Ain't no privacy in a digital birdcage. - me, in a facebook comment
What is human life? The first third a good time, and rest remembering about it. - Mark Twain
A slow and thoughtful Monday morning here in Louisville. I had the chance this weekend to see Ron Whitehead perform, along with some other amazing poets and musicians, at the Haymarket Whiskey Bar. Having followed his work for several years, it was a pleasure to see him live, particularly as he was celebrating his birthday. Before that, I was up in Cincinnati enjoying the holiday with Amanda and My Dear Sweet Ma, waiting through the procession of commericals and commercialization that is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to see my niece perform as one of entirely to many dancers inspired by Lady Gaga. (She was the most talented one. I'm sure you saw her if you were watching.)
If you weren't watching, don't worry. I'm sure it will be a FB meme before too too long.
Memes, of course, are what passes for information transfer in the Cyber Age. There is no promise of objectivity, no guarantee of veracity. It's simply information that is thrown at the consumer/product
... because that's what we are, if'n you haven't taken a break from Cyber Monday to notice. We're the consumer and we are consumed. There's a certain symmetry to it, don't you think...
at which time it is then left to the target/consumer/product to determine whether it's reliable, whether it's a rumor made fact by repetition, or just one more Cat Playing the Keyboard or 2 Girls One Cup.
If this sounds like freedom to you, you might want to take a big whiff. It sure smells like something else.
The meme that hit this morning, of course... at least, the one I noticed... was another run of the reaction against Facebook's longstanding policy of mining member data to the blackmarketeers of the apocalypse that sell us everything from thong underwear to survivalist dry rations.
Given that a significant amount of my life is posted for the reading pleasure of the deus machina (for which Facebook is only the intermediary) and the half a baker's dozen of you Dear and Faithful Readers who kindly keep track of exploits and insploits*, I do take notice and am aware that social media -- and Facebook in particular -- is nothing more than a method for the corporamatons* that dictate much of what we have decided is reality to mine us for consumer preferences in everything from dental floss to politicians, from light bulbs to religious and ideological beliefs.
If you still believe that the internet is freespace and anything goes just because you can find your personal preference for porn and corn chips with the click of a mouse or a tap on the tablet, you're not paying attention.
The good news is that it's probably only folks my age or older who still have a notion of what privacy is that aren't aware of this. The bad news is that those who are aware of it run the risk of getting used to it so much that it doesn't bother them.
* from The Parsons Dictionary of Oft Used Words and Phrases, Desk Edition.
insploits, noun. Events that occur when not in physical motion that nonethless exist. Including but not limited to: dreams, visions, meditations, thoughts, outer body experieneces, astral travel, and drunken epiphanies.
corporamatons, noun. a profiteering and parasitic conglomerate that has neither brain nor soul but is not aware of the former's or concerned about the latter's absence.
Location:Louisville, KY, United States