July 09, 2019

Welcome to the Goldfish Bowl

Timothy Birdnow

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak puts out a call to leave Facebook.

From the Daily Mail article:

The Apple co-founder, who deleted his own Facebook profile last year, told TMZ recently that he recommends most people ‘figure out a way to get off’ the site due to ongoing privacy concerns. File photo

TMZ ran into Wozniak at Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. last week and asked him if we should be worried that our devices are listening to us.

And according to Wozniak, the answer is yes.

‘I’m worried about everything,’ Wozniak said. ‘I don’t think you can stop it, though.

‘Who knows if my cell phone is listening right now? Alexa has already been in the news a lot.’

The Great and Powerful Woz is right; Americans are being spied on every day, either by our government or our commercial partners. Facebook is one of the worst. I have little doubt Google is right up there, too.

All of this stuff seemed so wonderful when it first appeared.

Isaac Asimov wrote a short story called The Dead Past back in 1956 which comes to mind when thinking about the collapse of privacy. In the story a historian becomes suspicious when a time viewer does not answer any good questions, and he is rebuffed by the authorities when he starts poking around. He convinces a junior physicist to help him, and the physicist uses modern technology to recreate the time viewer, only making it far superior. In the end they find out WHY the time viewer doesn't answer good questions.

Spoiler alert; it's because it only goes back one hundred and twenty years or so.

In the end they find out why the government was lying to the public; the viewer was pretty useless as a time machine, but it was excellent at spying oun neighbors, employees, etc. The protagonists in the story stupidly release details of how to buiild a home time viewer and thus destroy all human privacy.

The internet and cell technology is a lot like that. And it's just going tokeep getting worse.

The bureacrat who tried to stop the men in The dead Past Leaves them with this remark:

"Happy goldfish bowl to you, to me, to everyone, and may each of you fry in hell forever. Arrest rescinded."

Welcome to the Goldfish Bowl.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 08:20 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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