Paradigm Shifts in Global Economies
Does it feel like we are on the verge or in the process of drastic changes – particularly on a global scale? Are we headed toward a more unified global economy or are isolated local economies the path of the future?
The confluence of global political disruptions, technological advancements and economic flux in our recent history suggests that we are moving toward new paradigms in global and local societies.
We have seen the effects of globalization, and most often the negative implications of it, as a product of corporate greed. But what would happen if a globally concerted effort was made with humanity’s benefit in mind?
Artificial Intelligence and Universal Basic Income
With computing power increasing at an exponential rate, the prospect of artificial intelligence reaching a level of taking over low-skill jobs is not very far off. In many ways, we have already experienced its initial push with automated services and current development of autonomous vehicles. An apparent result of this would be mass unemployment and subsequently, a large segment of the workforce that might be unemployable.
Elon Musk, amongst others, believes that to alleviate this problem it will be necessary for governments to pay citizens a universal basic income or UBI. Musk believes a complete automation of transportation will happen within the next 20 years. A drone taxi service is already being tested in Dubai. With driving, in its different forms, being one of the largest fields of employment, a significant portion of the workforce would be out of work. But would they have to find another job?
There have been recent attempts and experiments with the introduction of a UBI. In Finland this year, an experimental program was passed giving a group of randomly selected citizens, currently receiving welfare, a basic income of 560 euros per month. A tech start-up in California is giving a UBI to some residents of Oakland, ostensibly for philanthropic purposes, but also to research its effects. The Netherlands is also trying out a UBI experiment of its own.
Shattering Historical Paradigms
Scientists, historians and archeologists are actively engaged in answering the big questions about human origins, our relationship to each other and the world around us. But advances in technology and scientific techniques are uncovering paradigm shattering discoveries which are forcing a crisis in their way of thinking.
What to do in Your Spare Time?
What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about earning enough money to survive? Aside from a significant decrease in stress and anxiety, a UBI would allow people more time to focus on art, music, hobbies and pastimes – things that contribute to happiness and a better quality of life.
But one might argue that people’s jobs and careers give them a sense of purpose and without them they might struggle to find meaning in their life. What are the alternatives?
A consequence of technological advancement that we are becoming more and more familiar with is the development of virtual reality. We have already seen the effects that VR has had on society in different ways than one might associate with digital VR. The Pokémon Go fad, that had people searching and battling for imaginary creatures suffused with actual geographic locations, is one instance.
As Yuval Hararai notes, there are many orthodox Jews in Israel who do not work (although their wives do) and instead spend their time devoted to their religion. He notes that religion is somewhat of an abstract type of VR. Rules are abided by that are not necessary for survival, imaginary points are awarded for performing pious rituals, or subtracted for lack thereof. These orthodox men live impoverished lives, but report some of the highest levels of happiness.
Will VR, in its many forms, become more pervasive in our everyday lives?
The Cashless Society
How would you feel if the government asked you to turn in all of your $20 and $100 bills tomorrow?
Although it may be difficult to fathom, a society that eliminates cash is potentially forthcoming and is already partially implemented or on the verge of induction in some countries. More than 1/3 of the populations of the U.S. and Europe say that they would be willing to move to a cashless society.
Proponents say that the benefits of digital currency and banking can reduce crime, eliminate counterfeit money and create new ways for those without credit to establish it. Of course on the other hand there is the problem of identity theft or digital trails for Big Brother to trace, but which is the bigger problem?
The most pertinent example, as of late, has been the system put into place by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi removed 86 percent of India’s currency in an attempt to stop corruption, tax evasion and the black market. Another intended result of the program was to register a large portion of the Indian population, particularly those born in rural areas, that had no identification. The Indian government created a system, called Aadhar, to give identification to those without it through a retinal scan and fingerprints. Once this system was in place, a follow-up system was created to give its citizens a bank account where transactions could be processed for free and money could be sent instantaneously.
In the U.S., there was a noticeable drop in crime that was correlated with a move away from cash, when unemployment benefits were delivered in the form of a debit card rather than a paper check, that most recipients without a bank account would cash. It appeared that the less cash that was on the street led to a drop in crime.
We’re decreasingly using cash in our day to day transactions when plastic is often preferred or the only accepted form of payment. We don’t even need our physical credit cards to pay for items at the grocery store, when a simple scan from our phone will suffice. Is cash beneficial or a hinderance to you? Could you live in a society that eliminated paper currency?
Black Knight 13,000-Year-Old Satellite Mystery Decoded?
Space debris or a 13,000-year-old satellite? A mysterious object, dubbed the Black Knight, orbits the Earth, puzzling scientists of the past and present. Some, like inventor and scientist Nicola Tesla, claim to have received radio signals from the orbiting figure. Astronaut Gordon Cooper was adamant that, in 1963, he saw it from his own spacecraft. The documented history of the existence of the Black Knight continues to mystify scientists.
