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I have a problem with your post. I don't give a shit what you believe and with how much "flame" you believe it. I give a shit about what you've done. Congress has a 12% approval rating, but in 2012 it had a 90% re-election rate. Did you vote? Yes? Well that's just the tip of the iceberg. I've seen campaigns in action and I've participated in a few. Changing people's opinions is WORK. When I worked on one campaign I sat down with a phone book and called numbers at random for 10 hours straight asking if they had gotten out to vote while pushing my candidate.
Write in to your local newspaper with a rhetorically sound op-ed. You might change a few people's minds.
Start an organization of like minded individuals and lobby your senator/congressman. Call him or her 300 times until you can buy him dinner and shove your ideas down his throat along with steak for an hour.
You have to put the active in activist in order to succeed in this country. During the Civil Rights movement people weren't signing petitions to integrate schools, they were holding sit-ins and delivering fiery speeches in front of active listeners. You should work toward similar strategies.
Edit: Upon rereading your post, I wanted to say that this is true for things beyond politics, i.e. other ways of changing the status quo.
waves hands wooooo big business is programming yooooouuu it's the source of all your problems wooooo
No it's not. You are the reason for your problems. Your lack of self-discipline is the reason you buy expensive coffees. Your lack of self-discipline is the reason you don't exercise when you get home from work.
The author's premise is so shaky I can't believe it's taken seriously. The premise is essentially, "work sucks and that makes you buy shit because you're depressed." Well, yes, that's true, if you're a person who is placated by mindless consumerism, but that's not big business. That's YOU.
This article engages in the same illogical, lazy thinking that drives conspiracy theories. It accepts a hypothesis that is easy to digest to explain complex phenomena without analyzing any other explanations.
Yes, your statements are hypotheticals when you tack the word "suppose" onto a brief description of one of your friends and then describe civil rights violations that have not occurred. And the fact that you can poke tons of holes in my Ben and Scotty hypo is because it is an unlikely event, but in my mind, it's about as likely as the world where a Russia-US "pissing contest" sends innocent citizens away at the airport because of "crimes" their RELATIVE didn't even get a trial for. It's also about as likely as an entire family getting "vanned" just for their nationality and e-mails that are clearly not threatening to anyone who takes the three seconds to read them.
I think the essence of your argument is that this technology allows for targeted oppression and that is bad. I agree that targeted oppression is bad. I do not agree that perfect surveillance is inherently a bad thing, as seems to be the opinion in all of these privacy debates.
Perfect surveillance could be amazing for society. Here are my hypothetical situations which are more or else as likely as yours. Let's go for dramatic impact first.
There's a depressed kid in Bumfuck, Texas. Let's call him Ben. He hates it there. No one listens to the music he likes and he's bullied daily because he's fat. He's on 4chan a lot and they get him, unlike his school counselor or his parents, but he's forced to go to school 7 hours a day. Scotty at the NSA, he's in charge of depressed fat kid analytics for the state of Texas. Scotty is a psychology grad who specialized in childhood and adolescent development. He sets up filters that identify potentially suicidal teens for his region. At this point Ben is just another teen. But then Ben starts researching .38 caliber revolvers. His search history doesn't indicate any prior interest in guns, so this triggers an alert. Scotty sees the alert and decides to monitor Ben for a while. Ben continues to researching the .38 and only the .38. At this point Scotty runs a search on Ben's family's gun registry and finds out that Ben's dad owns a .38 for home defense. At this point, Scotty knows what's up and gives Ben's school a call. He talks to the counselor and tells Ben's story. The counselor didn't know about the bullying, so she calls Ben out of class one day. She tells him that she's heard he was being bullied and Ben tells her who it is. The two begin weekly sessions to help Ben recover. At the same time the counselor asks Scotty about the bully. Scotty runs some searches and he informs her that it seems the bully has spent an inordinate amount of time reading about alcoholism. She begins sessions to help the bully address his issues at home. She also rearranges Ben's schedule to help him avoid the bully. In the days of digital privacy, the bully catches a bullet along with six other innocents.
