2 Responses to Tired Cynicism in Lieu of Outrage

  1. Russell Sadler says:

    Absolutely one of the best summaries of what we know about this issue on the web. Period.

    Thanks again for your efforts. They are appreciated.

  2. Rick says:

    “We all scream when Facebook changes its privacy settings without notice – but very few of us close our accounts in protest.”

    “Close your account”? How? Stop paying them? Of course not; Facebook is free! Is there even a way to actually close a Facebook account? I think not — which is, I guess, the real unsung genius of Facebook.

    In one sense, it’s odd all this all is making such a splash right now, since they’ve been doing this phone-tracking thing for years! Anybody who watches crime shows like Law & Order is familiar with the cops looking up some guy’s records on a computer and learning that someone made a 27-second call to the victim’s home from his cellphone at 2:23 AM, the exact time when the phone was located just one block from the crime scene. Nobody bats an eye at this, but maybe because it’s the NYPD Special Victims Unit doing it rather than the NSA?

    I never heard that bit about Obama supporters and targeted assassinations, but I sense it’s even true for me. I’m not sure exactly what to believe about targeted assassinations, but think killing Osama bin Laden needed to be done, since it seems to be the only way to fight a stateless war. For all my life, I must admit, I went along with everybody’s beliefs about such issues as not allowing the CIA to surveil domestically, although I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal if they did.

    Nor did I really understand the big problem of doing what we now learn they are doing in wiretapping. If it ever gets to be a big problem, I may change my mind, but I still can’t picture what form that problem would take, so I’m not that concerned.

    One reason I’ve never “liked” one single thing on Facebook — or even post anything there, for that matter — is the same reason I don’t put bumper stickers on my car; if you really want to know what I like and don’t like, we can talk face-to-face about it. I find it appalling to go to some website, then glance at a sample of people who have said they “like” that site and notice a picture of my niece in California. I must admit, I do find much of social media disturbing.

    I remember back when baby boomers first found out about computer “cookies”, the Gen-X folks who apparently invented them said they couldn’t understand the boomers’ obsession with privacy. For a long time after that, I surfed with cookies turned off, but I think I finally gave up when I signed up for online banking. Maintaining absolute privacy cost too much. I just pretty much gave up.

    I agree with the premise that, surprisingly, nobody is outraged, but I can’t quite decide whether we ought to be. We definitely should try to hold the line on all this — just as soon as we figure out where the line should be.


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