Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Oh, (big) brother!

Going, going, gone.

I remember when driving licenses did not have photos and most certainly not fingerprints. A driving license was issued on proof of birth date alone.

Prior to the appearance of automobiles IDs did not exist in democratic nations. You were who you said you were.

The intrusive questions that accost us every day, even when doing something simple as reporting a telephone or Internet connection being out or inquiring about a credit card charge, were impermissible. I remember when you could telephone a utility company, for example, have the telephone answered no later than the third ring with a real person on the line who could clear up the problem in a few minutes without having to know your Social Security number and your mother’s maiden name. Today, after half an hour with robot voices asking intrusive questions you might finally get a real person somewhere in Asia who is controlled by such a tight system of rules that the person is, in effect, a robot. The person is not permitted to use any judgment or discretion and you listen to advertisements for another half hour while you wait for a supervisor who promises to have the matter looked into.

The minute you go online, you are subject to collection of information about yourself. You don’t even know it is being collected.

According to reports, soon our stoves, refrigerators, and microwave ovens will be reporting on us. The new cars already do.

When privacy disappears, there are no private persons. So what do people become? They become Big Brother’s subjects.

We are at that point now.

And when that last generation is gone, the succeeding ones won’t feel the weight of their chains, nor hear the clanking they make. They won’t miss the freedom they never knew; in truth, the idea will seem strange and outlandish to them. This is known as “progress.”

(Via Ol’ Remus)

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1 thought on “Oh, (big) brother!

  1. The minute you go online, you are subject to collection of information about yourself. You don’t even know it is being collected.

    Heh. The Ghostery plugin for Firefox has been an eye opener regarding what sites have the most intrusive trackers and the largest quantity of them. (Hint: do not visit PJM without having it restricted in Ghostery or some other tracker blocker. And never leave a site with Disqus comments unrestricted. Just… don’t.)

    These days, I block friggin’ everything, everywhere. Ads, images, flash, trackers… unless I white list it specifically, if it’s there, I flat don’t see it.

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