This hypothetical assumes a lot of things, much like yours. I assume a good school counselor (though maybe one who can't monitor the internal thoughts and feelings of 800 kids). I assume an NSA employee with proper training. I assume a government that cares more about curbing school shootings than about setting up stings on Muslims.
The possibilities for a perfect digital surveillance in a decent society are endlessly beneficial, especially in the realm of identifying mental health disorders early. Fuck, any medical condition. Let's say for a month I've got headaches, but I don't go to the doctor because I don't feel like waiting in a waiting room and my health insurance deductible is too high. I look up headaches on WebMD. The headaches go away, but a few months later I notice that my toes are just constantly numb. I google it and assume it's just the cold weather. Unknown to me I've just moved from the "headache googlers" list which contains pretty much everybody, to the "headache + numb toes within a few months of each other" list. These lists and filters are of course created by some of the foremost doctors in the country (I'm assuming for this hypo). At this point I get a friendly call from my doctor that I should come in for an MRI, because it has become likely that I have a brain tumor. Without surveillance, I die, because by the time I go in because my nose is bleeding every night, the cancer has spread throughout my body. (All this medical stuff isn't accurate at all, for all those wondering).
You get my point. I just don't want to see this type of technology written off as inherently evil. Can it be used for evil purposes? Yes. Is atomic energy inherently evil? No. Can it be used for evil? Yes. And yet you're not writing a multi-paragraph essay on the potential HUGE devastation of nuclear weapons and calling for immediate disarmament. There is no rally in DC soon that will attract hundreds of Redditors calling for Obama to dump the nukes in the ocean.
If you want to talk about ending racial profiling, let's address how to stop it. If you want to talk about drug reform, let's do it. The government has all the power they need to oppress already. It's by actually taking the time to change the political tide on issues like these that will decide whether we end up in your hypothetical dystopia or in a better one. Whether or not the NSA spies on people won't.
Mulaney is amazing. His delivery is so pitch-perfect. He was born to write a sitcom. I mean, the whole theme to New in Town was sitcom and movie tropes.
Also, if you haven't checked out his earlier CD, The Top Part, it's definitely worth a listen.
Ha, it's better than law school where the "peer" review is just second year students checking your case citations for accuracy rather than your conclusions.
It's easy to write this article without actually taking time to think about what it really means to design a child. Of course it would be nice to eliminate disease and conditions like autism or MS. However, the dismissal of aesthetic or athletic modifications seems knee-jerk to me.
One doesn't get to choose his traits now, and things aren't so bad. Sure some people, myself included didn't draw the genetic lottery when it comes to physical attractiveness or athleticism, but that lack of choice isn't bothersome. So if your parents chose to make you blonde, big deal, you wouldn't have had a choice anyway. Personally, I'd rather that my parents had a choice in my traits.
An argument is that babies would just be born in trend with the popular genetic styling. This seems superficial, but how different is it from popular hairstyles or clothing?
Overall, this is just the next step in evolution. We have outpaced the Earth to the point where we can no longer evolve, however, with this solution we can continue to expand our collective intelligence and pursue the future even faster. That puts me on board.
Though, given how long it took me to design my Skyrim character, I don't know if I'd ever be able to decide on my child.
I don't understand why there is this public fear of Miley's sexuality. She's a 20 year-old girl. I am in law school on an undergraduate-filled campus, and I see girls her age wearing shorts with their ass literally hanging out on a daily basis. I'm fine with that; anything to wipe away the terrible puritan values that still linger in this country.
The issue, I think, building on other comments here, is that she is not in control of herself. Though who is at 20? Again, I go back to college where I saw plenty of girls here age at the whims of "greek life" and all its hazing and binge drinking. Binge drinking is unhealthy, cocaine use is unhealthy, but baring your back in a music video is unhealthy? Not in my book.
I understand that there are record execs exploiting her sexuality, but I don't think it's quite in the way the Sinead thinks. Seriously, what guy is watching Miley Cyrus videos because they're sexy (in favor of porn or the million other options on the internet, c'mon). Instead, maybe execs are exploiting the fact that normal 20 year old girls want to live vicariously through an overtly sexual celebrity and therefore the songs sell?