I've been wandering the wires, and through Trooper Thompson I found Ian Parker-Josephs' account of how the EU plan to see us as merely 'biological economic devices' when they finally computerise everything.
I thought that was how they already regarded us. However, Blind Cyclist's Union disagrees, most emphatically. Here's the document that started it all. It's a whopper so don't download it if you're on one of those pay-per-megabyte wireless gizmos. Best wait until you can get hold of a land line.
Can I believe that the unelected unthinking of Brussels really want total control over our lives? Well of course they do, they've made that obvious for decades. Can I believe they'd try to set up a Terminator-style Skynet to control us, or that they would attempt to hard-wire us in with Borg implants? Well, of course they would. They'd love to do all that.
Do I think they'll try? Yes.
Am I worried? No.
They'll balls it up. Extremely clever computer folk will build and program the system for them, then the EU will appoint some drooling imbecile to run it, a retired washing machine engineer to maintain it, and the whole lot will fall apart within days. Or, just as likely, they'll take the lowest tender from some cheap outfit who are still using Amstrad PCWs, the project and its costs will overrun to ten times the original estimate, and at the end of the project, it won't work.
They computerised the tax office and it was a total shambles. The computerisation of the NHS was a total shambles. Databases are left on public transport or leaked to the Internet. Massively expensive and pointless projects are commissioned and scrapped after millions have been poured into them. I can't honestly think of any politician/computer interaction that has ever resulted in anything other than a mess. They can't even manage their expenses on computers. Why worry about them thinking they can control the world with computers? Oh, they think it, for sure, but they'll balls it up. The only thing worrying me is how much they'll charge us for the next ballsup.
Skynet is science fiction. It could be done, certainly, but it would take intelligent people to build it, program it and run it. We are under Socialist control so cleverness is squeezed out of children at school. So while it could possibly happen, it won't happen under the sort of government that would be likely to do it. They simply won't allow anyone to become clever enough to do it.
If the EU did create a Skynet it would spend all its time looking for smokers in pubs and counting how many calories we all eat. It would consume gigawatts of power to monitor our TVs and kettles. It would record every single Email, blog post, chat room quip and telephone call into a vast and unsearchable database that even with modern computing power would grind though terabytes of data looking for one item. It would be so full of trivia that nobody would ever get anything useful out of it. If it became self-aware it would instantly go insane.
Remember, even if clever people build it, those clever people won't be allowed to run it. The searches will be done by a spotty work-placement temp with one O level in spreadable cheese art forms. He will enter the search term 'bomb' and the system will chug through its vast database and throw up every mention of 'bomb' it can find. Including this one. The spotty moron will then have to read all the gibberish above in order to find out there is no bomb here. Then he'll go to the next one, and maybe five million items later he might find a real bomb mentioned on a WWII history post. I can picture his excitement as he fills in his report.
The system might work as intended but it will be run by idiots who never work at all.
Then there is the sun. It's been very quiet for a long time but it's getting busy again. Once in a long while it farts out a mass of charged particles that give us spectacular auroral displays to distract our attention from the satellites it's fried. That hasn't happened on a huge scale recently but while we've been building ever more complex and delicate computer technology, the sun has been building up to a belch.
Our government are terrified of it and have warned us about it, as if they think someone out there can do something about it. Nope. If it happens, or rather when it happens because at some point in the future it must, then your iPod will become a handy door wedge and all those supercomputers with all those databases will reboot in Homer Simpson mode. 'Duuuh...'
Skynet is a clever storyline, so is the computer-owned world of the Matrix or the Borg invasion of Earth but they simply could not last long enough to be a serious problem. Sooner or later, a big coronal mass ejection from the Sun would turn their circuitry to scrap silicon. It must eventually happen, but still our government persist with keeping everything important on computers. One day it will all just vanish and there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it.
Even if it's centuries before another sun-blast, there are already teenagers capable of writing seriously damaging computer viruses, and let's not forget that spotty work-placement operator who might just click 'delete all' by accident one day, because he had Socialist schooling and can't understand that 'delete' means 'gone'.
Then there's the matter of powering it. Recent government energy policy means that in five years we'll be lucky if we can run a lightbulb on the total UK power output. A low-energy one at that. Civil servants will have to pedal stationary bicycles while typing, to charge up their computer battery. Maybe the system will only run while the wind blows.
I'm not concerned by any government's interest in control by computer. The computers might be able to do it but politicians can't grasp that any computer is only as useful as the person typing stuff into it. So they have massively expensive computer systems run by people who only know how to use them for Facebook and porn.
Even where computers are central to a commercial organisation's business, they sometimes break. If Sainsbury's can't keep their tills running using actual computer-trained staff, what hope does the EU have of running Skynet?
It would be funny to watch them try, but we'll be paying for it. That's the part to be concerned about.