Monday, 12 September 2016

The looming dystopia.

We're living in pretty crazy times. We're racing against a lot of odds, dancing to a lot of tunes, and grappling but waddling on a little too many fronts. Times are changing pretty fast. One moment early and you're an idiosyncratic sibyl. One moment late and you're a conventional prude. Generations before were allured to this enormous and rapid evolution due to the sloven lives they lived. Pretty much trite and slow, everyone craved for movement and life. And now there's more than we can take. 

We're a rotting bunch of miraculous multi-functional cells we don't even give a damn about. We've become the black box for the times to experiment with. Raw inputs generate raw outputs. And the judgment of your performance is upon another black box, which in turn is dependent on another. In that sense, we're sitting on a ticking time bomb when it comes to the way the world has been set. All sacrosanct documents, no matter how intensely detailed they are, are all prone to judgement and individual opinion. Life, as we know, is completely bereft of any logic at all. It's all fugazi.

We're too frail and scraggy on our social structures. Relationships built on provenance of eternal trust with the promises of a lifetime laid on them, crumble under the vice of one misguided whammy of truth and revelation. Business partners build empires together and then let ego make them part ways only to demolish empires built with blood and sweat. We're nothing more than a confluence of many varying coteries. We're too proud to be part of a clan, which stays intact only as long as some purpose prevails. But it's only after the savage storm of contemplation strikes, that we realize there was no purpose at all. 

We're guided by trends, by consumerism, and by all the scrimmage media feeds us. We take immense pride in being knowledgeable and speculative, but when a glib truth runs by, we can't do a thing. Our entire lives are spent in a large contradiction. We generalize in our interests and fancies, and specialize in what gets our bread and better. And when the field shuts down, all our plans of leisure post your quota of hardwork vanquish. 

We're too timid, too stolid and too gullible, all at once. We're taught to be achievers, but never taught to build on the instincts. We're too reliant on wisdom built through the years and even when intuition slams it down, our jingoism on our knowledge never dies down. We're too churlish to know that we know nothing, too flaccid to note that there's much more than meets the eye. We're getting more and more ill-informed and less knowledgeable because universal knowledge is doubling, tripling, and quadrupling by the day!

We're lurking towards a world full of aficionados who don't know their field, of veterans whose knowledge is outdated and praise uncalled for, specialists who can't see beyond yesterday, leaders who're more uncertain than the last man in the cavalcade, and heroes who're too tamed and frightened to tell you what lies ahead. The chagrin of realization is often so powerful that it either deludes you to see surreal beauty in the hegemony of the subterfuge or that it allures you to the tide that just doesn't want to look further ahead.

The waning bravura, the lost charm and the livid conscience of our times has left a scar of ineptitude on our collective abilities to sift through the gibberish of universal deluge. We're too free to tell lies to ourselves. That we shall win someday, that hope shall bode a prosperous and harmonious world for all, that things will fall in place. What's important is to know that halcyon exists only in the mind of the magician, and then reamed on the coppice left after your years of whining. 

People telling someone else everything will be alright, lovers looking in the eyes, hands in hands, promising of spending lifetimes together, and still clinging on to their own premonitions about the better half running away due to a fallacy and yet choosing to stay with the fallacy and not the lover. We'll never change because no matter who it is who demands us to, changing oneself is tantamount to acceding to the default proclamation of your own shortcomings.

Our egos and our lives, which are nothing but mere semblances, are too big and brawny to penetrate and so we please to be. We present to the world the compliant facade of our true selves, while we keep the harridan within, seething and kneeling for a chance to come out, which it never gets, only to take you down with it. We're heading towards a dystopia, the final showdown for mankind's survival. It shall be one where man shall fight against himself, for a position that debilitates his morality, but caresses his parapet. It shall be one where the sense won't prevail, but the judgment built on their veracity will. It shall be one where swords of rectitude will be  wielded but up against your own self. Finally it shall be one where we're set to conquer and win again, because like always our victories are measured against our own yardsticks. The same ones that proclaim a slave lesser than a man, and the heart lesser than the brain. 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The pyrrhic pride in our lives.

