Welcome To The Future! We Didn’t Figure Out Flying Cars, But Here’s A Device That Continually Checks Your Work Conversations For Signs Of Ungoodthink

Here we are in the distant future. February of 2020, after Blade Runner and entire decades after the putative settings of various space odysseys and whatnot. We’re still woefully short on:

* space travel
* flying cars
* intelligent robots
* aliens
* lightsabers

and that’s just the beginning of the list. To make matters worse, we are facing an unprecedented crisis. A critical resource, one which employs tens of thousands of people across the country and which is absolutely essential to all segments of the American economy from academic to governmental to corporate, is becoming harder and harder to find. Once upon a time it just bubbled up from the ground; you could find it everywhere from small-town public squares to the Los Angeles streets. Then we had to start digging for it, seeking it out beneath deep layers of rock and out in the ocean. Now, we’re using complex technology to ferret out the last remnants. We’re also creating some of it via artificial means, although the fake stuff doesn’t work as well as the real thing. In the near future, we may have to start looking at serious rationing, just so there’s enough to go around for everyone.

No, I’m not talking about oil. Why would you think that? I’m talking about racism and sexism — but don’t worry, we have our best people on it, and they’ve come up with a brilliant solution to the problem.

what if a smart device, similar to the Amazon Alexa, could tell when your boss inadvertently left a female colleague out of an important decision, or made her feel that her perspective wasn’t valued?

Wonder no more, my friend, because the US Army is funding the creation of just such a device. $1.5 million over three years in feasibility funding, going to just two researchers. That’s some sweet cheddar right there. Why is this funding coming from the Army? Your guess is as good as mine, although I can think of one way in which such a device could have real strategic value: just drop millions of copies into the cubicles of our enemies and watch as they self-implode or something.

Welles says the grant—which she and Riedl will undertake in collaboration with research colleagues from Columbia University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the Army Research Lab—will allow her and her colleagues to program a sensor-equipped, smart device to pick up on both verbal and nonverbal cues, and eventually physiological signals, shared between members of a team. The device would keep track of their interactions over time, and then based on those interactions, make recommendations for improving the team’s productivity.
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“You could imagine [a scenario] where maybe a manager at the end of a group deliberation gets a report that says person A was really dominating the conversation,” says Welles. The smart device would alert the manager to the participants whose input might have been excluded, she says, with a reminder to follow up with that individual.

That’s right: the Sexism And Racism Detection Device won’t just listen to what you say. It will observe your body. Maybe pick up on subvocals. I’m reminded of a science-fiction novel, one in which there are no flying cars:

He did not know how long she had been looking at him, but perhaps for as much as five minutes, and it was possible that his features had not been perfectly under control. It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.

Any sane person would be horrified at the suggestion of a device which would aid in the detection of facecrime. In 2020, there’s going to be competition to see who can get one made first. Does it even need to be stated that such a device will be programmed by Indian H1-Bs, which will benefit the Indian economy, and will be made in China, where it will benefit the Chinese economy, but will be used against native-born Americans in the United States, where it will aid in our ever-more-energetic slouching towards Gomorrah?

Even more fascinating and horrifying than the device itself, however, is the philosophical basis of its creation. This Demon Alexa is meant to unearth “implicit bias”. Remember that phrase, because you’re going to hear it a lot more in the future.

You see, once upon a time we had real old-fashioned racism and sexism in this country. It took many forms, from mandated back-of-the-bus seating to a Land Rover salesman telling my first wife in 1997 that she couldn’t drive the Discovery we were about to buy without having her husband present. (I ended up buying my Disco from another dealer.) Like oil in the early twentieth century, it just appeared. It was everywhere. You didn’t have to look for it.

After a coordinated program of mass cultural indoctrination which exceeded the Manhattan Project in its scope, cost, and jurisdiction, Americans have pretty much eliminated the raw forms of these thoughtcrimes. It is our new religion, and here’s the proof: we now encourage people to mock Christ in public — we even pay them to do so — but the mere whisper of what this blog must call “the N-word” is enough to get you permanently unemployed for life. You can make hundreds of jokes about raping children during the height of your career, as Disney director James Gunn did in public, and the media will stand behind your redemption arc, but if there is a grainy video of you making a racial slur in 1980, you’re done, my friend. It’s possible to lose your sponsor because your father said something vaguely insensitive forty years ago. Ask Conor Daly about that. He was born ten years after his father said something unpleasant in a radio interview, and he got punished for it. Pretty soon we’ll revive the Biblical punishment of “unto the third generation”.

