Archive for October 12, 2006

Conspiracty Theories.

Our new baby up to a whopping 6 pounds.

I stumbled upon author David Southwell’s blog awhile ago, and I’m glad I did. While the subject of conspiracy theories and government lies may not seem to mix appropriately with precious, innocent babies, it does. I think about the state our country will be in when she and her sisters are my age. I worry about what kind of legacy we’re leaving behind. I’m going to be watching those of my peers that I’ve entrusted with making the decisions for my country much more closely.

While I’m basically a happy, goofy person, blessed (or cursed) with the need to find the humour in everything… there are limits. There is nothing funny about a pedophile, a serial killer or the KKK. There’s nothing funny about tracking every detail of a private citizen’s life from their shopping preferences to their stock portfolios to the e-mail and phone calls they make to a friend. The lure of easier, faster, better when it comes to technology is a siren call that’s hard to resist. But people have been twisting good into evil since time began.

It’s been easy for me to lose track of just how fast the world is changing. I live in a small town that still announces it’s lunch time with hymns from the bell tower of the Church of Christ. We have one grocery store and a pharmacist that will open the store at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning if you’ve hurt yourself and need your pain pills. Most of the shops on Main Street don’t even take credit cards. There are no metal detectors at my high school. I wasn’t paying attention to much of anything but my happy life until I heard about grocery stores issuing “shopping cards” entitling the holders to discounts. A voluntary program, the store uses the records provided by the cards to track everything from restocking to determing the brands their public prefers. “Track” is the operative word.

I was trying to imagine what I could do if I knew absolutely everything about a person. From their favorite color to their choices in breakfast cereal, and the websites they visit in secret. Blackmail comes first to mind, but that’s because I’m a simple person, I like things stripped right down the bare, unfrilled bones. Manipulation is the likely action. Someone smarter than me, armed with the knowledge of everything about a group of people, is a dangerous entity. The technology to do this already exists, we need to be watching.

October 12, 2006 at 7:45 pm 14 comments


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