Chapter Four: No More Worlds to Conquer

Every part of the Central building was largely the same in color and nature. Smooth, gray hallways led to smooth, black rooms. There were plenty of stairwells, but I chose the elevator. It was a seamless ride from the meeting rooms on Level 30, down to Level 12.

At least Level 12 had windows. At the end of the hallway was a narrow view out on the city. It wasn’t particularly scenic from this angle, but I thought it was impressive in its own way. I looked down into a deep crevasse between two buildings, an alleyway filled with a jumble of fire escapes.

          No building in the Settlement had windows above the 25th floor. There was a good reason for that, too. When our ancestors had built the city, they hadn’t wanted to look over the wall. I guess it was just too depressing for them to have to see the scorched earth, the wasteland that they’d ruined. A total climate disaster had left no green anywhere. No trees. No forests. No fertile land able to produce crops. It was why we’d resorted to growing food in labs. Every job in the Settlement was necessary for the survival of the human race. We had to be completely self-sufficient— a closed system, as it were— while we waited for the Earth to heal herself.

          I came to door 200. I had never thought seriously about working for DYNTEC before, and was already growing nervous again after my initial relief. The organization was all about saving the world, and stopping crime, and all that. Those were high stakes. High stakes, big guns, cool tech. The name stood for “Dynamic National Technologies, Incorporated”, though for most people it had long ceased to be an acronym.

          And I was… well… lame. Not exactly badass. Maybe even a bit of a wimp. Hopefully they’d just assign me to a desk or something. Nice and comfortable, in a back corner. But no, that would defeat the purpose of keeping me moving, wouldn’t it? There was no chance of that. My hand started to shake as I prepared to scan my Biometric.

          The door opened.

          A man was waiting on the other side to greet me.

          “Hi there,” he said. “You must be Alex. I’m Cam.”

          Cam was tall; a good head taller than me, and had a scraggly blonde beard. I could tell that he probably worked out. He was wearing something similar to a black track suit and had a smile that was a notch more sincere than the Administrator’s, though laced with something that might have been irony.

          “Nice to meet you,” I said.

          “Come on in,” he invited me. I followed him. The ceilings were higher here, and running florescent lights hung in irregular configurations that were probably somebody’s idea of art.

          I wondered what part of DYNTEC we were in. Headquarters? Unlikely.

          “Welcome to the Level-one gym and training center for DYNTEC,” said Cam, answering my unspoken question. “If you’re wondering where the gym equipment is, that’s on the 11th floor. You’ll probably have to spend a few weeks here before you’re ready to go on to any assignments.” He looked me over with a critical eye. “You don’t seem too excited to be here.”

          “Just nervous,” I said. It was true.

          “Don’t be,” said Cam. “You got promoted to DYNTEC. You’re already more powerful than 99% of the population.” This seemed to amuse him. He took a seat in a rounded, plush chair by the wall. There were two others nearby. “Think of me as your friend.”

          He must have seen my skeptical look because he said, “I love welcoming new recruits, doing orientation, and all that. It’s my favorite job because I get to be lazy and sit in the cushy chairs.” He leaned his neck back on the pillow and put his feet up on the coffee table. “Why don’t you sit?”

          I sat delicately on the edge of the seat.

          “So why did they send you to DYNTEC?” Cam asked me.

          I felt my tongue clamming up. “I… I asked for reassignment from the food labs.”

          “Oh, yeah. That’s one way to get in, I suppose.”

          My curiosity welled up a little, but I was too timid to ask.

          “The other way,” said Cam, who evidently loved to talk about himself, “Is the way I got in.”

          “How did you get in?” I indulged him. Perhaps I could loosen up just a little bit around this guy.

“Oh, you know. Usual story. Flunked out of school as a teenager – didn’t have much of a head for numbers or memorization. The Administrators caught me exploring around the off-limits parts of the sublevels. I was trouble, but without any real Detractive purposes. Just enough trouble to be useful. They offered me the choice between juvie and working for DYNTEC. I chose to work for DYNTEC.”

          “Nice,” I said, not sure what else to say.

“All right, Alex,” said Cam, getting up. “Come on with me and I guess I’ll show you around the downstairs.” He got up and I followed him to the far end of the long room. “That’s an interesting name. You were named after a man, did you know that?

