In the year 2000, Jonar Nader warned about the corporate collapse. As with dozens of his crazy predictions that people never believe, this one also came true. In the year 2009, corporate collapse triggered the global financial crisis. In this interview, Jonar also describes what he means by a term he coined, called U2F. Further below is a transcript of the video.
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Here is the transcript:
Male: Well now, we’re about to meet a digital age philosopher, a post-tentative virtual surrealist. His name is Jonar Nader. He’s a fascinating person and he’s right here. Welcome, Jonar.
Jonar Nader: Hi.
Male: Thank you very much for coming. Tell me first about this surrealist thing. What is that? What is it all about?
Jonar Nader: It was an exclamation. I was at some meeting and you know when you go to meetings, everyone wants your business card so that they can see if they can use you and abuse you and if it doesn’t have a decent title on it, they will move on. It’s called networking, which I absolutely hate. And I didn’t have titles on my business card and people would always want to know what job do you have, who do you work for? You know, just say hello first, you know, before you try to abuse me. And one lady insisted and I said, ‘Well, I’m a post-tentative virtual surrealist.’ I don’t know where it came from.
Male: You just made it up.
Jonar Nader: I made it up on the spot and she sort of believed me. I thought, ‘Oh, you can’t be that gullible.’ She said, What does that do?’ I don’t know. I just keep inventing new things. But I quite like the title. And so, what it really means is digital age philosopher. Someone who thinks about the philosophical questions of life for today because our philosophers have all did a good job but they didn’t have the things to deal with that we have to deal with today.
Male: How is technology affecting us really? This is a specialist theory of yours, isn’t it?
Jonar Nader: Yes.
Male: Surrounded by information technology in every aspect of our lives. What’s it doing to us, Jonar?
Jonar Nader: Well, nothing at all really. We seem to think that the problems that technologies causing on you, in fact, yes, you can say it’s creating stress but we’ve always had stress. You can say that it’s making things go fast and then go, ‘Wow! We live in a fast world.’ I go, ‘Hang on a minute. Your grandmother and my grandmother saw more things than more you think you and I are seeing.’ I mean, they saw the moon bit. They saw the cars and the televisions, and the radios, and the phones, and the fax. And you’re telling me that we’ve got the internet and a bit of extra power somehow the world is woe upon us.
But what technology has done is it has actually separated the thinkers from the non-thinkers in a sense that technology is fast. You call your bank. You want to know your bank balance now to the second by the minute and though the staff member can’t make a decision, so what technology has done is it had shown how inadequate we are, how incompetent we are because you go, ‘Hang on a minute. Your computer says this but you can’t make that decision.’ ‘Oh, no. We have to go into conference. You have to write a letter.’ And the stupidities of life.
Take for example internet banking which I do. If I do internet banking, all I need is my card number which anyone can have access to. Whenever I go shopping, everyone has my card number and a 4-digit code. That’s all. Card number, 4-digit code. That same bank, the same thing I want to do. You call. You say hello. What’s your name? Jonar Nader. Age, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, password, and the fifth security option. Why do you need five things? Why don’t you ask me the four things? So, we are showing the stupidities that we have to keep going against. Then that’s what I think technology has done.
Male: If we continue on this path, what’s your vision?
Jonar Nader: Our total collapse, total collapse. And at the moment, already I’m saying that the corporations of the future will collapse. I wrote a book and people said to me, ‘What’s the solution?’ I said, ‘There is no solution.’ The thing is this, this thing called the law of complexity and we are making life far too complex and far too complicated. So, there’s no hope for them. So, you’ll find corporations will be collapsing because there is no soul, because the people who are running it have no sense of wisdom. They don’t really understand what compassion means. They’re just bureaucratic beasts who know how to say, ‘policy, policy.’
You know, I was up in Oakland recently and your biggest hotel in the country and I wanted $20 cash. I ran out of my cash. I’ve been in the country for 14 days and the lady said, ‘No, I can’t give you cash to your room.’ I said, ‘Okay. Put it on my credit card.’ She said, ‘No, I can’t do that.’ I said, ‘Let me see your manager.’ So, the manager came down and I explained myself and she said, ‘Well, it’s our policy.’ I said, ‘Is that the first word you can throw at me?’ And I gave her a big spill about they couldn’t iron my shirt and so on. They can run a big fat casino but they can’t iron my shirt. And she said, ‘Well, it’s our policy.’ I said, ‘That’s twice you’ve said policy. There’s no point talking to you. Goodbye.’ That’s all people can talk about. You know, how about engaging a bit of the brain?
Male: Is this U2F that you referred to? Is this U2F that we’re talking about now?
Jonar Nader: Well, this is one of them. U2F stands for Undetectable and Untraceable Fraud. That’s another area that’s going to show us up, you know. Take for example, what’s undetectable and untraceable? At the moment, when you buy a car, the high-end cars have a key ring that comes with a key. The – when you click the button to open and close the door, an infrared signal is sent. Most of our mobile phones, most computers, and most hand-held devices can listen in on that signal. So, if I were a thief, which I could do any day tomorrow, hide behind a tree, wait for you to lock your car, go shopping, I come around from behind a tree. I’ve already heard the signal on my device, open your car and steal it. Steal your camera let’s say. Close the door. No fingerprints. No one heard the alarm go off. No sign of forced entry. Undetectable and untraceable fraud.
Now, you’re going to try and prove to your insurance company that somehow your camera was stolen.
Male: Yes, yes.
Jonar Nader: They’ll suspect you.
Male: How do we do it? The book you referred to, How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People, will immediately ring bells with many viewers I know for another famous book that goes the other way around. Is this a deliberate attempt to gain publicity for your viewers, Jonar? Or is this your truly held belief? Is this the essence of what you’ve spend ideas writing about?
Jonar Nader: Right. Obviously, a book is judged by it’s cover and the title is important but I didn’t concoct the title because of the other famous title.
Male: Well, the essence of outcast too, isn’t it? The person who says, ‘I think that you will not persuade me in any other way. This is my belief.’ Often, the essence of the outcast.
Jonar Nader: Yes, you’ll find the visionaries in fact, are people who are often locked up. Pythagoras wasn’t allowed to have a mathematics club. Copernicus and others who said that the world was not flat were locked away and died in their cell. And anybody who looks to the future is often ridiculed and made – made fun of. And I was ridiculed on the backseat of the bus. And when I thought, ‘Oh, we’re now all adults, we’re wearing fancy suits.’ Now, I was ridiculed in the boardroom. Why? Because they were jelly back lily livered people who didn’t have an opinion of their own. And I’m saying, claim your lives. Stop letting people waste your life. If someone steals your camera or your watch, you’d get mad. But when they steal your time, thief of the highest order, we just make up for it by working later.
Male: It’s been a pleasure talking to you, Jonar. Thank you very much. Welcome to Canterbury Today.
Jonar Nader: Thank you.
Male: I love your book. This is it. A controversial book, How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People. It’s not just what it’s about but if you want to know more about what this man is saying, you need to get this book.
That is Canterbury Today for this edition. I look forward to your company again same time tomorrow.