It must have to do with how my brain is wired. When I was young, say around 7 or 8, my dad explained to me how anti-theft bolts work. My initial reaction was that it was stupid because I could put such anti-theft bolts on the wheels of someone else's car, flatten the tires and he would be prevented from changing the wheels. I guess this is the mind of a hacker. I don't think it can be learned. I do teach computer security at the University and in engineering schools. With experience I have learned that most of my job is actually to detect the students who think this way, not really to train them.
I write this for you to be aware of my state of mind which is not that usual. It is not better or worse than others but it is definitely specific. So take all of this with a grain of salt.
A last caveat. In our modern times writing as become too much materialistic. We have forgotten to think and feel allegorically and metaphorically. Fact checkers of the world are still looking for evidence (*scientific* what else ?) of beauty and kindness I guess.
From Scarcity to Abundance
For the first time our problems mostly come from too much rather than from not enough. This is true in many fields: food and obesity comes to mind, but also information and fake news, leisure time and faint-hearted generation etc. Even cultural heritage: to acquire a culture is a lifetime work, but nowadays with slogans like “diversity is our strength” etc. people are overwhelmed by cultural influences. At the end of the day they have no culture, but just a thin veneer, an inconsistent patchwork of normalized (in the industrial acception of the word “norm”) religious and cultural “events”.
We have too much of what we had to few, and we don’t know what to do about that. It is not to diminish the difficulty to deal with those new issues. They are serious problems but they are problems that look like the opposite/dual versions of traditional problems. I don’t know if Orwell got this when he invented the new speech in 1984, but it was pitch perfect. The new normal is dual version of the old normal.
The Pitești Experiment
Maybe you haven't heard about the Pitești experiment and maybe it is better for you. If you haven't and think you know what hell is, think again. And again. And you won't even be close to it. If you feel brave enough (this is not a cheap baiting but a real warning) you can read about it or listen to some podcasts (this one is in french) to have a glimpse of it.
The idea of the experience was to prove that there was no such thing as a soul that was untouchable and that humans could be programmed and reprogrammed at will. Materialism pushed to the limit. I am not going to detail here the horrors that took place. I just recall the stages that were formalized by then. Because it was a *scientific* experiment. It was explicitly aiming at the reproducibility of the results. To reprogram a soul they had identified four stages. To have a sense of what we are talking here : the prisonners selected for this experiment were already living in concentration camps. They were the tougher, the ones that don’t crack even under incredibly horrifying circumstances. Mostly they were religious and very patriotic people: they had something deep within themselves that helped them to endure untold horrors. When they were selected they were first subjected to weeks of continuous torture just to set things up. It was a requirement, a kind of stage zero, for the experiment to start. Yes you read it right: having survived in a concentration camps was a prerequisite, it was just the starting point. Then the reprogramming could begin. The first three stages of the experiment were literally called “unmaskings”:
External unmasking. Prisoners were tortured to confess everything they could. The point was not to learn anything but just to make them expose every intimate details of their lives. The fact that most confessions at this point were inventions was not an issue.
Internal unmasking. In this stage the prisoner had to reveal the names of the guards that behaved less brutally and showed signs of humanity. Here again, the fact that it was true or not was absolutely not the point.
Public unmasking. Prisoners were there forced to publicly denounce everything they believed in. They were forced to accuse members of their family of atrocities, reject their faith, make public letters etc.
To inflict torture on their mates. Prisoners then became guards, and by that were robbed their status of victims by becoming perpetrators themselves. It also produced a self reinforcing loop in torture techniques.
This process took a long time. Months. Years. And there were many back and forth between stages. Any guard (by definition an ex tortured) could be reintroduced as a prisoner if he showed any glimpse of mercy, or just randomly. When the process was completed and the prisoner was completely brainwashed and destroyed from within, then he could be sent to another gulag (typically to work as a slave on the Black-sea Danube canal) or simply killed. Because it was just to make a point. It had nothing to do with state security or something like that.
Masking is the new unmasking
We are now in January 2022. Two years deep into the covid crisis and there are constant discussions about masks. It is more than just a phony coincidence. Instead of being stripped of every layers that makes you a human being, the modern way to reprogram souls is by adding extra layers on top of each other. This is where the abundance vs scarcity effect comes into play.
The most direct examples are of course the masks and the various political and social measures to *fight* the pandemics. Think about it. Like in the experiment it turns around shame, and it is publicly enforced. Everyone become an executioner (same thing with vaccine passes) and a prisoner. Also masks are a visible marker in the very sense of the word visible. Actually it becomes the only visible marker: individuality disappears under the mask. And if you don't wear it, promote it or sing praises to sanitary measures, then it means you don't care about the others right? The absurdity, in the sense of the testable inadequacy between what the measures are claimed to achieve and the empirical results achieved, is a feature. You are forced to renounce sanity and rationalism: the ubuesque lists of rules (often self contradicting), updated on a weekly basis, concur into destroying all landmarks.
One way to describe what happened during the Pitești experiment by a victim was that he felt suspended in the air. He had truly nothing to hold on. Yet he said that he was able to survive because, when entering the torture chamber he could see the cross of a church through a window. It was the only thing he could rely on. Of course it would be ridiculous beyond words to compare what happen today with something like that. Yet the debasement of public discussion that we are experiencing achieves something of the same nature. No rational - and I am not going to ponder for screens about the precise meaning of this word: everyone having a modicum of good faith gets what it means - discussion can take place.
I am horrified by hearing more and more ideas that unvaccinated people should not be taken care of etc. We shall never give up on what makes us human and bury it behind masks and their avatars.