Friday, December 13
Friday, December 13, Morning
Well, we fucking
told you so.
True enough, they did. Not that anyone was listening, but they did.
I only wonder:
Does the cypherpunk crowd have any idea of how impossibly difficult it is
for most people to use technology to protect what remains of their privacy?
Is privacy really supposed to be retainable only by the dedicated few?
What if the whole concept of privacy is basically hopeless? Positing a
world where privacy is rendered technologically and economically impossible,
what would be the best option - trust the collective benevolence of the
world's governments and assorted giant economic entities to take good care
of our data? Throw everything so wide open that no one, least of all the
govs and the corporations (and the Church, while I'm at it), has anything
left to hide?
If you haven't read The Shockwave Rider, do.
(Coming soon: Brennen tries to figure out if he might be an anarchist,
or if maybe all political philosophies are at heart components of the same
basic lie about reality.)
And while I'm thinking about it...
The Information Awareness Office plays it so weird that one can't help
suspecting that somebody on its staff might be putting us on. The
Information Awareness Office's official seal features an occult pyramid
topped with mystic all-seeing eye, like the one on the dollar bill. Its
official motto is "Scientia Est Potentia," which doesn't mean
"science has a lot of potential." It means "knowledge is
power." And its official mission is to "imagine, develop, apply,
integrate, demonstrate and transition information technologies, components
and prototype, closed-loop, information systems that will counter asymmetric
threats by achieving total information awareness."
The New Yorker
Yeah, there's some PK Dick
stuff of dubious relevance opening that piece, but what's interesting to me
is that this is exactly the kind of thing you see all over the place
about the whole TIA
concept. You can't even quantify how pseudo-Orwellian the whole thing
sounds. (I say pseudo-Orwellian because it's saturated with the kind of
lame box of donuts and bad coffee in some conference room with folding
chairs while we scribble shit on legal pads vibe that 1984 was too
dread-laden and menacing to convey.) Somebody might as well have ripped a
couple pages out of The Illuminatus Trilogy. They're using a
pyramid and eyeball, for @#$%sake.
"one can't help suspecting that somebody on its staff might
be putting us on"
Well, aren't they? Do we really need to sound like conspiracy theorists
to acknowledge that once the furor over Poindexter's
little project has passed, it's going
to be remarkably easy for someone to implement most of it, albeit under more
innocuous names without scary symbols?