More off-topic observations (sorry 'bout that)...
I've been thinking these thoughts about the government's ability to track what we earn and how we spend. [...] I see these trends all converging someday. At what stage does the matrix know everything about you - the places you go, what you spend on, your credit and payment history, what you read online or at the library, all your health conditions, who you call or e-mail, etc.
Thank you. I feel very alone whenever I even hint to this and the reactions I get range from "how do you know all this?" to "but I like my FaceBook!".
It's what I've called the Total Information Society. It's sold to us as a convenience and a way to be more connected when it actually places people in bubbles of self-involvement. You can't talk to anyone anymore and they can't be trusted behind the wheel either. Meanwhile, those who market this wonderful brave new world of instant connectedness with anybody and anything have a vested interest in reaching us. You can't have a functioning democracy when citizens are 100% monitored, either by corporations or government entities all working hand in hand.
Slightly off topic, but discussed this the other day at work - consolidation of technology. A smart phone now replaces multiple devices; cameras, beepers/pagers, text devices, and of course, its your phone (which for some replaces their home phone). At 50, hard for me to believe that Polaroid and Kodak are no more. I mean, who buys hand held cameras any more?
Great point. It's a lost battle, as I said, because the majority is asleep at the wheel and all too eager to embrace 'progress' and 'convenience', or to trade freedom for security. So they get what they ask for and so shall we, eventually. But for now I still practice systematic compartmentalization
to resist the consolidation
you brought up. Whenever possible and in doubt, I use manual controls instead of automatic ones and separate devices (or make them incompatible) to prevent them from working in concert. I avoid putting anything else than a computer online too. My dealer pre-installed LoJack on my car (and made me pay for it), for example, but I refuse to activate it.
But why? Because there is a reason why this is 'offered' and it's only in our interest on the surface. Either crappy, substandard equipment is bundled together to meet a price point at which marketing the product is viable (electronics, as in gremlin-laden cars) or the devices are set up to be used and controlled later. Did you know that any cell phone, on or not, can be turned into a recording device remotely? It requires a federal warrant at this point and as far as I know
, but you don't have to be an international criminal to be creeped out. Similarly, if they even let you drive it, your car will one day be controllable by others, on top of spilling the beans to the whole goddamn world (via RFID) about its speed, location data, and probably inside video.
From reading this thread the only conclusion I can draw is that someday, when the machine overlord historians are looking back at the fall of humanity, the Challenger push-button start will be listed as the beginning of the new machine dominance era. Books will be written (in binary of course) detailing how this button was critical to the success of the transistors taking over the world.
It sure is easy to make it sound that way. I like to quote Freud saying that "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar", and maybe you're right that a push button is merely a convenient and cool new type of switch. I don't believe one word of that, of course, but one thing's for sure: push buttons won't put "transistors" in charge (
) - we will. This type of small 'progress', if you know what you're looking for, is like bigfoot's prints in the snow. Harmless in itself and isolated from what created it, but a signal all the same if you're paying attention instead of keeping your nose in the air.