In 1965 Intel co-founder Gordon Moore made the observation that the density of transistors which could be printed on a circuit doubles about every 24 months. With the added speed and efficiency which comes from greater density over all computing power doubles about every 18 months. Though there are physical limits that will someday kick in, Mr. Moore has been right for almost fifty years.
Storing and searching are two thing computers excel at. You provide them with data and an algorithm ( which is just a set of steps, like recipe ) to search with and they will filter out the answer to what ever question your algorithm posed, and they do it quickly, quicker than a bunny even. If you take fifty years of doubling every 18 months you can see how we got from desktop sized four function calculators to iphones.
If all the military/industrial/intelligence/finance complex ( if Ike only knew ) only had the ability to store all of our personal data there wouldn’t be much danger to our freedom. Too much data was once equal to no data since sorting it took so long, but Moore’s law applies not just to storage but to processing as well and that is trouble with a capital T and that rhymes … well I’ll let you decide what it rhymes with, but it is unarguably Trouble. There is now no limit to the lists which the secret cult of intelligence can compile : red haired, left handed, women, between 50 an 55, who like mah jong, geology, are afraid of wasps and roses, have good teeth, are married to old kayak bums, and are aerospace engineers. There must be at least a dozen women like that (I know one myself) and if the complex wants to identify them, put them under closer scrutiny, plot their physical locations, read their Email, look at photos of their physical mail, check their banking activity, magazine subscription, medical records, blog comments, retail purchases … (I’d continue but the list is long and I don’t know everything thats on it - neither do you.) well the secret courts are fine with that. After all who’s gonna know and once perjury in defense of policy become OK then the circle is complete. You can do as you like and lie about it if it is in the national interest and the national interest is decided by you - in secret. Wall street taught them well it seems.
Fixing this will be hard if we work together : it will be impossible if we stay divided. The other issues of race and income inequality, immigration, the environment, and the economy all pale in significance to this. We can no longer stop it from happening we must somehow undo it, when all three (four if you count banks) branches of government want to keep and indeed expand it. This will take a concerted push from all hands. The things dividing us which we argue and rant about, must be put aside till this fight is won. Rich/poor, black/white, gay/straight, urban/ rural, and -damn it- liberal/conservative - If we can’t put these aside and find common cause in defending restoring the Bill of Rights … well the complex (which has no ideology- only a lust for power) wins and we will just have to be content to rant and squabble among ourselves, so long as it is ineffective and poses no threat to the complex and they will be are able to identify those that are threats with frightening precision. Effective dissent will become more and more dangerous until only dangerous people dissent, and that dissent will be violent, which will bring a violent response and on and on … this is the way civil wars start.
There was a time in the 1920s when the disease of nazism could have been stopped (I am aware of Godwin’s Law stating that all internet conversation, if long enough, will result in comparisons being made to the nazis. I am not comparing anyone or anything to said nazis.) but there were not enough people who saw what was happening and shouted “This is not right !” so that after a while it became too dangerous, and besides it was unpatriotic, and at least the nazis were anti communist, and they really gave the economy a boost, and if you ignore the anti-semitism they aren’t so bad, and on and on …this is how tyrannies are born - by consent, first based on complacency, and latter on fear. There was a time when the global war on terror could have been stopped, when the patriot act could have been stopped, when the secret court system could have been stopped, when Guantanamo and the drone war and the banksters and on and on could have been stopped but we didn’t. We took out our anger and frustration on each other and the complex saw this and said “It is good”.
The warrantless surveillance of the American people is not wrong because it is against the law, It’s against the law because it is wrong. Just wrong. This doesn’t need to be explained: we feel it in our hearts as free people. I take very few things in this world seriously - The Constitution is one of those things. It is not “white man’s law” it’s not ”rich man’s law” - It is our law. It is not the source of our freedom, that is God given, but the guarantee and guard against that freedom ever being taken away or any one being denied justice. It is not perfect, humans don’t do perfect, but as the result of over two hundred years of striving and struggling, shedding tears and blood, it is ours - and now part of it has been stolen.
I don’t care who did what when. The debate over how Bush and Obama should split the blame does not matter - neither is gonna wind up on Mt Rushmore anytime soon. Even the Republican/ Democrat divide is insignificant in light of this outrage’s undeniable bipartisan nature. We must put aside petty (and non-petty) squabbles and speak as American citizens demanding our collective rights back, and not as factions seeking separate favor or redress.
A great many people have died to create, fix, and defend the Ideas which The Constitution almost perfectly proclaim. If we want the chance to perfect it we must take it back. To do so now will take sweat … if we wait I fear it will take more blood.
Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles