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all the unborn chicken voices in my head

Disturbing news via Defense Tech:

The embryonic LifeLog program would take every e-mail you've sent or received, every picture you've taken, every web page you've surfed, every phone call you've had, every TV show you've watched, every magazine you've read, and dump it into a giant database.

All of this -- and more -- would be combined with a GPS transmitter, to keep tabs on where you're going; audio-visual sensors, to capture all that you see or say; and biomedical monitors, to keep track of your health

At the risk of sounding like a genuine nutcase, I'll share something with you. When I was younger, I had this notion that I was being watched. Everything I did, said, thought, ate, watched was being recorded on some giant television monitor in a super-secret control room in a super-secret location. There were people who spent their days doing nothing but recording my every move.

It got to the point where I would make asides to the "camera" or suddenly change the radio station when I was singing an embarassingly bad song.

I don't know why I assumed some government spies or aliens would be interested in the mundane life of a suburban adolescent. Perhaps, I thought, I was part of a great social experiment. Perhaps I was the model child and the beings from another world would kidnap me, suck my brains out and use pieces of my grey matter to create model children of their own. Well, I knew that wasn't very likely, but it still made for interesting daydreams. Every once in a while I would imagine that one of my celebrity crushes was paying a visit to the great super-secret monitor station in the sky and was watching my every move, exlaiming so that's what my number one fan does every day!

Stop looking at me like that. I was a lonely child.

So now this all comes back to me as I read about LifeLog and their ambitions to do exactly what I imagined my watchers doing all those years ago.

Of course, LifeLog is probably meant for criminals. Or would-be criminals. Or supsected criminals. Or people who they suspect might some day become suspected criminals. You know, people who are defiant. Oppositional. People who go against the grain and do it publicly so that anyone may see what they write and then determine them to be a sub-standard citizen and therefore a suspected future problem.

Cut to the not-so-distant future.

My childhood fears/daydreams have come true. I've been identified, tagged and labeled. Somewhere, in a super-secret room filled with super-secret people combing super-secret data, there is a giant monitor where men and women and possibly aliens in white lab coats are watching me throughout the day.

My thoughts are recorded. Every fart, nose pick and fixed wedgie is duly noted in the margins of the Grand Book of Michele. How incredibly boring. Sure, they may catch me performing an odd task here or there. Maybe I've indulged in some pot smoking or drove 60 in a 55 or stepped on a crack even though I knew it would break my mother's back.

What is suspicious? What makes the red lights and sirens go off in the super-secret center of data control? Is that a mysterious package I'm carrying? Did I really just say out loud that I want to kill Mike Bloomberg? Oops. The SWAT team swoops down on my house, rappelling down the chimney, surrounding the garden, waiting for me to come out of my house with an Uzi with Bloomberg's name on it.

This isn't what I envisioned back in fifth grade with my overactive imagination and my desire to make the world know that I owned a Led Zeppelin album. I just wanted to be cool. Having aliens read my mind or government officials keep tabs on my reading list was a way to let someone know I was not a complete nerd. So what if the only people who saw me reading Mad Magazine were figments of my imagination? At least they got the jokes and laughed along with me. Everyone else in my class was reading Goofus and Gallant and finding the hidden pictures in Highlights.

And then it hits me. This is total information awareness. I don't need DARPA to record my every action because I am doing it myself. I have a blog, and the weblog is my reality version of the super-secret giant monitor that showed my life played out before the white-coated technicians in my youth.

Except I'm doing the recording. I've made my own deranged fantasy come true without even realizing it. Here, I tell you when I brushed my teeth. I tell you what I had for lunch and what comic books I bought today and how I feel about the Middle East Roadmap for Peace.

You know what books I'm reading, what music I like, the stores I prefer to shop at and the food I like to eat. You know what I think of war, politics, religion and sex. You know when my kids are driving me crazy and when I've forgotten to take my Paxil and where I'm going for lunch today.

If anyone wanted to know anything about it me, it's all here in black and white pixels. By creating a weblog, I've made the ultimate window to my world. I've taken every paranoid delusion of my childhood and made it come true. Somewhere out there is a person scanning this page to find out what I'll be having lunch or what CD I'm going to listen to today. And, possibly, somwhere out there is a person scanning all these pages to find out if I'm a future suspected suspicious type person who might one day appear at Grand Central Station with a suspicious package.

Are Blogspot and Moveable Type government agents? Are they just part of a big ploy to eventually get us all to record our own moves so the government doesn't have to be bothered hiring the watchers?

Aha! Got you thinking, haven't I?

No? Perhaps you had to have those DARPA like delusions I once had in order to appreciate it.

Careful what you write, though.


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I used to be the same way. Weird. I thought I was the only one.
Now I'm a little upset. I guess I shouldn't have taken those boobie pictures and emailed them ... Now some goverment agent probably has them as his desktop background.

