On the NSA.

Psychiatric drugs, video games, serial television series – more than you could ever watch. Processed food, inhumane (truly, look it up) meat, institutions 40 years both behind and ahead of modern-day science – behind in the nice social stuff, ahead in the weapons technology and propaganda – which control large portions of the opinions of large portions of the population. <Citation needed!>? Check out Fox News and its accompanying misinformation statistics. Or is Fox News misinformation? Is MSNBC misinformation? Current TV? Follow the money. Hint: it leads to more money, in part. 

But then, who’s to say whether Fox News is even a version of the truth? Who’s to say what’s being omitted from these huge media corporations because people want to keep their jobs, because those people, if they were to report certain things, might have certain facts come to light which might end their public career. 

If this all sounds like a conspiracy theory to you, I’d like you to consider the fact that you might be a conspiracy theorist, because part of this just became your reality. If the NSA has the power to see everyone’s shit, and someone (maybe even mentally unstable!) at the NSA becomes convinced that it is in the interest of national security that certain governmental mishaps do not become public, then the NSA is legally justified in using its powers of wiretapping to protect this nation by finding out which journalists are about to report on it, and somehow removing them from the story.

Maybe it comes in the form of pressure on their boss. Maybe threats of job loss. Whatever it is, I want to state this unequivocally, this centrally planned surveillance state is wrong. I was just writing about informational asymmetry the other day. The problem with a surveillance state is not necessarily the individual right to privacy – that seems like a separate issue. 

The problem with a surveillance state is human nature and how humans deal with power (hint: they want more of it): with transcripts of everything we have ever done in gmail or facebook or whatever, transcripts from which all potential outside context can be removed in a court of law, plain text which might clearly indicate to a listening jury that we did something very wrong which never in reality actually fucking happened, this capability of omniscience about everything we do gives the government carte blanche to arrest whoever, whenever, for whatever reason, and it gives them miles upon miles upon thousands of miles of text-based rope with which to hang every single fucking last one of us, including every government employee in office. 

Whoever has this power has the ultimate power of arrest and manipulation over any law-abiding United States citizen. What kind of arrest? Blackmail. Because if you don’t do what the NSA says you should do, they have any option they need to get you back in line, including prison.

Gangsters have their neighborhoods. Maybe the US is just a big neighborhood.

And by the way, if you don’t think textual evidence could be serious, consider the worst drunk texts you have ever sent being read in a sinister voice by a charismatic prosecuting attorney to a sympathetic audience after you’ve been placed as the only person at the scene of your new romantic acquaintance’s unfortunate and sudden murder. Except you weren’t there. Except your drunk text says you were, in no uncertain anatomical terms. Now it’s your word against the police…

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