Friday 3 November 2017


I live with a conspiracy theorist. Well, he’d say he isn’t, but if there is another way to look at something with a very discerning eye, he'll pull up a chair and take a long, probing look. He’s a computer expert, reads voraciously (not fiction; apparently fiction is only for ‘literature types’ like me) and NEVER takes things on face value. Over our marriage, this quality – and my reaction to it - has fluctuated between intense amusement and utter tedious frustration (as for me, hearing about the state of our world, government, and planetary doom is not something I can do 24-7).  Not because I don’t share his opinions, as politically and socially, we often fall on the same side of the fence; but the older I get, the more the sand box of ignorance looks like a much more peaceful place to bury my head. 

But of late, to his delight, I’m starting to give pause to a few of the things he goes on (and on) about. Let’s leave it at a few, as I don’t want to create a total monster at home. The biggest issue at the moment is information; how easily we give it up, and how valuable a commodity it is for those who are in a position of authority. Think about it, these days one freely gives up an absurd amount of information on social media: photos of your children (which Facebook now own btw), your birthday, your anniversary (posted with a cute holiday snap of you and yours), your likes, dislikes, political position, what school your child/children go to (if you’re posting photos of kids in their uniform, it’s an easy spot), who your siblings are, what your home looks like (again, photos, photos people!)… the list goes on and on. And it’s something most people don’t think about, until they do…

And then the penny drops... holy hell, what exactly am I doing and why am I sharing all this information?

Luckily, my Facebook footprint basically shows that I’m a politically charged firecracker that rants about gun control and the Orange Blowhole (POTUS) with an occasional fluffy bunny photo to keep things balanced. I don’t do family photos, recipes or anniversary shout outs as a) my husband would kill me, an b) we can never decide when our anniversary actually is. Then again, I do blog and a forensic auditor could have an information field day by simply going back over my blogs and shaping my entire existence. 

But of course the information purge doesn’t stop there. Depending on where you live, more information is given up by how you use transport (most subways/metros/buses track your entire route from start to end), the credit cards you use, your energy meters, your phone and internet usage, and even where you go in a given day (London is one of the most surveilled cities in the world, there are cameras, EVERYWHERE). 

Hello, little rat in the maze. Are you getting… concerned yet?

Don’t even get me started on “Alexa.” Hi Alexa, are you listening? Are you gathering every single thing I’m saying? The music I like, the things I’m purchasing, the ads you’re lining up to fire my way?” As you can imagine, my husband has banned all “listening” devices from our home, so Alexa, you're about as welcome as a bacterial infection. 

And now, the information age has taken one step further, with “advancements” (my husband would say these “advancements" sound super exciting (yay!) and then lull you into a sense of “I must have” stupidity.  And once again, you’ll offer up pretty much anything to get the latest gadget at the cost of your privacy.  Take the new iPhone with facial recognition. Seems pretty cool, doesn’t it? But my other half would hastily point out that you’re willingly giving up (to Apple) your fingerprint and face imprint to use at their whim or sell onto the government further down the line. You say the word DNA database to my husband and he literally shudders.

And of course the latest press release by Amazon was the cherry on top of the information sundae… not only do they know what I order, when I order and recommend things I will simply LOVE, like they’re eavesdropping on me in my own sodding flat, but now they have a service where they put an "Amazon lock" on your door - enabling their delivery drivers to ENTER YOUR HOUSE - and drop off your deliveries/groceries inside your home when you’re not there. Digest that will you, STRANGERS, in your house, putting stuff away (I'm sure with their shoes on... oh shudder the thought!) who can control entry to your home. 

WHO on earth thought this was a good idea?!! (UM, AMAZON that’s who). Or shall I say, what moron would let someone into their home willingly when they’re not there? I’ll tell you who, the masses that give up every sodding detail about their life on FB.

Holy George Orwell, the powers that be know exactly what they’re doing and moreover, that we the lemmings are willing to go along with whatever suggestions they offer to make life “easier” and more efficient. Yeah, and at what price exactly?

Welcome to the information age people.

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