Weird. I thought I was the only one that thought that as a child. Although I never changed the radio, the rest pretty much fits exactly. I used to change clothes faster than any person alive.

I wonder how many other things people have in common, that they think people would assume they're whacko for...

everyone thinks that stuff. Have you ever thought the one where everyone is a robot, but you? Or that the world is just a backyard hollywood lot built so aliens can watch what you do? Same stuff as the truman show, but without the cool special effects.

Some werid guy just came up to me and offered a Red or a Blue pill... #*$&%# drug dealers :-)

Yeah, me too.
Maybe I sould quit blogspot while I can... But then again, I dont' mind being watched. If there's somthing in my life I should be ashamed off, I'd like to know...

Hey!!! You there!!! Agent dude, do you see this? Yeah?! Come on now don't be shy...

Think I will get somthing to drink.

This subject keeps coming up. I'm not really a geek but I play one on TV. The concept is scary but it won't happen.

It requires the ability to interface a half dozen operating systems and dozens of types of hardware, all with different security protocols. Hell, the IRS can't get it's five separate systems to talk to eachother and it's spent billions trying.

Then the database would be larger than, well, the combined existing databases. Storage would be impossible, searching would be impossible.

There's lots of info out there right now that the government can legally access, but doesn't. Because they don't have the computer capability or the technical skills.

Two reactions to this:

1. What difference does having a blog make, in the end? If the government wants to spy on you badly enough, they'll get the information they want eventually, whether you have a blog or not. The only thing between a thief and what he wants is time.

2. So isn't a blog - this voluntarily sticking big chunks of ourselves out in the public eye, without getting any money for it even - sort of an act of defiance, bravely blowing a raspberry at danger and prosecution? Yes , yes it is! We, who has the blogs, WE ARE TEH C00L!!11 _

Weren't you raised in a Christian home? If so, God was watching you and recording in His big book that you were listening to dirty songs.

Actually, I could see somebody turning it into reality tv on steroids...I mean, not only could you see what the person was doing, where they were going, but you could dig into everything about them. Kinda like EdTV, only deeper. ya know?

Santa Claus cornered the market on this years ago.

Somebody at DARPA watched "Minority Report" too many times, it appears.

When I was younger I read a novel like that. But I couldn't remember the title. Then I thought the title was "Typewriter in the Sky." Then I couldn't remember the author. Then I thought I remembered that the author was Philip K. Dick, but when I went to his bibliography, I couldn't seem to find the story I had in mind. Has this ever happened to you?!

Hey, Andrea, if you make the type on this comment space any smaller, we'll need a microscope to use it. Why did it get so small?


The problem is not the gathering of information but the effective storage and use of that information. Even with today's technology, which doesn't REALLY gather all that much information (despite what the conspiracy theorists would have you believe), the analysis of that information is extremely difficult and most useful info gets lost in the clutter. That is a big part of why 9-11 happened. With a geometric rise in the amount of information gathered you would wind up with 99% of useful information being lost in the clutter rather than the curent 75-80%. AI is just not even remotely smart enough to cull the useful info and thus humans are required. A very tiny percentage of humans cannot monitor ALL the rest with any degree of utility. We can monitor SOME of the rest with a little bit of utility.

It's a natural feeling for anyone who sees themselves as different - obviously not a small number of people. In my youth I often wondered if I'd been plopped down in this strange place by aliens as some sort of sociological experiment. Still get that nagging doubt from time to time. ;-)

The thing is, terrestrial technology will soon make this sort of comprehensive database possible. Advances on the computing horizon will make issues such as storage space essentially moot. And you know that once it's available, guys like John Ashcroft will want to make use of it to "protect" us. Big Brother may never become a reality in the monolithic sense that Orwell envisioned, but the concept of government becoming increasingly intrusive into our lives is not just a paranoid delusion.

i always try to remember this: "There is no spoon."


"Storage would be impossible, searching would be impossible."

i don't know about that, have you ever used Nexis? That database must be HUGE and it takes less than a second to search for anything you want.

Michele, I went and read the spec. The more that I look at it, it apears to be a design to record a person's entire life. One person. Kinda like everything gets blogged. Some of those 14 year olds on Live Journal type stuff.

I got up and farted. This is what it smelled like. This is what I looked like. This is how I felt.

More headed to the "I uploaded my brain into a computer" kinda thing, I think.

Even Shakespeare felt as you (and I and so many others): "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."

Somebody has to be watching the play...

My employer's already doing it. I can't tell you how many times I've had things repeated back to me that I said to my fucking monitor behind closed doors. So I take pride in flashing my ass at the suspicious hole in the wall behind the toilet in the ladies' room. :)

THEY already do that with me.