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Category Archives: Internet

One “Big Brother” vs. Millions of “Little Brothers”


Yes, he is.  But "Little Brothers" are also watching him. [courtesy Google Images]

Yes, he is. But “Little Brothers” are also watching him.
[courtesy Google Images]

In A.D. 1949, George Orwell published his novel 1984—a dystopian view of the future. Mr. Orwell’s most frightening prediction was that “Big Brother” would install video/audio monitors in each of our homes and workplaces to constantly spy on all of us, to ensure that we didn’t deviate from the “party line”. We would always be subject to government surveillance and never have a moment of privacy for ourselves.

Orwell’s prediction was about 35 years premature. So far as I know, government has not yet installed its own video or audio recording devices in my home. Still, if you’re like me, you probably have a video camera mounted on top of your computer screen, and you wonder from time to time if the government has secretly turned it on to spy on you.

Maybe our concerns about privacy are evidence of paranoia. Maybe they’re prudent. In either case, it’s nearly undeniable that even if government hasn’t yet used our own video cameras to spy on us, it has spied on our credit card expenses, telephone and cellphone conversations, email, websites, Twitter and Facebook accounts.

There’s no question that, every day, government uses ever-more sophisticated technology to spy on us. Orwell was right. Big Brother is watching all of us.

But Orwell was also wrong in that he did not foresee that the same technology that allowed Big Brother to spy on all of us, would also become so cheap and ubiquitous that virtually all of us—the millions of “little brothers”—could also spy on Big Brother.

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Posted by on August 22, 2016 in Internet, Privacy, Spies, Surveillance, Technology

 

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Internet Deflation


One Small Plug for Man . . .  One Huge Deflationary Force for Mankind [courtesy Google Images]

One Small Plug for Man . . .
One Huge Deflationary Force for Mankind
[courtesy Google Images]

The New York Times published “Insurance via Internet Is Squeezing Agents”:

 

 

“Walmart and Google have recently established websites that allow consumers to compare the premiums of various companies for auto, home and other types of insurance, and buy policies.  Both companies have entered partnerships with insurers.

“To the list of jobs threatened by the Internet, add one more: insurance agent.

“Technology start-ups, and companies from the insurance industry, are introducing websites that sell or promote a range of insurance including auto, homeowners and small commercial policies. These portals, which promise savings by showing consumers many price quotes so they do not have to shop site by site, are putting pressure on insurance agents, who collect 10 percent or more of their policyholders’ payments.”

 

The story of ruinous internet competition among insurance agents is a common theme for internet businesses.

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Government Controls Google?


Jus' folks at Google! [courtesy Google Images]

Jus’ the friendly folks at Google!
[courtesy Google Images]

One aspect of the internet–and, especially, Google–that flat-out amazes me is the ability to write virtually any question into the search engine and get an extensive list of articles that answer my question.

I’m not just talking about typing “Kentucky” into the search engine and getting a list of articles on Kentucky.  I’m talking about asking specific questions like “How many members in Congress?” or “How many meters in a mile?” and getting an instant answers (“435” and “1,609.34”)–not just a list of articles that might hold the answer.

I’m even talking about asking “fuzzy” questions like “How many States have legalized marijuana?” and getting an instant list of articles that can be researched in just a few more minutes of my time.

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A.D. 2010: Zibniew Brzezinski “It is infinitely easier to kill 1 million people than it is to control them.”


Even though this video clip is four years old, it offers much insight into global and national interests, politics, and loss of governmental control over the media and therefore over the minds of the people.

There’s far more in this brief video than his comment that “it’s now easier to kill 1 million people than it is to control them.”  That comment is certainly sensational, but I believe he was making an observation rather than a recommendation.  I don’t think he’s using that comment to advocate mass murder.  I think he’s using that comment to illustrate how, thanks to the internet, governments around the world have lost their ability to “control” the opinions held by their citizens.

Don’t be fooled by Brzezinski’s evil appearance.  I’m not here to argue that he is or isn’t “evil”.  But I am here to say that he’s an almost astonishingly brilliant man whose ability to write and communicate are remarkable.  Almost every phrase in Brzezinski’s brief speech offers significant insight.  Brzezinski distilled more information and implication into the following 7 minute video than most people can communicate in an hour.

Don’t be blinded by his most sensational comments.  Some of his less sensational comments may be more profound.

Brzezinski’s essential point is that governments everywhere are losing control.

video   00:07:50

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Internet, Political, Technology, Values, Video

 

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Internet Makes It Harder to Govern


Internet1In an article entitled “Kerry: Internet, Instant Communication Making It much Harder to Govern,” Antiwar.com reports that:

“Speaking today [August 14th, A.D. 2013] to officials at the US Embassy in Brasilia, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered comments about the ‘hardships’ facing US diplomacy, saying that a major problem was ‘this little thing called the Internet.’

“Referencing the Internet and ‘the ability of people everywhere to communicate instantaneously,’ Kerry lamented ‘it makes it much harder to govern, makes it much harder to organize people.’”

How could the internet make it “much harder to govern”?

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Brzezinski’s Lament


Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbigniew Brzezinski (Photo credit: Ted Lipien)

Zbignew Brzezinski is a Democrat who served as America’s 10th National Security Advisor from A.D. 1977 through A.D. 1981 under the Jimmy Carter administration.

It strikes me as unusual, odd, even disturbing that Brzezinski became our National Security Advisor in A.D. 1977 since he’d already published his book Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era in A.D. 1970.  Why?  Because in that book, he predicted and apparently advocated the control of populations by an elite political class via technetronic manipulation.

According to Brzezinski,

“The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.”

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“Good luck with that one, pal!”


English: United Airlines Boeing 777 (N223UA) t...

English: United Airlines Boeing 777 (N223UA) taking off from Los Angeles on Christmas 2010, wearing the post-merger livery combining the United name with the Continental logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The internet has contributed to decentralization of the world.  The formerly centralized powers of communication are increasingly dispersed.  As a result, anyone can have a blog, a video channel, an internet radio show.  With millions (billions?) of internet websites, blogs, videos and radio channels to choose from, the competition for attention is beyond fierce.   Anyone who can attract any audience whatsoever, is doing well.

One consequence of the multitude of internet competitors is huge losses of audience and revenues for mainstream newspaper, radio and TV shows.  As a result, the “system” has lost a primary means of controlling public thoughts and sentiments.  More, stories that would otherwise never be heard (witness Monica Lewinsky’s interlude with Bill Clinton) can not only reach the public but sometimes go viral.  Every so often, a “little guy” can make a big difference on the internet.

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Posted by on June 4, 2012 in Internet, Video

 

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