Conspiracies and Ripples

June 2020

Theories, social commentary, political rhetoric and opinion are now taking precedence over fact and antiscience seems to be the new norm. This is becoming more and more prevalent among some very distinguished academic institutions and scientific journals who are swayed by the undercurrent of social discord - something that would have been almost inconceivable before now. The dangers are plain to see, and it would be foolish or short-sighted to think things will not get worse. If history has taught us anything it is that we do not learn from our past. Are these simply conspiracy theories triggered intentionally, or is there some historical precedent and reasonable explanation to what might appear short-term, isolated events?


A conspiracy theory is just a theory without proof – therefore, a ‘theory’.  Separating the theory from the fact is the goal, but given the sheer number of stories, there has to be some way of assessing 'relevance'. We manage risk in some form or another on a day to day basis, either the assessment of it or the methods used to mitigate against it - our evolution as a species necessitated it almost from day one. So, we have come a long way from having to use that all-important skill of differentiating between the rustle in the bushes from a tiger stalking us, to what we rely upon today - or have we? The tools have changed and the methods of attacking or defending have modified massively, but aren’t things the same from a purely psychological perspective i.e. rooted in our desire to protect either ourselves, our loved ones, the nation or our possessions?

From one perspective, as we are predisposed to question and seek answers from the moment we are born and throughout our lives, it is likely this is where the seeds of a conspiracy theory start to propagate and draw strength – an evolutionary manifestation of the unstoppable questioning we as a species rely upon to survive. The harsh reality is that it serves the agenda of some people or organisations to denigrate or minimize the importance of a conspiracy theory dependent on the risks and consequences involved - in essence that is still a survival mechanism of course – albeit more of the ‘political’ kind. Also, questioning is by definition an admission that we do not know something and in turn (for men especially) that is often perceived as a sign of weakness – so the ego is such that if for no other reason than to fuel our defensive instinct, it is easier not to question the perceived wisdom and follow the herd. Indeed, many large organisations rely upon that fact which is why propaganda, media and marketing surges through the veins of society in such an uninterrupted way, and yet with so much influence. 


Although none of this is new, in terms of the psychological backdrop, the subject matter and methods used for attack or defence are indeed very much new and innovative, and always adapting. So, before we ‘poo poo’ a theory as being simply a conspiracy theory and the ramblings of the weak or the mad, it would make sense to examine them just as theories first, with varying degrees of weighting which are currently unsubstantiated or devoid of fact. So, looking at the facts first seems to be the most logical and sensible approach after having filtered through the theory based on a quantitative approach to risk assessment, and a ‘weighting’ which is scored according to its relevance.


As a development from this initial foundation, there is another key determinant in terms of whether a theory or accusation should be investigated or not, and for us, that is the presence of patterns.  Law enforcement, Intelligence agencies, or in deed many other organisations in all their various forms, academic disciplines, teams and departments, look for patterns. They look for a development of behaviour or sequence of events in order to add weighting to an overall risk assessment. What constitutes these “patterns” is another subject in itself and covered by us elsewhere in detail, but in a nutshell, one can look at it as a journey across multiple areas - starting with the collection of core data (intelligence) and transporting it (the Internet as the current means of doing so) to a credible and accurate identification of a pattern with a weighted score to reflect its significance. The various points this journey covers is the key – and that is why at this point in time, especially along the exponential technological curve, the risk environment is shifting in one definite direction – one which favours those in possession of those variables. Therefore, the use of artificial intelligence and now quantum artificial intelligence from organisations such as The XXXX Group and others, are proving to be so useful in helping us recognise these patterns and what determines a credible risk. Where organisation’s such as XXXX then pick up the baton in this journey is to apply current, innovative systems to predict how the second most important element in this process, namely “transportation”, will send the first most valuable element i.e. “Data” to its recipient. Anticipating what the next means of transportation will be - now that it is primarily the internet – is what firms all over the world are all trying to fathom. Again, that is another hugely complex subject and one that we cover in detail. But it is safe to say that the internet is now in its old age in web years. It was once a young, vibrant innovative addition, but not any longer. The same can be said for other off shoots such as IOT, WIFI, 5G, and even Biometrics for ID. The internet must evolve –but there are potential alternatives to this ‘transportation’ problem.