I am certain there are still isolated incidents of old-fashioned racism in this country, but there are also isolated incidents of measles and beastiality. No doubt there remains plenty of individual discrimination, but the same is true regarding fat people, ugly people, and people who went to the university which beat your alma mater in the Rose Bowl. The Kulturkampf has been won and the resistance has been mopped up. There’s just one little problem: during that Kulturkampf, we built a massive racism-sexism-industrial complex which is economically dependent on the discovery, and persecution, of bigotry. Like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which paid $400,000 a year to its bigwigs while using racial-slurs in-house against its own black employees. In a world with no racism, the SPLC has no reason to exist — but if you’re one of its executives, you’re not going to come out and say that your work is finished, are you?

There’s an old stock-market adage that goes something like “When your shoeshine boy has market tips, it’s time to sell.” The modern equivalent of that is, “When you hear someone use the phrase ‘shoeshine boy’, you can earn money and exposure by calling them out.” The racism-sexism-industrial complex has grown faster than the stock market over the past two decades — and much like the stock market, no one is quite sure that there are any fundamentals beneath the growth. From plain-and-obvious racism, we devolved to “institutionalized racism,” which means “anything that a sufficiently moronic jury might award damages about.” That’s the deep-sea drilling of the race biz: expensive to do, but hugely rewarding to the people who work the equipment. That led to the creation of Woke Capital, which in turn drastically reduced the chances to get rich from finding racism in corporate America.

So here we are in 2020. The trappings of traditional racism have long since disappeared from public discourse or behavior. Corporations spend more time on promoting hijabs, diversity intiatives, and pride flags than they do on their actual business activity. The last frontier of bigotry, the ultra-right wing of American politics, is now tripping all over itself to embrace diversity in all its forms. The new face of the NRA is a Black man with the stage name Colion Noir; the face of young conservative voters is a black woman named Candace Owens; the “Pink Pistols” are gay libertarians who argue against firearms regulation. If you want to read an actual racist statement in public now, you have to wait for someone to call a black Republican a racial slur.

Faced with a similar situation a while ago, American oil companies started “fracking”, using technology to disturb the environment in the pursuit of extracting whatever oil was left in the old fields. When I read about “an Alexa-style device” to detect and report on “implicit bias”, I can’t help but think of fracking. In this case, the oil fields are us. We’ve been drained of our traditional racism through conditioning, and taxed heavily to enrich the racism-industrial industry. We’re just about tapped out. So these machines are going to watch our faces and hands to see if we have any “implicit”, which is to say imaginary, racism left.

In the future, you’ll need one of these devices present if you’re going to speak to your colleagues. It will determine if you are sexist or racist. You won’t know exactly how, because if you knew exactly how then you could “game the test” by not saying or doing any of those things. They don’t want you to game the test. They want you to be afraid. They want you to be aware that they hold the power over you. “They” being the mandarins of Human Resources, of course. The bizarre transfer of authority from the C-suite to the HR department, a process which has been in full swing for some time now, will be aided and abetted by this.

No doubt the devices will be challenged in court. That one wackjob in Hawaii who keeps trying to overturn the election will support them. The 9th Circuit Court will suggest that they be forcibly implanted in the already overtaxed colons of steak-eating straight white men. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who in a few years will simply be a Disney animatronic puppet operated by the Democratic National Committee via an iPhone app, will speak in their defense. These people will tell us that the Framers Of The Constitution absolutely intended to lay the ideological groundwork for the introduction of Sexism Alexas, said devices being very much in the mind of James Madison at the time when he wrote

As for a musket which could contain multiple charges — that is the work of Satan, and unlikely to occur before the return of Christ, depending as it does upon the infernal conception of a magical device which could capture the expended energy of a charge to move a metal slide and permit entry to its successor. While this has been accomplished to a certain degree in naval gunnery, such a device in hand-held fashion befouls the imagination even as it befuddles it. But I do verily perceive that natural language processing may well occur via prediction trees, allowing the Snapdragon processor to rank the Bayesian coefficient of correlation with established patterns of workplace bias. Therefore, the Second Amendment shall not apply to anything beyond a blackpower musket, and the First shall apply to Snapchat nudes, at such time as Snapchat is created.