          I shook my head. “So what?” Most names in the Settlement were gender neutral.

          “So what?” Cam laughed. “I like you already. The man you were named after conquered the world. That’s your new job.”

          Now he was saying confusing things. “My job?”

          “Well, our job. DYNTEC’s job. The world was a lot smaller in Alexander’s day, of course. But years ago, we ran into the same problem he did.”

          “What’s that?” I clasped my hands behind my back politely.

          “No more worlds to conquer.”

          “I thought DYNTEC was supposed to save the world,” I said.

          “Sometimes you have to conquer things to save them,” said Cam. “If you don’t think so, you’re naïve.”

          Well, I wasn’t naïve. I knew you needed control over something to manage it properly. I’d just never heard it put that way before.

          We came to a wide set of stairs, and started to descend. I still hadn’t seen any DYNTEC employees except Cam.

          “We can say more or less what we want here,” said Cam, as if reading my thoughts, ironically. “The only people who can monitor our profiles and the logs for DYNTEC rooms are the Administrators. And they hardly give a damn about social graces as far as we’re concerned. By the way—has anyone ever told you you’re very pretty?”

          I reddened, mildly offended. Comments on physical appearance, especially positive ones, were simply not made in the Settlement, except as a form of sexual advance.

          “Screw off,” I said.

          He just laughed.

          “I’ll report you.”

          “Try. I just told you they don’t care here. Anyway, don’t worry. I don’t mean it.”

That made me even more irritated, for some reason.

“You should try it. Saying something edgy. It’s fun.”

I wanted to simply clam up, but he was giving me such an odd choice. “No.” I crossed my arms.

“Good!” He grinned. “That’s good. I like no. No is edgy. You’ll have to learn how to say no around here.” The grin fell to a smirk. “More on that later.”

We had reached the bottom of the stairs.

There was a hallway there, with doorways and various stairs branching off it, and I realized that most of levels 10-14 must be accessible to DYNTEC employees only. Their largest headquarters was only a block away in the West Central district, but they still had a decent office space in the Central tower. The windows here showed mostly the sides of other buildings, since we were well below the standard height limit. Still, off in the distance, I could see the brown edge of the Wall just above eye level. The sky was a pale gray.

Cam led me aside into a room that was open to the hall with a large tile doorway. The room was octagonally shaped and had a mix of black and white paneling. There was a single swiveling chair in the center, fixed to the ground. Around it was a semicircular arrangement of desks and monitors.

“The first part of your initiation,” said Cam, “is that I need to reprogram your Biometric to give you the proper security clearance. Normally we’d do background checks first, but the Administrators have already done extensive background checks on you, and they said you’re clean.”

“So I’ve been told.” I chewed my lips, feeling as though I was hiding something. What was it the Administrator had said? Clean as humanly possible—but nobody’s perfect. In retrospect, it was more worrisome. She must have found some kind of dirt on my Profile she had simply chosen to ignore.

“Sit,” said Cam.

I sat in the curved plastic chair.

He grabbed my hand—I tensed. He was touching me. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been touched by anyone. Surely it had happened by accident, in a narrow hallway or something. But this was different.

          He took hold of my wrist and flipped it palm-side up, where the Biometric was implanted. “Activate it,” he said.

          I tapped my middle finger to my palm. The tiny part of the Biometric that ran close to my skin lit up with a pinprick of bright blue light. The nearby monitor registered it and booted up, displaying my Profile.

Cam picked up a small device from the desk that looked a bit like a barcode scanner and held it close to my wrist. “Don’t move,” he said. “You have to stay within range while it calibrates.”

Then he activated his own Biometric, linked it to a second touchscreen, and started swiping and tapping through screens for an onboarding process.

          It only took a few minutes. He put the scanner back where it came from and I withdrew my hand.

“There. Now you can come into this building on your own. You can also enter any civilian dwelling, backdoor any civilian’s Profile, and check out Level-one approved weaponry.”

          I could…? Now? Already? I couldn’t have been more bemused if he’d casually told me I had been granted super-strength and the ability to turn invisible. I raised an eyebrow.

“Oh yeah baby.” He grinned. “We’re gonna get you some firearms training.”

Chapter 3: The Theory of Relativity

“Alex.”

