Monday, September 4, 2017

We're Voluntarily Heading to the Brave New World


Below is my response to a forwarded, satirical email from a dear friend.  In that piece of satire, a caller is ordering a pizza from what turns out to be "Google Pizza" instead of "Gordon's Pizza" .  As the conversation proceeds, the customer is amazed to discover that the business knows the caller's pizza-ordering history, medical history, finances, etc., etc.  The header of the forwarded email is:
"This could be where things are heading.
                                                                      .... Partially there now?"
My response has been edited for this venue...in particular, the last four paragraphs have been added.
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We're probably HALFWAY (or more) there already.  Plus, people who have this small electronic tower (I think one is called Alexa, or something) in their homes that they request things of, and that listens to the household even when it's turned off, are flat-out crazy...or maybe merely not thinking clearly.  

Employees at some company recently agreed to have electronic chips embedded in their hands (or maybe some other part of the body...can't remember).  There certainly are some advantages to having "chipped" humans (e.g., opening restricted doors, finding lost kids, kidnapped people, etc,), but the dangers far outweigh the benefits. Imagine what an errant gov't or company could do with such tools.

How people cannot see the danger of these things is completely beyond me.  We seem to be voluntarily heading into the Brave New World.  All because these gizmos supposedly make life "easier" & "more convenient".  The whole thing is just plain nuts... chips in humans, SMART HVAC systems, SMART household appliances, SMART cars, SMART anything, including---Hello--- SMART phones.  They're all hackable, by individuals or by institutions public and private.  Privacy not only is at risk, but privacy also is starting to be treated as some sort of anti-social sin.  The former is bad enough, but the latter is even more dangerous.

The Corporatists---the Powers-That-Be---want to eliminate privacy as much as humanly possible.  They appear to believe that's a very good thing.  As a corollary, it seems they want people who seek solitude to be thought of as anti-social (in a harmful way), off-kilter, perhaps even mentally ill or dangerous.  The Corporatocracy is working toward having us all in a closely-watched herd, or a series of such herds...because herds are easier to manage than free-thinking individuals.  In a still relatively free society such as ours, the Powers-That-Be can't rely on massive brute force to control us, so instead, they use Edward Bernays style Propaganda--- molding the public mind--- and maximum surveillance.  History shows those have been very effective.

All the above must be peacefully resisted if we are to retain any semblance of freedom.  Protect your privacy as much as possible.  Avoid "tracking" of your activities whenever possible.  Speak up against the War on Cash (the War on Un-tracked Transactions).  Avoid surveillance whenever possible.  Gov't AND Big Biz have no business whatsoever in tracking our activities unless we are suspects in a crime.  But they have adopted the attitude that everyone should be tracked and/or surveilled.  That's a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.  According to the Fourth, the people are to be "secure in their persons, houses, PAPERS and EFFECTS" (emphasis added) unless there's "probable cause" and a properly obtained, specific, and signed Warrant.  The NSA hasn't observed that in decades...and the Big Boys in the Telecom Industry have assisted the NSA in constantly recording our emails & phone calls...1.5 billion emails per day are recorded in the USA.  The Snowden documents revealed that the NSA has a program (can't recall the name of it) the goal of which is to record "everyone, everywhere".

At times, a few "Conservatives" have said to me, "If you're not doing anything illegal, why should you care?  What do you have to hide?"  Are you kidding me?  1. What the NSA is doing in that regard is unconstitutional, and thus illegal.  2. No one needs to justify wanting & protecting privacy...it's a Natural Right.  3. There's a definite danger in relinquishing your privacy; the info obtained easily can be used against anyone who is a critic of the Gov't (or some Mega Company), especially by any rogue element within the Gov't (or Corporation)...and you would most likely never know who did the deed that ruined your life.  And all that could happen to individuals who never broke the Law.

Do I really have to remind everyone of McCarthyism?  Why in the world do you think the Fourth Amendment was created...perhaps to protect you from an errant Gov't?  Hello.  It slays me that "Conservatives" rail against "Big Government", and yet for the most part, fully support the massive NSA---many, many times larger than the CIA---and its illegal, unconstitutional activities (I'm not saying all their activities are such).  Do you support the Constitution, or not?  You can't have it both ways and still be ethically consistent...or even make any common sense.
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Not only my opinion.  Happy Trails