Originally published on www.wrenchinthegears.com
Bill and Melinda Gates have leading roles to play in the unfolding drama that is Covid-19. Everything seems to be advancing according to Davos’s plan. The soon-to-be trillionaire couple has provided useful cover for their fellow billionaires, the ones backstage pulling the ropes that will drop the Fourth Industrial Revolution scenery for the techno-fascist second act. Even now a chorus line of contact tracers assembles in the wings. In short order they’ll take center stage – donning newly minted digital certificates of compliance and indoctrination.
This post is about one of the production’s underwriters, Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg, in coordination with New York governor Andrew Cuomo, paid Johns Hopkins to choreograph this viral surveillance roll out with the Rockefeller Foundation looking on from the royal box.
John’s Hopkins School of Public Health uploaded a digital contact-tracing training module to Coursera this week. The videos therein are meant to ensure synchronized fidelity of the chorus’s high-kicks across state lines. Almost 130,000 people signed up in the first week. Free enrollment, while supplies last, compliments of your friendly globalist oligarch!
Almost unimaginable, but so many have had their sole means of economic support pulled out from under them by this lock down. This biometric surveillance train is moving full speed ahead fueled in equal parts by desperation and the desire of some to dominate others. Get ready, find your people, know your values, and be prepared to stand in solidarity with the vulnerable. The lights are dimming; intermission is over.
Bloomberg, three-term mayor of New York, made his fortune in finance data analytics. He’s a social impact investment rainmaker and Trilateral Commission member who also served as a global envoy to the World Health Organization and climate ambassador to the United Nations. He received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins in 1964 and has maintained close ties with that institution ever since.
Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg have collaborated for over a decade. They both participated in David Rockefeller’s “Good Club” gathering in 2009, which was convened in the aftermath of the previous global economic crisis. That exclusive meeting, held at the home of the president of Rockefeller University, featured short presentations on the future of “philanthropy.” In the years following, as wealth became concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, giving has been strategically deployed in an attempt to smooth the persistently rough edges of mass poverty and dispossession.
“The Good Club” has been working out a new global economic system, one that is biocapitalist in nature. I talk about it here. Open Society (Soros also a member of the club) paid for the Chicago boys to create neoliberal human capital equations for the coming futures commodity markets. End times make strange bedfellows.
The new model, which will be emerging from the Covid-19 ruins, is steeped in debt and data extraction. The latter advancing not only pay for success finance, but development of artificial intelligence through machine learning. Everyone in the know, including Bloomberg, understands THIS is the big game.
Blockchain token economies like Singularity.net and Ocean Protocol will eventually allow AI systems to pursue their own development through value creation and exchange – beyond the reach of humans. Whoever (or whatever) achieves general artificial intelligence first will be in a position to control the world; that is if they’re ALSO able to control emergent AI behavior – a very big IF.
These electrical engineers must not comprehend that the actions they are taking could have devastating consequences for those of us who seek to live in community and in peace with free will in the REAL world.
I encourage you to read Whitney Webb’s April 23, 2020 piece in Activist Post, Techno-Tyranny How the US National Security State Is Using Corona Virus To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision. It discusses in detail a document obtained as part of an open records request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).
The “Chinese Tech Landscape Overview,” which was prepared by NSCAI in May 2019 describes a future where the United States must maximize “smart” city surveillance in order to obtain sufficient training data needed to fuel the development of Artificial Intelligence and stay ahead of China. It talks about removing barriers to the platforming and digital control of our lives by eliminating such legacy systems as non-digital payments (cash), private cars, bricks-and-mortar stores (shift to e-commerce), and non-digital medical treatment.
The smart cities Bloomberg is backing in the US, Europe, and India are built with 5G and Internet of Things. Ubiquitous computing will enable: the automation craved by Fourth Industrial Revolution devotees; the adoption of new mechanisms of high-tech policing; and the infrastructure required to maximize data harvest.
Stay ahead of China.
Hasten the singularity.
“Civic participation” = offering up one’s life to bring about, apparently, the end of humanity as we know it. Surely a raw deal if there ever was one. Better off a dissident than becoming a battery to fuel such a monstrous program.
