Conversations in Room No. 15

Owls, Metadata and Losing the Point?

Secret Intelligence Service



Owls, Metadata and Losing the Point?

(C-I) (C-III)

 Updated 15/08/2017  London. UK


What I posit as being a necessary facet, and what the point is, is not necessarily the same thing, if at all. Perhaps it should be?

Note; there is a reason for presentation of the owl.


UK Telecommunications Act – Section 94

Investigatory Powers Act 2015 * now updated

‘Regulation’ of the Investigatory Powers Act 2015

A Partial Explanation of The Owl is in Harrogate


Aims and Objectives

To Argue Why Mass Surveillance is Necessary, and Why it is Neither Intrusive nor Controlling


Yes, there are many who make appeal to civil liberties, but one must as; what reality do they think they inhabit? Do they think terrorists are somehow distant, ambivalent, weak in their resolve to slaughter us? To assume distance, ambivalence and weakness of terrorists is ridiculous and it must be stated categorically; that in the foreseeable circumstance of softness in resolve to thwart them via all means possible, catastrophe is the undeniable consequence. Anguish, fear, atrocity and death are the friends of terrorism and this fact has to be born in mind by those who make a case against mass surveillance. What more do terrorists and their sympathisers – past, present and future, have to do to make their intentions clear?


One can argue that mass surveillance is about ‘control’ (as indeed anything can be argued), but this generality requires much by way of elaboration as per it’s accusation. For example and specifically; who is the intended target for control?  If the accusation includes the public at large, then a counter proposition and the obvious is; the most effective way to control a population is to perpetuate insecurity via; poverty, fear, ignorance through lack of education, estrangement from the dignity which social security engenders, debt enslavement. For these, we can argue, and more, are by far the most effective arbiters of powerlessness, the prerequisite for social control. These instruments of social control are easy to meld into the collective psyche of the made powerless and one does not have to look far to see which ones are at play, and indeed, which operate by themselves. Therefore, it is not mass surveillance which threatens liberty per se, if at all, as some do hold, but these emergent, rampant and altogether sad facets of modern society.


There is an ‘inner world’ hidden from view and no one, certainly not a machine has access to this world and what is its constituent, regardless of what are the claims of metadata collecting and concomitant analysis. What we need to do here, is try and put back what many suspect has become lost for them – a diminution of power is the consensus view.


The Counter – Terrorism Library


The Owl is in Harrogate


Aims and Objectives

To Argue Why Mass Surveillance is Necessary, and Why it is Neither Intrusive nor Controlling

To Demonstrate a Level of Detached Empathetic Reasoning

To State the Overriding and Necessity of Mass Surveillance



The disclosure of mass-surveillance programmes by the Intelligence Agencies has evoked an international debate on the right of citizens to be protected from illegitimate or ‘warrantless collection and analysis of their data and meta-data.’ So, let’s first identify the risks of ‘data breaches’ for users of publicly available Internet services such as web browsing, email, social networks, cloud computing, or voice communications, via personal computers or mobile devices, and examine the possible impacts for the citizens and the European Information Society. In this context, a clear distinction has to be made between data and meta-data. Also it must be differentiated between mass interception, and targeted lawful interception of Internet and telephony data for the purpose of law enforcement and crime investigation. While targeted lawful interception constitutes a necessary and legitimate instrument of intelligence agencies (counter-proliferation, counter-terrorism), mass surveillance is considered by many to be a threat to civil liberties, such as the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Of course, these civil liberties are essential human rights in a democratic society such as ours and are of particular importance for safeguarding independent journalism and political opposition. This latter, is not in dispute and the question of civil liberty and human rights can be understood differently. How differently? Let’s look.


Another Viewpoint : What Communication Can Contribute to Data?


To be brief, meta-data is data produced when electronic communication channels; Internet or telephony are used and which provide information regarding the time, the origin the destination, the location, the duration and the frequency of communications carried out. Meta-data does not contain the content of communications. Two types of meta-data exist, meta-data which provides data on the content (read/write/modify attributes of the file, author of the document, GPS location of a picture, and so on), and meta-data of the communication (sender, receiver, communication duration, communication starting date and time, communication channel, communication protocol used, and so on). In the context of this introduction, the prime focus is on communication meta-data.


As you know, communication meta-data is routinely gathered by telecom providers and Internet service providers as part of their business operations. Different laws and regulations exist in Europe and other countries which define the retention period of this data. The lawful interception of meta-data is targeted surveillance required by law enforcement authorities and is not considered as mass-surveillance. The analysis of meta-data, despite the fact that it does not contain content, can reveal very detailed information regarding the person who has generated it.


Another potential source of information containing private data are Cookies, ie. text files which visited websites store on a user’s local disk. Cookies allow for smarter and faster navigation, and are commonly used for personalizing website content, as well as ads and features by associated third parties. No evidence has been found that government agencies are leveraging the information that can be inferred from the data contained in Cookies through collaboration with commercial tracking companies.


The structured nature of meta-data is ideally suited for analysis using data mining techniques such as pattern recognition, machine learning, and information or data fusion. Meta-data analysis can reveal an extraordinary amount of information regarding people’s habits and associations that when added – data over time, or linked with other data sets – can expose even richer personal information and associational details. Arguably and I want to discuss this; unless special precautions are taken, ‘few personal secrets of everyday life would withstand close analysis of meta-data’.


Of course, the Intelligence Agencies do intercept meta-data either through technical capabilities, or accessing it via service providers on the basis of lawful requests, or under threat of fines. The Intelligence Agencies do very often possess powerful capabilities to break system protections and to infiltrate systems and networks by applying advanced hard and software technology.


The legal context for commercial surveillance technology vendors is defined in different national and international laws, agreements and regulations. The Wassenaar Agreement, a comprehensive international treaty on export controls, including surveillance technology and undersigned by 42 states, has been extended in 2013 to law enforcement/intelligence gathering tools and IP network surveillance systems or equipment. Notwithstanding, the report of the UN OHCHR of month 06/2014 states that; in most states, legal standards are either non-existent or inadequate to deal with the modern communications surveillance environment.


Yes, it is the case that the Intelligence Agencies have developed a number of highly sophisticated hard and software interception tools that enable the penetration of networking equipment,the monitoring of mobile phones and computers and can divert or even modify data without being noticed.


A special focus in the endeavour of mass-surveillance is on breaking encryption that may prevent access to relevant data for intelligence and law enforcement agencies.


