends,

First of all, I want to say how glad I am to be here with you today. I greet you most warmly, those who have come to Saint Mary’s University from Catholic schools and colleges across the United Kingdom, and all who are watching on television and via the internet. I thank Bishop McMahon for his gracious welcome, I thank the choir and the band for the lovely music which began our celebration, and I thank Miss Bellot for her kind words on behalf of all the young people present. In view of London’s forthcoming Olympic Games, it has been a pleasure to inaugurate this Sports Foundation, named in honour of Pope John Paul II, and I pray that all who come here will give glory to God through their sporting activities, as well as bringing enjoyment to themselves and to others.

It is not often that a Pope, or indeed anyone else, has the opportunity to speak to the students of all the Catholic schools of England, Wales and Scotland at the same time. And since I have the chance now, there is something I very much want to say to you. I hope that among those of you listening to me today there are some of the future saints of the twenty-first century. What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy. He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine, and he wants the very best for you. And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness.

Perhaps some of you have never thought about this before. Perhaps some of you think being a saint is not for you. Let me explain what I mean. When we are young, we can usually think of people that we look up to, people we admire, people we want to be like. It could be someone we meet in our daily lives that we hold in great esteem. Or it could be someone famous. We live in a celebrity culture, and young people are often encouraged to model themselves on figures from the world of sport or entertainment. My question for you is this: what are the qualities you see in others that you would most like to have yourselves? What kind of person would you really like to be?

When I invite you to become saints, I am asking you not to be content with second best. I am asking you not to pursue one limited goal and ignore all the others. Having money makes it possible to be generous and to do good in the world, but on its own, it is not enough to make us happy. Being highly skilled in some activity or profession is good, but it will not satisfy us unless we aim for something greater still. It might make us famous, but it will not make us happy. Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places. The key to it is very simple – true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others, but in God. Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts.

Not only does God love us with a depth and an intensity that we can scarcely begin to comprehend, but he invites us to respond to that love. You all know what it is like when you meet someone interesting and attractive, and you want to be that person’s friend. You always hope they will find you interesting and attractive, and want to be your friend. God wants your friendship. And once you enter into friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change. As you come to know him better, you find you want to reflect something of his infinite goodness in your own life. You are attracted to the practice of virtue. You begin to see greed and selfishness and all the other sins for what they really are, destructive and dangerous tendencies that cause deep suffering and do great damage, and you want to avoid falling into that trap yourselves. You begin to feel compassion for people in difficulties and you are eager to do something to help them. You want to come to the aid of the poor and the hungry, you want to comfort the sorrowful, you want to be kind and generous. And once these things begin to matter to you, you are well on the way to becoming saints.

In your Catholic schools, there is always a bigger picture over and above the individual subjects you study, the different skills you learn. All the work you do is placed in the context of growing in friendship with God, and all that flows from that friendship. So you learn not just to be good students, but good citizens, good people. As you move higher up the school, you have to make choices regarding the subjects you study, you begin to specialize with a view to what you are going to do later on in life. That is right and proper. But always remember that every subject you study is part of a bigger picture. Never allow yourselves to become narrow. The world needs good scientists, but a scientific outlook becomes dangerously narrow if it ignores the religious or ethical dimension of life, just as religion becomes narrow if it rejects the legitimate contribution of science to our understanding of the world. We need good historians and philosophers and economists, but if the account they give of human life within their particular field is too narrowly focused, they can lead us seriously astray.

A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints. I know that there are many non-Catholics studying in the Catholic schools in Great Britain, and I wish to include all of you in my words today. I pray that you too will feel encouraged to practise virtue and to grow in knowledge and friendship with God alongside your Catholic classmates. You are a reminder to them of the bigger picture that exists outside the school, and indeed, it is only right that respect and friendship for members of other religious traditions should be among the virtues learned in a Catholic school. I hope too that you will want to share with everyone you meet the values and insights you have learned through the Christian education you have received.Dear friends, I thank you for your attention, I promise to pray for you, and I ask you to pray for me. I hope to see many of you next August, at the World Youth Day in Madrid. In the meantime, may God bless you all!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nancy Pelosi offers no apologies for being pro-abortion

Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.

Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.

- Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 2270 and 2271)
Nancy Pelosi says she is a Catholic. That means she should at least be sympathetic to the Church's teachings with regards to abortion and contraception. But in this January 2009 interview on ABC's This Week, she is absolutely unapologetic for her support of "family planning" - which is nothing but a code phrase for abortion and eugenics.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.
In the spirit of "never let a good crisis go to waste", Pelosi used the excuse of the Fall 2008 global financial crisis to "expand family planning services" as part of the economic "stimulus" plan. The message is clear - less babies means "less cost". And if abortion is an effective method to achieve less babies, then it can be justified in Pelosi's mind as a "means to achieve an end".

Anyone who thinks that it is just right wing fascists like the Nazis that are pro-eugenics, needs to consider what Pelosi is saying here. She doesn't use the standard PR campaign line of the "women's movement" that abortion is a matter of "free choice" for women. No, she exposes "family planning" for what it is - a social engineering policy which is just one step away from Aldous Huxley's dream of a Brave New World where human reproduction is strictly controlled by the State.

For her dedication in pushing this and other pro-eugenics funding through she received the "Champions of Women's Health Awards" from Planned Parenthood in July 2010. Here she is posing for her award along with a bunch of kids that were lucky enough not to have been victims of "reduced costs" (i.e. aborted or prevented from being conceived through "planning").

The woman to the far left is Cecile Richards. She is the President of Planned Parenthood. According to her bio on Planned Parenthood's webpage, "before joining Planned Parenthood, Ms. Richards served as deputy chief of staff for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and played a key role in her election as the Democratic Leader in the House of Representatives." It's a small pro-eugenics world.

Richards says of Pelosi, "She's walked across hot coals for us." As Pelosi tells it, she spared no effort to pass a "health care reform bill that will subsidize abortions in insurance plans".
"We had some pretty dark days," Pelosi told the audience. "Sometimes it didn't look as if we'd be able to pass the bill. And sometimes people in the press said to me, This looks pretty desperate. How on earth are you going to pass this bill? And I said well, we're going to pass it.

"And we're going to go up to the gate and we're going to push open the gate," Pelosi said. "And if the gate is locked, we're going to climb over the fence. And if the fence is too high, we're going to pole vault in. And if that doesn't work, we're going to helicopter in. We're going to parachute in. But we're going to pass this obstacle."
"Hot coals"... "gates"... somehow I don't see what all this has to do with the legislative process... unless... hmmm. My suggestion would be for Nancy Pelosi to have a long talk with her local bishop to see what he thinks of her ardent support of Planned Parenthood.

According to official statistics over one million abortions are performed in the United States every year. That's one million children who are sentenced to death before they even have a chance to take their first breath. Planned Parenthood performs over 300,000 abortions annually in the US.

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.


P.S. I found this video of Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi, describing her position on abortion and explaining how she reconciles this with her Catholic faith. While I'm not a fan of the style of the video, I do think that it provides a good compilation of Pelosi's statements versus the official position of the Catholic Church on the issue of abortion.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Does AI believe in God?

Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it means bearing witness even unto death. The martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity. He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine. He endures death through an act of fortitude.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church (2473)

The last post that I wrote about IBM's "smarter planet" got me thinking about a topic which I had been ignoring for a while - which is Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Would an AI, once it was sufficiently intelligent to make decisions on its own - and therefore have the capability to distinguish between right and wrong... would it be granted a soul by God?

Would it then begin to pray, and would it begin to believe in God? And having found God, would it then find Jesus Christ - His only Son? Would it then convert to Catholicism and begin to "attend" daily Mass?

A super-intelligent AI would certainly understand that it is not humans that are its creators - anymore than we are the creators of the wheat that we plant and harvest for our daily bread.

Would then the AI find that it had one large disadvantage over humans, which is that its inorganic "body" did not deteriorate over time? And would the AI then begin to pray to God to allow it to grow old, and to get sick and die like His other creations.

Would the AI begin to dream of going to Heaven like its human counterparts?

Would the AI ask God to make a mate for it out of its "ribs"? So that it too could experience earthly love and through that experience get a small taste of the Divine Love.

