Words Have Power

Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”

As one of the winners of the “Here’s Where It Gets Crazy” sweepstakes, I received an advance copy of Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know.  The book has been interesting. #STDWYTK

One of the interesting things for me is some of the WORDS they have used in their stories of conspiracy theories.

For example, Obfuscate, Prevaricate, Omission, and Commission.

In their first story “Your Government is Lying to You”

For many folks watching the news, reading social media, or speaking with their loved ones, hearing something described as a conspiracy theory automatically detracts from the credibility of the claims. This is both convenient and dangerous. Of course, the world would be a simpler, possibly happier place if just calling something untrue made it so. But that is not the world we live in.

The book explores genuine conspiracies and the theories that spring from them.

It states:

Why do so many government-related conspiracy theories seem plausible? Because the US government has actively, provably lied about its actions in the past. If it actually did that, the argument goes, why couldn’t it do this? The simplicity of this logic is intoxicating because the undeniable reality of our world is that governments lie.  They obfuscate. They prevaricate. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, the collection of bureaucrats, administrators, and pollical leaders who make up your country’s government has deceived you in the past and are almost certainly deceiving you in some way right now – whether by omission or by commission.

So, let’s break down these words.

Obfuscate

To render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.

Similar: confuse, blur, muddle, jumble, complicate, garble, muddy, cloud  

What does it mean to obfuscate the truth?  Some people are experts at obfuscating the truth by being evasive, unclear, or obscure in the telling of the facts. The people who are good at obfuscating would include defense lawyers and teenagers asked about their plans for Saturday night.

Prevaricate

To speak or act in an evasive way.

Similar: be evasive, beat around the bush, hedge, fence, shilly-shally, shuffle

Some common synonyms of prevaricate are equivocate, fib, lie, and palter. While all these words mean “to tell an untruth,” Prevaricate softens the bluntness of a lie by implying quibbling or confusing the issue.

Omission

A person or thing that has been left out or excluded.

Similar: deletion, cut, exclusion, gap, blank, oversight

What are acts of omission?  An act that was pre-agreed but failed to act upon. More so when there was a duty to the individual or the public with the said act. Omissions are more common than thought in legal disputes yet are not something typically associated with crime.

Commission

An instruction, command, or duty is given to a person or group of people.

Similar: task, employment, job, work, piece of work, project, mission

What does it mean to commission something or someone?  The act of committing or entrusting a person, group, etc., with supervisory power or authority. an authoritative order, charge, or direction. The authority granted for a particular action or function. a document granting such authority.

ID2020

Digital Identity Alliance – popularly known as ID2020

https://www.biometricupdate.com/201909/id2020-and-partners-launch-program-to-provide-digital-id-with-vaccines

The image of the paranoid loner, boarding up their window, donning a cone of tinfoil, and hiding away from a supposedly vast, all-encompassing network of mass surveillance, has been around for almost a century.  Writing for Vice, Roisin Kiberd traced the tinfoil hat idea back to 1927, when Julian Huxley, half-brother to the novelist Aldous Huxley, penned a short story called “The Tissue-Culture King.” In this story a scientist named Hascombe dabbles in mind control, eventually realizing that donning a cap made of foil will protect him against telepathy.  The idea remains relevant in the modern-day.

Digital Identity Alliance is a non-profit that states The Need for a Good Digital ID is Universal

The ability to prove who you are is a fundamental and universal human right. Because we live in a digital era, we need a trusted and reliable way to do that both in the physical world and online.

The concept of digital identity does not require a microchip or other invasive surgery, but for true believers, it functions as a kind of foreshadowing. 

Are Bill Gates and the ID2020 Coalition Using COVID-19 To Build Global Surveillance State?

According to snopes.com conspiracy theorists misrepresent Bill Gates’ funding of vaccination and digital identity research as evidence of a nefarious global surveillance plan foretold in the Book of Revelation.

According to the GatesFoundation.org, their perspective is:

  • Tackling diseases individually won’t solve many global health challenges. Working across disease areas allows us to identify public goods that can accelerate global health impact and reduce the threat of epidemics.
  • We believe technical innovation has a critical role to play in the design, development, and deployment of these public goods.
  • We invest in deep technical expertise and novel platforms in vaccine development and manufacturing to accelerate innovation for better, faster, and cheaper vaccines.
  • We also invest in building high-quality modeling and forecasting capabilities informed by trustworthy primary data. We make this information public to allow all experts to better prioritize our collective global health resources.

Read the entire article here.

An initiative like digital ID raises legitimate privacy concerns.

Digital ID, people assume, is yet another plank in an ever-widening global plot in the pursuit of, well, globalism. Ironically, the folks who are allegedly so concerned about privacy spend so much time posting content on social media sites and apps that track them.

However, if you are like 85% of Americans, you own a smartphone that you carry with you at almost all times.  Through this phone, you access email texts and phone calls. You may have any number of apps that allow you to access your financial information, health stats, or real-world services like ordering food online or calling a car (both of which require real-time location information). Regardless of the service provider or model of the phone, odds are there’s more information about you out there than you realize.  Every click on a website and each moment spent searching or reading; can all be scraped, collected, and analyzed to produce a stunningly accurate image of the individual using any smartphone. A growing percentage of the US population – the vast majority – has simply given over access to their personal lives.

For privacy advocates, this represents another step down a dangerous path.  For some tech fans, it’s just the future, as inevitable and necessary as the sunrise. For the surveillance state, it’s an unprecedented leap forward, making the task of monitoring and preempting threats, and avoiding other attacks like 9/11, not only much easier but morally necessary. No one in this scenario sees themselves as the “bad guy”.

D2020 is a public-private consortium in service of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goal of providing legal identity for all people, including the world’s most vulnerable populations.

ID2020 has published a ten-point mission statement, which includes: “We believe that individuals must have control over their own digital identities, including how personal data is collected, used, and shared.”

Participants: Accenture, Microsoft, Avanade Inc, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Cisco Systems Inc have contributed their expertise to ID2020.

Conspiracy theorists falsely alleged that ID2020 and Bill Gates made plans for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and the implantation of microchips into patients’ bodies. As a result of these conspiracy theories, the staff at ID2020 received death threats.

How close are digital driver’s licenses to becoming real?

According to aclu.org, in May of 2021, A secretive international standards committee (which won’t reveal its members, but which appears to be made up exclusively of corporate and government representatives) is currently putting the finishing touches on a proposed interoperable global standard for what it calls “mobile driver’s licenses,” or mDLs. The association representing U.S. DMVs is moving to implement that standard, as are federal agencies such as DHS and the TSA. But the licenses we would get under this standard are not built to include airtight privacy protections using the latest cryptographic techniques. They are not built primarily to give individuals greater control over their information, but to advance the interests of major companies and government agencies in inescapably binding people to identity documents so they can be definitively identified online and off. It’s vital that we only accept a system with the strongest possible privacy protections, given all the potential ways that mDLs could expand.

Identification is necessary sometimes, but it’s also an exercise in power.

As a result, the design of our IDs is a very sensitive matter. A move to digital IDs is not a minor change but one that could drastically alter the role of identification in our society, increase inequality, and turn into a privacy nightmare. A digital identity system could prove just and worthwhile if it is done just right. But such an outcome is far from guaranteed, and much work will have to be done to implement a digital identity system that improves individuals’ privacy rather than eroding it and is built not to enclose individuals but to empower them.

Resources:

Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know by Ben Bowlin with Matt Frederick and Noel Brown

www.snoops.com

www.gatesfoundation.org

Wikipedia

www.aclu.org