I took down my television antenna just the other day and as I looked at this wire mesh that had blown skew in the wind in 2011, rendering nothing but white snow, I was struck by how much this piece of metal had managed to influence my entire life which then sparked a train of thoughts about how we will be able to watch a million versions of the same movie in the future thanks to technology.
A brain recording of someone watching a video in an experiment in 2011 by Professor Jack Gallant at UC Berkeley
I recall growing up and seeing the news and although I never questioned any of it, I knew something about the situation was never right. Fierce fighting in the streets, people being necklaced with rubber tires filled with petrol and always the presenter trained to read off the teleprompter what he or she has been told to read because that was their job. Not knowing as a child that sensation and drama sells products to enrich those that owned and controlled the networks.
Being in the IT and digital marketing industry all my life, I watched as Napster brought down the powerful music industry and how the music industry fought tooth and nail to try to cling onto a business model of churning out more plastic CD’s and covers. This model soon changed when the likes of Apple came along and offered an alternative streaming music model so that musicians could still afford to be be musicians.
I’ll never forget watching an interview with Celine Dion where she was asked what her opinion was on music piracy. Her reply was that as long as she created incredible music, people would buy her CD’s because they wanted her music. Great musicians tell stories in their lyrics that speak to the voice within us. It can be a single word or a line or a chord, but something in the song plucks at the heart strings that resonates deep within us to set us free and it is this value that people now seek.
Growing up, people bought CD’s and most of the time, they bought it because one or two or three songs were good, the rest of the songs just kind of grew on you but you were forced to buy the whole CD — and it was very expensive.
Sure, the MP3 did kill the music industry that got rich off the backs of the artists. They managed to control all of the marketing and distribution and therefore pooled all their money. The more money they pooled, the more individuals got paid, the more they got paid, the more interest they earned, the more interest they earned the richer they got, the richer they got, the more they feared losing it, the more they feared losing it, the more fear gripped them and so the rich got richer and the great divide began to happen.
Then, along comes technology. Someone sees the greed happening and decides to use technology to solve the problem. The MP3 in this case, removed the need for the middleman. No longer did we have to pay the music giants for an entire CD, we could just download the music we wanted to hear. To hear the message we needed to hear to forward our journey in that moment.
Unfortunately, Bitcoin did not exist yet, so there was no means to pay the artist directly and even if there were a means to pay them directly, by the time the banks had taken their share, the artist still would come out with far less than they could have made if they could be paid directly.
Over time, musicians started taking matters into their own hands. They bought their own recording equipment, they learned how to market themselves, they learned how to use technology to get music to the people. And now we are starting to see more Blockchain (the technology behind Bitcoin) applications coming out for musicians to fully control their entire business.
Technology allows us to take ownership of our lives.
Let’s bring this back to television. Unlike the internet, the airwaves are still controlled by those who apparently have “the rights” to air someone else’s content. The airwaves require a license to broadcast a list of carefully curated “bouquet” shows that they know will keep people glued to their television screens and not thinking and therefore, not asking questions. And it seems these days that every 5 minutes, we are sold mindless products that tell us we’re not good enough without it or we won’t be safe enough without it. Completely understanding that it is possible to tap into the nerve of the brain that triggers our emotions to use fear to control the outcome of people’s decision making processes.
But people are taking Morpheus’ (the Greek god of dreams) red pill faster than we’ve ever seen before to wake up. Thanks to technology, people are reading the message between the lines of the movies and social media is revealing the truth about the state of our world faster than ever before. More people are waking up and realising the manipulation of the big marketing engines and choosing differently.
As fibre rolls out fast in South Africa, thanks to poor service delivery for over 20 years by those in power too greedy to see that liberating people with education would see them reign a thousand years and by the data companies overcharging and forcing people to remain in the dark, new streaming services come online every day and there is no way to control it because technology is only going to speed up now.
Netflix is a paid streaming service and so too is Showmax, but all of these services is like that one CD you were forced to buy. It only has one or two shows you want to watch and the rest serves no purpose. And again, you are sold stuff that does nothing but pollute our planet and leaves your soul empty once the novelty has worn off.
People want to watch what THEY want to watch. They want to consume that which helps them feel good about themselves and they want to buy products and services they choose; not dictated to them based on what company can pay the most for an advert during prime time television. They want that which sets their mind free. They want to pursue that little voice that nags them to take the steps to achieve their highest potential.
I believe, just like the MP3, that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will do away with this model altogether.
As we inch further into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we will merge our brains with technology and be able to pay someone with Bitcoin to watch the movie of their interpreted version of the book.
First, we will see a big shift to Virtual Reality (VR) as movie makers come out with incredible new experiences. This will see the end of cinema as we know it. Already, we have seen wide screen televisions leave the malls at alarming rates so that people can experience convenience from home without all the noise and disruptions of those around them. Cinema experiences might continue as an old fashioned novelty of yesteryear but, just like independent movie houses were taken over by large corporate cinema channels, so too will corporate cinemas be taken over by VR.
For a while, companies like Facebook who have bought out VR companies like Oculus, will be able to provide these new experiences and control people’s minds through mindless marketing again to make as much money as possible but once we leave the experience, we will again be back in the real world where every day we are doing the same thing. Over and over and over – always, the small voice nagging us to come out.
What will make this worse is that people are waking up faster and faster and we will begin to see that we are stuck in the same routine every day which serves them no purpose or meaning.
Movie companies, have over many years, bought out the rights of the writer to control the flow of ideas and in turn, the money. Just like the music industry controls the lyrics of the musician.
Virtual Reality will take us one step closer to merging our brains with technology through which we will see the rise of recording devices implanted into our skulls, the same way the cochlear implant aids people’s hearing and became normal over a long period of time.
As Bitcoin continues to rise in popularity and as technology improves to record our thoughts, I believe we will be able to pay someone to see their version of a movie based on the book they are reading.
Now take a musician, an artist and a writer and have them all read the same book, then allow artificial intelligence to stitch it all together, and you could have phenomenal versions of the same movie. But it will be those people who understand that we are here to help set other people’s mind’s free that will be offered the most value for their version of a movie.
And, thanks to Blockchain ID’s we will all soon have, we will be able to encrypt and own our own data. We will have full control over all the content in our lives which means that we will be able to open up certain sections of our lives where we are stuck and allow certain marketers in to sell us products and services that will further our journey of freeing our minds so that we can hear that small voice again, calling us to be the best we can be.
And not just any company will be allowed in. We will become so aware of the manipulation around us, that we will only allow social entrepreneurs to sell us products and services that is good for the environment, good for our fellow man, and ultimately good for ourselves to liberate ourselves. For it is in liberating our own minds that we are free to help others. And this is why Bitcoin is such a threat.