I snapped to attention at my desk. I hadn’t been paying attention— had drifted off again into a daydream about trees, and a conservatory filled with lush greenery.

The Educator raised an eyebrow.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’ve missed the question.”

“What is two plus two?” asked the Educator again.

Two plus two? I blinked. This was Social Studies, not math class.

“Four,” I said, blankly, hoping.

“Incorrect.”

I flinched.

“As I have just been explaining to the rest of the class, Alex, one of the most essential parts of life in the Settlement is choosing language deliberately. It is in this way that we can be sure that we say exactly what we mean, and that we do not place undue strain on our listeners, and that we do not leave ourselves open to any accusation of Detractiveness. Alex, what is two plus two? And this time, please choose your language deliberately.”

Now I knew where this was going.

“I think two plus two is four,” I said.

“That is correct,” said the Educator. “The principle which you have demonstrated,” he continued (but I knew this) “is called General Relativity. Of course, in day-to-day life it will not be necessary to apply General Relativity so strictly, but here in the classroom we must train with it for the sake of form, as you put units on equations in Math class—in my Social Studies classroom any deviation from General Relativity will be graded down appropriately.”

He was addressing the class, now, no longer focused on me in particular. I looked around, and everybody was safely ignoring me again, so I relaxed. I squirmed in my seat—if only I had just a bit of synth-paper. Not even to draw on, as this would betray the fact that my thoughts were elsewhere. Just to fold, maybe, or tear. I chewed my fingernails.

“In the Settlement it is permitted to state definitively that “two plus two equals four”. That is because the vast majority of human beings happen to share your opinion. In principle, however, Relativity keeps us from stating our opinions as fact. In the classroom we use it because it trains our thinking to always remember, with technical precision, that absolutes do not exist.”

We all nodded.

And then mercifully the lecture was over, and we broke out the synth-paper.

Educator Jordan passed out markers from a box; we were making cards for the local DYNTEC workers of the 4th Central division.

I took the card and started drawing. I was still thinking about the tree. I put down a curling line; under my fingers it almost became a tree. I forced myself to stop; what was I thinking? This card was going directly to DYNTEC, and while I knew that they protected important things like trees and so forth; I’d been picking up sensitive vibes around the subject, like it would be Detractive to talk about. I had a good sense of when to avoid certain subjects. I drew a DYNTEC patch and their little chevrons.

“Do write something on the cards,” said Jordan. “We are sending these cards to thank the DYNTEC agents, who put their lives on the line to keep our community safe.”

“Are they coming here?” asked one of the boys eagerly. His name was Taylor.

“No,” said Educator Jordan.

“Oh,” he said, disappointedly. “I thought maybe. We had the lab workers come to class last Career day.”

“DYNTEC agents can’t do that,” said Jordan. “They’re very busy, and also, their work is very secret and dangerous, so they can’t show themselves in public.”

I knew that; it would ruin their ability to catch criminals by surprise.

“How is it dangerous?” asked Taylor. He wouldn’t have asked if he had no idea; it was clear he idolized the agents a little bit and wanted to hear more. Every child had some kind of obsession; mine was with plants, but if his was with the cool agents, I couldn’t fault him.

“They have to fight and arrest dangerous people,” said Educator Jordan, in a tone no more exciting than if he were listing the times tables. “Detractors, and other types of criminals.”

He went on passing out cards.

“Jordan?” said Taylor again a little bit more excitedly, raising his hand a little bit.

“Yes, Taylor.”

“What’s a Detractor? I mean…” he shrank a bit. “Exactly. I know what it is, but like.”

“Good Gaia.” Jordan didn’t raise his voice or anything, but he frowned a little bit. “You are in the fourth grade. Has no one ever given you a proper definition of a Detractor?”

To his surprise, most of the class shook their heads.

I was less surprised. No one had ever told me, but it wasn’t hard for me to put it together from context, by the way people said it. You just know. You just figure it out.

“Kids these days,” said Jordan, shaking his head. He leaned back with his two hands on the desk. “Detractive behavior is something that you do, but a Detractor is something that you are.”

The way he said “you” put me on edge.