For an end user it is almost impossible to detect whether meta-data generated while navigating through the web, sending mails, or establishing other communications through Internet is being analysed, or used by third parties and even less, if a system is subject to a complex attack orchestrated by powerful opponents. Citizens can protect their privacy by applying safety conscious practices and using special software tools and services that help hiding their digital traces. Firewalls, anti-virus software, Virtual Private Networks, anonymizing proxies and networks and, not to forget, cryptography are technical means accessible to end users. But even though it is possible to hinder access to private data or meta-data by applying a mix of different protection mechanisms, there is no means for guaranteeing total immunity. Policy options which are considered of help in reducing the risk of privacy intrusion by mass surveillance in a short to mid-term time frame are: a) the promotion of open source operating systems and applications that allow for constant inspection and scrutiny by a large community of experts and verification and validation bodies and b) investing in and stimulating the integration of user friendly, utility-like software solutions.


The Intelligence Agencies, indeed, will always have a competitive edge in winning a race for technological supremacy in Internet security due to requisite resources. There is an adequate balance between civil liberties and legitimate national security interests being established and so, based upon public discussions which empower citizens to decide upon their civil rights affected and the societal values at stake.

HM Govt. UK. ISC. Report on Mass Surveillance


   The Owl is in Harrogate


(C-I) You know, it is rather fascinating, I think, to consider this. What facet is being missed?

(C-III) Would you like to spell out what it is we’re considering. It would help.

(C-I) Yes. I was coming to that. I’m thinking of how to encapsulate the issue in a simple way, one that shows we can look at things in different ways, but then I was thinking it’s not about showing what we know, rather, to address what has become an issue to millions of people worldwide.

(C-III) The two things are the same, aren’t they?

(C-I) We’ll see. How about; the collecting and analysis of meta-data cannot reveal a person’s essence, it can, via whatever profile is generated, reveal a great deal – as is the fear being generated in people’s minds – but there is a greater part missing and therefore, this discussion is to focus on and importantly to allay, that fear.

(C-III) Are we going to discuss how metadata is used to create profiles?

(C-I) Not necessarily, it’s not that interesting and is not the paradigm that is important to us here. We can say that there is a requirement for awareness of what people are saying and so on, I don’t want to add to the furor regarding what has become defined as ‘intrusion’ et cetera, there are plenty doing that, but moreover to sweep aside the world we’ve entered irrevocably, the control that now characterizes what people do and to an extent that say, fifteen years ago was not the case, and … let me think.

(C-III) Feel free.

(C-I) There is an ‘inner world’ hidden from view and no one, certainly not a machine has access to this world and what is its constituent, regardless of what are the claims of metadata collecting and concomitant analysis. What I need to do is try and put back what many suspect has become lost – a diminution of power is the consensus view. It’s that it is not possible to access this ‘world’, as I said and therefore and subsequent notions of, for example, individual freedom – are not compromised. Of course, the retort will be that there are clever manipulative ploys at work to get people to access, project and display this inner world without their realizing it. But even given that scenario, there is what remains altogether private, – the possession that cannot be lost, irrespective of whatever determination there is in place.

(C-III) Do you see social media as a psychoanalytic stage?

(C-I) Of course it is and people fall headlong into its embrace. Everyone wants to tell all about themselves, by divulging supposed biographies, telling of inclinations, fantasies and so on. This, they are encouraged so to do. But social media aside, conversations wherever they take place, one has to admit, can be very revealing paradigms, especially if one party is adept, equally, they can constitute the very opposite, though they all are of interest to ‘third parties’. We know all this.

(C-III) Wait though, isn’t it the ‘attack on privacy’ that is the issue? It’s all over the place.

(C-I)  Not here, and we can’t change that and all we would be doing is reflecting on what is argued as being the case elsewhere. I want to focus on the person in this equation, doing so from a different standpoint. Remember, I said to think about this in a different way.

(C-III) Do you think you would be accused of trying to make comfort in a place that has become anything but comfortable – for reasons other than what you say? In other words, you are not being honest?

(C-I) Perhaps. Actually I’m thinking as I’m going along and the desire to investigate and perhaps miss the target might be the case. We have to investigate, discuss, without an idea of what will be concluded right from the start. Do you agree?

(C-III) You said that there is an inner world which cannot be accessed via technological means. This sounds to me like a conclusion.

(C-I) You think you’re so clever, you are a man after all and so it’s to be expected, but just consider that what we discuss tonight might lead to modified conclusions, or even become more conclusively stated than when we began.

(C-III) You might be wrong? Is that possible?

(C-I) No.

(C-III) I thought that was what you’d say.

(C-I) The point is; that we have to discuss the constituents of what are four dimensional, inner dramas. We have to discuss how these constituents revel in their performing within that ‘secret mental place’.

(C-III) A pretty tall order. I’m not sure I have a lot to contribute, but can act as an inquisitive voice, if you like.

(C-I) That’s OK. So let’s begin with the question; where does data mining and requisite meta data fall short in creating a ‘mind map?”- note the new description. I have to ask this way to support the point I’m trying to make.

This is indeed the cyber era, there’s no going back and the profiling of people in a broad sense is most often facilitated by the computer/machine. So therefore to be concise, here is my preoccupation thus:

Discovery gained via a computer/machine, I refer to meta data, cannot be expected to fully encompass internal states. So where might data mining fall short?

What of the cognitive changes that constitute emotional reacting to the world, a computer just clumsily summarizes what is actually an extremely complex rearranging taking place in the psyche.

By relying on the computer/machine ‘interceptor’ – is missed the very quality or nature of given experiences (‘qualia’) which, if it were possible but it is not, would be most useful to see or to use common parlance ‘intrude upon’ For example, and to keep it simple, consider how experiences of the same thing differ between people in groups.
The concept of ‘inter-subjectivity’ is a relevant mechanism for understanding how it is that people empathize with one another’s experiences, (different people with the same experiences) and engage in meaningful communication about them.

(C-III) I’ll put it bluntly, it’s ‘computer spying’ and you are evading the term, but at the same time explaining what is to you, is in this respect, its limitation.

(C-I) Yes. In varying extents, it has to be said that there are those who undeniably achieve a great deal with the computer, har, har, taking into consideration where people can be geographically in relation. Also you have to bear in mind the cost to the tax payer, which reaches into cosmic realms.
So, what is required to be done with the computer, as opposed to employing ‘other means’?

(C-III) What are the ‘other means’? I think you are wrong but I will listen to what you have to say.

(C-I) Well, with the computer (in brief) one can input so to manipulate the system at hand. One can output, allow the system to indicate the effects of one’s manipulation. One can use a computer keyboard and mouse. Yes, believe it or not. One can use web-based user interfaces. One can generate web pages which are transmitted via the internet and be viewed by oneself and others using a web browser program. One can touch screens which are displays that accept input via fingers and so on and so forth, ad infinitum. The data one ascertains is via these and closely associated means.
The point being; while engaging the computer, can a person of interest’s thought process regarding how something is happening in the real world be discovered? Does the computer provide one with a representation of the surrounding world; the relationships between its various parts and a person’s intuitive perception regarding his/her own actions and consequences of those actions?
Does the computer engage the raw material which is a representation of external reality and which performs a major role in cognition, reasoning and decision-making?
Does a computer need to do these things, in other words; the above is what CANNOT be ascertained.