As an analogy -the fuse was lit in 1952 with Alan Turing’s, staggering article, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”. One might say, the ‘patient zero’ of the innovation pandemic that has infected the earth and changed it forever. So, WWW, IOT, 5G, are simply mutations of the original virus, not a new strain. AI is the current method of spreading that infection and does so by the internet - at the moment. However, there are several alternatives in the pipeline that do offer some credible alternatives, but there is a problem, and that is myopia.  The sheer technical, scientific and logistical issues within each developmental area, means that the focus is too condensed and the ‘bigger picture’ is lost. Is that being managed, and can that realistically be centralised? The answer is, yes it can but at the moment it is most certainly not centralised globally – by definition. So, we are dependent on our nation and our allies, which includes the private corporations within them, to deliver viable solutions.

How does this relate to the conspiracy theory as described at the start? Well, that is where we have to apply our own decision making in terms of what interests us. At the moment, that interest is China and the ripple of events that have occurred over the last twenty years. This is our current focus and one which commands a great deal of our time and resources. However, working with some of the companies as described above, we are finding some interesting results and ones which we feel reveal patterns of interest. 


History has shown that human beings never learn from the past despite making significant errors.  This pattern of repeating the same mistakes is what makes us human, sadly. It is often hard to change, which is why developing a coherent strategy at this point is so vital and yet will not be welcomed unilaterally. For it to work there will have to be some fundamental changes. Changes based on logic and reason despite having to swim against the wave of emotion and theory which is currently in danger of drowning our extremely vulnerable and sensitive socio-economic and political balance. In terms of China, and now the Maoist references dangerously popping up in the 'antiscience' camps, and others of course, it will be a tough nut to crack especially if we really look under the bonnet of the twenty-year game of Chess that is being played between their nation and the West.

The game of Chess is interesting, especially in this context. There are many types of people who enjoy the game of course. They all play it differently, which is good – after all that is what makes it worth playing. Some will strategise to the point of madness and never make a move – some will plan endlessly and then panic – others will simply smash the pieces on the board in frustration. But – they all played the game. Now take away the Board.

“China – Our Prediction based on Facts not Theory” – July 2020


On a separate but not unrelated note, we have written many articles about a variety of subjects and often made our predictions and outlined what we consider key points. Two years ago, we were one of the few to direct the topic of Exponential Digital growth into some more ‘applied’ niche areas. At the time although of course we could not have specifically identified COVID-19 as being the “event” we discussed – it was nonetheless something we were fairly explicit about it in terms of warning. This material is still online, and we will shortly provide access for those who would like to read it. In short much of what we predicted has now occurred, but we are also starting to see the semblance of something else we discussed also at the same time, starting to emerge- this centred on anarchy and public unrest as also being likely developments. We would recommend you read the original article to fully understand the context. However, recent events and the concerns raised in the US about the ‘potential’ uninvention of, and threat to, the Federal system may not seem so far-fetched. Over the next days and weeks no doubt the various 'think tanks' will be publishing their opinions on the likely consequences of these seemingly unanticipated events – for us however this is the continuation of a long journey and one that started well before the recent Floyd incidents, or indeed even the Rodney King demonstrations. These events are not causes but the manifestation of a fundemtally flawed and outdated system that has allowed processes such as basic checks and balances start to deteriorate – almost beyond repair. The link here to our discussions above is that the ‘theories’ as they are put, predominantly social and political, are gaining traction ahead of what is the most relevant element, namely the facts. In this case, the theorising is injecting flexibility and “bendability” into a structure, the US legal system, that should never be subject to such intrusion. It is therefore prompting speculation of a threat to a system that would have been deemed impossible not that long ago. This in turn will become the pebble which we should all plan for and the ripples of which we really need to avoid. It has been said for many years that the really influential and more dangerous threat to our security is the digital terrorist, and it is a threat which has the potential to make ‘traditional’ threats seem minor by comparison. The perimeter has certainly been tested several times now, so it is no shock. On their own many of these issues are manageable but taken together and in a coordinated way (enter the ‘conspiracy theorists’) they would be overwhelming. This is not to say it is a forgone conclusion, and for us in the UK we are pretty well positioned – but before we do eventually revert back to making the individual their own technological powerhouse and decentralize, then for now we are still in a global market place. That being the case, we have to be much more cautious now about the new events taking place across the pond.


