Technology always increases our ability to control each other. There are setbacks, but until we learn to cooperate, control will be in demand and our ability to do it will march steadily foreward.
The students’ data is but a bubble in a vast sea of digital information being recorded by an ever thicker web of sensors, from phones to GPS units to the tags in office ID badges, that capture our movements and interactions. Coupled with information already gathered from sources like Web surfing and credit cards, the data is the basis for an emerging field called collective intelligence.
Propelled by new technologies and the Internet’s steady incursion into every nook and cranny of life, collective intelligence offers powerful capabilities, from improving the efficiency of advertising to giving community groups new ways to organize.
But even its practitioners acknowledge that, if misused, collective intelligence tools could create an Orwellian future on a level Big Brother could only dream of.
Collective intelligence could make it possible for insurance companies, for example, to use behavioral data to covertly identify people suffering from a particular disease and deny them insurance coverage. Similarly, the government or law enforcement agencies could identify members of a protest group by tracking social networks revealed by the new technology. “There are so many uses for this technology — from marketing to war fighting — that I can’t imagine it not pervading our lives in just the next few years,” says Steve Steinberg, a computer scientist who works for an investment firm in New York.
While idiots were bloviating about deleting cookies from your browser, the real threat was people linking up a dozen databases and forming a complete activity profile of any suspect.
While imbeciles were blowharding about freedom and rights, leadership disappeared from government, leading to control -- and then control began getting more and more powerful.
While morons were foaming over "hope" and "change," they elected a man supported by moneyed oligarchs and corporations more than any others, and didn't stop to think why all those control-oriented people wanted this hope-changer in office.
Most people are incapable of completing the critical analysis tasks necessary to understand government, which must be understood through history, science and philosophy.
So you see the result: while the dog and pony show distracts you, the steady advance of control is what will doom you. You're owned.