To reiterate, the way a person expresses her/himself constantly undergoes change, though still retains unchanging characteristics. What makes up mental experience is a wide range of perceptions, sensations, emotions, thoughts and beliefs that through the passage of time, constantly generate transformation in terms of subjective relation to the world.

(C-III) What do you think the objection to what you just explained might be?

(C-I) That at its most ideal in intelligence, the remit is to subject experience to fundamental and critical scrutiny; to take nothing for granted and to show the ‘warranty’ for what is claimed to be known. Again, the computer does not facilitate this.

What I have to consider are the facts of the differences in sensory registration from person to person, coupled with the differences in the criteria learned for distinguishing what are called ‘same’. Two people will align their differences on these two levels so that they can attain a practical overlap on parts of the real world about and update each other accordingly.

An appropriate and interesting question therefore is; because data mining and its meta data carried out over time does not encompass this, to what extent might there be recourse to ‘other means’ and these too slip and slide in similar fashion upon the surface?

Where and at what point are these ‘other means’ employed, specifically in what setting and by whom? The Stasi? Ha!
In conjunction with the computer, the skilled observer and listener in face to face situations might therefore have this advantage to contribute.

Some prone to being a geek might wonder if a ‘mind-map’ and a ‘profile’ are the same thing? To a great extent, though the mind-map suggests being the product of an inner seeking (where I feel comfort), I used it to illustrate how dependence upon data misses the deeper and often hidden which some would ideally like to know.

(C-III) If it’s narrowed down to collation of data and the profiling that is possible, as you have, does this also imply a human factors/human machine interface consideration? Or is this addressed within the issue as you have examined it?

(C-I) Yes. I think what the machine is capable of generating; the production from what it is provided with, the profile that can be continuously added to.
Much ‘human computer interaction’ is regarding the actual interface between the user and the machine. How the user deals with what the machine is meant to do. Much research is done in this area as it pertains to a user and a machine performing complex tasks (command and control), and the interface is modeled (adapted) on best fit, if I’m correct. There is a long list of types on interface (voice user, task focused and so on).
I copied this because it’s about the interface and not what I was saying before regarding what the data generated by the computer does miss (what it misses and why), but it is relevant to your question. I also think it states the obvious whereas what I was pointing toward is not obvious at all. I don’t care for this, but here it is, listen;
‘User experience involves a person’s behaviors, attitudes, and emotions about using a particular product, system or service. User experience includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership. Additionally, it includes a person’s perceptions of system aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency. User experience may be considered subjective in nature to the degree that it is about individual perception and thought with respect to the system. User experience is dynamic as it is constantly modified over time due to changing usage circumstances and changes to individual systems as well as the wider usage context in which they can be found.’

(C-III) Olga, if you collect all the issues around surveillance, there’s one that sits atop, two actually; geographical/trans-national location and language. Data mining escapes practically all of problems associated with understanding what someone is on about, via translation. I do appreciate and value the point you made because it is very relevant.
NB. The (W-L C-II) article’ On Concealment’ (articles page) addresses these issues too, that face to face interactions present.

(C-I) Yes. There are issues and I acknowledge your statement. In stepping away from the interface and the computer, its data generation and what the result of this process actually is, just consider that there is a human at each end, the one/s under observation and the one/s observing. What is happening while the data mining is producing a profile; the observer is taking notice and interpreting something, somewhere within it and to a certain extent this interpreting will act as a blanket of the subjective that varies in its magnitude. I don’t think it is ever possible to escape this sequence.

There is recourse to the philosophy that takes this into account and a word ‘verstehen’. I have referred to it before. I tend to think much that is actually considered primary source could do well to be thought of as containing much of the observer/writer/interpreter’s personality, inclination and era.
Here is a broader definition I wrote, so will include it, do listen again;

Verstehen; is entering into the shoes of the other, and adopting this research stance requires treating the actor as a subject, rather than an object of observations. It also implies that unlike objects in the natural world, human actors are not simply the product of the pulls and pushes of external forces. Individuals are seen to create the world by organizing their own understanding of it and giving it meaning. To do research on actors without taking into account the meanings they attribute to their actions or environment is to treat them like objects.
Even despite the geographical/cultural/linguistic constraints, as you did point out, I posit that data constructions are unaware that there is still something more and dare I say, it be worthy of the attention.
The ones who take the data constructions are not necessarily who is charged with the assessments, if at all and this is to offer gesture of acknowledgement to the subsequent professional scrutiny. I might as well be diplomatic.

And further as a consideration, I ponder whether the observer can be accused of being an extension of the machine itself. I refer to the computer system as a whole and its appeal to the vast array of data type that performs the function of profile generation.
This has wider application than is our remit here, but there is the possibility that we have entered an era of the machine people. These are people who think and act as it is defined by what is external, in its machine structure and character. Geeks, you know many.
Do forgive my wrongness if it be the case, but is not the interface itself designed specifically to enhance this human/computer relationship?

There are many issues one could point to that are further afield, such as the fast food junk que, the structure of the purchase of goods generally and the point being; is there a gap somewhere because I think it carries on and there is a machine eating, watching of the TV, the intermittent texting that requires only a set procedure, the obsession with the same time for bed, the performing of the geek sex and the geek reacting, yes all in the machine geek fashion.

I was reading an article regarding how the Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota felt the requirement to re-educate the workforce they employed when expanding into the UK. Without wishing to be the ignorant generaliser person, what they were facing were individuals who were used to a very particular style of the work and this, instruction-response led. Now they were being asked to perform physical exercises before the day began and to hold meetings (multidisciplinary) which required actually thinking about their place in the more unstructured work system as well as what they were actually doing. This, in contrast to the machine people, zombie folk if you like, of before.
I am not saying that the NSA do not encourage the intelligence analyst to lift weights in the gym or to engage in the above. They are very pro-actively de-zombying in their approach. One would assume.

(C-III) You’ve used the word superficial in these discussions, in the context of what data actually achieves. What would you say to those who disagree and respond with something like. “We know you better than you know yourself.”

(C-I) That’s just so wrong. I know it’s a trait that behavioral scientists and the like profess to own, bound with power, that they connect with a process that reveals all. The use of data superficially places an ID tag onto what is enormously complex, and no matter what skills or process is appealed to by virtue of collating and owning that data, it remains superficial. There is no power involved unless it’s projected in by either in data collation, or by those who feel usurped. Sorry.

(C-III)  Governmental agencies and you obviously know who ”they” are, need to be perceived as being controllers. Is that what you mean?

(C-I) Yes, in a nutshell. I’m referring to mass-surveillance and homing it down to persons who are of interest. Doesn’t everyone want to be interesting in their own way? How would you even begin to unravel the inner searching that concludes a train of thought as ‘something’ in the outer world? By saying that, “so and so is creative“?  Whoopy Doo!