That’s in the Federalist E-Mails, right? In any event, don’t expect much protection from the courts. At least not here in the United States. In the UK, it will be even worse, because they’ve criminalized ungoodthink for a while now, and this device will aid in its prosecution.

There’s an irony to this, and it goes something like: “Bias” by its definition means deviation from a standard. If you set the standard at “ultra-woke Earlham College Class of 2022”, then your device really measures the gap in years between the time when that standard person set her attitudes and the time when your test subject established hers. It will be easily tripped by people like Joe “Poor Kids Are Just As Bright As White Kids” Biden. It won’t be a woke-tester; it will be an age detector. Which is another way of saying that the Implicit Bias Tester will, out of necessity, have an implicit, and implacable, bias against old people.

Which is fine. The Alaskan tribes would leave their old people behind when they moved camp; their successors will use machines like this to not-so-gently whisk them out of the workplace. It’s just a way to clear space for the youngsters. Therefore, to my previous statement that all public policy exists to preserve the Boomer economy until their death, add another one: All new public policy is designed to get rid of old people, particularly old white people. What’s the definition of “old”? Well, it’s terribly biased of you not to know.

27 Replies to “Welcome To The Future! We Didn’t Figure Out Flying Cars, But Here’s A Device That Continually Checks Your Work Conversations For Signs Of Ungoodthink”

  1. AvatarPanzer

    That’s so fucked.. I’m a glass half full kind of a guy though. Brexit and Trump are just the beginning, and the coming revolution will sweep this system away methinks. I’ve been thinking about the far left for awhile now, and to me these devices and concepts like ‘implicit bias’ and so on smack of the reaction of a class of people who although have much institutional power now, are heavily outnumbered and know deep down that the tide is turning, that the future does not belong to them and that therefore, time is indeed running out.

    Reply
  2. AvatarCliffG

    The problem with this sort of people is that think they are the Bolsheviks when they are actually the Mensheviks. They don’t know that the only difference between the Okhrana and Cheka was the name on the door. Going to be a tough lesson.

    Reply
  3. Avatar-Nate

    Jack ;

    I know you’ve been to Los Angeles many times, we have more aliens here than an Sci Fi flick .

    This entire article is serious click bait, I could fill a page or more with rebuttals / comments but I’d prefer to stick to the lighter side of things .

    I guess this means they’ll be forced to bring back the draft, no one is foolish enough to join the army once they have this horrible machine up and running .

    I’m hoping (praying) bestiality isn’t as popular and common as regular old racism as it’s here and in my face a whole lot more than it used to be .

    ‘facecrime & newspeak’ appear to be here now, I’m ever so glad I retired and left the rat race to the bottom .

    -Nate

    Reply
    • AvatarWill

      Nate,

      You know he doesn’t care about the rebuttals, plus it’d be interesting to read them. One thing I love about this place is the rebuttals. You SHOULD post them.

      -Will

      Reply
      • Avatar-Nate

        Thanx Will ;

        Unlike some I don’t get triggered to fly off the handle like some here who see leftists and liberals hiding under every bed .

        I do work in my real life views when I think appropriate .

        Being Conservative is supposed to be serious business, not repeating every wacky thing you read/hear from known liars or agitprop sites .

        The often sly social commentary of ‘Get Smart’ flew under the radar of many .

        -Nate

        Reply
        • AvatarNewbie Jeff

          “Unlike some I don’t get triggered to fly off the handle like some here who see leftists and liberals hiding under every bed”

          What is your deal, man? I don’t make a habit of feuding with strangers over the internet, but all I’ve seen from you is 1) declare points wrong but claim you don’t have the time for an argument, 2) continuously self-label as a “real conservative”, 3) attack conservative comments because you’re clearly triggered by them.