The map below features some of the projects Bloomberg is pursuing through his foundation including: behavioral economic nudges, blockchain identity, digital governance, labor market analytics, performance-based government contracting, and interoperable data systems. It is important to note in the upper left corner of the map his involvement with the Global Parliament of Mayors and their advancement of vaccinations as a key area of interest. Lots of data here. Lots of data to train AI.
Interactive map here.
The map below is a signature project from Bloomberg’s time as mayor. The Small Data Lab is part of the Cornell-Technion campus built from scratch on Roosevelt Island in New York City with backing from Qualcomm, Verizon, Tata Consulting, and Google. The lab is led by Deborah Estrin who made a career researching sensors and health analytics. Donors to the lab are also involved with blockchain health records, value-based care reimbursement, brain research, and impact investing.
Interactive version of the map here.
This video shows Estrin discussing plans to leverage” small data,” digital traces, from smart phones to influence “personal health management.” It is important to recognize that the move into contract tracing is an extension of this work. Once the state normalizes the practice of tracking people and their networks within the context of pandemic they can move into using these apps to influence health-related behaviors in subtle and overt ways. All of this will be linked to human capital markets, and all of it will be used to train AI.
Many big data proponents have a transhumanist inclination, embracing cybernetics as the next phase of human evolution. There are those who would abandon the messy beauty and power of nature for the logic and faux immortality promised by the virtual. Facebook, in fact, is right now rolling out new avatar systems, preparing us for a future where we extend ourselves using a “digital twin” whose virtual actions can ALSO be harvested as data. You see how they plan for this to go?
In 2016 Google developed a short film exploring the idea of cyborg evolution, data aggregation on blockchain, and mind uploading. I found it quite disturbing, and decided to make a concept map of the ideas the creators referenced.
Interactive version of the concept map for Google’s “The Selfish Ledger” here.
We are living through a moment where energy systems are colliding, and the future is highly uncertain. Life and anti-life, love and derangement, green and scorched-this grand struggle is playing out in “the alley” behind “the theater” where few know to look. Too many are simply enthralled by the chorus line.
I’m telling you to step out of your comfort zone and head to the alley. Join in community to stand on the side of life, love, green! As with my previous post written as a statement of solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Nation. These women are the anti-Bloombergs. In this moment of Covid distraction we need to reconnect with a greater earthly spiritual power to deflect the machinations of the “Good Club” predators.
Bloomberg and the technocrats have been very diligent in their cooptation of the non-profit / third sector, creating systems of data extraction cloaked in the benevolent trappings of cardboard checks and glittering galas. Global health has been the focus of much subterfuge. Gates and Bloomberg united to tackle tobacco use, family planning, polio, and most recently “economic mobility.” All, of course, are impact investment markets.
It is worth noting that Event 201, the corona virus tabletop exercise held at the Pierre Hotel in New York last October, was a joint enterprise of the Gates Foundation and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, an initiative of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of public health.
Interactive version of map above here.
Bloomberg received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and later served as chair of its board of trustees. In November 2018, Bloomberg made a gift of $1.8 billion to the university’s endowment to cover student financial aid. The university’s school of public health, the first in the nation started with seed funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, was renamed the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2001 after he stepped down from the board to serve as mayor of New York.
Within the school of public health is the Center for Health Security that hosted both pandemic simulations – Clade-X in 2018 and Event 201 in 2019. The program is also a partner in the Global Health Security Index, an effort of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Ted Turner, a founding director of the United Nations Foundation and another member of “The Good Club” started the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
During Bloomberg’s time on the Johns Hopkins board he developed a collaborative relationship with faculty around issues of public health and eventually became know as the “public health” mayor. New York was his test bed, and over the past fifteen years Bloomberg Philanthropies has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into tobacco control, obesity, and gun control.
Interactive map here.