(C-III) If what is in the ‘outer world’ as you put it, is amenable to scrutiny, a great deal could be said about who was behind it.

(C-I) Not necessarily, it depends what it is. If you were an intelligence officer charged with monitoring XYX, and this (link included) appeared as a consequence of your investigation, what would you say about ‘who was behind it’? Remember, you would have other collated data at your disposal. *

*************** link removed

(C-I) Well?

*************** deleted part

(C-I) There’s something I wish to add but it causes me distress by so doing because it’s saying, ‘It’s shown to be so,’ and the unfortunate example I can cite is where people lose their lives, in fact many do. When what transpires, even after very considerable scrutiny of a person, is catastrophe, the resultant questioning centers around; ‘What did the process in use fail to discover?’ I would suggest it is the process of scrutiny itself that requires a significant additional component, that of analytical procedure, this, continuous and without break. If you consider what we said earlier, I posit that it is the psycho-analytical that reveals the psyche’s individual world simply because it is most capable of invading it.

(C-III) Who are you suggesting candidates are? By virtue of a person’s job, which carries with it extraordinary responsibility, what you say could be a component and I suspect it is, to an extent, but there are those who obviously would not volunteer. By the latter I mean lone wolves lurking in society whose secrets remain known to them only.

(C-I) Yes. The latter point you made is very interesting because it suggests that there be a hyper-awareness of any disclosure/s and these be taken seriously by everyone. Does the lone wolf who takes a gun and subsequently kills many ever reveal significant facets of themselves sufficient to warn of impending catastrophe? If the person harbors  intentions and these secret, there must be the medium and or context that might, I say might, reveal them – more precisely reveal their force and concomitant danger to society.

(C-III) I think what you just said ties in with meta-data collection – if it’s all we have, then its value is indisputable. Do you agree?

(C-I) Affirmative. Of course, I agree.

(C-III) Let’s start back with reference to a report I filched from the media. I want your opinion on it, I know you won’t agree with it, but its interesting in light of this discussion:


* Note; there is a reason for presentation of The Owl, read the partial explanation


Media report

The United States of America

Title > NSA’s telephone metadata collection not authorized by Patriot Act – appeals court

The collection of telephone metadata by US intelligence services “exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized,” a federal appeals court has ruled in a major blow to the National Security Agency.
On Thursday, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said the American Civil Liberties Union can sue the director of national intelligence over the NSA’s bulk collection program, reversing a ruling handed down more than a year earlier.
A district court judge had previously dismissed a lawsuit filed by the ACLU days after unauthorized disclosures attributed to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the agency has regularly collected records of phone calls of millions of Americans. The ACLU appealed and its suit has been remanded back to the district court.
Contrary to the government’s arguments, the appeals court said that the metadata collection was not authorized, pursuant to Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

“Such expansive development of government repositories of formerly private records would be an unprecedented contraction of the privacy expectations of all Americans,” Judge Gerard Lynch wrote for the majority opinion. “Perhaps such a contraction is required by national security needs in the face of the dangers of contemporary domestic and international terrorism. But we would expect such a momentous decision to be preceded by substantial debate, and expressed in unmistakable language. There is no evidence of such a debate in the legislative history of § 215, and the language of the statute, on its face, is not naturally read as permitting investigative agencies, on the approval of the (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court), to do any more than obtain the sorts of information routinely acquired in the course of criminal investigations of ‘money laundering and drug dealing.”

 (C-I) Of course I don’t agree with the ruling. I don’t agree with it at all, because the Court of Appeal has no recourse, only antagonism toward the real reason the NSA exists, its vital necessity in a world fraught with dangers they have no clue about, let alone their extent. By this action the appeal is attacking the very essential fabric of national security.



To present a framework for explaining variation in predator invasion success and predator impacts on native prey that integrates information about predator–prey naïveté, predator and prey behavioral responses to each other, consumptive and non-consumptive effects of predators on prey, and interacting effects of multiple species interactions. We begin with the ‘naïve prey’ hypothesis that posits that naïve, native prey that lack evolutionary history with non-native predators suffer heavy predation because they exhibit ineffective anti-predator responses to novel predators. Not all naïve prey, however, show ineffective anti-predator responses to novel predators. To explain variation in prey response to novel predators, we focus on the interaction between prey use of general versus specific cues and responses, and the functional similarity of non-native and native predators. Effective anti-predator responses reduce predation rates (reduce consumptive effects of predators, CEs), but often also carry costs that result in non-consumptive effects (NCEs) of predators. We contrast expected CEs versus NCEs for non-native versus native predators, and discuss how differences in the relative magnitudes of CEs and NCEs might influence invasion dynamics. Going beyond the effects of naïve prey, we discuss how the ‘naïve prey’, ‘enemy release’ and ‘evolution of increased competitive ability’ (EICA) hypotheses are inter-related, and how the importance of all three might be mediated by prey and predator naïveté. These ideas hinge on the notion that non-native predators enjoy a ‘novelty advantage’ associated with the naïveté of native prey and top predators. However, non-native predators could instead suffer from a novelty disadvantage because they are also naïve to their new prey and potential predators. We hypothesize that patterns of community similarity and evolution might explain the variation in novelty advantage that can underlie variation in invasion outcomes. Finally, we discuss management implications of our framework, including suggestions for managing invasive predators, predator re-introductions and biological control.

When you are putting together a model, you almost never assume that the independent variables in the model are independent of each other (you’d have to prove they weren’t to assume this, and they usually aren’t.)

When you run a model, you get a complex set of interactions which affect each other and the dependent variable. In order to understand how different those interactions are from what they might be by themselves, you run a naive model: a model that assumes that each independent variable is not affected by anything else, and that the value for the interaction between the independent and dependent variable is not related to the presence of anything else.

The usual analogy used for this is adequate; a naive Bayesan model assumes that the probability of something being an apple is independently able to be signaled by the color red, roundness and the diameter of the fruit, NOT the collected presence of all these things.

I’m sure we can all think of things that are red but not an apple, round but not an apple or ~3″ in diameter and not an apple.

So why run a naive Bayes? In order to give your actual model an index to be compared to. A naive model allows you to compare the singular effects of the independent variables being tested on the dependent variable, and gives you an idea of how different the effect is once the interactions between independent variables are allowed to be a part of the model.

The other reason is more Bayesean-specific (the first is a sort of general truism of running naive models): Bayesean methods use maximum likelihood as a method for estimating the parameters (and specifically the values at various points in a Gaussian distribution). This means that with a smaller number of observations than normal and the estimation of their mean and variance, you can fairly accurately estimate the maximum value for the model, how the population in question will be distributed, what the tails will look like and other parameters.

