Is this our most controversial tip ever?

What could be as controversial as President Donald Trump?

That’s easy – 5G. And, apparently, our recommendation on how to profit from its rollout.

My colleague Kit Winder over at UK Uncensored received some insightful feedback from a dedicated reader recently:

You idiots

You will die too.

The article which triggered this feedback was called “The truth on 5G’s profit potential.” Presumably the reader response was a reference to the connection between Covid-19 and 5G.

But that feedback isn’t some isolated incident. None other than Twitter itself is treating 5G like it’s treating the source of all controversy, President Trump.

When Trump’s tweets were pinged with “fact check” links, to help his detractors figure out the party line, there was outrage.

Well, Twitter recently applied the same fact check links to tweets about 5G. If you click on the “Get the facts” links, they take you to a page which debunks the links between 5G and Covid-19. That page links to credible scientific websites like… the BBC website!

Anyway, it seems like 5G is really causing havoc. There’s arson, damage to 5G infrastructure and even some protests about 5G and its link to Covid-19. Ironic, isn’t it? Next thing, the tech-illiterate will be complaining about being overrepresented in Covid-19 fatalities.

Of course, it works both ways. Our tech analysts have also had an extraordinarily positive response from readers on their pick to profit from the 5G rollout. But that’s for their subscribers only.

So, where do you stand? Does 5G cause Covid-19? Or perhaps you think it’ll flop anyway? I mean, it’s just faster internet, isn’t it?

That’s not really the case. Think of it like this…

Before we had the written word, the maximum amount of information which could be gathered was what you could memorise. And pass on. That’s supposedly how the art of storytelling became so refined and important. It was the only way to pass on information. And a way to recall it well.

Then came the written word. But with limited resources to actually record writing, and a highly inefficient process of writing. They had to ban monks from speaking to get them to bother writing stuff all day. Or something like that.

The printing press had quite an effect, I think you’ll agree. Especially on the monks. In the past I explained how they led the Reformation – the printing presses did, I mean. And how similar innovations today could lead to another upheaval of assumed truths.

Social media and the Arab Spring, for example. Or the flat-earthers who manage to control their information flows so well that it filters out reality, leaving them to view only certain information, which becomes their reality.

What 5G does is revolutionise our relationship with where we keep information and how we access it, but on a whole new level. Think of it like this: what if your interaction with an infinite depository of information were as fast as your interaction with your memory? Or faster.

In that case, remembering and knowing things would become odd concepts to even consider. If everyone has instant access to all information at a speed indistinguishable from memory, well, the world will change a lot.

For example, when you’re grocery shopping, the thought “did I run out of garlic?” would be correctly answered by a little voice inside your ear by the time you finish trying to remember the answer.

At the moment, we still need to consult Wikipedia to settle arguments during Zoom lockdown quizzes. But Donald Bradman’s batting average is something that my iPhone can already tell me. I just have to ask it, with my voice.

Actually, when I asked, Siri claimed to have no knowledge of cricket and reverted to American baseball players with the first name “Bradman”. Nobody is called “Donald” these days, after all.

Back to the idea. Imagine if knowledge became an abstract idea. Something that only mattered outside of cell phone reception, or when China takes out a satellite. And knowledge extended to all possible information, including what’s in your toolbox at home and whether your car really does need a new fan belt.

Given my memorising capabilities, which led to a genuine fear of memory games growing up, I like the idea of all this.

What could be more pathetic than having your intelligence judged based on your ability to recall things that you had written down months ago? What’s the point of writing them down if you have to remember them!?

Instead, intelligence should be defined by the ability to think about that information. What it implies. What you should do about it. That’s intelligence.

And it certainly will become the definition of intelligence once 5G gets up and going – when “get the facts” isn’t a link you have to click on, but an automated process taking place all the time, faster and more reliably than your memory served you.

We’re not just talking about factoids here, by the way. But also real-time processing of important information about the world around you.

How far away is the car in front of me and will I be able to stop in time if it breaks suddenly?

Does Waitrose have pork shoulder in stock today?

Will a sufficient number of pubs be opening their outdoor areas in July if I book a narrowboat holiday?

If I slow down now to time the green light, will that give me a subsequent run of green lights which makes it a good idea?

These are questions we rely on our brains to narrow down probabilities on, before we find out the answer the hard way each time. But they’re knowable questions – it’s just that we don’t have the resources to find the answers out easily. Or we have to estimate given the number of variables involved. Or they’re running answers – updated each millisecond.

Our brains aren’t as good at maths as calculators. So, what if you were linked up to a calculator which gave you the answers you needed, in real time? Could you even crash a car? Would workplace accidents around heavy machinery ever happen?

Well, access to the right amount of information and processing power makes those risks dramatically lower. And what 5G does – this is the crucial bit – is provide a fast enough pace to make answering questions, which must be answered in real time to make the answers useful, answerable in real time.

In other words, 5G is fast enough to be better than our brain and body for many tasks around us. Well, it makes the devices around us better than our brain and body. If they’re connected to 5G.

Of course, it works both ways. Our tech analysts have also had an extraordinarily positive response from readers on their pick to profit from the 5G rollout. But that’s for their subscribers only.

Which used to seem like a waste of time and effort, right? I mean, why connect your toilet to the internet?

Well, as traumatising events in my youth will tell you, there’s a lot of healthcare advice hidden in your toilet bowl. It’s something the German wartime generation take seriously to this day, unfortunately for their grandchildren.

Let’s just say that the shape of German toilet bowls is designed to assist German grandmothers in child minding after their grandchildren give up nappies…

Let’s not get into the details of this. It wouldn’t be pleasant. But that’s the point – what if you could outsource the analysis to the internet. And it tells you anything you need to know, without the bits you don’t want to know.

Right now, reading my daughter’s nappies is like reading tea leaves. But you know you’re a parent when getting pooed on makes you happy because it’s the right colour and consistency…

Of course, all this raises privacy concerns. I’m not sure how our toilets will carry out the task of managing our health analysis in the future. But I’ve taken an interest in cybersecurity since pondering the question.

And rumour has it, that’s what our tech stock analysts have planned for future stock picks. Cybersecurity, I mean. Stock analysis, not stool analysis.

Nick Hubble
Editor, Southbank Investment Research

Category: Commodities

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