Last month we had the opportunity to travel in Northern Europe, in clean countries full of awesome cheeses, pastries and cured pork products—things that we really miss living in Israel. For those of you who travel a bit, you won’t be surprised to read that we did not use cash even once. In fact, in one country we visited, we never even used a debit or credit card. Instead, we used our phones to pay for all of that yummy goodness. And everything else.
It was great…and a little bit scary. Besides having money fly out of our bank account faster than we could say presto, it felt a little weird to have such ease in paying for everything. But I loved the convenience.
Then a couple of days ago, an article came out in which the writer said,
“It is the most totalitarian form of blacklisting: not just to be prevented from speaking on a university campus, or to be kicked off social media, but to be shut out of the entire financial system. That is the terrifying new threat to freedom that western societies must now contend with.” — Link to full article Blacklisting.
Interestingly, or more accurately, frighteningly, another writer wrote about this subject matter, but fleshed it out to its logical end:
“He also caused everyone (small and great, rich and poor, free and slave) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. Thus no one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the mark of the beast—that is, his name or his number.” — The apostle John in Revelation 13:16–17.
1984 has already arrived, and it’s worse than Orwell imagined. China has a new “social credit system,” and corporations are deciding who gets to participate in their commerce systems. We’ve gotten so used to all of these new user-friendly systems that we complain when Netflix or Hulu buffer for more than a second or two. And, unless one is rather dull or not paying attention, it is nearly impossible not to see the direction in which these awesome technologies are leading us all.
Buckminster Fuller created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve,” because he noticed that human knowledge doubled every century. But he couldn’t anticipate how quickly things would change, and by the end of World War II, knowledge was doubling every 25 years. At the time of this writing, average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. And, according to IBM, the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours. A recent Dell report states that 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. And technology is what makes all of this possible.
I’m certain that there will be those who read this short post and accuse me of making a mountain out of a molehill or fear mongering. But I can assure you, what John wrote nearly 2,000 years ago will happen, and it did not already happen in A.D. 70. It seems plausible, if not reasonable, based upon what we know today, that those two verses could easily happen within the next few decades, if not faster.
“Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” — Luke 21:36