So, in the tl;dr version, Naive Bayes are useful for several reasons:

index for comparison so we can better understand complex models

ability to estimate population-wide trends with comparatively small amounts of data

Why is it posited as naive (a human trait)? My assumption is because it assumes things do not affect each other.


To augment, let me add a further example, illustrating the concept of a >Binary Naive Bayes classifier< in particular.

Suppose that you are a working as a security guard at the airport. Your task is to look at people who pass the security line and pick some of them as being worthy of a more detailed screening. Now, of course, telling whether a person is a potential criminal or not by just looking at him/her is hard, if at all possible, but you need to do something. You have been put there for some reason, after all.

One of the simplest ways to approach the problem, mentally, is the following. You assign a “risk value” for each person. At the beginning (when you don’t have any information about the person at all) you set this value to zero.

Now you start studying various features of the person in front of you: is it a male or a female? Is it a kid? Is he behaving nervously? Is he carrying a big bag? Is he alone? Did the metal detector beep? Is he a foreigner? And so on.

For each of those features you know (subconsciously due to your presuppositions, or from actual statistics) the average increase or decrease in risk of the person being a criminal that it entails. For example, if you know that the proportion of males among criminals is the same as the proportion of males among non-criminals, observing that a person is male will not affect his risk value at all. If, however, there are more males among criminals (suppose the percentage is, say, 70%) than among decent people (where the proportion is around 50%), observing that a person in front of you is a male will increase the “risk level” by some amount (the value is log(70%/50%) ~ 0.3, to be precise).

Then you see that a person is nervous. OK, you think, 90% of criminals are nervous, but only 50% of normal people are. This means that nervousness should entail a further risk increase (of log(0.9/0.5) ~ 0.6, to be technical again, so by now you have counted a total risk value of 0.9).

Then you see that a person is nervous. OK, you think, 90% of criminals are nervous, but only 50% of normal people are. This means that nervousness should entail a further risk increase (of log(0.9/0.5) ~ 0.6, to be technical again, so by now you have counted a total risk value of 0.9).

Then you notice it is a kid. Wow, there is only 1% of kids among criminals, but around 10% among normal people. Therefore, the risk value change due to this observation will be negative (log(0.01/0.10) ~ -2.3, so your totals are around -1.4 by now).

You can continue this as long as you want, including more and more features, each of which will modify your total risk value by either increasing it (if you know this particular feature is more representative of a criminal) or decreasing (if the features is more representative of a decent person). When you are done collecting the features, all is left for you is to compare the result with some threshold level. Say, if the total risk value exceeds 10, you declare the person in front of you to be potentially dangerous and take it into a detailed screening.

Then you see that a person is nervous. OK, you think, 90% of criminals are nervous, but only 50% of normal people are. This means that nervousness should entail a further risk increase (of log(0.9/0.5) ~ 0.6, to be technical again, so by now you have counted a total risk value of 0.9).

Then you notice it is a kid. Wow, there is only 1% of kids among criminals, but around 10% among normal people. Therefore, the risk value change due to this observation will be negative (log(0.01/0.10) ~ -2.3, so your totals are around -1.4 by now).

You can continue this as long as you want, including more and more features, each of which will modify your total risk value by either increasing it (if you know this particular feature is more representative of a criminal) or decreasing (if the features is more representative of a decent person). When you are done collecting the features, all is left for you is to compare the result with some threshold level. Say, if the total risk value exceeds 10, you declare the person in front of you to be potentially dangerous and take it into a detailed screening.

The Naive-Bayes Model. read document


time out


(C-III) ****, surely you didn’t really expect me to have read that document, did you? Seriously?

(laughter, document thrown with full force into bin)

(C-I) I just sailed through it like it was chocolate source, har, har, and just because you lapped up such a really interesting article, like I knew you would, here is something more up your street. It’s relevant, so do tell me what you think. Here it is :


Transcript. The Ultimate Revolution. Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley 1962 U.C. Berkeley Speech

March 20, 1962 Berkeley Language Center

Aldous Huxley, Essayist and Novelist who, during the spring semester is residing at the university in his capacity of a Ford research professor. Mr Huxley has recently returned from a conference at the Institute for the study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara where the discussion focused on the development of new techniques by which to control and direct human behavior. Traditionally it has been possible to suppress individual freedom through the application of physical coercion through the appeal of ideologies through the manipulation of man’s physical and social environment and more recently through the techniques, the cruder techniques of psychological conditioning. The Ultimate Revolution, about which Mr. Huxley will speak today, concerns itself with the development of new behavioral controls, which operate directly on the psycho-physiological organisms of man. That is the capacity to replace external constraint by internal compulsions. As those of us who are familiar with Mr. Huxley’s works will know, this is a subject of which he has been concerned for quite a period of time. Mr. Huxley will make a presentation of approximately half an hour followed by some brief discussions and questions by the two panelists sitting to my left, Mrs. Lillian {garbled} and Mr. John Post. Now Mr. Huxley


Thank You.


Uh, First of all, the, I’d like to say, that the conference at Santa Barbara was not directly concerned with the control of the mind. That was a conference, there have been two of them now, at the University of California Medical center in San Francisco, one this year which I didn’t attend, and one two years ago where there was a considerable discussion on this subject. At Santa Barbara, we were talking about technology in general and the effects it’s likely to have on society and the problems related to technological transplanting of technology into underdeveloped countries.

Well now in regard to this problem of the ultimate revolution, this has been very well summed up by the moderator. In the past we can say that all revolutions have essentially aimed at changing the environment in order to change the individual. I mean there’s been the political revolution, the economic revolution, in the time of the reformation, the religious revolution. All these aimed, not directly at the human being, but at his surroundings. So that by modifying the surroundings you did achieve, did one remove the effect of the human being.

Today we are faced, I think, with the approach of what may be called the ultimate revolution, the final revolution, where man can act directly on the mind-body of his fellows. Well needless to say some kind of direct action on human mind-bodies has been going on since the beginning of time. But this has generally been of a violent nature. The Techniques of terrorism have been known from time immemorial and people have employed them with more or less ingenuity sometimes with the utmost cruelty, sometimes with a good deal of skill acquired by a process of trial and error finding out what the best ways of using torture, imprisonment, constraints of various kinds.

But, as, I think it was (sounds like Mettenicht) said many years ago, you can do everything with {garbled} except sit on them. If you are going to control any population for any length of time, you must have some measure of consent, it’s exceedingly difficult to see how pure terrorism can function indefinitely. It can function for a fairly long time, but I think sooner or later you have to bring in an element of persuasion an element of getting people to consent to what is happening to them.

It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude. This is the, it seems to me, the ultimate in malevolent revolutions shall we say, and this is a problem which has interested me many years and about which I wrote thirty years ago, a fable, Brave New World, which is an account of society making use of all the devices available and some of the devices which I imagined to be possible making use of them in order to, first of all, to standardize the population, to iron out inconvenient human differences, to create, to say, mass produced models of human beings arranged in some sort of scientific caste system. Since then, I have continued to be extremely interested in this problem and I have noticed with increasing dismay a number of the predictions which were purely fantastic when I made them thirty years ago have come true or seem in process of coming true.