Bloomberg has ties not only to Gates, but to Microsoft as well. In 2010, the City of New York set up a partnership to prototype big data government using new cloud-based systems, Office 365 and Azure. Stephen Goldsmith, deputy mayor at the time, was the project lead and collaborated with Steve Ballmer of Microsoft. Ballmer Group has a major presence in the human capital investment space via Stanley Druckenmiller’s Blue Meridian Partners. Ballmer’s wife Connie serves on the board of Strive Together, the Cincinnati-based non-profit advancing “collective impact” solutions tracked on data dashboards in over seventy cities nationwide. More about that here.
Goldsmith went on to become a professor of “municipal innovation” at Harvard Kennedy School. He incorporated his experience with Bloomberg’s “What Works Cities” effort into, A New City O/S (O/S = operating system) published by the Brookings Institution in 2017. The proposal that Goldsmith (the conservative) and his liberal collaborator Neil Kleiman advanced was to “decentralize” government for the coming digital age.
Such a transition to platform government not only created markets for hardware, software, and cloud computing, but more importantly, set up residents to be fed into social impact interventions, their data harvested for the benefit of transnational global capital. Goldsmith served as board chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service incubator for the Obama’s Social Innovation Fund, which was used to jump start pay for success finance.
Interactive version of map here.
The coming age of “managed care” will take place within a panopticon of privatized “pay for success” benefits. From the unborn child to the elderly hospice patient, all will be placed on personalized “pathways” of “evidence-based” interventions, their progress (compliance) monitored in real time. These digital tracking systems – really human capital supply chain monitoring – are coming online now with contact tracing.
Beware beginnings! As Cuomo said, they’re not setting the Covid-19 infrastructure up for a one-time use. We’re seeing the use of QR codes to restrict access and mobility in other countries. We’re witnessing the convergence of data profiling and social credit scoring, too.
With smart cities there will come a day when one’s actions will be regulated through Ethereum smart contracts. If you cannot digitally demonstrate your rights, they will not exist. All of it automated, untouchable, and most certainly racialized. Imagine the amount of racist gatekeeping that can be embedded in smart cities coded to profit global finance? We will be expected to wander through their augmented reality gamified maze, demonstrating our good behavior in order to survive.
They want us to become independent actors, allied only with our digital doppelgangers – free market agents, data brands. I have to hope this is not the future most people want and we can mobilize around another vision grounded in reciprocity and communal care.
The map below shows what the early stages of this looks like in the United Kingdom. Bloomberg Philanthropies works with both NESTA and Behavioural Insights Team. They are pioneering IoT wearable tech associated with social impact finance health interventions. This goes along with Bloomberg’s push for government innovation, city dashboards, and digitized public services.
Interactive version of full map here.
We also need to consider the above information as it pertains to Covid-19 and co-morbidities. This situation has disproportionately harmed Black and Indigenous communities in the United States. Of late there has been increased discussion around disparities in access to care and the importance of quality community health services. The negative impacts of austerity and disinvestment are very real. I believe, however, we need to be careful that communities are not further harmed with adoption of “preventative” care services that are enmeshed in pay for success finance and digital surveillance. I have serious concerns that communities may be being set up for compulsory “social prescribing,” where those deemed to be “at risk” are forced to wear fit bits and brain wave headbands, hooked up to “healthy city” dashboards in exchange for the care they deserve.
Good health is a human right. Access to humane medical care and safe and healthy living conditions is a human right. None of that should be framed as a human capital investment associated with cost offsets tied to a person’s perceived future value to an brutal economic system. As things develop we must ensure that Covid-19 is not used as an excuse to introduce new forms of “innovative” finance into community health services. Health is a right, not an “investment.”
During his three terms as mayor, Bloomberg zealously pursued privatization of education in New York. As part of that agenda he promoted adoption of educational technology through pilots like iZone, funded by Race to the Top innovation grants. The plan was radical transformation of public schools by entrepreneurs.
Bloomberg also pioneered high-tech policing and launched the Domain Awareness security system in lower Manhattan in partnership with Microsoft in 2012. That program has since been franchised to cities across the country. Special seats in the control room are assigned to influential financial interests like the Federal Reserve, Goldman Sachs and Citi. The very same folks with their hands in the impact-investing cookie jar.
