June 14, 2013
They Intercept Everything
You live within a net of surveillance. Some say this tears apart the
code of trust underpinning society. We tried to form a government that
performs actions in our mutual interest, funding large initiatives
of devoted believers with money from those able to earn it. Maybe we
overreached and lost track of objectives.
Talking changes nothing, but perhaps you are looking to take action
and return relations to a more acceptable state. What are your options?
- Stop communicating. Drop out and do your own thing, generating
no data to feed the voracious machine. Taken as a Golden Rule or Kantian
categorical imperative, this has the side effect of ending society, allowing
a fresh restart. It seems a waste to throw so much away, but at least it
would not passively continue in the current trajectory.
- Go Taliban. Cease all electronic interactions, masking everything,
aware but careful to leave no signal. Communicate in person only with
voice and letters, and live only in the analog world. This is inconvenient
but personable -- consider how few people have human skills, but instead
prefer the sterile world of technology. Food, love, and conversation is
far superior in person.
- Protest. Even 100,000,000 people marching on the White House would
change nothing. Outbursts of displeasure are discharged for no effect.
Those who cross the lines of decency love it when the response is merely
symbolic. The protest is acknowledged with feigned respect and then the
bad behavior continues just as before. Further symbolic protest is then
promoted in place of action that would change the situation.
- Tolerate and be open-minded. You have socially constructed an
enemy out of someone who is similar to yourself, with broadly the same
ideas and desires. They bleed approximately the same color blood, so
let's stop looking at essential details that create undeniable
differentiation. You likely need to be educated with a new perspective.
This will earn you more of what you don't want. Appeasing impositions
invites bolder, more aggressive and displacing impositions.
- Do nothing and hope future regimes don't increase size, scope, and
Not buying from enough minority businesses? You might be a professional
racist. Buying the wrong books? Probably a thoughtcrime liability needing
sensitivity training. Using strong language in your phone calls and email?
Could be a threat to public order requiring more mandatory dulling
medication. Your threat level could be trivially correlated to your
obedience and willingness to repeat propaganda.
If you're going to work around a threat, you'll need a plan.
Prev: Reclaiming Your Conversations
Next: Purpose of the Machine
I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.
-Rainer Maria Rilke