Nineteen Eighty-Four is here and gone.

For those of use with short memories, Nineteen Eighty-Four is George Orwell’s tale of a dystopian future in which the government spies on everyone.  It is a world of conform or else.  Published in 1949, this book accurately predicts today’s world of omnipresent observation and de-facto suppression.

If you have a high tolerance for discomfort you might want to read some of Orwell’s other works, including Animal Farm and assorted essays.  Beautifully written and more than a tad depressing.

Facial Recognition Has Arrived

There is at least one factory in China that has dispensed with badges and all other forms of identification.  They rely totally on facial recognition.  Facial recognition technology has now advanced enough to see through disguises and cosmetic surgery.  If they can see you they can identify you, at least most of the time.  If they can’t find you one way, then they will turn to social media.  When was the last time you posted your image on Facebook?

Right now TV cameras are fairly expensive.  Not just the cameras, but all the wiring, fiber optic interconnections and super-fast computers required to enable them to recognize you.  Expect the price to come down, way down.  A new camera is being developed that has no lens at all, just an array of teensy tiny chips.  It works by directly interpreting the wave forms of the light that comes to it, making them into an image.  Still developmental and crude but it will mature soon.  Which will drop the price of surveillance, and makes possible cameras the size of a pencil eraser.

Thousands of Surveillance Cameras in One Area

There are now 17,000 surveillance cameras in Chicago, which has the largest and most sophisticated surveillance network in the United States.  Chongqing, China plans to soon have more than 500,000 cameras.  Combine extensive surveillance with facial recognition and you have a powerful technology for control of individuals like you and me.  Now throw in the increasing use of credit cards and cashless transactions, all traceable.

There is some kind of a law against phone tapping and interception of text messages.  We clearly have the ability to do both.  In fact phone taps became a prime source of criminal investigations shortly after the first widespread use of the telephone.  There are parts of all governments that are secret by their very nature.  They go under the titles of crime prevention, intelligence operations and counter-intelligence, plus a few more.  There is software that can listen for trigger words like “bomb”, “killing” and so on.  There are many people in these various agencies who justify their actions as “good for the country”, regardless of legality.  There are many countries where legality is more than somewhat flexibility.

Bottom line is be careful of what you say, be careful of what you write, and assume that anything you say and do could someday come back to haunt you.  Then sit back, relax and enjoy life.

Be Happy

Happiness Meditation MP3sLest you think this is all about doom and gloom, there is a solution. It’s my series of Happiness Meditations. They are yours for FREE. 

Rather than let things get to you, take a few minutes every day to take control of your mood, emotions and mindset.

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