          If you can fill the thread with rebuttals of Jack Baruth’s arguments, don’t threaten to do it… just do it.

          Reply
          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            I see Nate as one of those Blue Dog Democrat types. They’re still voting in their heads for the party’s 1960 or 1980 platform. It hasn’t occurred to them that the Democratic Party is now explicitly ethno-centric and is primarily focused on effecting an ethnic change in America that will leave the whole country a one-party state like Baltimore or San Francisco, thus ensuring that power in the Party is the highest form of power.

          • AvatarNewbie Jeff

            “…the Democratic Party is now explicitly ethno-centric and is primarily focused on effecting an ethnic change in America that will leave the whole country a one-party state…”

            This is the truth. “1984” isn’t just a warning, it’s basically the road map for the Democratic party and its activist surrogates. The Two-Minutes’ Hate, Doublethink, MiniTrue, Memory Hole… all Orwellian concepts that have depressingly similar examples in American “progressivism”, and since they’ve made it clear they won’t tolerate living with anyone else under the same roof, it’s obvious that single party/ideological control is their desired end state.

      • Avatarstingray65

        “I think there are too many abortions in America. I think there should be much more adoption in America…Abortion should be safe, legal, and RARE – Bill Clinton 1994.

        “Gangs and drugs have taken over our streets and undermined our schools. Every day we read about somebody else who has literally gotten away with murder…We have a chance to pass the toughest, smartest crime bill in the history of the United States.” Bill Clinton 1994.

        “In the budget I will present to you, we will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace as recommended by the commission headed by former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.” – Bill Clinton 1995

        ” [welfare] instills the wrong values [and] sends the wrong signals, giving children who have children a check to set up house on their own, letting millions of fathers walk away from their responsibility while taxpayers pick up the tab.” Bill Clinton 1996

        “the Glass-Steagall law is no longer appropriate for the economy in which we live…today what we are doing is modernizing the financial services industry, tearing down these antiquated laws and granting banks significant new authority…This is a very good day for the United States.” Bill Clinton 1999.

        Reply
  4. Avatarrambo furum

    If you suggest that this implicit discrimination is imaginary, that would mean that there must be some other explanation for why certain groups have keep under-performing for generations in spite of preferential treatment. I don’t suppose anyone here has such an explanation.

    Reply
    • AvatarNewbie Jeff

      “I don’t suppose anyone here has such an explanation.”

      Didn’t one of the big tech companies implement an AI-powered program to review job applications and select the most qualified candidates, with the goal being that such a program would remove the human element, thus “implicit bias”? They had to take it offline once they realized it wasn’t selecting women…

      There you go… the American Left’s ability to make anything – even AI – woke, stupid, and ineffectual.

      Reply
  5. Avatarstingray65

    Such a machine will quickly find that blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals, transgenders, women, and Democrats/Communists are the ones who dominate in terms of thought crimes and implicit biases against other “out” groups, and the enforcement brigades with then be faced with the quandary about whether thought crime sanctions can be levied against “victim” groups that comprise 95% of the offenders, or only be enforced against the white, heterosexual, male Republicans who are responsible for the remaining 5%. We already have this problem with the many “common sense” gun control laws that are on the books, because they cannot be enforced in major cities due to “racism” when 90% of the offenders are blacks or Hispanics. Similarly, hate crime laws designed to prevent homophobia and antisemitism cannot be enforced because 90% of the offenders are blacks or Muslims. Mike Bloomberg’s recently “outed” speech about stop and frisk policies being directed at minority males because they commit almost all the crimes has been condemned as racist even though it is factually correct, which is the inconvenient truth about crime in general – it is always the same groups of people that commit most of the crimes of all sorts.

    The interesting thing about this is that Leftists will always claim it is the “legacy of slavery” or “Jim Crow” or “patriarchy” and other forms of discrimination that “force” certain groups into lives of dysfunction and less than equally positive outcomes, but they never consider where and why discrimination starts in the first place. If women were found to be superior warriors, leaders, scientists, artists, etc., doesn’t it seem reasonable to believe that some tribe in history would have “seen the light” and elevated their female members through the “glass ceiling” so that the tribe might benefit from female superiority in such fields (and conquer neighboring tribes with “backwards” viewpoints towards women)? Would the black slave trade and Jim Crow have occurred if Africa had been found to offer superior advances in technology, law, governance, etc. to the civilizations trying to subjugate them? Would the NBA and NFL be 80% black and 100% male if Asian females had superior speed,strength, and hand/eye coordination? Could it be that societal norms and legal traditions emerge to simply reinforce the observed strengths and weaknesses of various groups in dealing with the environment and resources they are built on, and hence are not something uniquely attributed to evil white male heterosexuals?

