Saturday, June 01, 2019

The need to connect ...

The need to connect, you know, the need to do Facebook or to have one's nose pointed obsessively toward the smartphone is a phenomenon akin to They Live, John Carpenter's unsung masterpiece of subtle alien control and critique of rampant capitalism, but ... this blurb is not about the flick but rather about how the need to connect has created the perfect system of world wide surveillance 24/7 thanks to high tech and digital computation. 

"We're in the midst of the greatest redistribution of power since the Industrial Revolution, and this is happening because technology has provided a new capability," Snowden said.

"It's related to influence that reaches everyone in every place," he said. "It has no regard for borders. Its reach is unlimited, if you will, but its safeguards are not."

Without such defenses, technology is able to affect human behavior.

It gets better ...

Institutions can "monitor and record private activities of people on a scale that's broad enough that we can say it's close to all-powerful," said Snowden. They do this through "new platforms and algorithms," through which "they're able to shift our behavior. In some cases they're able to predict our decisions—and also nudge them—to different outcomes. And they do this by exploiting the human need for belonging."

"We don't sign up for this," he added, dismissing the notion that people know exactly what they are getting into with social media platforms like Facebook.

Endgame ...

"And now," he added, "these institutions, which are both commercial and governmental, have built upon that and... have structuralized that and entrenched it to where it has become now the most effective means of social control in the history of our species."

"Maybe you've heard about it," Snowden said. "This is mass surveillance."

The need to connect rules ...

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