"The surveillance offered by Amazon's Ring smartphone security system convinces us that we can take control of our own security, when in fact we’re giving it away to those who claim to protect us but are really harvesting us for our data."
"The impact of surveillance technologies on culture, politics, and even our values has been my jam for a long time. Of particular interest are the accelerating transitions from science-fictiony possibilities that horrify us to everyday realities that tame us. For instituting such breathless control, China provides the blueprint for what it's leaders cynically call “managed democracy.” As I’ve written before, whatever Orwellian tactic emerges in China does not stay in China. It propagates to other totalitarian regimes across the globe. We’ll even see a slow totalitarian creep in “open” societies like Great Britain (which doesn’t have strong free speech and personal privacy protections) before we see it here. Thanks to a virtually unregulated tech sector, the American version will be brought to us by major corporations that fatten 401Ks, and small, shrouded research firms that spin themselves as techno-utopians. The difference between China’s brute force authoritarian control and its American cousin is that the latter will be more subtle and opaque—a soft (or “inverted”) totalitarianism, as Sheldon Wolin called it—that produces capital as well as control by harvesting then leveraging even more of our data than it does now."
"As "moderates" (which they definitely aren't), centrist, neoliberal Democrats portray themselves as their party's safety valve against anti-corporate extremism. Never mind their record of supporting one disastrous fiscal or foreign policy initiative after another."
What are we left with when the backbone of modern American music (one of the few true gifts baby boomers will have bequeathed to us) breaks? Teenybopper love songs and mumble rap, that's what. Wither the old gods.
"Fighting crime and enforcing the law require someone breaking the law. But “keeping us safe” is ultimately about perceived (and now predicted) threats that may never materialize but nevertheless require a vigilance that justifies itself once we accept it. Necessarily, more perceived or potential threats than real account significantly for the increased level of surveillance we’ve seen since 2001."