San Francisco thinks about putting up more cameras in high crime areas. Why? While crime dropped around the cameras, it rose almost 30% just one hundred feet from the cameras. Solution? More cameras.
England has purposed taking samples of Children's DNA that display behaviour some sociologist claim are indicators that they will grow up to be criminals. Beside bringing up major questions regarding privacy and the whole notion of stigmatizing someone, who keeps these records? RDF chips already exist and every time you use your club card at any supermarket, a record of your likes and dislikes is placed in your account record. Coupons that are tailored to your purchases are mailed to you. All new passports carry inside them a chip. All someone has to do is press a button somewhere and when you walk through an airport anywhere in the world, you can be denied entry. Miami, FL has recently announced they are going to experiment with flying drones that will fly over high crime areas and send live video streams to a controller at the local police station.
During the last election, protests were so common against Bush, that the Secret Service came up with the idea of setting up "free speech zones." These were small areas usually a mile or more away from where Bush was speaking that were enclosed with fences 10 feet high. Protesters were herded into them and then allowed to "demonstrate" inside them. Funny, I thought the entire country was a free speech zone.
Diebolt, the biggest maker of computer voting machines refuses to share it's source code with the government. Never mind that in trial after test, hackers have been able to tap into the machines in less than 30 seconds, but a private company now controls the actual tool of democracy. Also, they say it is too difficult to create a machine that would issue the voter a paper receipt giving the voter a hard copy. This is odd considering Diebolt is also the biggest maker of ATM's in the world and those dispense a receipt every time. The company is currently fighting off a hostile take over bid from a military contractor company. Several of the people who sit on the board at this company also work for John McCain and Hilary Clinton. Should a military contractor have control over the very piece of equipment that decides who becomes President and by extension our military policies?
The U.S. Government has tried and in some cases convicted people of terrorist crimes, they thought of committing. A group thought of blowing up the Sears Tower in Chicago. They asked a FBI undercover informant for guns and uniforms. The FBI informant made them swear an oath to Al Queda and suggested they attempt to blow up the Sears Tower. Note, the group never requested explosives or training in their use even after the government informant pushed them in this direction. 7 men still wait for their trial.
This is the legal version of our justification for the Iraq war; a preemptive attack. In this case, arrest for thinking of a criminal act is considered just as bad as if the act had occurred. The government now asserts the right to hold people for thinking what might be terrorist plots. While no one can deny that blowing up a building in a large metropolitan city is undoubtedly a terrorist act, arresting them for conspiracy to do so only after the FBI informant has lead then to the idea with a trail of bred crumbs, is more entrapment than crime. Another way to describe it could also be thought crime.
There now exists tools to control human populations in a way never before seen in the history of man. The Internet has democratized information in a way never imagined before. However, nothing is ever really erased once it enters the data stream. For all the good at checking the powers of government that it does, the powers of government have already proven it's ability to check on you with it. Remember, the Internet was invented by the department of defense as a way of communicating after a devastating nuclear attack. Control, real control, is not about using tanks in the streets or flame throwers on protesters. It is about erasing the ability for anyone to question. It's about removing the very idea of questioning. In America, the richest empire on the face of the planet, we surrender ourselves daily to the onslaught of commercials that tell us we could be happier if only we tried brand x over brand y. We buy into a system of beliefs with money and all the strings that come with it. We spread ourselves thin in a never ending quest to get the new toy, the new car, the new gadget, the new thing. All the energy expended on updates over American Idol and reruns of Lost available on demand never produce a population that asks questions in any meaningful way. The system, society, the government, the wealthy and the power brokers like it that way. There are no thought police because in essence, we have all been deputized thought police by the social mechanism of peer pressure. "Why would you ask that? Are you some conspiracy nut?" Drugs are knowingly sold on the Internet that can be delivered to your door. Reality TV fascinates us as it plays to the worst of our curious emotions. CSI, Law & Order, Cold Case-all regularly show you dead bodies and horrible characters who do increasingly evil things because we have become desensitized to what was once confined to R rated horror movies. The news puts information of a pop starts downfall alongside word of wars. Companies produce segments that are slipped into the broadcast and never revealed for what they are; commercials that have been legitimized by running them on the "news." All this while half the country believes we are living in the end times and Dinosaurs lived along side humans when the Earth was created some 6,000 years ago. What is the solution? What is the way to fight the grip of continuing domination over the human heart with digital indignities and ignorant truths? How do you raise your voice in frustration when most people are just trying to keep their head down and not make eye contact with those around them out of some vague unknown fear? This is our future. This is it right now. Everything that is good and bad in the human spirit has manifested in our time with the wonders of technology and the plight of crushing poverty living side by side. Is it enough to simply ask these questions? What action, if any can be taken? We live in strange and interesting times. The world moans under the weight of 6 billion souls who all want the same thing and yet we live in a system that must deny the majority of them dignity in order to survive. Is it worth saving? Is it worth wondering what we should be doing instead of being on this merry-go-round of commerce and soul killing entertainment? This is not a conspiracy. This is not a rant. This is the future if we allow it to be so. This is our gift or curse to the next generation growing up in a plastic wasteland. Control is the only thing that matters and whatever means deemed necessary by those who have it will be used to keep it. The space inside your self has been colonized by corporate slogans and the me driven spirituality of self help gurus getting rich on your desire to feel better. There is no counter movement. There is no cause to join. There is no group or project or place to send a check. There is only you and I and anyone who cares to name the nameless sensations inside themselves that cannot be treated with the drugs sold on TV next to cars and detergents. Giving a shit and waking up at midnight in cold sweats are not side effects; it is being human.