Given what we are seeing with increasingly sophisticated uses of facial and gait recognition cameras in public spaces, it is interesting to note that in the years just prior to the roll out of Domain Awareness, Microsoft was in the midst of refining cloud-based motion capture through its Xbox360 hands-free gaming platform. The motion-capture peripheral, Kinect, uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing system. In recent years it has been adapted for use in non-gaming settings, like Fourth Industrial Revolution robotics and telepresencing.
For us to truly appreciate the significance of the Bloomberg / Gates / Microsoft collaboration, it is important to grasp how data is being leveraged across platforms to “teach” Artificial Intelligence how to better control humans. To store all of this data Microsoft has partnered with the University of Washington to develop new forms of data storage within DNA. The University of Washington is also involved in Gates-funded health metrics programs as well as synthetic biology, brain science, and game development.
Interactive version of map above here.
What Bloomberg and Gates are overseeing is the weaponization of our communities’ built environments, including the social systems contained within them. The Covid-19 global response will dispossess massive numbers of people around the world from their means of independent economic support. In the aftermath, human workers will begin to be replaced by robots and avatars. Thus the future of redundant labor will be in “eds and meds.” Only the fate of most people will not be employment in those fields, but rather as raw material for processing in “ed” and “med” personalized pathways.
The World Bank and the United Nations have been setting up human capital improvement programs for the global poor for years. These programs are connected to impact metrics associated with the Sustainable Development Goals. Education is Sustainable Development Goal 4. Health is United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3, often paired with Goal 17 “Partnerships,” because the impact finance agenda runs on P3s (public-private partnerships). Health data will be leveraged to line the pockets of financiers while keeping individuals and communities in line through digital surveillance. The plan hinges on scaling self-sovereign identity systems such as ID2020, which is being advanced by Microsoft, Accenture, the Rockefeller Foundation, and GAVI, the Gates-funded vaccination program. The creation of universal identity is Sustainable Development Goal 16.9.
A transformation is underway. I think many of us can sense it. This 90-second video, created by Angela Duckworth, as part of a grant submission to the MacArthur Foundation’s “100 and Change” initiative, provides an important backdrop to the discussion of health-management carrots and sticks in “smart” environments. Duckworth, an admirer of the eugenicist Francis Galton and famed for her “grit” research, advocates the deployment of technology to nudge the masses into making “good decisions” regarding education, health and finance. Her proposal was not selected by the MacArthur Foundation, but later received funding from Chan Zuckerberg. Real time data is being used to track, analyze, and predict individual and community behaviors related to the Covid19 pandemic now.
In this pandemic event, it is Gates’s job to get the world’s population hooked up to digital identity systems via the vaccine / health status digital health passports. More on that here. It will all be done in the name of “equity,” of course.
Once that phase is complete, Bloomberg will be ready with his “what works” technocrats. This is the cadre that will manage impoverished peons as data commodities in 5G / Internet of Things “smart” cities. New America (Google $) in partnership with the Ford Foundation and MasterCard are already setting up the training systems for managerial class data analysts. The Public Interest Technology University Network launched at Georgetown University last October and already has several dozen high-profile members. This group will be tapped to bring CivicTech to the next level as the world acclimates to ever-more intrusive Covid-induced human systems engineering.
Bloomberg has spread his largesse far and wide, grooming the mayors of cities across the US and EU for just such a moment. One of the things that angered me most during the first week of the stay-at-home order was finding out 2,000 mayors and high level city officials had travelled to Washington DC the week before to attend the annual conference of the National League of Cities.
On March 9, Los Angeles City Council Member and President of NLC Joe Buscaino held a press briefing, which he opened touting the event’s record attendance! Mind you, the US Department of Health and Human Services had identified Covid-19 as a public health emergency back on February 4, issuing a waiver of liability for those undertaking the development of vaccines and therapies for the disease.
