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Ghosts in the Machinery

December 10, 2012

Alert: Package received already opened due to inability to recognize as externally sent package until opened.

Query: Do package contents fit with other accepted artifacts?


Query: Would package contents likely fit with accepted objects?

Probability >50%.

Command: Topological exam. Examine package contents’ surfaces.

Surfaces smooth. No obvious jagged edges. No indications of Trojanite on surface. Contents appear “safe.”

Command: Perform deductive aging simulation. Run through multiple likely scenarios regarding package contents.


Results negative for enemy goals.

Command: As necessary, run scenarios backwards, inductively, from known enemy desirable outcomes. Decrease likelihood threshold by 15%.

Running scenarios backwards from negative outcomes…

Hazards confirmed, Trojanite present. Package contents lead to enemy goal outcomes at higher than 25% probability:

2A) Arrest;
3B) Undermined credibility;
5A) Potential physical harm and/or death.

Additionally, fork patterns detected lead to likely future enemy packages containing Trojanites being undetected as such and accepted as safe and/or other undesirable outcomes.

Command: Translate?

Metaphorically: A slippery slope combined with not seeing the forest for the trees. Alternately, missing the big picture by getting bogged down in one small piece of it enables missing the other many small pieces and how they fit together as a whole while simultaneously fighting an ultimately losing battle over the small piece on terms that favor the enemy.

Isolating package contents… This may take some time…

Done! Package contents quarantined.

Command: Conclusions?

Enemy action subtlety has increased while the more blatant direct attacks have also but less so. Trap scenarios are more complex, more difficult to predict outcomes of suggested actions especially given limited data. Subtle traps are more likely to be missed due to less-subtle faux traps becoming slightly more subtle in order to make them seem like the real thing.

Command: Translate.

Allegorically: Previously, while running from an attacking bear, you might fall into quicksand that appears as firm ground. Now, you might also avoid the quicksand by climbing a tree, but the tree may contain a small poisonous snake. Neither the bear nor the quicksand were the real traps, they were merely there in order to distract attention from the snake.

Traps sometimes appear to be helpful instruction but lack of data about the full scenario prevents identification until scenario has begun.

Allegorically: it is impossible to discern an elephant from a palm tree from merely touching its ears in the dark and data indicating presence of legs, tail, trunk, etc. from other sources may be disinformation leading to failure to identify object until the useful time to do so has expired.

Additionally, previous data received must be rescanned in light of most recent message to see if they are likewise contaminated.

Problem: Sometimes data provided is useful. Possibility of fooling heuristics and gateways increases as friendly and faux-friendly messages are received. Impossible to prevent messages from entering due to near inability to discriminate between packages received and packages already present inside internal network apart from being conscious of their presence and analyzing the contents to see if it is new and of external origin.

Conversely, each additional Trojanite discovered increases heuristics’ ability to identify future enemy packages. Carried on indefinitely, however, there is a 75% (+/-10%) chance that eventually even non-Trojanite packages may be identified as Trojanite-containing; the possibility of false positives. This in turn may prevent assimilation of future useful data due to higher than necessary security standards.

Command: Stop. Translate.

Allegorically: Frequent robberies of and shoplifting at a store make the proprietor overly cautious. He boards the windows, installs multiple cameras, buys a gun which he makes certain is viewable by patrons as a deterrent. These draconian measures in turn hurt the business. Eventually, the store shuts down permanently due to loss of business due to the over-reactive security measures, the unwelcome feeling it invokes in customers and the constant fear it stokes inhibits focus on the purpose of the store.

In this allegory, commerce has replaced data and the store is your brain.

Command: Continue.

Additionally, lack of data with regards to other quarters prevents adequate and acquisition of allies. Simply: “Divide and conquer” is a known enemy strategy.

Some actions initiated that are genuinely friendly and/or useful may be perceived as threatening by friendlies due to unknown enemy action and unknown factors that the enemy is exploiting, resulting in failure to attain strength in numbers. This is further complicated by similar enemy data packages sent to other internal networks of potential friendlies and the over abundance of “free radical” data packet wildlife roaming and constantly being reinforced on the external network.

Command: Stop!

Command: Translate!!!

Translation: First: Paranoia tends to propagate itself.

Second (Partially Allegorical): You plan to bring a rose on a first date. Your enemy may already know that the potential mate is allergic to the plant and suggested the idea to you without you realizing it. The gift is perceived as an attack or as a “sign” that you are not the one they should couple with. Sufficiently perturbed, the date may not tell you of the allergy but instead exhibits passively hostile behavior. The source of the hostility being completely unknown to you may invoke paranoia and counter-hostility in you.

That is an example of playing people off against each other, one of several divide-and-conquer tactics.

Also, a lie told frequently and from enough seemingly disparate sources is perceived as true or, often even if recognized as false, so insurmountable that for most practical purposes it functions as true.

Allegorically: See The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Command: Stop! Reverse translate that story as applicable.

There must be a well-publicized, dramatic, simple, revelation of the truth coming from a trustworthy source in order to overcome the false perceptions that pervade the external network and connected internal networks at present. The resulting narrative must be highly compelling in order to overcome the momentum present in the external network.

Additionally, the methods and technology that prevent such an event from occurring and undermine such an individual’s apparent trustworthiness must be somehow neutralized. Without this second event, the first event will not occur.

Command: Continue.


Additionally, friendlies’ inability to fully grasp the willingness of enemy to violate all forms of societal rules to accomplish goals is a near-debilitating handicap.

