Nowhere to Run Nowhere To Hide
If you thought trying to remain anonymous was getting more difficult you are exactly right. In fact there simply is no privacy left in this world for the most part. In fact, in China giant leaps are being made in the exact identification of people and the cars they drive without knowing their names or having license plates.
You see computers have gotten so fast and so accurate that your car with its specific dents, scratches and bumper stickers is most likely one of a kind and therefore cameras and computers can track it in real time. Like everything else that steals your privacy and erodes your liberty the new technology is made out to be your friend and nothing to worry about. ‘It will help police track down criminals even if they have changed license plates' one article proclaimed! It also means they know when you went to the store, the golf course and the bar; and it knows how many times you have done each!
You’ve got to admit that is really creepy. I mean who thinks it’s ok for the government to track every single move you make, put it on a graph, put your info into a computer and calculate your risk to the rest of the world based on actuarial tables. I mean what if they determine people that go the pub on Friday’s more than once a month are a danger to society. Well scratch that guy from the list, any list in fact.
What if you want to skip your job, or just disappear for a few days. Good luck with that!
Michigan native and Pulitzer Prize winning author Bruce Catton cautioned us all decades ago that man has a way of taking his inventions and advancements all the way to their final conclusion no matter what the outcome and no matter how far that led. In fact his biggest fear was that the advancements of humans would almost certainly lead to their extermination. One would wonder if Catton who wrote mostly about the Civil War had kept his powder dry in other areas of exploration.
Look at how far we have been willing to modify our entire planet to accommodate automobiles and our transient lifestyle. And how much have we transformed our lives in less than 10 years just to embrace smart phone technology? Think about that today as the countless cameras you encounter take your picture, ad you to a data base and add countless numbers of lines to your personal file. Yes this will be part of your permanent record. When FitBits are solving homicides because people are not where they say they were according to the electronic wrist tethers voluntarily worn by their captives, then you must ask yourself how far will it go.
I read an article today from Forbes Magazine written in the fall of 1937. The article was focusing on new cars that were coming out for the 1938 model year. The magazine noted that ‘all major advancements’ in automotive technology had for the most part been made and the only changes were minor and mostly cosmetic in nature. I reflected on that thought as I walked up to my 2015 pickup truck. And I thought how shocked the writer of that article would be to see what my truck is capable of compared to the ‘new cars for 1938’. I am not foolish enough to think my truck is anywhere near what will be around 10 or 20 years from now. I am also not foolish enough to think smartphones and our voluntary servitude to the machines is anywhere near its conclusion. Sadly, I think we will look back someday and realize we just beginning to be controlled by the machines at this point.
Privacy? Yeah, that is a notion that should be dismissed as soon as possible if you expect to maintain your sanity.