U.S. cities are scrambling, it seems, to install high-tech systems in exchange for big tax incentives promoted to local governments. In actuality, these “smart” cities are creating tremendous decay. The reality is that smart city technology threatens our health, safety, autonomy, privacy and financial stability.
Those speaking to promote smart cities with words such as “sustainable,” “safety,” “job creation” and “expanded technology” are using catchwords that sound right, but what is their true objective? The harsh reality is that smart cities are about totalitarian control. There is absolutely no concern for the social impact and health of the cities.
Cities should thrive and exuberate life—people, animals and nature. The corporate control of cities with increased technology does the opposite. Smart city projects make cities sterile by taking away people’s sovereignty, privacy, unique identity and productivity. Monitoring and control of utilities and water districts is also part of the smart city agenda, and privatization is soon to follow.
Stop—and think of why the name of a product or technology begins with the word “smart.” Well, smart is for the creator and the corporation marketing the technology. Smart is used as a catchword for simplicity. Smart is control of people—hearing, seeing, tracking and actually changing your “thinking,” so that you will be agreeable to what corporations and big government dictate to you. Smart technology is manipulating our decision-making and impacting our well-being. It is taking away free will.
Corporations wait in the wings to provide solutions to problems that they create by design. What are their solutions? More technology. The public’s response, when ill-informed, is, yes, let’s have more technology, while those with fluid intelligence say, “absolutely not.”
Members of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) made an incredible effort to educate and warn the community of the LED light, Orwellian Smart City invasion occurring in Great Neck.
The American Medical Association (AMA) issued a warning in June 2016 that high-intensity LED streetlights emit unseen blue light that can disturb sleep rhythms and possibly increase the risk of serious health conditions, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. The AMA also cautioned that those light emitting diode (LED) lights can impair nighttime driving vision. They went on to state that high-intensity LED lighting designs emit a large amount of blue light that appears white to the naked eye and creates worse nighttime glare than conventional lighting. The warning also states that discomfort and disability from intense, blue-rich LED lighting can decrease visual acuity and safety, resulting in concerns and creating a road hazard.
LED lamps have a much greater impact on circadian sleep rhythms than conventional streetlamps. Recent large surveys found that brighter residential nighttime lighting is associated with reduced sleep times and quality, excessive sleepiness and impaired daytime functioning. These detrimental effects are not limited to humans. This is disruptive to many species that need a dark environment and can disorient some bird, insect, turtle, fish and other species, as well as trees and nature itself.
Streetlamps lining Great Neck’s residential and commercial blocks are being equipped with the same smart city technology as the traffic lights. This project will also include Wi-Fi. The electromagnetic radiation emitted by Wi-Fi is ubiquitous, penetrating the brain and body. We are exposed 24/7. Cameras are also part of the initiative. Big Brother and Big Sister are watching.
Smart meter installations for controlling household appliances, all the way down to the last drop of your coffeemaker, compound our technological exposure. For people, animals and nature, there will be no way to escape smart technology.
The overwhelming majority of Great Neck residents didn’t question the LED light technology system that is being implemented here. The mantra is that it will save money. Well, cheap is a fortune and the population will be paying the price not just economically, but with our health and more. People tend to block out what they don’t want to hear. Yes, folks, that’s technology in motion.
Great Neck is a microcosm of the dummying down of American society. We are feeling the effects right here. It is imperative that we begin to have Town Hall meetings “for the people and by the people,” so that the community has a vote on everything before it is dictated and implemented.
The population, particularly those who are the least able to afford it, will be hit the hardest with the extra costs and higher taxes that result from smart cities and privatization. Once a done deal, the installation, monitoring and upgrades of these high-tech systems will ultimately pack a hard financial punch.
A fundamental question needs to be addressed. Are resources staying in the communities or are monies and taxes leaving our communities? Many politicians put their eggs into the baskets of massive corporations, wireless companies, etc. They put blinders on when seeing green, leaving behind their constituents and local, small businesses. Look at all the empty storefronts right in our own town. The days of mom and pop stores are sadly gone. Think about how many cities across the country are clamoring to host Amazon’s second headquarters.
Thanks to a law that goes back to 1963, in North Dakota in order to own a pharmacy you have to be a licensed pharmacist. Big chain pharmacies can’t set up business there. This keeps control in the hands of locals, enables more competition and lower prices. This creates higher levels of service—human—not smart technology.
Society is created by design. The educational system is designed to create test takers, train people how to memorize, not how to think or use common sense. People lost the ability to question. The educational-degree system was designed to have a population who follows authority figures. Schools dictate what the next big paying jobs will be.
It is vital that our educational institutions and libraries offer preparation on the crucial issues facing us today. They are implementing technology that is overshadowing the essence of what schools and libraries always stood for. Much of these dictated technologies are replacing people’s jobs and causing overexposure
to electro-magnetic fields (EMFs).
Instead of smart “things,” let’s promote the idea of smart “people.” Think tanks are very much needed for communities to gather together and have conversations. Find people with fluid intelligence, not necessarily a high-educational degree, to run local government and learning institutions.
Social indicators show that it is a sorry state of affairs in our society. Yes, ill health and depopulation are the results of smart city technology. And, yes, smart cities are headed for every city in America.
Think, think, think; react; change.
Gary Feldman, who was an innovator in the nutritional supplement retail industry, is a health writer in Great Neck, a nutrition educator and lecturer, and an instructor in the Port Washington Union Free School District Continuing Education program. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.