“Anybody can do something Detractive, or potentially Detractive. This is behavior that does exactly what it sounds like: detracts from the goals of the Settlement. Takes away from the good of society. A Detractor is someone who tells and believes lies, who insists on absolutes, which alienate others; who wants to gather up more than their fair share, who wants to live in secrecy, and keep things all to themselves. In their secrecy, Detractors hide the fact that they are violent, malignant, hateful to the entire Settlement, and at their heart they want to destroy us all.

“My goal as an Educator is not only to keep you from doing Detractive things, but to keep you from being Detractors.” He shrugged a little. “When you grow up, I mean. A child can do Detractive things, but they can’t be a Detractor, at least not until they’re an adult.”

              “At the same time, though, we can know a Detractor by what they do. A Detractor is the opposite of a model citizen, and a person doesn’t become a model citizen by accident. If you don’t work to be a model citizen, you’ll always be sliding toward Detractiveness. There’s no default! There’s no neutrality. You must constantly train your mind to move away from Detractive thoughts and impulses. Even the best person is a mere careless slide away from becoming a Detractor. Anybody could become a Detractor, even someone who was once a model citizen. That’s why you always have to pay attention to the people around you.”

          We all looked around us, at each other, as though we could see Detractors. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat.

          “Remember, kids.” He smiled. He was one of the only teachers I had who sometimes smiled, though I always felt it was more a private joke with himself than it was for us. “If you see something, say something!”

Chapter Two: Jumping off the Job Ladder

“Alex.” The Administrator met my eyes, and I flinched. She was a gray woman, not just of hair, but of countenance. Her entire appearance, from the starched legs of her pantsuit to her straight shoulders to her bloodless lips, was like marble; but her eyes were only nearly gray. They were the icy, bleached blue of a January sky, threatening to snow, and her pupils were chips of flint, tiny flecks that suggested she could see past my flesh into my soul, and loathed what she found there.

It was more than enough to intimidate a civilian like myself. To complete the statuesque illusion, her angular body stood a full six feet and one inch.

          I looked away, but she continued to stare down on me. “Your resume is impressive,” she said. “Perhaps too impressive.”

          I shrank. I knew I’d been sent here because of my failures. Only an absolutely desperate case would be sent to the top. There were only two possible ways for this meeting to end. Reassignment, or termination. I crossed my fingers for reassignment.

          She took a seat at the polished black table. It stood on metal legs with black rollers at the bottom. I sat down across from her, though unprompted. The room itself was of polished black substance, glass and metal, with narrow seams along the wall panels. Any of them might be one-way glass, but I couldn’t be sure.

          Her Biometric activated a screen on the tabletop, and she scrolled through my job history. She was in the highest echelon; there was nothing she couldn’t see.

          “You’ve been… an Educator. Content Writer. Food Service Worker. Maintenance Technician. Food Lab Tech. It was the Head of the Food Labs that referred you to me.” And her gaze was back.

          I gave a barely perceptible nod. I could feel the sweat beading up on my forehead. Her eyes were too piercing. If only she would look away.

          “That’s a lot of jobs. You know, people here are taught to specialize early precisely to avoid these types of scenarios.” She pronounced “scenario” in a posh way, long on the a.

          “I’m not lazy,” I stressed. “I did my best in every job. I tried. Really, I tried. I wasn’t detractive. I was just…”

          Reassigned.

          “They just weren’t a good fit,” I finished lamely.

          “Five jobs and no good fit.”

          She was going to kill me.

          I probably deserved it. A failed educator, failed content writer, failed food server, failed maintenance technician, failed lab tech. At this rate I’d never be any use to the Settlement at all.

          “Please,” I begged. “Just give me another chance. I want to work for the Settlement. I’m loyal. I care about the future of humanity; I do.”

          The Administrator looked away from me for a moment (blessedly), seeming to give it some thought. Finally, she said, “Indeed. I’ve seen your type before. You’re a good person. Everything on your profile is clean—well.” Her pale lips turned upwards slightly, though nothing changed in her eyes. “Nobody’s perfect. But you’re as clean as humanly possible. You’re right. You just need to find the right fit.”

          I was stunned, but relief washed over me. I was right. Thank Earth.

          “You’re bored. That’s all.” Her voice took on a patronizing, friendly tone, though still nothing in her face changed. “You have to move on. You want a new assignment. You can’t do just one thing, can you?”