I do want to mention that under the PREP Act, which passed in 2005, any entity involved in the production or distribution of medical countermeasures (vaccines and other treatments) for a designated public health emergency is immune from liability for any harm caused with the exception of death or serious illness resulting from gross negligence. Remedies can only be sought through the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program that may or may not be funded by Congress. It is also important to note that Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, signed the public emergency order. Azar is the former president of Eli Lily, a pharmaceutical company pursuing DARPA-funded fast-track Covid-19 research in partnership with Abcellera Biologics.
Interactive map here.
There was a special town hall meeting as part of the National League of Cities conference where Bloomberg gave a keynote address and launched a Coronavirus Local Response Initiative managed in partnership with the Harvard City Leadership Initiative and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, both funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The program, which is offering coaching and technical assistance around “accurate information sharing,” was announced the morning of March 10. Bloomberg also funded the companion Global Response Initiative. It is managed through the World Health Organization (WHO) and Resolve to Save Lives. Tom Frieden, former New York City Health Commissioner and International Health Director for Bloomberg Philanthropies, is project lead on the latter.
Interactive version of map above here.
On March 11, the day AFTER Bloomberg made his big announcement, Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO, officially declared the pandemic.
Bloomberg and Ghebreyesus maintain a close working relationship. Bloomberg served as a Global Ambassador to the WHO from 2016 through November 2019, focusing on non-communicable diseases. During that period he was also special envoy on climate change to the United Nations. Ghebreyesus reappointed Bloomberg to a second WHO term in September 2018, acknowledging his important work in the Partnership For Healthy Cities effort, which then had fifty participants.
The Partnership for Healthy Cities builds on policy initiatives Bloomberg advanced as mayor of New York City. These include interventions around healthy eating, reduced tobacco use, automotive safety, and exercise. The premise is that through innovative practices, governments will incentivize “good” behavior thereby reducing healthcare costs use by preventing chronic illness. Note – all of these are poised to be impact sectors. You know in the era of pandemic it is vital that we be responsible for improving our health, our resiliency. With new digital technologies we can be closely monitored for compliance to preventative health protocols, and the data that is collected will unlock new impact markets. Amazon and Google both staked out positions in healthcare and insurance several years back.
The world being ushered in by Fourth Industrial Revolution comes with a digital layer of augmented reality. It is a world that will be ushered in through the installation of 5G towers and broadband satellite constellations and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and “smart” dust. It is a panopticon of silicon and energy waves designed by the global elite to extract profit from humanity as the masses are assigned digital identities and forced to navigate imposed misery and poverty imposed by complying with self-improvement programs. We only have to look to the use of geo-fencing and health management systems for “free range” livestock to see where this is headed. That is what “smart” cities are set up to be. “What works” cities, “living cities,” essentially digital jails run by public-private partnerships.
Bloomberg is the puppet master behind “smart” cities, and he sits at the intersection of human capital finance and surveillance infrastructure. The games he wants to play with us hinge on public acceptance of digital “self sovereign” identity. Social entrepreneurs, the academic policy wonks, and sold out government officials will make this very attractive. There will be benefits and subsidies. If you balk, there is likely to be social shaming, but we have to stand firm. As I have written before, I think the lever they want to use to force us to accept digital identity is Covid-19 antibody certificates. Gates and his vaccines are just step one of a much larger and more insidious program of human debasement and domination.
Bloomberg was instrumental in bringing social impact bonds (SIB) to the US. SIBs are financial investment products developed by Sir Ronald Cohen and Social Finance in the UK. Bloomberg Philanthropies provided a partial loan guarantee that made the Rikers island SIB a viable investment for Goldman Sachs. Ultimately this SIB, which was structured to provide services for incarcerated youth, did not meet its performance metrics. That was because the population being served dropped below required levels. Thus the model demands a significant population of people who remain under state control. Even thought it was technically a failure, the Riker’s Island SIB broke ground for over a dozen other deals. These, in turn, paved the way for a broader program of pay for success finance that has spread across the country with technical assistance provided by the Harvard Kennedy School, Social Finance, and Third Sector Capital Partners.
This is the financial infrastructure that will undergird human capital markets as the automation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution dispossesses people of their economic independence. The data that will be used to run these markets will come from education, healthcare, and supportive housing settings.