A number of techniques about which I talked seem to be here already. And there seems to be a general movement in the direction of this kind of ultimate revolution, a method of control by which a people can be made to enjoy a state of affairs by which any decent standard they ought not to enjoy. This, the enjoyment of servitude, Well this process is, as I say, has gone on for over the years, and I have become more and more interested in what is happening.

And here I would like briefly to compare the parable of Brave New World with another parable which was put forth more recently in George Orwell’s book, Nineteen Eighty- Four. Orwell wrote his book between, I think between 45 and 48 at the time when the Stalinist terror regime was still in Full swing and just after the collapse of the Hitlerian terror regime. And his book which I admire greatly, it’s a book of very great talent and extraordinary ingenuity, shows, so to say, a projection into the future of the immediate past, of what for him was the immediate past, and the immediate present, it was a projection into the future of a society where control was exercised wholly by terrorism and violent attacks upon the mind-body of individuals.

Whereas my own book which was written in 1932 when there was only a mild dictatorship in the form of Mussolini in existence, was not overshadowed by the idea of terrorism, and I was therefore free in a way in which Orwell was not free, to think about these other methods of control, these non-violent methods and my, I’m inclined to think that the scientific dictatorships of the future, and I think there are going to be scientific dictatorships in many parts of the world, will be probably a good deal nearer to the brave new world pattern than to the 1984 pattern, they will a good deal nearer not because of any humanitarian qualms of the scientific dictators but simply because the BNW pattern is probably a good deal more efficient than the other.

That if you can get people to consent to the state of affairs in which they’re living. The state of servitude the state of being, having their differences ironed out, and being made amenable to mass production methods on the social level, if you can do this, then you have, you are likely, to have a much more stable and lasting society. Much more easily controllable society than you would if you were relying wholly on clubs and firing squads and concentration camps. So that my own feeling is that the 1984 picture was tinged of course by the immediate past and present in which Orwell was living, but the past and present of those years does not reflect, I feel, the likely trend of what is going to happen, needless to say we shall never get rid of terrorism, it will always find its way to the surface.

But I think that insofar as dictators become more and more scientific, more and more concerned with the technically perfect, perfectly running society, they will be more and more interested in the kind of techniques which I imagined and described from existing realities in BNW. So that, it seems to me then, that this ultimate revolution is not really very far away, that we, already a number of techniques for bringing about this kind of control are here, and it remains to be seen when and where and by whom they will first be applied in any large scale.

And first let me talk about the, a little bit about the, improvement in the techniques of terrorism. I think there have been improvements. Pavlov after all made some extremely profound observations both on animals and on human beings. And he found among other things that conditioning techniques applied to animals or humans in a state either of psychological or physical stress sank in so to say, very deeply into the mind-body of the creature, and were extremely difficult to get rid of. That they seemed to be embedded more deeply than other forms of conditioning.

And this of course, this fact was discovered empirically in the past. People did make use of many of these techniques, but the difference between the old empirical intuitive methods and our own methods is the difference between the, a sort of, hit and miss craftsman’s point of view and the genuinely scientific point of view. I think there is a real difference between ourselves and say the inquisitors of the 16th century. We know much more precisely what we are doing, than they knew and we can extend because of our theoretical knowledge, we can extend what we are doing over a wider area with a greater assurance of being producing something that really works.

In this context I would like to mention the extremely interesting chapters in Dr. William (sounds like Seargent’s) Battle for the Mind where he points out how intuitively some of the great religious teachers/leaders of the past hit on the Pavlovian method, he speaks specifically of Wesley’s method of producing conversions which were essentially based on the technique of heightening psychological stress to the limit by talking about hellfire and so making people extremely vulnerable to suggestion and then suddenly releasing this stress by offering hopes of heaven and this is a very interesting chapter of showing how completely on purely intuitive and empirical grounds a skilled natural psychologist, as Wesley was, could discover these Pavlovian methods.

Well, as I say, we now know the reason why these techniques worked and there’s no doubt at all that we can if we wanted to, carry them much further than was possible in the past. And of course in the history of, recent history of brainwashing, both as applied to prisoners of war and to the lower personnel within the communist party in China, we see that the pavlovian methods have been applied systematically and with evidently with extraordinary efficacy. I think there can be no doubt that by the application of these methods a very large army of totally devoted people has been created. The conditioning has been driven in, so to say, by a kind of psychological iontophoresis into the very depths of the people’s being, and has got so deep that it’s very difficult to ever be rooted out, and these methods, I think, are a real refinement on the older methods of terror because they combine methods of terror with methods of acceptance that the person who is subjected to a form of terroristic stress but for the purpose of inducing a kind of voluntary quotes acceptance of the state the psychological state in which he has been driven and the state of affairs in which he finds himself.

So there is, as I say, there has been a definite improvement in the, even in the techniques of terrorism. But then we come to the consideration of other techniques, non-terroristic techniques, for inducing consent and inducing people to love their servitude. Here, I don’t think I can possibly go into all of them, because I don’t know all of them, but I mean I can mention the more obvious methods, which can now be used and are based on recent scientific findings. First of all there are the methods connected with straight suggestion and hypnosis.

I think we know much more about this subject than was known in the past. People of course, always have known about suggestion, and although they didn’t know the word ‘hypnosis’ they certainly practiced it in various ways. But we have, I think, a much greater knowledge of the subject than in the past, and we can make use of our knowledge in ways, which I think the past was never able to make use of it. For example, one of the things we now know for certain, that there is of course an enormous, I mean this has always been known a very great difference between individuals in regard to their suggestibility. But we now know pretty clearly the sort of statistical structure of a population in regard to its suggestibility. Its very interesting when you look at the findings of different fields, I mean the field of hypnosis, the field of administering placebos, for example, in the field of general suggestion in states of drowsiness or light sleep you will find the same sorts of orders of magnitude continually cropping up.

You’ll find for example that the experienced hypnotist will tell one that the number of people, the percentage of people who can be hypnotized with the utmost facility (snaps), just like that. is about 20%, and about a corresponding number at the other end of the scale are very, very difficult or almost impossible to hypnotize. But in between lies a large mass of people who can with more or less difficulty be hypnotized, that they can gradually be if you work hard enough at it be got into the hypnotic state, and in the same way the same sort of figures crop up again, for example in relation to the administration of placebos.

A big experiment was carried out three of four years ago in the general hospital in Boston on post-operative cases where several hundred men and woman suffering comparable kinds of pain after serious operations were allowed to, were given injections whenever they asked for them whenever the pain got bad, and the injections were 50% of the time were of morphine, and 50% of water. And about twenty percent of those who went through the experiment, about 20% of them got just as much relief from the distilled waters as from the morphea. About 20% got no relief from the distilled water, and in- between were those who got some relief or got relief occasionally.

