Friday, January 18, 2008

Not that you wanted any, but your privacy just ended


If you are Conservative you will want to know if I am biased. I will tell you I am. I know that means I worry about class warfare. And you think supporting workers in the battle is wrong. You worry that it will leave my analysis biased. I worry that Terminator-The Sara Connor Chronicles is real. I worry that the robots are going to take over the world one day. I'm not so sure it hasn't happened already. But I know one day it will, and that day scares the shit out of me.





If you pay attention to this blog, then I don't need to tell about the end of privacy. If you don't follow this blog and you were one of those people who planned on fighting battles and getting in before the war was lost, forget it. The war is lost and over.

Not that many of you actually care about privacy. Patriots and right-winged nutjobs have got nothing to hide, so they don't mind being spied on. They don't mind if Bush reads their e-mail, or taps their phones. They don't care that millions of close circuit TV cameras are following them around town. I guess people who consider themselves potential victims feel safer when they are observed by authority. I know most Republicans don't seem to mind George looking over their shoulders, but I have a question for them. What happens when it's Hillary spying on you? Will you be concerned then?

I never counted on Old Scared White People to defend privacy in the face of millions of Mexicans streaming across the border, but young people today are even worse advocates for privacy than their ultra-conservative grandparents. Generation Y'ers can't remember a time when there was privacy. And most youth today wouldn't want more privacy, even if it were available.

Worrying about privacy requires that a child be born into a culture that's at least a tiny bit circumspect. Instead our culture is one where every 15 year old girl broadcasts "SexxY" pictures of herself on MySpace. The sixties had free love, one could expose oneself and still fight for civil rights. Generation Y's lewd behavior is the younger generation's reenactment of their parents tendency to overexpose.
Young people have a right to rebel against taboos of sex and skin they find to be too closed minded. We are an uptight society that could stand to loosen its Victorian ways a bit. But flaunting your goodies on Myspace and Facebook isn't just breaking taboos, it's serving to destroy privacy rights. Gen Y'ers lack of modesty on social network sites generates tons of interest from fellow Gen Y members and older perverts, all this excitement drives commerce to corporations who's sole focus is destroying privacy rights.

The current generation has no idea what it's agreed to in the small print of all those social network websites. Facebook's idiocy aside, there are plenty more dangerous and insidious threats to our privacy than isolated web trackers and Google's omniscient search engine. ACLU types may take a sigh of relief when G.W. Bush's reign of stupidity is done. A democrat or slightly less crazy Republican is likely to win the 2008 election and relax our governments big brother operations. AT&T will certainly be disappointed, but I'm sure they will get over it. But they may find a way to keep their operations going.

If they don't, even if one company's efforts are thwarted, another one's will be championed:

Microsoft announced today that it "is patenting technology to wirelessly monitor a worker's productivity." The software will be able to monitor employees heart rates, stress levels, brain signals, and even their facial expressions.

That's right folks. Soon you won't even be able to make a face when the boss asks you to stay late. A computer will read your thoughts, facial expressions and alert your supervisor. He'll probably just have a talk with you and schedule for some time in the Nuero Re-programmer.

The working poor are not bothered by this. The poor have always been directly supervised. They never get a moment for creativity. But the lack of autonomy in their jobs keep the poor from understanding the additional layer of authority that computing power has given capital. The poor could always count on human error, or the pure inattentiveness from a supervisor that was one of their own, to catch a break. But computers don't take time off. They never miss a thing. They will scrutinize and monitor your behavior constantly.

If you don't want any rights just sit back and do nothing. Sooner than I'd like, Capital will exert complete control over all of our lives. If you don't want your every inner thought and behavior subject to observation and control you will have to fight. Start demanding privacy now. The Constitution won't help you. Bush has shown us it's just a piece of paper when there is no constituency mobilized to protect it. I promise you that Capitalism is slowly working the path to destroy your privacy. It will be good for the economy, and that means the rich will use it against you.

The new economy and the end of privacy won't be good for you. The only thing we have left to fight their plan is outrage. Public outrage stopped FaceBook. I would have suggested a strike to get their attention, but I have no faith in the working class. The poor have forgotten that without labor, wealth is not created. The rich don't care to be reminded of that fact at all. The rich prefer to distract the working poor with tales of social capital. Let us grant any argument they make as true. I don't care if all of their points are true. If we stop working the rich will remember our power, but if we don't understand the new challenges the Surveillance Society has in store for us; the constant surveillance and monitoring of our behavior. Under such a threat any act of rebellion will be trampled and extinguished, and then we will be truly doomed to the End Of Privacy.

5 comments:

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

My Laotian mini wife and I are outraged. We'll be protesting all of this very soon.

Anonymous said...

hey, what's the matter? haven't u heard? surveillance is the new privacy!

Romius T. said...

Thanks for protesting dr. Monkeystein

Annonymous,
I had not heard that...

Ansar al-Zindiqi said...

I wish I had written this. The rise o the Surveillance Society sucks and now with all the terrorism going on it's inevitable. Reading this reminds me of James Hillman's statement to the effect that we are entering a New Dark Age in which the mind is the last refuge. Even that could be endangered.

BTW, please don't let the URL I provided as reflective of my worldview. But it does provide food for thought.

Romius T. said...

Wow I have a real live Muslim as a reader. And it is too bad and too late for us all in today's society.