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.