Nicola Tesla and the Black Knight
Although Nicola Tesla’s inventions changed the way people live today, back in 1899 his peers viewed him as eccentric and somewhat of a mad scientist. When he built a laboratory and a 210-foot tower in Colorado Springs in order to experiment with electricity and record electromagnetic disturbances, his colleagues did not take him seriously. When he reported that he had received signals from extraterrestrials, the newspapers of the day mocked him.
Despite the ridicule of his peers, Tesla was excited about the signals he received, and came to fervently believe that he “had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another. A purpose was behind these electrical signals.” Researchers now believe the signals Tesla received likely came from the Black Knight.
Modern History of the Black Knight
Although there were some reports in the 1930s of astronomers around the world receiving strange radio signals, in 1954, the St. Louis Dispatch ran an article titled, “Artificial Satellites Are Circling Earth, Writer on ‘Saucers’ says.” The referenced writer was Donald E. Keyhoe who wrote about unidentified satellites orbiting the Earth. He claimed the government knew about them and was trying to discover their source.
Keyhoe later wrote a book, “Aliens in Space: The Real Story of Unidentified Flying Objects,” where he documented his knowledge of UFOs including what he knew about the Black Knight. Gaia’s Deep Space series discusses some of his work.
Scientists and astronomers reported seeing the satellite as it orbited the Earth. In 1953, a professor at the University of New Mexico saw a “blip of unknown origin.” In 1957, Dr. Luis Corralos, with the Communications Ministry in Venezuela, was taking pictures of the Russian satellite, Sputnik II, as it passed over Caracas. The Black Knight showed up in his photographs. This was the first known actual picture of the object.
In 1960, an American satellite showed the object following Sputnik 1, which was still orbiting the Earth. The UFO was in a polar orbit. At that time, neither the U.S. nor the Russians were capable of putting a satellite in that type of orbit. The object also appeared to be much larger and heavier than anything either country could launch.
In the 1960s, TIME magazine, as well as other news publications, reported on the Black Knight and referred to it as possibly having an extraterrestrial origin. Some North American Ham operators had detected signals coming from the object. Some even reported receiving coded messages. On September 3, 1960, the Black Knight showed up on radar for the first time. People on the ground viewing it with the naked eye could see it for about two weeks. The government reportedly established a committee to investigate the object, but no report was ever made public.
In 1963, Astronaut Gordon Cooper was orbiting the Earth when he said he saw a “glowing green light” ahead of his space capsule. At the same time, a tracking station in Australia, over which the spacecraft was orbiting at the time, reported seeing the object on radar. The evening news reported on Cooper’s sighting, and for the first time, the object was referred to as the Black Knight Satellite. The name stuck, but Cooper’s report did not.
NASA soon debunked Cooper’s UFO sighting, claiming there had been a malfunction in the space capsule which caused gases to emit what appeared glowing light. The result, said NASA, was that Cooper had a hallucination and did not see a UFO. Cooper later confirmed that he had definitely seen a UFO on his 1963 space orbit and that NASA had prohibited him from discussing it. Until his death in 2004, Cooper claimed that he did not have a hallucination in the spacecraft, but saw a UFO. He was very vocal during his lifetime about his belief in the existence of extraterrestrial life and his frustration that the U.S. government continued to cover up evidence of alien contacts.
In 1998, astronauts on the space shuttle Endeavor, on their way to the International Space Station (ISS), took photographs of the object. NASA again disagreed with the astronauts and claimed what they saw and photographed was not a UFO, but instead, just space debris, most likely a thermal blanket.
Black Knight Communications with Human Beings
Influential people and highly respected authors, movie producers, and directors and members of secret societies have claimed to receive communications from alien beings including signals from the Black Knight. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the Star Trek television series and movies, is almost a household name. In 1973 to 1974 he was reportedly associated with a secret society called “The Council of Nine.” The Nine, in brief, were a group of prominent people who believed that the channeled messages received by their leaders were actually messages sent by extraterrestrials. Roddenberry allegedly based his Star Trek episodes on what he learned from the Nine, including the giveaway title he chose for a post Star Trek series called, “Deep Space Nine.” Many believed the source of the channeled messages was the Black Knight.
Author Philip K. Dick claimed to have communications with alien beings. The way he described his first encounter with the being in February 1974 is consistent with some of the captured coded messages from the Black Knight. Dick’s VALIS trilogy was, according to those who knew him or researched him, really a fictionalized autobiography and not science fiction. It pulled from his communications with an alien entity, which were likely from the Black Knight.
Is the Black Knight still with us?
Two separate people in different parts of the country who were each photographing the Blue Moon on July 31, 2015, captured what they believe is the Black Knight. The object was once again passing by the ISS. Is the Black Knight an ancient alien vessel? Could it be a satellite from somewhere in deep space that is trying to communicate with humans on earth? Or, is simply a piece of space debris left behind by spacecraft made by Earthlings? You decide.
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Don’t miss Deep Space on Gaia for more on the long and hidden history of Earth’s secret space program.