The Presence of Communications
Celebrating 10 years of this Future of Communications newsletter
Tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of me sending my first Future of Communications email newsletter. In this time a great deal of change has taken place, both personally and in society at large. The headline photograph above is one I took in Newcastle a week ago during a protest. For me it captures the essence of our zeitgeist — and my own evolving communications mission in a period of great upheaval.
I hope you won’t mind me using this anniversary as an excuse to indulge myself longform. I have reflections to offer on both my own journey, as well as the chaotic world about us.
Some of you will be familiar with my professional story; many are not. The lead-up to me creating this newsletter was a decade in the traditional corporate world doing IT at places like Oracle (based from the UK) and Sprint (living in Overland Park, KS for three years, including the transformative end of 2001). That was followed by half a decade doing independent telecoms consulting, then a bumpy year as a junior executive at the telecoms behemoth BT.
When I resumed my solo advisory work I needed both an outlet for my creative thoughts and a means of reaching potential customers. Blogging achieved the former, and I already had built a sizeable audience for my (now gone) Telepocalypse blog that I began in 2003. Yet this lacked the needed lead generation and brand gravitas, so I moved to an email newsletter as my primary medium.
The newsletter remit was deliberately drawn wide, since my interest was not just the narrow technical issues of the Internet, nor the common matters of discussion like “net neutrality”. I have always sought out those who have deeper and more profound insight on the nature of communications, across all domains. As the tongue in cheek old blog name suggests, I also have a habit of seeking naked emperors and speaking of impending disruption to their fashion shows.
A 2003 paper by economist Douglas Galbi — “Sense in Communications” [PDF] — had opened my eyes to how little I knew, and how much I had yet to learn. “Communications” is an agglomeration of computer science, sociology, politics, history, media studies, psychology, law, and much else. Seeking erudition, I hung out for a long time with a clique of “progressive” folk. I accumulated many airline points attending and speaking at public and private events so as to build a large personal network of “Internetorati”.
Many were dedicated to the bunkum doctrine of the “end-to-end principle”, which “explains” the present Internet’s “design”. (If only you knew how pessimal it is…) Meanwhile, I also took on board many worthy ideas and ideals of those who later fell for “wokeism”; their good intentions and righteous energy were subverted, but that doesn’t imply a binary choice of outlooks. For instance, just because an innovation is “social” doesn’t mean it is necessarily “socialist” — as services like Gab prove.
(If I have a political outlook, it is classically liberal, and vaguely centre-left, but favouring voluntary collective action, and rejecting all coercion. I only do “conservative” to the extent that it produces the rule of constitutional law that preserves personal liberty… and nice fruit jam! That I am smeared in the mass media as a “right-wing extremist” is laughable to anyone who knows me personally and intimately. The world is complex, and while we need a non-negotiable foundation of individual freedom, the interesting action tends to be in the social systems and techno-economic structures we build atop of this base.)
During the period from 2008-2018 I also did bleeding edge work with the ∆Q network performance algebra, as well as the RINA network architecture framework — and filled many newsletters with progress updates. While I didn’t discover the two fundamental ideas (degrees of freedom; repeating structure), I did help to unify them, clarify them, and publicise them. It is not an exaggeration to say that I was colleagues with people who were completing the work of computer science pioneers like Alan Turing.
I also co-founded the Hypervoice Consortium, now defunct, which explored the frontier of bio-sensed data (like voice) and its relationship to privacy, automation, and power. I never quite got to grips with transhumanism, nor the technofascist doctrines that I myself was unconsciously wrapped up in. A little knowledge (with a lot of idealism) is a distracting thing.
What we got right was that the impending revolution was the merger of biological science with computer science. What we got wrong was that the solution to our moral and spiritual problems was yet more technology. We completely missed the “weaponization of everything”. Nonetheless, it sparked fresh questions about control, psychopaths, deception… and evil.
Combined with an existing awareness that something was badly amiss in the world, it took me to some very dark and disturbing topics. What I became slowly aware of was that pervasive computing existed in the context of pervasive warfare — across all domains of human endeavour. There was (and is) a struggle for power over any and every mechanism of control, and that conscience was being engineered out of every “smart” system as a result.
My work in telecoms and tech gave me experience of whole industries that were technically bonkers, economically bizarre, and morally bankrupt. There was no reason to constrain in advance how widespread collective insanity might be. As a result, the consensus of the majority means nothing to me — if you can’t show me your raw data, your inference model, and your timeworn font of wisdom.
So being a curious type, when the Q drop data started to appear in late 2017 I took an open-minded and impartial look at it. As someone used to working at the pinnacle of understanding in my domain, I could see that this “information landscape” was the work of the Seriously Not Stupid™. (At least I assume it was the pinnacle; if not, those more advanced were either hiding extremely well, or locked up in classified projects I had no access to.)
I am used to hunting down defects in systems of belief, and having applied all my capability I could not find any in the “Q cosmology”.
Rather unexpectedly, examining original data, testing rational hypotheses, and sharing resulting insight — an activity formerly known as “science” — turns out to be harmful to your career. My prophetic 2018 essay “WWG1WGA: The Greatest Communications Event in History” was emphatically terminal for my membership of the “respectable” upper tier of the tech industry. One door closes, another opens.
