Saturday, February 04, 2006


I have really let you down. I've really slacked up on blogging. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. Bad Blogger...Bad Blogger. I'll do better.

Today's entry is: Privacy
I'll let the intellectuals argue over the definitions and philosophies about privacy, and I'll try to give it a simple place. Privacy, as we knew it before 1900, is gone. Privacy as we knew it in the 70's is gone. As we knew it in the year 2000. It's gone.

In this day and time, it's become a fact of life that we are monitored in some form or fashion throughout our entire day. How do you think police find people, and they're not allow to go places the advertisters can go.

You get up in the morning, turn on the news (right now, your cable box is monitoring that you're watching CNN, how long you watch it, and when you switch channels). Check your email (always a trail online), grab your phone (some have GPS on them), and out the door. As you drive to work, traffic cameras monitor the flow of traffic (some hackers are skilled enough to break into those systems, and follow someone as they drive around town. In some cities, anyone can do it). You get to work, more than likely it will have cameras througout. If not, a location nearby can see. Almost anything you do at work, no matter WHAT job you do, is probably technologically monitored, in some way. It might be for the purposes of optimizing business systems, rerouting bottlenecks, controlling costs, theft prevention, you see where this is going. If you work at a computer, everything you do is probably tracked, simply by the way network systems operate, and the way packet data on the internet works. You're done with work (clocking out leaves a trail), and the camera monitors make sure everything is okay, or at least is recorded if it isn't, as you leave. Stop on the way home to get gas (cameras, debit card monitoring, total traffic monitoring for business information). You drive through the fast food (watched on camera at each point). Traffic cameras once again monitor the flow of traffic on your way home. You wave to your neighbors on your way home, hug and kiss you dog, kick your kids, and ignore your husband or wife. You watch TV again, (monitored for marketing purposes), surf the web, your kids us it to chat with their friend and pretend to do their homework, and your spouse continues their online affair they think they're hinding. Okay, I'm getting a bit dramatic, but I got your attention back, didn't I?

If someone wanted to, and had the skill, they could pretty much monitor you in some way all day long. Anywhere you go. The Satellite hobbiest say most of the continent can be seen at any time, if needed. Pretty much all the other continents too.

Sounds a bit paranoid, don't it?

It's not. It's the world WE live in. It's the world WE created.

No one is out there monitoring us. At least not one person. A couple of hundred, maybe, but all for different reasons; security, logistics, traffic control, marketing research, product flow marketing research (gas pumps), you can keep filling in the blanks here. If anyone, or a couple of people, are watching me, they're probably really board (or really entertained), and the only reason I'd be upset would be the waste of goverment money.
I'm assuming, of course, it was the government watching me.

We didn't trade Liberty for Security; we traded it for that reliable up of Latte on the way to work, 401k and health plan at our dictorially organized corporte jobs. We traded Liberty for direct deposit, and the ATM. We traded Liberty so that in San Francisco, the Big Mac would taste the same as it does where you live. We traded Liberty by making sure the poorest had just enough to satistfy them so they wouldn't uprise a revolution. We traded Liberty for that secure, familar, and reliable rut I described above.

Now, go back through that last paragraph, and replace word Liberty with Privacy (cut and paste onto note pad, then Find/Replace Liberty with Privacy).

The two seem to work together really well, don't they.

If privacy is truly gone, we must deal with it. Short of a planetary disaster, monitoring is not going to stop. Personally, my concern about all this is who's doing the monitoring. If it's just the government, we've got a problem. If it's just the criminals, we're a bit better off (peculiar, we'd be better off with the criminals, huh?). The only way to make sure such monitoring isn't abused is if it's readily accessible to everyone. When the information is available to everyone, it's renders the information difficult to abuse. Information is now a commodity. Those who have the control of it, will abuse it.

Yeah. I know. That don't quite sound right. But think about it.

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