One Ring To Rule Them All

In a coffee shop; Silicon Valley, California. A fly lands on a used napkin left on a dirty table by a person who was more interested in a Tweet than cleaning up after themselves. Two people sit at a table nearby.

Person 1: “So,.. what have you got for me.”

Person 2: “As we expected. Nothing Good.”

1: “Is this something that we should worry about?”

2: “Almost definitely. It’s how they work. What do you know about the guy on the inside?”

1: “We know he didn’t write the manifesto. We checked the grammar and diction of the manifesto to other examples of his writing on file and it’s not close enough. Aside from that, everything seems normal.”

2: “On the surface at least? I did my own background check and I think that he’s too clean… but, you guys are geeks,.. so that might be normal.”

1: “What does all this mean? You know these people. What’s going on?”

2: “Well, the concept is very simple. You are being manipulated.”

1: “We fired the guy… does that solve the problem?”

2: “Ha! No. They are not trying to control you outright with some sort of mole on the inside to do their bidding. They are trying to influence you by getting you to defend your sense of self. …. Listen, it goes like this. Manipulating people, manipulating governments, and manipulating companies follows the same structure; the same process. Get the people to feel like they are a part of a family, then make sure that there is always sibling rivalry to keep everyone off balance. They pull strings through the sibling rivalry.”

1: “I am not too certain I follow.”

2: “Look, the first thing you thought of when this manifesto came out was that you were being attacked by a competing company… a PR attack, right?”

1: “Yes.”

2: “What did your government liaison tell you… that it was Zuck, no?”

1: “Not outright, but it was implied.”

2: “Of course it was… just a few days before he is all over the news as a proud family man who has found God and wants to be President. You know none of that is true, don’t you? He, most likely, is working on their advice to create a brand image… like Musk… one that satisfies the Facebook users. Painting picture of someone trustworthy.”

1: “But,..”

2: “No but… think. In the same week he tries to sell himself as a wholesome family man, your company is in the news for misogyny.”

1: “I get that part. What I don’t get is why.”

2: “Forgive me, but I don’t think you get the point. If they tell you it was Facebook, that means it probably was Apple,.. They are trying to sell Apple as public defenders… Or Amazon. But, I doubt it was Amazon. They got their plate full with The Washington Post scheme and all.”

1: “Couldn’t it have been the NSA itself?”

2: “God no! And get their fingers caught in the jar?”

1: “Ok. Ok. What’s the big picture?”

2: “The selfish mother keeps her children bickering so she is always the center of attention. If her children are always bickering, they are always coming to her for advice and help. … This is the exact same thing. They want you to trust them to keep the balance with the other big data companies, even though they are the ones causing the imbalance. Just think, if the NSA is the mother, then Apple is her favorite child and Facebook is the runt they use as leverage over all the others. … This maneuver is as old as politics itself. What is new is that it is being applied to corporations now. First it was just individual people. Then they started this game with countries, using terrorism as the means to cause the chaos. Now its companies,.. using public image as leverage.”

1: “So, what do we do about it?”

2: “That is a tough call… from my perspective there are only three options. The first is to take the pill and accept their influence.”

1: “That won’t do.”

2: “Indeed. Not many people can consciously take that pill. The second option is to fight back, but you would be up against a huge and vicious behemoth…. The third option is to adapt above it.”

1: “That sounds like it makes sense,but what do you think that means?”

2: “Well, from my perspective, from what I have seen in my years with the Company, it means you have to find a certain level of faith in what you do…. like serving a higher purpose. Religion is their kryptonite. That is why they work so hard to corrupt it. They sold you on the idea of serving the country, with honor and pride as a true patriot, but what about taking it higher and serving something much larger… like humanity?”

1: “Sounds like empty rhetoric.”

2: “Of course it is empty rhetoric, but the question is… what do you have to believe to allow yourself to see the games being played as necessary, but not something that controls you? … Does that make sense? … Hello?”

1: “Sorry. Yes. That’s some good insight. I have to go… keep rooting around and we will talk soon.”