S03E18 – A Solution for Israel & Palestine(?) and a Crusader Against Big Tech Consciousness Hacking

In this episode of Finding Common Battle Grounds, we are joined by a new guest, Sean Patrick Tario, who now runs https://mark37.com/ and advocates for security and privacy from “big tech.” But before we discuss big tech, Tom wanted to discuss efforts by the US to get Israel to accept a ceasefire agreement with Gaza/Hamas. In the process, we find common ground that there is no “good” solution for the Israel/Palestine situation, including Ryan’s suggestion of massive bribes to relocate Palestinians which he suggests would be marginally better than the genocide we’re observing but admits is unlikely to happen. We then turn to big tech and discuss the efforts of large corporations like Google, Meta, X, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft to invade our privacy and influence our behaviors, which some governments have recently started to regulate. Sean refers to this as “consciousness hacking.” While the conversation swings awfully close to conspiracy theories at times (okay, there are conspiracy theories in this episode), we all agree that these large companies do manipulate software and services in sometimes subtle and sometimes more transparent ways. Where we disagree is on the motivations. Sean is convinced there is a small cabal of wealthy elites – that includes military, government, and corporate leaders – who are trying to wipe out billions of people and enslave the masses. Ryan and Tom aren’t convinced that an Illuminati-like cabal exists, but do agree that there is likely some collusion and manipulation going on behind the scenes. In a surprising twist, Ryan and Sean geek out on their shared love for all things Linux, though how they arrived at Linux differs pretty substantially.

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