Keyboard operation against democracy: Thousand-hand Guan Yin in combination with Trumpism

Interclass weapons
July 3, 2020
The business of power projection
July 6, 2020

Keyboard operation against democracy: Thousand-hand Guan Yin in combination with Trumpism

 

W hat is this keyboard doing to us? The device is right now typing this text for me and, at the same time, taking care of a search for you. Pressing ‘Enter’ sometimes sends a text on WhatsApp, and other times fires a missile into the air or transfers money. To governments, if that text message deals with map coordinates to the whereabouts of an Iranian military commander in Iraq, it would be more significant than firing a missile into the air. And in case the money transfer is an act of support for a militant group planning to carry out a terrorist operation somewhere and put civilian lives at risk, it would take on ever more significance than the two previous scenarios.

However, none of the aforementioned cases poses a more serious danger than what I’m about to point out further below:
Keyboards are a tool for cybernetic control and for giving commands in nature, allowing users to transfer brain commands to different devices. Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan was of the opinion that devices are extensions of our body parts and feelings. To him, key boards are thus extensions of hands, either smart key boards or Google’s auto-correction or the mechanical wizard in front of the PC. In his book titled ‘The Gutenberg Galaxy,’ he says, “This externalization of our senses creates what de Chardin calls the “noosphere” or a technological brain for the world. Instead of tending towards a vast Alexandrian library the world has become a computer, an electronic brain, exactly as in an infantile piece of science fiction. And as our senses have gone outside us, Big Brother goes inside. So, unless aware of this dynamic, we shall at once move into a phase of panic terrors, exactly befitting a small world of tribal drums, total interdependence, and super-imposed co-existence.”

 
 
 
 

An existential fear or threat could be inferred from his words, but should we really consider Marshal a conspiracy theorist? No, he has in fact told the truth. I do not intend to fuel or cover up unwise conspiracy theories circling around against people or add new ones to them. I’m just admitting to a not-too-complicated move that I made myself. I was once seeking to open a Twitter page focused on military issues. To do so, I paid some money to a service selling ‘likes,’ which would charge me a specific sum for each 100,000 ‘likes’ and 1,000 followers. My budget was tight. If not, I would purchase large numbers of ‘likes’ and followers. This is simply an honest confession that can be verified, and has nothing to do with unveiling a sinister conspiracy against humanity! But keep Marshal’s remarks in mind and ask yourself: What exactly happened that one keyboard became 1,000 ones (users) and 100,000 hands descended on keyboards to show approval for my comments? Are the 1,000 followers extensions of my hands and my hands executors of my thoughts? Are the 1,000 followers real recruited humans or mere robots? What an opportunity it is to buy 1,000 hands — or maybe 1,000 votes — at a very low price! And I may think what a great chance it would be to make progress by taking advantage of this psychological operations giant!

In order to piece together such a process in the context of war, combat keyboards are part of the operations, while a chain of infrastructure projects and management measures will be need to make the procedure yield results. In other words, under the pattern that could be derived from this process, the first step would be a division of tasks among knowledge workers, who are involved in activities related to generating data and information across the Internet. The produced content would then be distributed among the users or robots operating on social media platforms as the battlefield for the seemingly guerrilla but classic warfare. When circulated, this content would then find its friends and foes. An Iranian proverb says: Drop an insult and the intended receiving end will pick it up. What comes to happen next is a vast spread of ideas and remarks, which serve to make a certain intention materialize. And this is a systematic and organized activity, which could be easily indentified from repeats of the content and collective moves.

 
 
 
 

The process mentioned earlier explains modern psychological operations in simple words. A briefer version is written down in the simple addition below: (Division of labor+knowledge worker+Teleworking combat keyboards)+social media+some of us = PSYOPs

I was thinking to myself that if I had enough money and needed to gain fame and popularity or sought to run in elections, my election campaign and supporters would pour big sums of money into my pocket! How many thousands of virtual or real hands would I be able to add to my hands? This is a new and largely beneficial business, but there is not that much optimism when it comes to elections, especially since everyone has the opportunity to purchase thousands of hands. Concerns, however, arise when these virtual hands find legitimacy in the eyes of statesmen and politicians, something that appears to have actually happened. Populist politicians of the current era seek to extrapolate the legitimacy of their political decisions in a very superficial manner through chains of tweets. This is clearly reflected in the moves of people like US President Donald Trump or elites and politicians of other countries even Iran. This is how they work to circumvent bureaucratic structures of diplomacy using methods that appear to be democratic on the surface. Put it differently, they feed the public opinion with specialized issues at the national level in raw form and in an illogical way, using virtual hands — over even real ones — to lend cosmetic legitimacy to their decisions and feel satisfied with them, no matter what the outcome will be.