We're living very morbid lives. We we're brought into this world by parents who succumbed to the tyranny of the times. Socialism and communism failed to reveal and prosper, and neo-imperialism and capitalism now demand cut-throat competition. And it has receded so deep in the alcoves of social fabric that we now live the reality, instead of knowing it is someone's bloody job to change it all. We're alive and we're equipped and for the first time in many centuries, we're all relishing the proclamations of deluding maxims of liberty and fraternity; the enticing charm of being able to thrive in a world while taking everyone forward with you, and of cherishing the universal brotherly spirit of equanimity. Well, it's an absolute farce. The world is sadder than ever, and all that's responsible for it, is the way we've been made to work our asses off just to achieve a purpose, and to embrace the fortitude in being able to choose it, not knowing how vitriolic that liberty is.

We're chasing cars and brands and our proclivity to share quotes written on top of pictures of these artifacts makes our desires a tad too vocal. On the other hand, we also share posts related to some atrocity committed on some poor chap in some faraway land. Additionally, we're largely religious, fully obsequious to tradition and also obliged to keep that thread intact. But we don't see the irony. The purpose we choose has been materialized to such an extent that even if you ever achieve it, all ends will never meet. The labyrinth of capitalism is such that your victory is always someone's loss which rescinds your affiliation to universal equality, and your quest for your victory changes all the elements of your character you borrowed from your religious tenets. In short, all victories are now pyrrhic. They come at too high a price!

In a connected world where we adore superstars and dote on cars, the clamor of the world is hidden beneath the glamour of what these same superstars and the companies they endorse wan us to buy! We're not chasing just corporate success or that corner office. We're doing it for money, for fame, for pride and for the ones we want to make proud. We set up with a very noble purpose in mind, like acquiring more skills, more education or attending to a more noble cause. But given what we and our forefathers have allowed to become, all objectives are materialized and manifested in snobbery. What was once a world full of people who wanted to be someone, is now a world full of people who want to be someone so that they can attain something. The being someone for the veracity of being that has been completely forgotten. 

Our victories are inspired by possessions. That man from your downtrodden locality became a banker and made a lavish house so you follow the same path not because you want to become a banker, but because you want that house. And courtesy of the zeitgeist, if you told someone you genuinely want to be just a banker minus the house, you'd be deemed a cretin. Our victories are not real victories anymore. They're pride of being capable of moving up the ladder of consumerism coupled with the barbaric slashing down of someone else's right at that. That's the strata of the society now. 

The only pithy truth, the only applicable proviso is that only a few people ought to be happy, and not everyone. Back in the past the caste differences or the bourgeoisie proletariat scuffles meant the same. Today, it is split in the availability of limited opportunity for the largest population. We become so engrossed in our success and so engulfed in relishing our victories and seeking pride that we miss out on having just blanched in front of the eternal decimation of equality, thereby reneging on our very obedience to the universal equality and harmony as dictated by religious sermons which we couple with our modern education and direction. Every victory is a testament to growing differences but in your own constricted world, that Benetton shirt you can finally afford silences and garrotes any shred of resistance that your conscience shows. 

Your victories and your pride not only annihilate the rummaging and dwindling hope of someone else, they also shun out the real you. You feel lachrymose and putrid seeing everyone else succeed and get cars and watches and phones so you suddenly decide to take resolve to change the course of your life. You draw this realization that you've been serving horrible bosses ostensibly for no real reason or rhyme because you're not achieving anything. So you decide to leave everything behind and chase happiness by elevating your knowledge and skill and then subsequently your standing, but you don't see how you leave the real and genuine you behind. You're now just another replica of the person who inspired you, superimposed on the same catechism of material prosperity, without even noting that you didn't start for that purpose at the first place. 

The happiness you sought seems to be found, but you found something else. The definition of happiness changed just as the objective changed from reaching somewhere to reaching out to something. You wished and dreamed as a person, being in that social aplomb, that microcosm of your own friends and family. But you're a changed person now, and so is everyone's attitude towards who you are now. Your victory comes as  stamp of glory everyone rejoices, and so do you, but you haven't won because your victory and your pride were so pyrrhic that you lost what you once fought for - to get back happiness into the life of the real you. You lost the real you in turn. The victory, the pride, was all too pyrrhic, and as this pattern remains too hard to believe in, both I and you will still fall for it. 

