We did not pass the Fourth Amendment to protect those with something to hide,” Stone tells us. We passed that amendment “because we know all too well the cost of an unaccountable government.” (via Oliver Stone: Don’t Stand By While the NSA’s Surveillance Machine Eats Our Civil Liberties | American Civil Liberties Union)
The bottom line is this: I love America for a lot of very good reasons, and I have spend a good part of my life there, but this blatant obsession with snooping and surveillance under the pretense of national security must stop, and soon – or else the rest of the world must re-consider all future involvement with those that sanction and engineer this Orwellian detour. A Benjamin Franklin quote comes to mind (perversely so): “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” (via 5 reasons why the Snowden / NSA / PRISM affair is indeed a game changer for the Future of the Internet - Futurist, Author and Keynote Speaker Gerd Leonhard)
We are not just ourselves anymore. Each one of us has a new, statistical self living in databases around the world. It’s those selves, uniquely identified bundles of behavior, that marketers target and companies try to reach. These are remarkable, distributed portraits of what we read, what we eat, and where we sleep.
You soon learn that 66% of lost hikers are found within two miles of the spot last seen. You impose a ring over your map reflecting this two-mile perimeter. You then learn that 52% of lost hikers are found downhill, only 32% go up, and 16% keep walking at the same elevation. You impose an elevation layer on the area with all the land above the last point seen shaded one color and the land beneath it shaded another. You can even impose a new lens depicting tree and plant cover and open fields, and one depicting linear objects like trails, roads, power lines, and streams, knowing that the vast majority of lost hikers follow some sort of linear marker to avoid going in circles.
Pretty amazing example of how Big Data can be used to dramatically change the outcome of real-life scenarios.
Thanks to Patrick Tucker at WFS for posting this!
The Futures Agency (TFA) helps brands, companies, organizations, governments and individuals to better understand - and then, act upon - the challenges and opportunities facing us in the next 3-7 years. We aim to find, filter and share actionable foresights, and work with our clients to imagine and design their preferred futures.
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