July 29, 2012
By GRANT J. KIDNEY | AWWE | JULY 29, 2012
The world’s first ‘smart city’ is being built in Asia- and it promises to serve as an experiment for the high-tech tyranny that is surely to come about as a response to the collapse of this present era of human industrial civilization.
Dubbed ‘Songdo’, the city will rest upon a wholly man made island in the Yellow sea and will incorporate just about every aspect of an Orwellian ‘super state’ imaginable.
Millions of wireless sensors and microchips will be embedded throughout the sprawling city-scape. ‘Smart appliances’ such as refrigerators that let you know when you’re running low on certain foods and bathroom mirrors that inform you of your physical health will be evident in every home.
Songdo will also prominently feature ‘telepresence’ technology which translates to giant video screens everywhere. Telepresence is a ‘Skype’ like innovation developed by Cisco that allows folks to make convenient video calls to any one else with the same set up in their home or office.
Boasting other such innovations like street lights that automatically adjust to the number of people out on the street as well as an advanced ‘central hub’ that monitors almost every aspect of the city in real-time, Songdo is surely the first city of its kind with others like it such as the PlanIT Valley in Portugal just over the horizon.
The technology is neutral, the current value system is not: why Songdo will fail
The problem with Songdo is not so much with its innovation and high tech systems approach to properly maintaining a city of the twenty first century- but rather, it provides for those who are at present in control of the Earth and its resources an effective way to contain- and dare I say, ‘enslave’- the whole of the human population.
Grass roots, sustainability organizations such as the Zeitgeist Movement and the Venus Project propose similar designs for advanced city systems as a means to ‘update’ our current inefficient model of the urban environment. What separates the aims of these two organizations in particular from the rise of Songdo-like city systems however is the fact that both groups advocate an adjustment of our human value systems first before migrating into an efficient new living-scape. Without having made these critical changes to the global, human social order, any new ‘smart city’ will only morph into a high-tech prison-grid controlled by extreme sociopaths.
Science fiction warns of high tech control grids
Orwellian cities of the future are certainly not a new concept in the realm of science fiction. In every example of a functional (or is it ‘non-functional’) dystopic model, citizens are treated like cattle as their every move is both tracked and recorded. In a world wherein our value systems have been radically adjusted to the extents proposed by the Zeitgeist Movement and the Venus Project, there is no real merit in any one person or group controlling others with high technology. However, in places such as Songdo, it is mathematically certain- given the make up of our present warped psychology as a species- that a gross form of corruption will overtake the city and subject its millions of inhabitants beneath what will ultimately prove but a more advanced form of what was once Hitler’s Third Reich.
Songdo is scheduled to be completed by 2015. If proven a successful model for control, there is little doubt that the elites of many different cities will push to integrate the same technologies into their command-grid so as to gain a much firmer grip on their ‘unruly’ populaces.
Sources for this article:
The Machine and the Ghost
The Zeitgeist Movement
The Venus Project