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Move over Facebook-WhatsApp dalliance: Meet the CIA ECHELON.

So a lot of you seem to be livid about the supposed coquetry between Facebook and WhatsApp, in which WhatsApp shall provide your messenger communications information with Facebook so that the latter could provide better content to you. While we know this supposed purpose is just to inveigle you while both these communication giants drub ethics and mint money, it's important to know that such partnerships are merely the tip of the iceberg. So if this news perturbed you, you've got to acquaint yourself with the much more deep rooted problem; the testament to which is the CIA Echelon. 

For the larger part of 1950s, the world went through abrupt changes. Post the world war 2 as the world prepared itself for leaping on to the long cold war, the NATO treaty signed in 1949 marked the beginning of the latest tool among warring nations: SIGINT or Signal Intelligence. As the Soviet grip on USSR members and the Eastern Bloc(Communist Soviet nations largely in Europe) strengthened, the NATO spearheaded the silent movement against the Soviet aggression through sophisticated radio signal interception. At that time most military and political communication was transmitted through the radio. Established in the wake of opponent mutuality, was the Warsaw pact which served to strengthen the camaraderie among the communist folks to directly produce a moratorium of the NATO impact. Through larger part of 1950s all member countries of these two defining organizations intercepted most of the radio traffic to be able to get one up one the other. Then in the beginning of the 1960s something incredible happened. 

The Geostationary communications systems were now being setup, and communications were all set to explode. Terrestrial telephony was now going to have spatial counterparts and with a simultaneous rise in computing power, newer generations of communication equipment evolved. In the wake of these possibilities, SIGINT was no longer going to remain confined to radio transmission interception. The Soviet clan was always going to follow the western brethren in adopting newer technology to nudge interception. It is in this regard that the Five Eyes surveillance program was established. 

The Five Eyes program had 5 principal member nations - The USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These nations affirmed the need for an integrated SIGINT initiative to check for Soviet aggression across the eastern bloc through signal interception and eavesdropping. As a part of the Five Eyes program, multiple satellite interception stations were setup across the signatory nations. The most visible and celebrated of these was the Randome station setup at Yorkshire in England(pictures attached below). 

Using these satellite transmission interception stations that had a political and strategic organization to their placements, all satellite telephony and telegraphic interceptions could be made. With the rapid advancement of technology in the 70s and 80s, and with US DoD ARPANET getting a successor WAN network in the making, the Five Eyes program started getting immaculate funding from the telecommunications and homeland ministries of these countries. The Five Eyes program now evolved not only to keep an eye on the Soviet aggression across Eastern Europe and the possibility of there being a Communist-Capitalist clash, but also to equip military and national intelligence with appropriate and timely information on threats to national security. 

As the 90s approached, the Communist Warsaw pact was tremendously battered and most of Soviet Russia's energies were focused on keeping USSR intact, which soon disintegrated putting a large and mammoth load of economic transformations on a nation that could no longer splurge on satellite technology and communications advancement. With this, the original objective of the Five Eyes program was officially accomplished. The Cold War was officially cited over and no one knew the fate of these international signal interception stations established under the Five Eyes program. Much to say, no one really bothered as all eyes moved on the fall of the Brobdingnagian Soviet state and the collective revolution that ensued. Five Eyes and SIGINT were forgotten, but from the ashes of these forlorn Buzzwords, a new code name emerged in 1996. The name was ECHELON. 

As United States asserted its supremacy with renewed vigor with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, it also became the pivot of how global communications were to be shaped. The Internet had already come out from the embryonic form it assumed in the US Department of Defense's ARPA(Advanced Research Projects Agency) laboratory. Additionally, much of the telecommunication protocols came in from there. The US had a bigger than ever say in how global communication networks evolved. It isn't surprising that the CIA(Central Intelligence Agency) and NSA(National Security Agency) didn't lose track of all of this. 

If Edward Snowden's revelations on US Intelligence projects are anything to go by, the CIA has multiple code worded intelligence operations being run through satellite stations all over the world. Hidden from most of the world, the CIA managed to setup various intelligence gathering stations either veiled inside United States embassies or in partnership with local friendly governments. The CIA and NSA always emphasized that a newer and more powerful enemy was emerging in the form of radical Islam. So the countries which assumed the obvious threat namely UK, France, India, Turkey, Canada and a lot many more, immediately allowed for their services to be available for this purpose. 

