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Psychedelic drugs

One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small…

Wanna become a data scientist within 3 months, and get a job? Then you need to check this out !

American 1960s rock band The Jefferson Airplane were well known for their experimentation with psychedelic drugs such as LSD (L-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide 25) and Psilocybin in ‘magic mushrooms’. Their songs reflect this counterculture, and indeed the band members were highly outspoken about the whole concept of recreational drugs in society. In fact, Grace Slick, Jefferson Airplane’s band leader in the late 60s, once attempted to smuggle 600 micrograms of LSD into the White House to ‘trip out’ President Richard Nixon, but was foiled by security staff!

The Jefferson Airplane song ‘White Rabbit’ is an oblique reference to English Professor Lewis Carrol’s novel ‘Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There’, published in England back in 1871. The story of the book was made into a major animated movie ‘Alice through the looking glass’ in 2018, almost 150 years later, by Disney and Tim Burton.

In that Lewis Carrol novel, a giant white rabbit takes the protagonist of the plot, Alice, through a series of bizarre fantasy adventures, which may well have been conceived by the author when he was quite possibly under the influence of psychedelic substances. The title of this article you’re reading now is the first line of Jefferson Airplane’s 1967 hit song – ‘White Rabbit’.

Enough rabbit already!

So what’s with all the rabbit schmabbit, you might ask? It’s all down to the cautionary tale (or should that be tail!) of the need to fact check everything you read nowadays on the internet – including this article, if you like.  Why – because the era of deep fake videos and artificial intelligence (AI) driven ‘synthography’ is upon us. Synths, as synthographs are known nowadays, are purely AI generated images created by platforms such as Midjourney and Dall-E. This means that anything that looks like a photograph nowadays can be the simple creation of an image from a description typed into an AI system by anyone who can use a keyboard.

The definition of the nature of ‘truth’ has never been so perilous. A photo of a politician perhaps sneering at a person of a different race, or a police officer drawing a firearm on a pregnant woman could be ‘synthed’ in a matter of minutes, just as easily as a fun image of a young girl sitting next to a giant white rabbit.  This is the point – so many people take all images to be ‘true’ nowadays, simply because they’ve seen them on the internet.

As the web becomes an ever less trustworthy and more questionable place to find ‘genuine’ news, what can an average citizen do to protect themselves, and especially their children, online? Not least, with a major presidential election coming up, which could prove to be the most important that the US has ever seen, how can we tell fact from fiction out there in cyberspace? Fortunately, one weapon in the truth-seeker’s armory is a USA VPN – a virtual private network, which can be used to block certain sites from being seen on any internet connected device.

A VPN is also an invaluable tool for concerned parents to make sure that they’re not visiting websites that spread hatred via fake news, or perhaps worse, where children might be approached by predators who like to ‘groom’ vulnerable youngsters for unspeakable sexual purposes.

Then there’s the devastating practice of ‘doxing’ – whereby people’s computers are hacked and all their documents published on the internet for all to see. Ok, if it’s the dodgy dealings of a provincial senator lining his or her own pockets, it might serve them right to have their dirty secrets revealed. But think about it for a moment – would you be happy for every document on your home computer to be available for the whole USA to trawl through? Fortunately, using a VPN can prevent hackers from finding you, especially if you’re a trade union member or maybe a political activist.

Less severe, but annoying nonetheless, is geoblocking. This practice limits your access to content based on your current location. Geoblocking is the reason you may encounter an error like “this item isn’t available in your country” when trying to perform mundane tasks in a new location. A VPN will help you keep a consistent digital location for normal access to every platform you use.

 More than just safety online – you can save money too

A VPN works by your device first connecting to an encrypted intermediate server, owned by the VPN provider, which then cloaks the VPN user’s identity and location. When you’re using a VPN, nobody knows who you are, nor where. Not your regular internet service provider (ISP), nor hackers, nor government snoopers and especially not the analytics algorithms of the websites you might visit.

So in addition to protecting your online privacy and blocking sites from all the devices in your family home by using a VPN, you can also appear to be accessing the internet from a different location than where you are. This is especially useful when the AI analytics software of hotel and travel ticket resellers offer you a higher price if you’re in a wealthy area. When your IP address (without a VPN) indicates that you’re in Long Island, the AI PriceBot ‘thinks’ – ‘aha! Wealthy customer, prices up!’

However, if you use a VPN and access the internet by choosing an IP address in, say, Libya rather than Long Island, the prices on offer may come tumbling down.


Wi-Fi hotspot hacking

If you’re traveling away from home, you’re almost certainly going to use the Wi-Fi at a restaurant or shopping mall to check your email or maybe your social media feed. Many people fall for a common scam, whereby they think they’re logging onto the free Wi-Fi, but hackers set up ‘clone’ hotspots with identical names and passwords to the genuine connections. Unwary visitors effectively log onto the hacker’s laptop, and from there the bad guys can install malware, spyware and ransomware onto your device. But if you’re using a VPN, the server you’re connected to will detect any malicious-looking anomaly and disconnect from that Wi-Fi source before any harm can be done.

Belt in and enjoy the ride

All in all, when you’re at home with the family, streaming your favorite programs, and you don’t want fake news, pornography, deep fake videos and all kinds of internet nasties, a VPN can be programmed to protect you with a list of suspect websites. Moreover, when you’re traveling for work or vacation, a VPN helps keep your devices safe from interference – so installing a VPN before you leave home is a no brainer. It’s like wearing a seatbelt in your car – it’s no hassle to do, and it might well save you from some very unpleasant experiences.

Wanna become a data scientist within 3 months, and get a job? Then you need to check this out !