          In the food labs, I’d spent 10 hours per day painting food-growth cultures on to hosting plates. These cultures would later become all manner of colorful facsimiles – hot dogs, cupcakes, salads. It was brainless, but it was last-ditch work for a person who’d been reassigned from four other jobs. Still, I’d thought maybe I could be happy with the chance to work with organic materials. I’d wanted to see the cultures grow; maybe I’d even get to see the cells divide—maybe even into plant and leaf-like materials.

          Instead it was that—just that. Standing at an assembly line, using a paintbrush of clear solution on the plates as they glided by. Nothing ever, ever changed. Day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute, bending, brushing, bending, brushing. It was awful, and when it started to break my mind and my back, I had complained.

          “Complained” was a kind word for what I’d done, as in fact I’d cried like a baby. Wept in front of the plant manager during inspection; begged him to let me go. Because of that moment, I now knew that I was a weak person at heart. At the time, I hadn’t cared if there were no jobs left for me. I’d hated it so much there that I’d felt I’d rather die than stay another day.

          And so, I found out what happens when you jump off the bottom of the job ladder—you get sent to see an Administrator.

          Everyone else seemed to manage a normal job somehow. She was right, there was something wrong with me.

My first job had been an Educator, my dream career. As a child, I’d always envied the Educators, since they seemed so self-possessed. They had all the knowledge and all the answers, and the freedom to move about from place to place in just the way that children didn’t.

I’d loved the job, but after I confessed scandalous thoughts to a guidance counselor, I’d been reassigned. The full details, of course, are too embarrassing to discuss, but the long and short of it was that working with children had made me feel… estrogenic. Motherly. There was no shame in it, of course, since it was confessed and dealt with promptly, but anyone with an estrogenic temperament is forbidden from working with children, and so I was promptly reassigned.

          “I have an idea,” said the Administrator. “Why don’t I assign you to work for DYNTEC?”

          I was stunned again. “Dyntec,” I echoed. Really? DYNTEC was a different dream, the dream of every more adventurous kid in the Settlement.

          “You’ll have new assignments there all the time,” she said. “I challenge you to get bored in DYNTEC. It’ll keep you on your toes.” Without warning, her lips moved upwards, almost imperceptibly. “Dismissed.”

          And the meeting ended far more quickly than it had begun. I stood up, my head spinning. I started to back awkwardly out of the room.

          “Ah, wait,” said the Administrator. “I haven’t told you where to go, have I? Their locations aren’t listed in the Index like other facilities. Go to room 200 of this building on level 12. Cam will meet you there. You won’t have to tell him that I sent you.”

Chapter 1: The Tree

          I saw a tree, once.

          I was ten years old. We lived on the first floor of a tenement building—my mother, my father, and I. I could see it from my bedroom, which had a window into an alleyway. A little helicoptering seed had blown over the walls and into a dirt-filled crack between two concrete blocks.

It was scarcely big enough to be called a “tree” yet, but I knew what it was, because I had seen pictures of saplings, and the tough brown stem wasn’t like the blades of grass that poked up occasionally around the Settlement.

          Over three weeks I watched it sprout up. First the thin stem, then, slowly, a single leaf that uncurled hesitantly like a little tongue tasting the air.

          By the end of the third week, it was gone. I watched them remove it. They came with rubber gloves and spades.

          The next day I told my Educator about the tree. “What are they going to do with it?” I asked. I felt a bit sorry for the little plant, brave enough to try and grow out of doors.

          “They’ll take it to a conservatory,” she said.

          “What’s a conservatory?” I asked.

          “It’s a special place where plants are kept,” said the Educator.

          That piqued my interest. I hadn’t known that any plants were kept in the Settlement; I’d been told they were all dead for a long ways round, if any were even still alive on earth.

          I wanted to see a real tree, a live tree in full growth, like in books. I wanted to go to the conservatory. I decided I wanted to be a part of the plant removal crew when I grew up.

          I never did join the plant removal crew. Ultimately, it was a different path that led me back to the tree.

Book Update!

Thanks everyone who’s followed this blog! My book’s preorder campaign is continuing to progress, now at 9% of the total goal. That means I still need 678 people to pre-order the book in order for it to go to print.
Meanwhile, I have a cool new cover design – self-illustrated, of course!

