Decentralised data

Our work at Critical Thinking focused on analysis but the time has come to act, hence the publication of our recent paper, The End of the Age of Plunder. We need to create alternatives to what is centrally provided, primarily money but then so much more.

Alex, who co-authored the last two papers, has been encouraging and helping me to delve into the world of “open source” hardware and got me started on creating a personal weather station using components that are pretty cheap and software that is free. Below are two photos of the work-in-progress. The “kit” is assembled and ready to deploy outside and I’ve built a housing to protect it from rain etc. (I could have bought a bird box but found a floorboard in a skip and decided to build my own). I’m awaiting delivery of a long USB cable – the kit is wireless but needs a low voltage power supply.

We know that the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data are being assembled to extend surveillance and control into every aspect or our lives but, like money, it is not the technology which is necessarily the threat but who controls it and the manner in which it is used. As for money, we need to create decentralised structures to both record and use “big data”. This weather station is integrated into a distributed network of over 7,000 such stations globally – the major concentration is in Germany where the project originates but similar installations are rapidly appearing elsewhere.

We are told that 5G is essential for the IoT but as we suggested Section 1.1 of the previous paper, Structures and Money in Transition:

…global mobile telephony is controlled by a cartel (GSMA). The potential profits to be made from the massive investment required to overhaul the global mobile technology infrastructure needed to accommodate 5G is driving this rollout. In other words, greed is driving the rollout of 5G rather than need or use value. The much-touted claim of “technological advance” has no validity because the technology is not needed.

There are alternative solutions: LoRaWan, for example, uses much less power and lower (safer) frequencies to achieve the same result and requires much less investment (which is why it is ignored by centralised power in the current political economy).

LoRa uses license-free sub-gigahertz radio frequency bands like 433 MHz, 868 MHz (Europe), 915 MHz (Australia and North America) and 923 MHz (Asia). LoRa enables long-range transmissions (more than 10 km in rural areas) with low power consumption.[4] The technology covers the physical layer, while other technologies and protocols such as LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) cover the upper layers.

Which brings me to my longer term project, to build a microwave sensor to measure the full range of frequencies deployed not just for 5G but all the other microwaves that are detrimental to health. Finding cheap sensors to cover a sufficient range is a challenge; Software Defined Radio hardware may suffice but kit to cover the full range of frequencies costs hundreds of dollars/pounds. However, imagine the transformational potential of a decentralised network of such monitoring stations; we know about the damage that 5G will wreak but we currently have little idea of how and where it is deployed, nor what frequencies and power are actually transmitted. Knowledge is power and distributed knowledge is our defence against what is planned.

Useful links for distributed weather stations and other applications:

Open Sense Map

Directions / instructions for assembling and installing your sensor. Quite simple

What is Arduino?

Shortly after posting this, the cable arrived 🙂