So yet again, we see the same sort of distribution, and similarly in regard to what in BNW I called Hypnopedia, the sleep teaching, I was talking not long ago to a man who manufactures records which people can listen to in the, during the light part of sleep, I mean these are records for getting rich, for sexual satisfaction (crowd laughs), for confidence in salesmanship and so on, and he said that its very interesting that these are records sold on a money-back basis, and he says there is regularly between 15% and 20% of people who write indignantly saying the records don’t work at all, and he sends the money back at once. There are on the other hand, there are over 20% who write enthusiastically saying they are much richer, their sexual life is much better (laughter) etc, etc. And these of course are the dream clients and they buy more of these records. And in between there are those who don’t get much results and they have to have letters written to them saying “Go persist my dear, go on” (laughter) and you will get there, and they generally do get results in the long run.

Well, as I say, on the basis of this, I think we see quite clearly that the human populations can be categorized according to their suggestibility fairly clearly,. I suspect very strongly that this twenty percent is the same in all these cases, and I suspect also that it would not be at all difficult to recognize and {garbled} out who are those who are extremely suggestible and who are those extremely unsuggestible and who are those who occupy the intermediate space. Quite clearly, if everybody were extremely unsuggestible organized society would be quite impossible, and if everybody were extremely suggestible then a dictatorship would be absolutely inevitable. I mean it’s very fortunate that we have people who are moderately suggestible in the majority and who therefore preserve us from dictatorship but do permit organized society to be formed. But, once given the fact that there are these 20% of highly suggestible people, it becomes quite clear that this is a matter of enormous political importance, for example, any demagogue who is able to get hold of a large number of these 20% of suggestible people and to organize them is really in a position to overthrow any government in any country.

And I mean, I think this after all, we had the most incredible example in recent years by what can be done by efficient methods of suggestion and persuasion in the form of Hitler. Anyone who has read, for example, (Sounds like Bulloch’s) Life of Hitler, comes forth with this horrified admiration for this infernal genius, who really understood human weaknesses I think almost better than anybody and who exploited them with all the resources then available. I mean he knew everything, for example, he knew intuitively this Pavlovian truth that condition installed in a state of stress or fatigue goes much deeper than conditioning installed at other times. This of course is why all his big speeches were organized at night. He speaks quite frankly, of course, in Mein Kampf, this is done solely because people are tired at night and therefore much less capable of resisting persuasion than they would be during the day. And in all his techniques he was using, he had discovered intuitively and by trial and error a great many of the weaknesses, which we now know about on a sort of scientific way I think much more clearly than he did.

But the fact remains that this differential of suggestibility this susceptibility to hypnosis I do think is something which has to be considered very carefully in relation to any kind of thought about democratic government . If there are 20% of the people who really can be suggested into believing almost anything, then we have to take extremely careful steps into prevent the rise of demagogues who will drive them on into extreme positions then organize them into very, very dangerous armies, private armies which may overthrow the government.

This is, I say, in this field of pure persuasion, I think we do know much more than we did in the past, and obviously we now have mechanisms for multiplying the demagogues voice and image in a quite hallucinatory way, I mean, the TV and radio, Hitler was making enormous use of the radio, he could speak to millions of people simultaneously. This alone creates an enormous gulf between the modern and the ancient demagogue. The ancient demagogue could only appeal to as many people as his voice could reach by yelling at his utmost, but the modern demagogue could touch literally millions at a time, and of course by the multiplication of his image he can produce this kind of hallucinatory effect which is of enormous hypnotic and suggestive importance.

But then there are the various other methods one can think of which, thank heaven, as yet have not be used, but which obviously could be used. There is for example, the pharmacological method, this is one of the things I talked about in BNW. I invented a hypothetical drug called SOMA, which of course could not exist as it stood there because it was simultaneously a stimulant, a narcotic, and a hallucinogen, which seems unlikely in one substance. But the point is, if you applied several different substances you could get almost all these results even now, and the really interesting things about the new chemical substances, the new mind-changing drugs is this, if you looking back into history its clear that man has always had a hankering after mind changing chemicals, he has always desired to take holidays from himself, but the, and, this is the most extraordinary effect of all that every natural occurring narcotic stimulant, sedative, or hallucinogen, was discovered before the dawn of history, I don’t think there is one single one of these naturally occurring ones which modern science has discovered.

Modern science has of course better ways of extracting the active principals of these drugs and of course has discovered numerous ways of synthesizing new substances of extreme power, but the actual discovery of these naturally occurring things was made by primitive man goodness knows how many centuries ago. There is for example, in the underneath the, lake dwellings of the early Neolithic that have been dug up in Switzerland we have found poppy-heads, which looks as though people were already using this most ancient and powerful and dangerous of narcotics, even before the days of the rise of agriculture. So that man was apparently a dope-bag addict before he was a farmer, which is a very curious comment on human nature.

But, the difference, as I say, between the ancient mind-changers, the traditional mind- changers, and the new substances is that they were extremely harmful and the new ones are not. I mean even the permissible mind-changer alcohol is not entirely harmless, as people may have noticed, and I mean the other ones, the non-permissible ones, such as opium and cocaine, opium and its derivatives, are very harmful indeed. They rapidly produce addiction, and in some cases lead at an extraordinary rate to physical degeneration and death.

Whereas these new substances, this is really very extraordinary, that a number of these new mind-changing substances can produce enormous revolutions within the mental side of our being, and yet do almost nothing to the physiological side. You can have an enormous revolution, for example, with LSD-25 or with the newly synthesized drug psilocybin, which is the active principal of the Mexican sacred mushroom. You can have this enormous mental revolution with no more physiological revolution than you would get from drinking two cocktails. And this is a really most extraordinary effect.

And it is of course true that pharmacologists are producing a great many new wonder drugs where the cure is almost worse than the disease. Every year the new edition of medical textbooks contains a longer and longer chapter of what are Iatrogenic diseases, that is to say diseases caused by doctors (laughter} And this is quite true, many of the wonder drugs are extremely dangerous. I mean they can produce extraordinary effects, and in critical conditions they should certainly be used, but they should be used with the utmost caution. But there is evidently a whole class of drugs effecting the CNS which can produce enormous changes in sedation in euphoria in energizing the whole mental process without doing any perceptible harm to the human body, and this presents tsco me the most extraordinary revolution. In the hands of a dictator these substances in one kind or the other could be used with, first of all, complete harmlessness, and the result would be, you can imagine a euphoric that would make people thoroughly happy even in the most abominable circumstances.

