Prophecy: Whoever or whatever controls the Oblong, will control the humans.

This essay provides an interesting perspective on the power of the Oblong and how it might be used to manipulate humans. The author effectively uses examples from books like 1984 and Brave New World to illustrate the potential consequences of relying too heavily on the Oblong. The essay also discusses the divide between those who understand the potential danger of the Oblong and those who blindly trust it. Overall, the essay offers an interesting and thoughtful take on the power of the Oblong.  –  OpenAi engine…

I stole the concept of the Oblong from a book I read, Clara and the Sun, by Kazou Ishiguro.

The Oblong is the main or only source of information that humans use to make decisions about their life.  What to eat, where to go, what to think, who to hang out with and what to do!  Years ago humans used their 5 senses to make migratory, hunting, social and other critical decisions. Now the Oblong sits between the humans main senses, (visual, auditory, touch) and the real world to help the humans make sense of a huge amount of information and interact with each other and the universe.

What if the humans think they control their Oblong when in fact some one else controls the Oblong, what is presented and therefore controls the behaviour of the humans decision making. The humans often consider the aura of the oblong, its beauty and almost religious connection to a brand as they rush to trust something they don’t comprehend how it works.

What of the gap between knowledge of technology and the users of it.

George Orwell’s book, 1984 foreshadows (at the time) how restriction of information could or would be used to control the masses.  He feared books or publications would be banned that presented an alternate view of the ruling political elite.  That is, controlling the humans with deprivation or limiting of information.

Aldus Huxley – author of Brave New World, looks at the control of humans by providing an over supply of information.  I have read that Huxley feared no one would read books, which is a very different take on things to Orwell. He was apparently concerned that if humans were presented with too much information that humans would be reduced to passivity and egotism.

Whoever or whatever controls the Oblong, will control the humans.

Two ends of the spectrum maybe, but I suspect we might be hovering at one end at the moment.

Through the Oblong humans are presented with so much information, more than they scan process and work with. Emails, Social media, messaging, video, music, news and a range of APPs.  Add to that a rush to trust the latest cool APP with expectation spooled up by clever marketing.

Very few have the ability to understand how the APP is working so most jump on and share videos or other details while the APP is doing something else. Collecting data.  Even if you understand how it works and what is going you have to ostracise yourself from the rest of society to make sure you are not affected.  Is it worth that? How lonely!

Maybe politicians can establish laws to bring some control but how were those politicians chosen.  What is the of source of information the human used to make a decision on who to elect?

We released a messaging and social media application (LamChat) so that people can share stories and information securely without being tracked and the APP/System does not collect other information about the user.  There are people who care about this confidentially and they use a system like LamChat, but they represent a very very slim minority.

Now we have had a series of publicised cyber security events that have affected a great deal of the population. There are several that have gained notoriety but these only represent a few in a long list of successful attack in the last few months.  Why didn’t you hear about them? You probably did and its buried in the white noise of constant information overload.

Many of us in the cyber security industry figure out what has happened to a victim sometimes before the victims management or board do.  It must be frustrating for them. They have built a business and profited from the efficiencies and speed of the digital revolution. They have typically not dealt with the human disciplines of operating infrastructure around security the value of information and the trust people place in them.

I think about the divide between the people whom know and those that blindly trust. In the past a government or ruler would make some laws to protect or manage the disruption to the kingdom to keep control and order.  We have seen our government follow many others around the world to impose large fines on operators of infrastructure that people trust.  The laws around privacy in Australia have been around for 4 years but the fines have just been increased dramatically and obligations for reporting have tightened in the last 2 months.

But what are we doing around the power of the Oblong and the impact it could have on our society if the power is misused?

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- By Alan Kepper