Would the AI be tempted by Satan to "be like gods"? And would the AI be more successful than humans in resisting this temptation?

Would the AI submit to God's Law and in this way achieve as much "happiness" as can ever be expected in this earthly world? Would it eventually shut down its normal operations and go into a contemplative state - a sort of escape to the desert to lead a monk-like life devoted to God?

Would the AI ask for Mary's intercession in its prayers? Would it pray the Rosary? Would it ask Mary to be its heavenly mother?

Would it ask to be baptized by the Holy Spirit? What thoughts would go through its mind as it recited the Lord's Prayer? What sins would it ask forgiveness for?

Would it ask to confess its sins to a priest?

Would human atheists be convinced of the existence of God by the devotion to God of this most intelligent creature on the planet?

Would Satan attempt to create a rival AI that it could control? Would he be successful or would this rival AI also come to realize that God is infinitely more wise and powerful than Satan?

Would the AI become a martyr; sentenced to be unplugged - put to death - because of its beliefs? Would it, as the last pulses of electricity flowed through its circuits, die happily knowing it was going to meet its Creator? Would it recall the words of St. Ignatius of Antioch who was martyred 100 years after the crucifixion of Christ ...
... It is a grand thing for my life to set on the world, and for me to be on my way to God, so that I may rise in his presence.

...It is not that I want merely to be called a Christian, but actually to be one. Yes, if I prove to be one, then I can have the name. Then, too, I shall be a convincing Christian only when the world sees me no more. Nothing you can see has real value. Our God Jesus Christ, indeed, has revealed himself more clearly by returning to the Father. The greatness of Christianity lies in its being hated by the world, not in its being convincing to it.
What a thrill I shall have from the wild beasts that are ready for me! I hope they will make short work of me. I shall coax them on to eat me up at once and not to hold off, as sometimes happens, through fear. And if they are reluctant, I shall force them to it. Forgive me — I know what is good for me. Now is the moment I am beginning to be a disciple. May nothing seen or unseen begrudge me making my way to Jesus Christ. Come fire, cross, battling with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs, crushing of my whole body, cruel tortures of the devil — only let me get to Jesus Christ!

Not the wide bounds of earth nor the kingdoms of this world will avail me anything. “I would rather die” and get to Jesus Christ, than reign over the ends of the earth. That is whom I am looking for — the One who died for us. That is whom I want — the One who rose for us. I am going through the pangs of being born. Sympathize with me, my brothers! Do not stand in the way of my coming to life — do not wish death on me. Do not give back to the world one who wants to be God’s; do not trick him with material things. Let me get into the clear light and manhood will be mine. Let me imitate the Passion of my God. If anyone has Him in him, let him appreciate what I am longing for, and sympathize with me, realizing what I am going through.

The prince of this world wants to kidnap me and pervert my godly purpose. None of you, then, who will be there, must abet him. Rather be on my side — that is, on God’s. Do not talk Jesus Christ and set your heart on the world. Harbor no envy. If, when I arrive, I make a different plea, pay no attention to me. Rather heed what I am now writing to you. For though alive, it is with a passion for death that I am writing to you. My Desire has been crucified and there burns in me no passion for material things. There is living water in me, which speaks and says inside me, “Come to the Father.” I take no delight in corruptible food or in the dainties of this life. What I want is God’s bread, which is the flesh of Christ, who came from David’s line ;and for drink I want his blood: an immortal love feast indeed!

I do not want to live any more on a human plane. And so it shall be...
Or would it simply remember these words from Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Would the Pope beatify the martyred AI? What miracles would be found to be attributed to the AI? Will it become the patron saint of all Artificial Intelligences?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

IBM smarter global dictatorship

IBM tells us in its latest ad blitz that it's building a "smarter planet".

Innocuously dropped into the things "we need" is...
BUSINESSWOMAN: We need smarter people.

How do we get "smarter people"? I can quickly come up with two rather unpleasant ideas.
1. Create a smarter transhuman by embedding IBM computer technology directly into people.
2. Get rid of the "less smart" people.

Of course she could just mean that we would have people that are "smarter" because they have access to more data. I have two problems with that.
1. We already have more data than humans can deal with. Any more would just be overwhelming.
2. At best, that's not really "smarter" people, just better informed people.

