Another bed-time-ghost-story about the Wonderful Wizards of Marketing

or we are heading right into 1984!!!

Thought experiment

Speculative design

Lamarckian epigenetics

Orwellian societies

Well, I might as well throw in that list of words, a couple that seem fit: Zombie apocalypse!

We were just getting over, latte in hand, of the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook quagmire, when suddenly another bomb, as eerie or more than CA, was slowly released on us. Like Big-Bertha in slow-mo heading down at normal G forces over our roof top. Run everyone!

But this time is Google’s move with its new marketing tool that may change society as we know it today. Creepy, right?

It all starts with a video, unsettling and somewhat disturbing, that our friends at The Verge got a hold of.

In it, a long surpassed and rejected genetic theory, Lamarckian epigenetics superseded by Darwin’s “Natural selection” ideas, is depicted as a novel form to see how AI might really work (if we allow it to happen).

Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) thought that “life forms could acquire information from their environment and pass it on in their genes”. Now bring Google and its massive data gathering and information harvesting crusade, and booom!, you have Lamarck’s theories resurrected.

But how can Lamarck and his long surpassed theory, a staple of a high school factoid, be linked to behemoth Google, the almighty and ever present information Cerberus, the hound of Hades?

Simple. The link is in the DNA Methylation.

What??? Yes, according to News Medical Life Sciences, DNA Methylation “is an epigenetic (here’s that old démodé word again) mechanism used by cells to control gene expression”. Translation: genes can be modified without changing their structure, and the new gene can be passed on, thus resurrecting the Lamarckian epigenetics theory.

What Google claims in the video is that we have a sort of “second life”, our epigenome, that makes us unique, and such epigenome can make our genome (our “real life”) do different and even weird things. In Lamarckian lingo, our “second life” can alter our “real life”.

Google calls it the “Ledger”, our on-line life, which tells more about us than our “real life”. And, like in Lamarckian’s epigenetics, if treated right it can eventually modify our behavior.

Now in biological lingo, as explained by the Human Genome Project: “The epigenome is a multitude of chemical compounds that can tell the genome what to do… When epigenomic compounds attach to DNA and modify its function, they are said to have “marked” the genome.

And here’s the creepy part that resembles Google’s “Ledger”: “These marks do not change the sequence of the DNA. Rather, they change the way cells use the DNA’s instructions“. In short, your “second life” (yes, your naked beautiful digital self), if “tweaked accordingly” (by now, you should have guessed by whom), may affect the way you perceive the world around you, and it even may help you fulfill or create your goals.

I can hear you say now, what do you mean “tweak accordingly”?

Just imagine, your perception of wealth and poverty, your form of viewing good and evil, healthy or unhealthy, etc., or your mood during certain days or during certain hours, or after reading about some news. Now, juts imagine if you or someone else, could tweak those emotions, by providing you with the proper pieces of information, the equivalent to the DNA Methylation process, to your brain, to turn you on or off to certain stimuli.

Tell me, if that doesn’t sound like Zombie Apocalypse???

Google explains it all as nothing to worry about, they were just conducting a friendly Thought experiment in Speculative design.


Hey, I am all for the advance of Science, AI, Technology, etc., but the very thought of having a fantastic wizard of marketing or other Orwellian Big Brother guiding my steps, and telling me what to do and THINK, I’m not for that. Period.

I would love to read your comments on this. This whole Big-Brother-is-watching-you-thing is making me even think to write an additional Chapter to my book.