This is a serious threat facing democracy, but not as painful as when the psyops hijack the entire online social media platforms because of the availability of audience in those communication fields, where the audience — or social media users — will unwittingly spend a large part of its virtual life grappling with such psychological operations. And since it is governments and wealthy promoters of certain ideologies or prominent narratives who have the upper hand in communication networks in terms of both the infrastructure and content, today’s and future users of the modern Web will go insane due to the highly complex and numerous psychological operations launched by their potent rivals there. A big headache will be caused by either Web-based advertisement and marketing or policies and policy-making processes, which are rooted or seek to root themselves in cyberspace.

 
 
 
 
(In this leaked photo, members of the notorious Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) are seen at a camp in Poland posting tweets against the Iranian government and in support of their own terrorist outfit.)


 
 
 
 

To put it more simply, which government or politician will ever accept to suffer defeat and abandon its supporters either in this specific war or in any other battle field? Allocating budget to this sphere has become so legitimate that normal life in social media is almost unachievable, and it is impossible that ideological marketers and men of politics leave social media alone. Vast volumes of studies and research in various fields — such as market, sociology and politics besides studies of others (which deal with how an enemy or rival may plot and act against us) — have been carried out into social media, which cannot be counted. It is not even easy to look into a small portion of that.

Everyone has learned how to use cyberspace — whether they be the guerrillas holed up in mountainous areas of Afghanistan and the Sahara in Africa or lawmakers in Canada and Switzerland. All of them delegate their work to professional social networking teams and are all best at their jobs. It should, however, be noted that all these strategies, tactics, methods of exploiting the Web, and psychological assault techniques are in reality targeted at the audience and make it experience a sort of neuroticism.

During elections or any political table involving multiple players, is it that only one side makes use of this space? The aforementioned neuroticism only leads users to increasingly grow careless, take things lightly, develop obsessive thoughts or superficial views, and experience a wide variety of distressing bipolar and multipolar disorders. They don’t even leave alone the silent and inactive audience. It is impossible to find an individual who has never been exposed to political or ideological campaigns. Commercial advertisements have already carved out their own place. They are forcibly thrust into the eyes and ears of the audience. Marketers are even taking into account the number of neurons in the brain that are devoted to their brand. The day is not far distant when neuroscience-related technologies will get to serve the marketers and the “attention economy,” which was pioneered by Simon, will change into an economy of neurons or that of the audience’s brain capacity. The casualties of such a psywar or the use of the Web for military purposes are much higher than what you do, but even if we get rid of the impacts of daily psychological assaults against the public opinion, there still exists a concern of vast dimensions. The chains of tweets designed to get public approval for or legitimize bombing other countries, imposing sanctions on nations, violating human rights, encroaching on the common heritage of mankind such as natural habitats and space, supporting terrorism and rebellion in other countries, and spreading fake news about the coronavirus pandemic, etc., could sometimes lead to real fatalities. We are witnessing that rumors are spread — with full impunity — not by ordinary people, whom media seek portray as the source, but by world leaders and those who have the power to create thousands of virtual hands to advance the brand new type of psychological operations against democracy using the most democratic communication tools.

Virtual life was created to safeguard security at the dawn of the day, exchange knowledge in the forenoon and link humans together at midday, but it is about to lead us to the era of psychological destruction and disruption of comfort when the sunset arrives. That was not something Guan Yin — with 1,000 hands and a delicate face — was seeking though treading the path to the god of gods. It is clear that there is no compassion in that.

 
 
 
 

Nevertheless, the prospect is not that scary in the end. The audience will avoid this atmosphere at least to protect its own health. It will handle it idly and do its best not to turn into a plaything. Users of our generation have come to know the Internet sooner than their parents did and, compared to the past generation, make better guardians of their fathers and mothers, who are counted as newborns in this sphere. Today’s users are well aware of all aspects of virtual life and may be the creator of the aforementioned opportunities and threats themselves. And it is crystal clear that the powerful figures, parties and politicians, who are currently making extensive use of their virtual hands across social media, are newcomers in the field. They hold older beliefs than those of the generation ahead of them, which has lived this life and provided them with such a space, but even so these thousand-hand men of power will go ahead to expand this untrustworthy space for psychological operations since they are in possession of rich resources and government budgets, while others — either those who sell ‘likes’ and comments or those who buy them — consider this to be an opportunity to make money regardless what is going on in the cyberspace. Web 2.0 will be a failure when it comes to credibility. I do not intend to count the outcome of this failure as significant since transformation and learning are predestined and will eventfully take place, but I will make sure to seek insurance services for me and my family against psyops and social media networks. It is highly possible that my children and are already among those wounded in action during this war!

 

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