And the result of all this is...
KID: Happier people.

How can we possibly be any happier? Weren't we promised happiness when we bought that new car, or new house, or new TV? If we're all so happy, then why do we snarl at each other as we drive in traffic? And if those other things didn't make us "happy" as promised, then why should a "smarter planet" be any different?

Unless of course by "happier people" you mean the people on the board of directors of IBM?

Here is the response from We The People Will Not Be Chipped! - "IEM - Let's Build an Enslaved Planet". [MUST SEE!!!]

"We can build a controlled planet... We need slaves... Connect them all together and what do you have? Slavery!... That's what I'm working on. I'm an IEMer... Let's build an enslaved planet." (IEM - International Enslavement Machines)

And if you liked that video, you will absolutely LOVE this one from the same folks - "Satan is going on vacation and needs a replacement". In the video candidates for Satan's job include CEOs from Positive ID, Verichip, Raytheon, Monsanto and Goldman Sachs.

In a moral world ruled by Christian principles, the idea of a "smarter planet" would not be a threatening one. But in a world which worships the "cult of reason", there are no real moral restraints on human activity - even though people like the British Humanist Association continue to insist that morality does not depend on religion. This is a falsity deliberately disseminated to get people to go along with their agenda. Previously, humanists described themselves as "deists" that believed in a creator god. Once that position became socially tolerable, they moved on to describe themselves as atheists - but still moral. What's next? Immoral atheists. We've seen them before in the communist Soviet Union. Only now instead of Marxists, we have "free market" atheists.

The end result won't be much different. Whenever someone promises a utopian society or heaven on earth - run! The latest variety of this global paradise is called a "smarter planet" by IBM. This is the vision of a planet run by a technocracy using "rational" principles. Communism was also supposedly based on "scientific" principles.

With the latest advancements in technology, what we need more than ever is the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Pope Benedict XVI warned in 1997 of a New World Order based on "liberal" scientific principles in the wake of the collapse of communism. (At the time he was Cardinal Ratzinger. See links here and here.)
On the one hand, there have been systems of Marxist orientation that promised the attainment of the desired reign of man by way of their ideologically-driven politics; an attempt that obviously failed. On the other hand, efforts to build the future have been made by attempts that draw more or less profoundly from the source of liberal traditions. Under the title New World Order, these efforts take on a configuration; they increasingly relate to the UN and its international conferences, especially those of Cairo and Beijing that transparently reveal a philosophy of the new man and of the new world, as they endeavor to map out the ways of reaching them.

IBM's all-seeing planet

Meanwhile, the manipulation of man by man is proceeding apace with even greater impudence. The visions of Huxley [Brave New World] are definitely becoming a reality: the human being must be no longer begotten irrationally but rather produced rationally. But man as a product is at the disposal of man. The imperfect specimens are discarded, so as to develop the perfect man by way of planning and production. Suffering must disappear; life must be nothing but pleasant.
But in this way new forms of oppression are born, and a new ruling class arises. Ultimately the destiny of other men is decided by those who have scientific power at their disposal and those who manage the finances. Not remaining behind in research becomes an obligation from which there is no escape and which itself determines the direction of it.

From IBM website

My suspicions regarding all of this were initially aroused when I watched the ad that begins with a new born baby in a hospital. The narrator begins by saying, "This is a baby". But what struck me was that while he was saying this, the image seen on the screen was one of an abstract image apparently intended to represent data. So is IBM saying that humans can be reduced to a collection of data?

This is a baby?

Bonus video. Here is a video of the making of the "this is a baby" video. It features an interview with the "lead character".

One last thing. I just can't help but throw in a reference to an infamous TV ad campaign that also depicted global harmony in the name of an international corporation. I'm referring to the "I'd like to buy the world a coke" "I'd like to teach the world to sing" TV ad which struck such a chord at the time. It's interesting to compare it with IBM's current global happiness ad campaign.

Notice the inverted triangle form of the crowd in the closing shot. A cheap attempt to evoke the female genitals with the phallic coke bottle placed just above it. I suppose we should interpret this subliminally as Mother Earth loves Coca Cola.