I mean these things are possible. This is the extraordinary thing, I mean after all this is even true with the crude old drugs. I mean, a housemate years ago remarked after reading Milton’s Paradise Lost, He Says “And beer does more than Milton can to justify God’s ways to man” (laughter). And beer is of course, an extremely crude drug compared to these ones. And you can certainly say that some of the psychic energizers and the new hallucinants could do incomparably more than Milton and all the Theologicians combined could possibly do to make the terrifying mystery of our existence seem more tolerable than it does. And here I think one has an enormous area in which the ultimate revolution could function very well indeed, an area in which a great deal of control could be used by not through terror, but by making life seem much more enjoyable than it normally does. Enjoyable to the point, where as I said before, Human beings come to love a state of things by which any reasonable and decent human standard they ought not to love and this I think is perfectly possible.

But then, very briefly, let me speak about one of the more recent developments in the sphere of neurology, about the implantation of electrodes in the brain. This of course has been done in the large scale in animals and in a few cases its been done in the cases of the hopelessly insane. And anybody who has watched the behavior of rats with electrodes placed in different centers must come away from this experience with the most extraordinary doubts about what on Earth is in store for us if this is got a hold of by a dictator. I saw not long ago some rats in the {garbled} laboratory at UCLA there were two sets of them, one with electrodes planted in the pleasure center, and the technique was they had a bar which they pressed which turned on a very small current for a short space of time which we had a wire connected with that electrode and which stimulated the pleasure center and was evidently absolutely ecstatic was these rats were pressing the bar 18,000 times a day (laughter). Apparently if you kept them from pressing the bar for a day, they’d press it 36,000 times on the following day and would until they fell down in complete exhaustion (laughter) And they would neither eat, nor be interested in the opposite sex but would just go on pressing this bar {pounds on podium}

Then the most extraordinary rats were those were the electrode was planted halfway between the pleasure and the pain centre. The result was a kind of mixture of the most wonderful ecstasy and like being on the rack at the same time. And you would see the rats sort of looking at is bar and sort of saying “To be or not to be that is the question”. (Laughter) Finally it would approach {Pounds on podium} and go back with this awful I mean, the (sounds like franken huminizer anthropomorphizer), and he would wait some time before pressing the bar again, yet he would always press it again. This was the extraordinary thing.

I noticed in the most recent issue of Scientific American there’s a very interesting article on electrodes in the brains of chickens, where the technique is very ingenious, where you sink into their brains a little socket with a screw on it and the electrode can then be screwed deeper and deeper into the brain stem and you can test at any moment according to the depth, which goes at fractions of the mm, what you’re stimulating and these creatures are not merely stimulated by wire, they’re fitted with a miniature radio receiver which weighs less than an ounce which is attached to them so that they can be communicated with at a distance, I mean they can run about in the barnyard and you could press a button and this particular area of the brain to which the electrode has been screwed down to would be stimulated. You would get this fantastic phenomena, where a sleeping chicken would jump up and run about, or an active chicken would suddenly sit down and go to sleep, or a hen would sit down and act like she’s hatching out an egg, or a fighting rooster would go into depression.

The whole picture of the absolute control of the drives is terrifying, and in the few cases in which this has been done with very sick human beings, The effects are evidently very remarkable too, I was talking last summer in England to Grey Walter, who is the most eminent exponent of the EEG technique in England, and he was telling me that he’s seen hopeless inmates at asylums with these things in their heads, and these people were suffering from uncontrollable depression, and they had these electrodes inserted into the pleasure center in their brain, however when they felt too bad, they just pressed a button on the battery in their pocket and he said the results were fantastic, the mouth pointing down would suddenly turn up and they’d feel very cheerful and happy. So there again one sees the most extraordinary revolutionary techniques, which are now available to us.

Now, I think what is obviously perfectly clear is that for the present these techniques are not being used except in an experimental way, but I think it is important for us to realize what is happening to make ourselves acquainted with what has already happened, and then use a certain amount of imagination to extrapolate into the future the sort of things that might happen. What might happen if these fantastically powerful techniques were used by unscrupulous people in authority, what on Earth would happen, what sort of society would we get?

And I think it is peculiarly important because as one sees when looking back over history we have allowed in the past all those advances in technology which has profoundly changed our social and individual life to take us by surprise, I mean it seems to me that it was during the late 18 century early 19th century when the new machines were making possible the factory situation. It was not beyond the wit of man to see what was happening and project into the future and maybe forestall the really dreadful consequences which plagued England and most of western Europe and this country for sixty or seventy years, and the horrible abuses of the factory system and if a certain amount of forethought had been devoted to the problem at that time and if people had first of all found out what was happening and then used their imagination to see what might happen, and then had gone on to work out the means by which the worst applications of the techniques would not take place, well then I think western humanity might have been spared about three generations of utter misery which had been imposed on the poor at that time.

And the same way with various technological advances now, I mean we need to think about the problems with automation and more profoundly the problems, which may arise with these new techniques, which may contribute to this ultimate revolution. Our business is to be aware of what is happening, and then to use our imagination to see what might happen, how this might be abused, and then if possible to see that the enormous powers which we now possess thanks to these scientific and technological advances to be used for the benefit of human beings and not for their degradation.



What is the life-world of a person?

The manipulation of the life-world

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SUPPLEMENT / ADDENDUM – USA. from ; ‘Geospatial Intelligence Forum’ June 2012. volume 10. Issue 4 ;

Harrison Donnelly in a magazine called Geospatial Intelligence Forum, and at a time of rapid advances in MASINT, SIGINT and other advanced technologies for obtaining information, it’s easy to forget that the oldest and lowest-tech form of intelligence is still one of the most important: the human. A renewed emphasis on HUMINT was one of the ideas behind the recent Department of Defense move to establish a Defense Clandestine Service (DCS) initially comprising several hundred current military intelligence operatives, with more to be added in the future. The new organization will work closely with the CIA to monitor international strategic trends and future threats. Defense officials and analysts described the new agency as responding to arguments—including those offered in the past by Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, who was confirmed as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (*not at the post now)—that military intelligence programs had focused over the past decade on tactical information in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, at the expense of understanding broader issues and public opinion in key countries. The plan was put together under the leadership of Michael Vickers, undersecretary of defense for intelligence, who in an interview earlier this year identified “national HUMINT” as an area needing more attention.  DCS has drawn some early criticism, including from a newspaper editorial that labeled the idea “spies run amok” and warned that it could add redundant bureaucracy, increase costs and undermine the independent judgments of the CIA. Maybe so, but I think the risks are outweighed by the value of restoring human intelligence as a complement to other forms of collection, no matter how technologically sophisticated. As Navy Captain John Kirby (of White House spokesperson fame, – most recent for being rude to an RT journalist), deputy assistant secretary of defense for media operations, was quoted as saying, “The practical result will be a re-balancing of our efforts and our focus on the human side of intelligence collection. We’re very, very proficient at the technical side of intelligence collection, and I think this will help us get a little better at the human intelligence effort.”


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