“There was only one person in this town caught in the grip of an evil cult – and that person was me.”

Please consider pre-ordering your copy of this new conservatively-minded dystopia over at www.inkshares.com/books/the-kingdom-of-heaven ! This is a story about the dangers of biotechnologies, surveillance, government control, and Malthusian environmentalism, and how they will be defeated.

As well, there is a book trailer to watch on YouTube.

New Book: The Kingdom of Heaven

Hello blog followers! I’m pleased to announce my newest project, a book that I wrote over the last year titled “The Kingdom of Heaven”. It’s a book based on dystopian concepts that I’ve had in mind for years, but with a new tonal shift. Years ago I imagined a world where all of humanity had been concentrated into one place, and totally separated from nature. It is ironic to me that the mainstream industrial idea of environmentalism involves preventing human contact with nature as much as possible, and to me this idea goes hand in hand with depopulationist and Malthusian viewpoints.

In the Settlement, mankind has been cordoned within four walls for almost five hundred years; and are ruled by a military corporation called Dynamic National Technologies, Incorporated (or DYNTEC). With no more worlds to conquer, DYNTEC has turned like an ingrown fingernail on its own citizens, branding them as Detractors if they question the goals or motives of their rulers.

Yet. For all this, the Settlement’s control is not absolute. Despite their claims to the contrary, there are still some surviving humans outside the walls of the Settlement, and it is these which our protagonist Alex is ordered to investigate when she comes to work for DYNTEC. By disguising herself as a refugee, Alex infiltrates this “primitive religious cult”, only to find they have been vastly mischaracterized by her superiors.

The Kingdom of Heaven is available to preorder here.

Pre-orders are necessary to help bring the book to publication! Please help me reach my goal of 750 copies sold (paperback or ebook). Sample chapters are also available at the link!

College Outreach Luncheon Serves Alleged Food

Tuesday at 11: A local college ministry’s student outreach luncheon has been accused of serving food to a group of hungry students on campus.

Our correspondents interviewed students, who gave statements seeming to confirm the allegations.

“We heard there was a luncheon,” said one student, a freshman who commutes over 100 miles a day. “So we came. I’m hopeful that what we’re about to eat is indeed food.”

Another student said she lacks cooking equipment in her dorm and needed something to eat between her tightly-packed classes. “This is soup,” she said, between sips of the unsalted canned bean water, puckering her lips. It’s good. Really. I’m thankful. I’d be going hungry without it.”

The ministry director was quoted as saying, “Really? We thought we had made it perfectly clear that none of what we were serving was actual food or intended to be taken as such. We’re totally innocent. I mean, if we were claiming that any of this bilge was edible, that would be an insult to starving beggars. We weren’t sent here to feed people. Just look at our budget. All of this cost $5.37, including the napkins.”

Besides the alleged soup the outreach has also served technical tacos, purported potatoes, and so-called salad, which was observed by our reporters to contain a few leaves of iceberg lettuce.

Update: Allegations that the ministry was serving food without a permit have been dropped on the grounds that they were not serving food.

DIY Faraday Case

A Faraday cage is a scientific concept invented by Michael Faraday in 1836. The purpose of such a “cage” is to trap radio waves by creating a literal cage around the source of the radio waves, formed by metal, which the waves cannot pass through. Depending on the size of the waves, a Faraday Cage can be made of literal bars of steel, a fine mesh, or just plain old sheet metal.

For example, aluminum foil.

Today I am going to show you how to make a simple, portable faraday cage for your phone! There are many reasons why you might want such a thing. For generations people have been using faraday cages to protect their electronics from the possibility of an EMP attack; for example, this is how big companies protect their server rooms.

In the case of the average person’s phone, there are more imminent threats. For example, government and corporate tracking, and malware/hackers. We know you can turn the location settings off, but who today doesn’t suspect malfeasance on the part of big tech? Scary. This case made of aluminum foil can keep your phone from receiving radio waves, GPS, Wifi, and Bluetooth. That means your phone cannot ping off cell towers, send or receive data to anyone, connect to anyone else’s device via bluetooth, or be located with GPS. In fact, your phone might as well not exist. (Just keep in mind, if you use it, that you won’t know about your missed calls.)

