Posts tagged ‘privacy’


I’ve been thinking lately about George Orwell’s famous novel, 1984, and how the current state of affairs is starting to mimic his invasion of privacy. I remember, after reading his novel sometime in the 1960’s, ‘Big Brother’ would be determining every aspect of our lives. We still have many freedoms, but we are all being watched, to some extent. Let me explain.

Nineteen Eighty Four came and went and we were all free to live our lives as we wanted. Free of sinister observations, free to think and write what we wanted in total privacy free of no outside intrusions. Now compare those freedoms with what 2015 brings. Hence the title of this piece.

First, let me just mention the NSA. Thanks to Snowden and his leaks, an action which I don’t condone, we have learned, to some extent, the degree to which we are monitored. I may not be the sharpest knife in the draw, but with all the remedies they issue to right this wrong, I don’t know what they’re doing now.

An even larger violation of our privacy is the internet. We all cherish our computers, well maybe not cherish them, but in this day and age could not live without them. Through the internet, they provide a link to the world never thought possible, especially by us ‘mature’ adults. But that link, more and more is a two-way street. As we accumulate information from the world, the world accumulated information about us. And sometimes the way that information is used, is not beneficial to our wellbeing.

The electronic world we now occupy is full of opportunities for those who desire to tap into our lives. Look at the Target episode. Look at the latest revelation that millions of federal employees had their personal information. The revelations of the invasion of our privacy is relentless

I chuckle when I hear advertisements from companies vowing to protect your privacy. But during the ad, they subtlety add ‘That no one can prevent all hacking’, or something to that effect. So what is the use?

Then there are the ever-present cameras. All of us, outside the comfort of our homes, are constantly subject to observation and our every action recorded. Just about every business, and now many homes, have cameras monitoring 24/7. I find it amusing when someone decides to commit a crime, and unless they are hideously disguised, there image is captured, sometimes from multiple angles. Often the pictures are better than what appears on their driver’s license.

Think of this every time you venture from your home, your life and actions will probably be documented at some point. Here I’m not even considering the above cameras, but the existence of the ever-present cellphone. With this device you have the ability to not only record what you want, but also to post it for the world to see. With no filters that I know of.

In conclusion, let me say that we do not live in the world of 1984. But as far as personal privacy goes, we are not far from it.


July 21, 2015 at 7:02 pm Leave a comment


Even though I now own a tablet and laptop I still lack, in my total acceptance of technology, a device most of society deems ‘life essential’.  I have yet to adopt the cell phone.

I constantly hear references to Bluetooth.  This sounds to me like the name of a character the late great Soupy Sales would have created.  My younger readers will need to reference their grandparents about the meaning of this, I am sure.  Bluetooth is the stimulus for this article.

In the March 31st edition of Time magazine I ran across an article ‘Nowhere To Hide’ concerning Bluetooth technology and the cell phone.

One aspect developed concerns museums and involves providing information sent to you while you gaze at a piece of art. This I think would be helpful.  The article goes on to discuss how, while in a department or grocery store, and trying to decide what to buy you’re sent coupons via your phone for the product you are contemplating.

The question I pose is this: Where does the benefit stop and manipulation begin?

Some might ask, “What the hell does this have to do with writing?”

Writers track the changes in society through their work, changes that are so ingrained in our daily life that we no longer give them a second thought.  We also attempt to predict future trends good or bad, consider George Orwell.

All of the above comes from my observations along with a healthy dose of resisting change.  That’s my cross to bear.  I was recently thinking of the late nineteenth century, what I would have been like if I had lived during the birth of the telephone and electric lighting.  Would I be the last one, alone, reading by candle light?

April 10, 2014 at 4:00 am 1 comment


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