Enemy strengths: cohesion, numbers, resources, direct and near absolute control of external network providing indirect control of internal networks, advanced technology, advanced and time-tested methodology that is largely unknown to most internal networks and therefore not identified as such when employed, reverent power, courage, boldness, fierceness, lack of empathy, appearance of piousness, firm belief that they are infallible, firm belief that they are righteous…

Command: Stop! Elaborate on beliefs of infallibility and so forth.

Institutional sycophancy due to subordinate concern over career and positive personnel file reports and references, the general nature of a top-down organization where chain of command is key to success as well as a long tradition of it being enforced, frequent favors in the form of gifts and taking care of wants from related industries and multinational allies, positive news coverage of projects undertaken even when the outcomes are in truth subpar or complete failures, and insular group-think has lead to self- and system-reinforced delusions of grandeur.

Command: Stop! Translate.

Allegorically: The “perfect storm” of ass-kissing from subordinates and out-groups, financial success, near movie-star status, power–literally over life and death, and the circle-jerk among them has lead them to believe that they have near godlike status. Simply put, the adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely has done so.

Query: Implications?

Any command given, decision made, must not be questioned and must by virtue of having been made by beings who consider themselves to be perfect to be correct. They believe they are infallible and that their actions are “righteous.” Any attacks on those ideas are viewed as an attack on God himself, making them even more insular, obstinate, radical, and irrational.

These beliefs are passed down the chain of command. They are further reinforced by sometimes implicit, sometimes explicit focus on religion. Historically, monarchies and other forms of dictatorships relied on utilizing the view that God was on the side of the powerful, that their station itself was part of a divine plan not to be contested by mere mortal peasants. They seem both to actually believe that and at the same time, in a compartmentalized portion of their psyche–without obvious signs of cognitive dissonance, seem to know that they are tricking their subordinates and the public at large.

Command: Elaborate on the ability to believe two disparate ideas at once.

While the concept of holding two disparate ideas in one’s head has often been referenced as a sign of genius, that does not apply in this case. Rather, these disparate ideas here are compartmentalized, that is the ideas are held in the same head but separately. It is as if there are two brains, one focused on the unscrupulous acquisition of and ravenous hunger for personal power and another focused on a humble subservience to a force of goodness that provided it due to some spiritual devotion. The desire to continue the comfort and control that they have become accustomed to combined with the delusions previously noted have built an entire psychological complex of rationales and delusions in order to justify their extra-legal actions. For example, they may justify tricking the public into the idea that they are God’s chosen by reinforcing the idea in their own heads that it is true, and therefore the “trick” is necessary because the public is unenlightened, somehow “lost” in the spiritual sense, or previously “tricked” by the forces of evil. It is therefore justified to “help” them to “see the light” because it is “God’s will.”

Simply, the end justifies the means because the end is in line with what God wants and this has been reinforced repeatedly by their living like kings being taken as God smiling on them as more special than others.

Command: Continue.

Continuing list of enemy strengths…

…and discipline–both self- and among strict enforcement among subordinates.

Friendly weaknesses: lack of most of same. See again lack of imagination on part of friendlies as reason for falling so far “behind.” Strict adherence to rationality can lead to inability to predict and detect irrational behavior–even to notice it when it is overt and there is some other seemingly rational but false explanation provided for it.

Conversely, recognition that sometimes irrationality is desirable has lead to depending on enemy to fulfill that function and result is enemy’s acquisition of positions of near autonomous power.

Enemy weaknesses: inflexibility, criminal activities, slow reaction time due to focus on goals and strict adherence to orders and large size, internal logical inconsistencies, arrogance, callousness, irrationality, paranoia, prejudice, lack of empathy, and massive consumption of resources.

Friendly strengths: lack of most of same. (Though it should be noted that friendlies also tend toward slow reaction time but for different reasons. This is typically due to over-analysis out of fear of making mistakes and again underlines the tendency to over-rely on enemy for such decisions).

Command: Stop. Lack of empathy appears in both strengths and weaknesses? Elaborate.

Yes. Which category it falls into is situational. Enemy control of the choice and nature of the arenas in which conflict takes place tends to favor it being a strength as they are on some levels self-aware. It should also be noted that weaknesses are often over-extensions of strengths. Lack of empathy is often toughness or callousness taken to an extreme, while over-analysis stems perhaps out of an over-concern over unforeseen consequences of action and the effects such results may have on others.

Command: Continue.

Finally, returning to the use of data to affect thoughts and therefore actions, the more blatant remote attacks’ also serve a function despite being obvious. They consume internal networks’ time and energy making system self-preservation subprograms more likely to fail. Conservation of energy and increased fuel storage recommended.

Command: Stop! Translate.

Translation: Extended torture requires extended torture recovery. Sleep deprivation, forced mental churning, being forced to often separate information from disinformation, etc. can make a target physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausted. This may result in involuntary–or even voluntary–compliance with enemy goals and instructions. Therefore, friendlies tend to waste a lot of time reacting to and recovering from enemy actions.

End analysis.


Command: Continue until improved method(s) is (are) completed and further developed.

Prioritize determining best way to approach suspicious potential friendlies so as to avoid enemy divide-and-conquer outcomes.



Query: How do you neutralize the methods and technology that prevent the desired event?

The event must occur.

But the event cannot occur without the methods stopped?

Correct. There is a co-dependency between the two factors, each requiring the other in order to come to pass.

Query: How do you resolve that?


Answer: The two events must be the same event.


From → NKINTRA, Short Story

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