News Stories

Synchronized Evil

When we see reports about North Korea, we are shown rows of soldiers marching in lockstep. Old newsreels of Hitler's armies and Soviet troops show us the same thing. There's a REASON that dictatorial regimes that want to control the minds of their populace concentrate on building up their armies and parading them around. It's not just to show the world their military might, it's because moving in harmony (or seeing OTHERS moving that way) can make people feel more connected to one another and, as a result, lead to collective action (could this be one reason for cheerleaders too?)

While we know that synchronized action in things like activities like yoga and dancing can produce good vibes, but the interconnectedness created by coordinated action can obviously be mined to make people behave destructively instead.

In a series of experiments, researcher Scott Wiltermuth found that people who moved in synchrony felt more connected to those in their group and were more likely to choose something negative at the request of a teammate than participants who performed actions out of sync with one another. They identified with the interests of their own group over that of the whole.

Wiltermuth, an expert on group dynamics, says the findings are the first to indicate that synchronous activities may be used to influence leader-follower relations and are especially pertinent, as synchronized action like marching and chanting are still used in political and religious rallies to influence people throughout the world. He says, "The findings suggest that synchrony cannot only be used for good, but also as a tool to promote evil."

How can we cultivate and increase the latent powers of GOOD within us, rather than encourage the evil? How can we contact or interact with the Visitors? In his long lifetime of Visitor contact, Whitley has found that mediation is the key to all of these things. Whitley has many wonderful meditations for you in the subscriber section and he's written a guidebook to the way he meditates called The Path. In it, using the Tarot cards, he explains all the meditation techniques he has learned from the Gurdjieff work--AND from the Visitors!

The Extropians - the "freeze your head" crowd - look forward to a day when technology can save your memories and personality, all that is individual to you, and store it in computers, robots, or other bodies. They don't seem to have worked out the implications of this, so it's up to us SF writers to do so.

In the novel I'm working on, a fanatical sociopath downloads himself into others - all of whom have the same drive to drop all other activities and download as many copies of themselves as possible. Soon Earth is deep in a war between multiple groups of single-minded fanatics overwriting each other and bystanders in a war to the death.

Then individuals appear who cannot be overwritten, and when they are downloaded into others, they are not merely instantiations, but telepathically connected - they are all the same person - er, Person.

The US Army psychiatrist who discovers this technology can also download a record of a person's life and read it without overwriting her own - and finds, after assimilating the lives of all nine Enneagram types, or 16 Myers-Briggs types, or 23 Tarot archetypes, that she has discovered Artificial Reincarnation and gets off the Wheel that way.

This idea draws its power from the fact that the concepts are metaphysically true, not physically, so they resonate with great power within us. That is, there are Realized Adults out there who create our Universe 20 trillion times a second - by the character and quality of their observation, quenching probabilities, collapsing the wave function, and bringing our unitary reality into being from a quark fog. Greg Egan's Quarantine touches on this last idea, but with a Noir focus not to my taste. Hammering it all out of a quark fog is as Lawful Good as it gets.

If there happen to be any SF writers hanging out here, take this idea and run with it and do a better job that I can. There is nothing more disheartening to an avid SF reader than a profound theme bobbled by a mediocre writer (the novel Protector comes to mind), and this plot should be milked for all it's worth - a Dune-level doorstopper, in better hands than mine.

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