Social Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Could the NSA be more about social engineering than anything else?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (9168points) October 29th, 2013

I recently came across a book published in 1991 called Behold A Pale Horse by William Cooper. The first chapter is called Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, in which he says was a doctrine from 1954.

Here are some excerpts from the book to provide accurate background to my question:

“Social engineering (the analysis and automation of a society) requires the correlation of great amounts of constantly changing economic information (data), so a high-speed computerized data-processing system was necessary which could race ahead of the society and predict when society would arrive for capitulation.
Relay computers were too slow, but the electronic computer, invented in 1946 by J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly, filled the bill.
The next breakthrough was the development of the simplex method of linear programing in 1947 by the mathematician George B. Dantzig.
Then in 1948, the transistor, invented by J. Bardeen, W. H. Brattain, and W. Shockley, promised great expansion of the computer field by reducing space and power requirements.
With these three inventions under their direction, those in positions of power strongly suspected that it was possible for them to control the whole world with the push of a button.”

”...The Harvard Economic Research Project (1948—) was an extension of World War II Operations Research. Its purpose was to discover the science of controlling an economy: at first the American economy, and then the world economy. It was felt that with sufficient mathematical foundation and data, it would be nearly as easy to predict and control the trend of an economy as to predict and control the trajectory of a projectile. Such has proven to be the case. Moreover, the economy has been transformed into a guided missile on target.
The immediate aim of the Harvard project was to discover the economic structure, what forces change that structure, how the behavior of the structure can be predicted, and how it can be manipulated. What was needed was a well-organized knowledge of the mathematical structures and interrelationships of investment, production, distribution, and consumption.
To make a short story of it all, it was discovered that an economy
obeyed the same laws as electricity and that all of the mathematical theory and practical and computer know-how developed for the electronic field could be directly applied in the study of economics. This discovery was not openly declared, and its more subtle implications were and are kept a closely guarded secret, for example that in an economic model, human life in measured in dollars, and that the electric spark generated when opening a switch connected to an active inductor is mathematically analogous to the initiation of a war.”

So basically, in order to achieve this, the Harvard Economic Research Project has computers capable of predicting likely outputs based on the inputs collected and entered into the software. The biggest problem until recently, was obtaining the necessary inputs to accurately predicting the outputs.
With mass corporate and governmental data collection, paired with exponential growth in computing power, this is now becoming easily possible.

Do you feel that this could be a good reason for the mass data collection of governments and corporations, which seem to be run by a small handful of individuals and families?
If not, what is your take on why such a mass data collection is happening?

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9 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’m not going to answer with as much length as your quoted text, but I will say this.

Lots of data translates into the ability to control. Knowledge is power. Mass data collection enables those in power to control.

Re-read Orwell’s 1984.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Just remember the CIA is afraid of the NSA because . .

* R E D A C T E D*

OneBadApple's avatar


(areful-cay, illie-way)

drhat77's avatar

Is the information you say classified de-classified? or speculation? Although in line with the aims of most governments, there are strong overtones of conspiracy theory here which usually makes me skeptical.
Given there is a lot of dark fibre under the country from the failed Dot Com boom, it seems more likely to me that data collection from social networks, etc, is the experimental and mostly organic growth of a brand new industry, and not something that’s been slowly incubated since the late 40’s

SquirrelEStuff's avatar


For the sake of argument, lets call the information speculation. Actually, lets just call them a bunch of words to form ideas. When you label something as a “conspiracy theory,” people tend to over look the ideas as being unable to really happen. Remember 5 years ago when our government spying on us was a conspiracy theory?
What is the possibility that the literally handful of people who control the worlds wealth have goals and resources to meet those goals that we are not aware of?

drhat77's avatar

@SquirrelEStuff I wasn’t trying to say it’s not possible or probable. It’s just how it comes off. I think if it was doable there would be no shortage of people who would capitalize on it. It just seems to me economic modeling is a little more complex that E&M math.

graynett's avatar

When the society is treated unjustly by the governing body the best place for the just is in jail.

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