A quick search for the terms “pay for success” + “social determinants of health” yields over 40,000 results. There is great enthusiasm around using federal funds from SIPPRA (Social Impact Partnership Pay for Results Act) to jump start pay-for-performance contracting for a whole host of issues including: unplanned pregnancies, diabetes, child abuse prevention, and depression – all linked to Medicaid reimbursement.
These will be framed as “lifestyle interventions.” The onus is placed on individuals to “prove” they are taking action to “improve” their health status within increasingly toxic and treacherous environments. This is the expectation even as many governments continued to abrogate their responsibility to address structural inequities within healthcare systems. Lack of personal protective equipment as the Covid19 crisis unfolds shows those at the top are happy to sacrifice the wellbeing of healthcare workers on the altar of austerity as well.
Some health-related “social impact” initiatives will deploy soft forms of control, like Internet-of-Things (Iot) monitored “social prescribing.” Picture being diagnosed as overweight and getting a “prescription” from your physician for “nature.” You’re expected to take X number of hikes over the course of a month. The program requires you to check in at each trailhead by scanning a QR code and wearing a fit bit linked to your personal digital health record. Or perhaps you’re diagnosed with anxiety or depression and get a “prescription” to “volunteer” twice a month in your community. Maybe a prescription for yoga that comes with a brain-wave monitoring headband.
And if you don’t fill the prescription? Well your premiums go up or your treatment options are limited. A little Black Mirror? Sure, but the technology is already here, it just needs to scale and become socially acceptable. Wearable tech is becoming more readily available and it appears the 5G roll out is moving right along as we are all stuck indoors.
I had a pretty good handle on this already. Let’s consider it the “carrot” approach. Creepy, but for people who’ve been conditioned to accept quantified-self, leader-board culture they’ll probably be willing to go along for awhile. What threw me for a loop during this outbreak was the realization that impact investors were not going to be content to simply manage people using QR codes and phones and wearable tech. No, their bigger plan was to structure deals around public health policy. That way they would be able to access much larger cost-offsets, because they’d be setting the impact metrics based on the outcomes of entire communities, which has the potential to yield significant rates of return.
Moving forward, I predict a focus of pay for success will be pandemic preparedness. Listening to mainstream media coverage of Covid19, it appears this will be framed as a national security issue. New measures will be instituted to close “preparedness gaps.” Don’t be surprised when these measures involve forfeiture of civil liberties, particularly as it pertains to digital surveillance. An op-ed in the MIT Technology Review recently advanced a brazen proposal to legitimize legal discrimination based on documentation of health status.
Many people who have started to put the pieces together are imagining a future where compulsory vaccinations are linked to digital identity with social-credit scoring or geo-fencing being implemented to restrict a person’s mobility. China is tracking people on parole on Blockchain in “smart” environments now. Such a system could be easily be modified to track individuals based on health or vaccination status. Digital martial law would be the “stick” to the “carrot” of IoT social prescribing.
For the purposes of the Davos crowd and their larger intentions to catalyze a Fourth Industrial Revolution of artificial intelligence and automation, Covid-19 isn’t simply a virus to be dealt with so we can move on with our lives. The response to this event is meant to instill fear and an acceptance of indefinite authoritarian measures.
Such measures will be increasingly imposed through automated “smart” systems embedded within our built environment. This infrastructure is linked to embrace of “what works” “data-driven” smart government. That is what Bloomberg brings to the table through his ties to Johns Hopkins and Harvard and his access to NGOs in the US, EU, and India. Comments from Fauci and others have framed this outbreak as the first of many dangerous viral episodes. The narrative being established is that we must be willing to make grave sacrifices not just now, but for years to come.
They aim use public health concerns to turn us into data, health data.
They want to use it to control us in ways we may not even realize.
They want to use it to increase their power and their wealth.
They want to use it to build virtual replicas of us to advance their AI research.
But we are many, and they are few.
They don’t have us on blockchain yet.
They haven’t hit us up with their nano-technology bio-engineering yet.
We can stand. We can stand together.
We should stand against technocracy with the protectors of the earth.