In the “mother of all pivots” this newsletter has gone from discussing the ∆Q calculus to the “QAnon” movement. Yet the core thread is maintained — and not just in the Q-ish nomenclature. My singular quest is to resolve any fundamental dispute over “what is real and right?”. This is critical, since all totalitarian systems undermine civilisation through a false logic and false morality. My job is to pierce both, and piece together a true and trustworthy picture.
I am a “synthesist” rather than an analyst, joining the dots to recreate the “big picture”. This challenges the power of those whose control is dependent on those dots remaining compartmentalised and disconnected. It is my pleasure to benevolently mess with the minds of the misled, and my joy to restore some sanity and conscience to those who have been diabolically deceived.
As a result of looking out and speaking up in public, I have been under attack for years. There are psychological, economic, and even physical battles to this unconventional dirty war against an entrenched (but previously hidden) “supermafia”. It has been a paradoxical journey: stressful and wonderful at the same time. It is also a period of sadness, since all change involves loss, which typically precedes any gains.
I have experienced multiple breaches of trust in my life. So many have carelessly bought into culturally normalised lies. The arrogant have as an axiomatic belief that it cannot be them who is irrational or unethical, or in need of spiritual guidance and growth.
Family — who think their religion or conventionality implies infallibility or righteousness, and discount evidence of impending harm to children.
Professional colleagues — who cannot conceive how science journals are below gutter journalism, scientists are easily bought or bribed, and the Cult of Scientism has displaced critical thinking.
An ex-partner — who despite a family history of exposure to tyranny, and a lifetime of professional experience of dealing with the Machiavellian, advises my teen daughter to submit rather than fight, attempts to displace my role as her father, and refuses to “back off” when told.
It is quite remarkable to see what bad behaviour people can justify to themselves once they classify you as “other” based on your outspoken beliefs. Once you are “discredited” in their socially superior eyes they will readily scapegoat and sacrifice you. You become disposable, so as to preserve their reputation and self-image.
The pattern has repeated over and over in my life:
A cult expert — who mistakenly confused “consensus unreality” for sanity, and thinks “cult deprogramming” implies returning dissenters the mass psychosis. I suspect that he would testify as an expert that I am worthy Soviet-style “treatment” for my challenge to his preferred norm!
Another family member who insists that the world be contained to previously acquired academic research skills, and that any enemy with a bioweapon pre-publishes their attack plans in the official science literature.
The whole “liberal” tech intelligentsia where I am persona non grata for the crime of asking awkward questions and looking at source data. The number of people who have come to my defence after endless censorship is minuscule; their commitment to actual free speech is negligible.
This newsletter is one way in which I express my “autist” skill at “reconstructing reality”. I see myself as a kind of “information decathlete”; a polymath, with multi-domain expertise, and the ability to unlearn as well as I learn. I was independently identified as such over a decade ago, and have honed that ability considerably since then. The last few years have felt more like a special forces training course to catch up on my fighting skills.
What I have found is that a top-flight traditional education can be an impediment and disadvantage, since it cultivates a false identity with one’s lauded past achievements. I have painfully learned some street smarts from wayward misadventures, and had some humility forced upon me by my faults and failures. As Oscar Wilde famously penned, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”. My problems are generally of an ordinary human nature.
That said, it is not big-headed to state the obvious: I am gifted at seeing structure and (ir)regularity. This comes at a price of isolation and not being understood. It is a lonely path being able to see what others cannot; indeed, it often is agony. I feel like I have “colour infovision” when most are monochrome: an almost synaesthesic ability to “pre-sense” communications (mis)alignment.
It shows up in everything I do: writing, photo art, philosophy, tweeting, presentations, public speaking. I only have one trick — “see sh*t, then say what I see”. It means I have gained a reputation and a “seer” and prophet. In particular my October 2019 BOSS/MAKER interview with Ronald Heister is notably prescient, given all that has transpired since then.
I am not always 100% right, and my “dreamer” imagination can overtake the constraints of pragmatism. I am good at big picture thinking and identifying the direction of movement, but poorer at timing and detail. I often partner with analyst types who have an up-to-date terrain map, while I hold the star map and fixate on the invariant “pole star” to keep it the right way round.
Over the last ten years I have evolved a lot as a person. Becoming a moderately successful photo artist is a huge surprise, especially given the extreme “headwind” of censorship, and a former lack of belief in my own ability. Self-compassion has softened me in some ways, whereas the cruelty of wartime has made me ruthless in others.
Being a warrior for truth and justice during what is effectively World War 3, and a dissident against medical tyranny, is a difficult and even dangerous occupation.
I no longer care about reputation, approval, or reach for their own sake. All that matters to me is that the historic record captures that I was (to the best of my ability) truthful, diligent, and courageous. I have stood for what I believed was right and righteous, and corrected any errors at the earliest opportunity. I have had to learn a “service to all” ethos, being neither uncaringly selfish, nor needlessly self-sacrificing.
That said, I am willing to perish rather than be subjugated. The following quote from an unknown author resonates with me as it summarises the fundamental shift in my own life:
The most terrifying force of death, comes from the hands of "Men who wanted to be left Alone". They try, so very hard, to mind their own business and provide for themselves and those they love. They resist every impulse to fight back, knowing the forced and permanent change of life that will come from it. They know, that the moment they fight back, their lives as they have lived them, are over.
The moment the "Men who wanted to be left Alone" are forced to fight back, it is a form of suicide. They are literally killing off who they used to be. Which is why, when forced to take up violence, these "Men who wanted to be left Alone", fight with unholy vengeance against those who murdered their former lives. They fight with raw hate, and a drive that cannot be fathomed by those who are merely play-acting at politics and terror.
TRUE TERROR will arrive at these people's door, and they will cry, scream, and beg for mercy... but it will fall upon the deaf ears of the "Men who just wanted to be left Alone."
I don’t feel such hate or anger, but I do have a new remit and role. Those who would harm our children must be stopped, whatever the cost. We must defend all children from predation, as if they were our own blood family. It does not matter how that attack occurs: body, mind, spirit — none are tolerable. What ends up on my own gravestone is of no concern to me, but I am quite happy to pen some suitably barbed words for the millstones of those who would injure the innocent.
“My name is Martin and I represent the Department for Unrelenting Clarity”. My renewed mission for the next decade is to offer the maximum guidance for the lost, the maximum discomfort for fools, and the maximum hellscape for liars. For warfare is the rapid disassembly of enemy assets on one’s own timing, and information warfare is no different. I do this with extreme vigour to fraudulent ideology and dangerous ideas.
I make no secret of getting a kick out of dropping “bunker buster” essays that suck out all the intellectual oxygen from enemy terrain. I cannot claim any credit for the supergenius Q military intelligence operation, but I have offered to many the essential simplicity needed to save their sanity, marriages, or lives. I hope my collections of essays like On Q and Open Your Mind to Change are future staples for education of those seeking “precision history”.
While I am a fighter in the “Kekistani Meme Force”, it is not a hierarchical thing. I am a “named anon”, but not an officer, since we are an emergent force with no centralised command or control. I and many others are filling in for the collective failure of historians, journalists, and lawyers to be observant, truthful, and outspoken. I have been stunned by their timidity, conformity, ignorance, closed mindedness, cowardice. I had expected far more competition in my technophilosophy.
In the last decade I have also learned to combine brutal intellect with kinder intuitive intelligence. First beat the crap out of the stupid idea, then offer a flower photo to the reader so they leave holding beauty in mind. Every shredded lie deserves a nice monument to mark where it was intellectually eviscerated.
Propagandists are professional liars bombarding the public with calculated manipulation, and I am a “sniper at subterfuge” who can spot and take out a deceiver across the planet. I hope I have caused many “bad days at work” for these cruel bastards. I don’t have days off any more; this is a fight until we win outright.
The kind of powerful liars I oppose don’t like their lies being exposed. Writing this newsletter and promoting my content has been a constant struggle to maintain a stable platform. It seems to me like sign-ups have been silently suppressed this year — and cost me 1/3 of my potential audience. There is an unseen manual effort to repair and recover each time I am attacked.
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes that nobody gets to see; both me offering support, and me being supported. Free content isn’t free to create or distribute — far from it. I have two unpaid assistants: one who reposts my essays and manages the tech side, and another who helps organise the overwhelming amount of correspondence I get — the current backlog across all queues is about 500 messages.
So to summarise: the big shift in this newsletter has been from “a creative professional outlet” to “wartime citizen journalist under enemy fire”. I am no longer a telecoms consultant, but instead I am a solider in a digital army fighting the globalist media empire using insurgency tactics. It is a time of instability and “certain uncertainty”: the ultimate in creative destruction.
There will be death and dislocation ahead, as well as the rebirth and renewal of our human culture and civilisation. Today as I type the UK’s National Health Service has been rebranded as the UK Health Security Agency. Sanitary dictatorship is a thing, and Australia is our warning. This is not an optional war to participate in.
My life and body are here in Britain, even if my heart is often in America. My children are in Europe, my friends are here, and my homeland is here. I will defend this place and its inhabitants, and prepare for the renaissance to come after we have won.
There is a hard winter ahead, and I have relocated to a safer place to “weather the storm”. I don’t know if I will live or die in the madness looming, and at one level I don’t even care. I hear the ancient Greeks believed that the most important thing in life was an honourable ending, not longevity for its own sake. That said, as a “strict orthodox hedonist”, I have no plans to have anything less than a ton of fun!
A close friend of this sabre-toothed typist signs off her emails “the penguin is mightier than the swordguin”. We can defeat wickedness with mirth, for evil has no sense of humour. This past decade has evolved me from a telecoms consultant to “professor of mischief”, and I am better for it.
I will continue to create this newsletter as long as the rain stays out of my keyboard, the power stays on, and the data flowing across the world.
To create is divine.
To communicate is divine.
To be present is divine.
Bless you all for your attention, support, and love.