    Reply
  6. Avatarstingray65

    That the US Army is financing this project is just another sad reminder of how far down the Leftard hole of wokeness that the US military leadership has fallen under 8 years of Clinton and 8 years of Obama. The military is supposed to be focused on finding the most efficient ways to prevent wars by putting fear in potential enemies and winning wars that cannot be prevented with the lowest loss of life and property for the home team, but woke military is all about winning social justice wars by making sure homosexuals, transgenders, and women are represented in combat and elite combat forces in numbers that represent (or better) their percentiles of the general population. It doesn’t matter that group cohesion or combat effectiveness if reduced, or that recruiting and training and military discipline standards need to be lowered to meet the diversity and inclusion quotas our Leftist political leader deem worthwhile, because military leadership who don’t toe the Leftist line will be retired or fired so that only the woke and woke pretenders remain in leadership positions and can perpetuate the downward slide. The shrieks of horror from the swamp and media over Trump’s order to stop recruiting transgenders, the railroading of true warriors such as Petraeus and Flynn by the Leftist swamp, and the Obama sentence reduction for traitor Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, and the celebration of the Vindeman brothers as heroes for treasonous leaks to the press and going around military chain of command are all sad examples of how far the military has fallen away from its true mission.

    Reply
  7. Avatarhank chinaski

    In military budget terms, 1.5M is a rounding error of a rounding error. I wouldn’t be surprised if those involved are the children of someone higher up the chain. The F-35 is a much bigger fish but being standard issue pork obviously lacks the cultural reach of this particular nightmare (which will be installed on all of our smartphones in no time).

    More recently unearthed US Gov tech naughtiness: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/national-security/cia-crypto-encryption-machines-espionage/
    All your base….

    Reply
  8. AvatarCJinSD

    Is there a working theory for the source of the resentment your Hagerty readers have for you? Most articles there take weeks to accumulate numerous responses. Your exercise in using bicycling to illustrate the satisfaction one experiences from mastering a machine produced a lynch mob in hours. If they really hate your writing so much, how did they all end up reading your editorial within hours of its publishing? I understand the friction between road cyclists and driving enthusiasts, but you were writing about mountain biking at a ski resort and a skate park. What triggered these people and who are they?

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      It’s an older audience and they have long since become comfortable with the Boomer-centric, nostalgia-oriented stuff Hagerty typically published in years past. We’re trying to adjust the content to reflect the fact that we have a LOT of Gen-X-and-younger people insuring their cars with us now.

      The older you get the less you want to hear new or different voices. I have to make a conscious effort to hear new music, read new authors, and so on. Most of these guys aren’t like that. After a long day of running their drywall contracting business or whatever they really want to read something about 1965.

      That being said, the traffic in Day One of that story would have put it in the top 3 TTAC pieces of all time.

      Reply
      • AvatarCJinSD

        I’m generally not a fan of efforts to alienate a customer base in the hope of attracting a new one, but I’m willing to make an exception based on that display. They do an excellent impersonation of a cancel culture lynch mob that has discovered an unsafe space. I guess the least of the boomers will leave as they lived; in an entitled and undignified manner.

        When they can’t fold their aging bodies into TR3s and ’57 Thunderbirds, I wonder if they’ll realize the roles they played in preventing following generations from developing an interest in and a market for their toys. I read an article about the Austin-Healey 100 pricing itself out of the market. I bet the market will find those cars at estate sales, and the demand won’t support the money spent on reference restorations twenty years ago.

        Reply
  9. Avatarnightfly

    I don’t object philosophically, but the flying cars? People can’t even handle two dimensions – adding a third would probably be more trouble than it’s worth. Alas.

    Reply

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