One, Two, Three….. Red Light

First, before I begin, I want to take a minute to thank my many friends for their well wishes on the passing of my father. It’s been just over a week but it seems like a lifetime ago. It felt like a lifetime had passed the following day; it was such a numbing reality. But thankfully I…we…were able to see him, and he us, before the end came.

So, in case you haven’t heard, Big Brother is getting closer and not so much prettier than ever. For one thing, Google is now tracking every move you make online when you use any of their services from searching for baby formula to emailing your next door neighbor on your Gmail account. They say it’s to customize your online experience. To me, it’s a fine line between a question and the answer in their FAQ page. Question: Is Google collecting information about me? Answer: No…Our new policy simply makes it clear that when you’re signed in [on any Google service] we use the data to refine and improve your experience… To me, that’s more or less the same thing. Of course, you can control how much info is collected by not using any Google service.

Then, in East Orange, NJ, the police are installing pre-emptive (pre-crime) red lights which scan the streets of that fair city for would-be criminals to stop their dastardly deeds before they happen. Imagine the poor unsuspecting oaf who might have dropped his wallet getting out of his car…oh, wait, let’s make it more adorable situation and say he’s rescuing a poor frightened furry kitty from underneath his car while at the same time a seemingly defenseless woman is walking by. Naturally, the on-duty remote officer or officers washing down the last bit of stale donut with a swig of cold coffee as they ready they themselves to advance on this perceived crime of mugging. The cost of these lights is $7,200 a piece.

So now we have Google watching you in your house or on your phone, cameras watching you go through toll booths, cameras watching you go through intersections, cameras clocking your speed on the highway, cameras watching you just standing on the street. Before long someone will come up with a device that can monitor your every thought so people can be reprimanded for making stereotypical comments about police and donuts. Whoops.

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