Come, Thick Night

Collaboration between the research arms of Google and the CIA inside the vast data mine of the internet has received ample attention from Danger Room and elsewhere. Below, we assemble a brief montage of excerpts from the birth-document for their most far reaching venture: Recorded Future – A White Paper on Temporal Analytics.

We note that the White Paper exposition begins with high minded bravado expressed through a quote from Macbeth, and terminates in a citation from Sun Szu’s Art of War, a favorite source of inspiration for the authors of Shock & Awe, a document which provides the strategic context for the machinations of Recorded Future.

The full context for the quote from Macbeth reveals more than literary conceit, and surely more than intended by the marketeers for temporal analytics, for here we find Lady Macbeth delivering one of Shakespeare’s most bone-chilling speeches:

How long before the engine of temporal analytics generates behavioral scientific justification for preëmptive detention, together with subsequent corrective measures? And why stop there? If the future is recorded accurately enough, would that not provide adequate legal and moral basis for preëmptive obliteration, beyond the ignorant present?

It is certainly not difficult to divine the future for this keen knife; a future full of “direst cruelty”. Come thick night, indeed.

THE FUTURE IN THE INSTANT


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