I thought about making and selling these, but I quickly realized there wasn’t time. Everyone needs one of these as soon as possible, and I am not a giant factory. So for free I am going to give out the steps that I use to make them. You will need to purchase only 1 item that is not usually found in your house.

Supplies:

Make a small box like this, about the size of your phone, by cutting out two corners of the cereal box. It should be open at one end and closed at the other, like this.

Unroll aluminum foil, (you can use a craft knife to cut it down the middle, but leave a half inch buffer or so) and roll tightly so that it has 8 or more layers on all four sides.

Wrap in the bottom like a present and secure with tape. Secure all edges with tape.

Also tuck the top into the box. This example box only has 3 layers as you can see

Next make a small cardboard shape like this and secure with tape. This is the lid of your case and it is shaped like a cigarette case.

Cover it with 6-8 layers of aluminum foil on the inside. The width should be slightly larger than your box, but less than 1/2 inch wider so it is tight after the foil is added to both.

Next get out that faraday tape. It is sticky on both sides but the bottom side is more sticky

Cut and fold the edges of the tape in.

There is your case! It should open and shut like a cigarette case and be easy to take your phone in and out of. Be sure to test it manually by calling your phone on both cellular and Wifi. Wifi is the strongest signal and most difficult to block, so if the case can block wifi signal, you know that it will block weaker signals such as GPS and Bluetooth. Now remember to take it with you events like:

  • Church
  • Peaceful protests
  • Any gathering if contact tracing is installed on your phone
  • Any time you want to be off grid

I do not recommend to try and get this past the TSA; however, I can tell you from experience that you can fly with a faraday bag in your luggage if it is pressed flat.

Thank you for reading and please share with all privacy and liberty minded folks. The trap on government surveillance is being sprung as we speak and there will be records of everything you do. This is not a substitute for going into your phone’s settings and checking location permissions.

Masks – why?

I’m jumping into my first post with a copy from my other blog.

Let me reveal why I was up until 2:30 am researching horror tropes last night. I’ve been preparing to pop off about the whole mask thing. You guys already know what I said about mask mandates, ableism, and HIPAA. We already know that masks don’t work. I’m just saying the same thing Anthony Fauci said before he changed his mind suddenly.
And nothing about the science changed. It’s not like those previous studies were invalidated.
So the question is why mandate the things? And most importantly, why keep mandating the things? We had theorized it was about making people uncomfortable until the election. And yet they persist.

At this point I think another explanation is required.
Now, I hate masks by default disposition. They rub up against my clothing sensitivities, my anxiety, my claustrophobia. Same for many people. But even when I find one that doesn’t upset one of these issues, I still hate them.

Because it makes me feel like some kind of faceless corporate drone.
It was that line of thinking that got me to really understand what this is all about.

Masks dehumanize people. Of course, all government-mandated uniforms dehumanize and depersonalize people to some extent, as has been pointed out by critics of school uniforms and plain-color hospital gowns. But how much more so a “uniform” that covers your face?

It’s not like there aren’t a large number of existing studies focused on facial expressions and people’s ability to feel empathy for other people. Studies have shown that people are more likely to do things they find embarrassing or wouldn’t normally do when wearing sunglasses.
A study from 2013 showed that medical masks reduce empathy and understanding in the doctor-patient relationship. Just placing something over your face increases a sense of social anonymity, which encourages antisocial behavior.

We already know this. There’s a reason why masks in history and throughout literature have symbolized loss of identity, anonymity, and being forced to hide one’s true feelings/identity, repression, conformity. (Somehow the punk crowd instantly forgot that masks were a symbol of conformity and repression.)

We know this even in the character design field, as characters without visible faces are harder to empathize with and can either seem distant and mysterious or can be killed without eliciting sympathy.

So. In an age when people are already about as distanced from each other as it’s possible to be, family structures are damaged or broken, all interaction is done over the internet (see the G.I.F.T., a similar principle) and are not allowed to socialize or gather, we are feeling less empathy for each other than ever before. And now, even when you go on your weekly outing to the grocery store, you’re not even allowed to see another human being’s face.

They want us to hate each other. That much is obvious from the last year’s rhetoric. Through masks, they even want the average person to dampen their feeling for their neighbors beyond even the damage that’s already been done. What could come of this?