Finally, when news of COVID-19 first broke, we put together our initial views and again, were fairly public about it and published opinions online (copies are also available). What we have seen many times so far, throughout the pandemic event, is numerous reversals of tactics and opinions. Many will say, and with some justification, that this due to the unprecedented nature of such events. However, in keeping with the title of this piece, when facts were analysed it was the theory that took over as the key influencer which, for us at least, is fundamentally incorrect as it should be the complete reverse. The facts concerning the source of the virus, such as it being in Wuhan and by a huge coincidence also home to the Stage 4 Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, were in this case dominated by the theory i.e. That is was a new mutation but one which was of natural, zootonic origin.


We begged to differ, or at least question this at the time as many did, and still do – so now as investigations start to add evidence to dismiss the ‘coincidence’ as being fact, this too is adding fuel to a fire that is already well underway. For those who might be interested…watch this space, but for now it will be fascinating to see what opinions start to surface from much more eminent and qualified analysts that I and concerning some of the points raised above. For the next two or three weeks at least.

Our intention from the start has been to try and connect the unconnected which, to many including ourselves, seems an arduous, thankless and frankly unrewarding task. However, the task remains intact and there are connections and patterns here that even viewed simply in the ‘now’ are statistically relevant. Add to that time and history, and what we have is something possibly almost worthwhile. Step back further and the picture becomes even more interesting especially when sliding together seemingly innocuous and unconnected events.


For this article we have taken a broad approach and ‘laid out the stall’ to a large extent – the next step being the connection of those seemingly unconnected dots. This will involve a combined qualitative and quantitative ‘multi-level’ approach and methodology to consider some of the institutional, organisational, technological and social factors raised so far.


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Wuhan conspiracy theories aside, diplomatic traction is the reward.


A week or two ago we wrote an article "Conspiracies & Ripples" which focused primarily on conspiracy theories and kicked off with the rather obvious statement that a conspiracy theory is simply a theory without the facts i.e. just a theory.  Within that we highlighted that ‘flavour of the month’ theorist’s delight, the origins of the Coronavirus and its links to Wuhan.  This echoed our views published in February which, as many did, ponder the chances of this remote coincidence maybe actually being true.  Since then there have been swathes of articles on the topic citing all sort of sources and from numerous ‘renowned’ scientists.  We have also recently had the opinions offered by those whose opinions really count, that this virus originating from the labs in Wuhan may not actually be so far-fetched after all.

We do tend to agree, or at least we did.  That was then and this is now and in the world of Politics things move quickly and one does have to look at the reality of the situation.  If there is enough fog between you and your destination, then sometimes the route you take can change, leaving you all sorts of options.  If the objective was originally to circumnavigate through uncertain waters to establish who, what, why and when the virus came about – then that is now lost in the fog.  It is arbitrary.  Now we have something that is far more concrete and tangible to use to our advantage – we have uncertainty.  We now have enough debate and conspiracy to render the findings of the scientists open to interpretation.  And that… is a diplomat’s dream come true.   This particular carcass will feed many and although the WHO will go in, on the ground, and no doubt find yet more uncertainty…it really is irrelevant.  You will certainly not find individual government’s chomping at the bit to send their representatives into Wuhan anytime soon, and even if they did, why?  Wuhan is not some sleepy suburb in leafy Northamptonshire… it is in China.  Whatever was there has long gone, if indeed it was ever even there.  So perhaps it would be wise to assume that at least for the next few decades this is a conspiracy that will never find out those salient facts. 

Now, listening to the scientists, there is an overwhelming urge to say, “shush now”.  Step back ladies and gentlemen and look at the bigger picture at play.  Nobody is actually interested whether or not the virus started in Wuhan, intentionally or not.  As long as it is open to debate, it is far more valuable.  The scientists have debated at length and argued, but there is still no unequivocal proof either way that satisfies all parties…and why could that be?  Scientific fact is not open to debate or questioning, that is a given.  However, to say Science is correct, is not true.  That is because Science has Scientists, and Scientists are human beings who in turn are fallible and motivated by many many other factors.  In China for example, one might say that scientific fact is exactly what they want it to be.  Indeed, who is to say it ends in China.


So why is uncertainty such a blessing in this case?  It provides an additional bargaining chip and a weapon in the armoury for all Governments to now use against the Chinese.  Maybe on the other side of the fence their own initial conspiracy theory that a foreign Government (the US) planted the virus in their midst, is being written about in their own press.  Or maybe not. The fact is it is a safe bet to assume that no body will ever know.  There will be no compensations or admissions of guilt in this case sadly…however the capillaceous network that is politics, diplomacy and economic negotiations will be the real beneficiaries.


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