As per experts, all these programs had a name known to the local government, like SCS(Special Collections Service) which was designated to satellite signal analysis at known locations(SCS in New Delhi and Brasilia, and GARLICK in Munich etc.) and then there was always a hidden signal analysis team working undercover, with a palpably veiled agenda. It was this undercover signal analysis operation that the CIA code named for its internal intelligence gathering and organization. It is believed that one such operation was code named the ECHELON. 

Apparently, ECHELON was a secret intelligence gathering operation that worked well within the cover of the Five Eyes program ever since the radio signal gathering days. When the name ECHELON first appeared in public domain in the mid 90s, the US government maintained absolute reticence on the matter with them sending their most laconic members for defense. The reason was because ECHELON, if its existence was proven, was to be the biggest subterfuge ever played in the history of cooperation and partnership. 

The USA established the Five Eyes program with the purported agenda to counter the Soviet movement across the Eastern European bloc that could denigrate European integrity. However, the ECHELON ran deep within the Five Eyes, allowing US signal intelligence systems to in turn intercept the conversations among politicians and military top shots of many of the member nations themselves. Initially as addled and bemused everyone was, even member nations couldn't admit to having committed the most preposterous fallacy of all such military cooperation projects, but they didn't stay down either.

While the US government constantly denied the presence of any ECHELON, more evidence kept cropping up their claims. In 1998 a former Lockheed Martin employee brought to public attention how she had during 1970s worked on some equipment she was told to be a part of Five Eyes, but which was in fact reserved for ECHELON. The European member nations which consorted to UK's involvement were soon worried and they even sent a panel to the US to see if anything could be unearthed. But being the master of deception as it is, the CIA always maintained absolute silence and became a pretentious palimpsest of the non existence of ECHELON. No one would have expected the storm to calm down so easily, but it did. 

All opposition fizzled and everyone soon forgot what ECHELON is. This was in 2001 when terrorists had started using the Internet for recruitment and propagation of hatred and maladroitness. It is believed that the USA which already possessed much critical and explicit material involving the secrets of many of the diplomats of these member Five Eyes nations, used all of it to the advantage of it denying the existence of ECHELON. Moreover, the US finally offered the services of ECHELON, the allegorical tribute to the Big Brother from George Orwell's 1984, to these nations that were easily lured into believing ECHELON's capabilities would yield benefits, Little did they know! 

As ECHELON continued to prosper and bloom beneath innocuous and benign signal interception protocols and treaties, it is believed that ECHELON stations are now so well spread out that effectively every satellite signal sent from any part of the world to any other part could now be intercepted, recorded and then reproduced. Effectively, every human being who communicates through any modern means of communication is now under the scrutiny of ECHELON. 

ECHELON is backed by humongous power and capability of DoD's supercomuters which can store and process trillions of terabytes of all these signals and can also further organize and delve into the same for various buzzwords. In fact well before the 9/11, the ECHELON was able to capture random communication about their being a prospective building collapse coming out of the ongoing US interference in Taliban. Post the aftermath of ignoring the outcome of ECHELON's intelligence gathering, ECHELON's prowess was well established. 

Today, all things you talk to your lover about, all things I write on this keyboard and post on the Internet, all documents you send through mail, all pictures you tag on Facebook and all messages you share on WhatsApp. Everything gets converted into a satellite signal that travels through the Geostat network. And every such signal is recorded and processed by ECHELON and then analyzed in conjunction with all other information. Then various mining tools are applied and selective patterns are sent for further analysis. 

ECHELON, which started as a rogue spinoff from the noble Five Eyes program, is now the US CIA's eyes on you, your personal life and almost everything related to you. What started as a just and needed program to prevent a third war, today results in industrial espionage, and breach of hacking ethics committed at all levels possible. ECHELON is the eye to the world. Maybe in the future as we become more connected, ECHELON would become a parallel repository of all human existence and activity. And you are still worried about WhatsApp sharing contact details with Facebook!