Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tech Threat

Slashdot posted an article from New Scientist Tech about the development of paint on lasers.

If you want the technical details, see the article, but the short version is that this technology will be used to make even faster and cheaper computers than we have now. The technology will also be suitable for cheap sensors for biomedical and mechanical applications.

How is this a threat? The current political climate seems to be focused on 'security'. The government's idea of security is far different than mine; in fact, they are quite at loggerheads with each other. If you haven't already figured it out, the government doesn't care about your security. The government only cares about its own security. Where your security and government security conflict, you lose. As government is wont to do, they will continue to find new and interesting ways to increase their sense of security, which is to say, decrease yours.

The technology mentioned in the article will simply provide the government with very cheap ways to monitor us more closely. Cheap, fast computers will process collected data on the fly and analyze it for potential threats. As I mentioned in the previous post, all of that data can be easily twisted to provide incriminating 'evidence' against you if you become politically unfavorable.

Is it possible that insurance companies will begin demanding that we wear monitoring devices to track vital functions? Why not have a sensor in your stomach that will keep a record of what you eat and how often? Hey, it's in your best interest and you'll get a break on your insurance. The insurance industry is already in bed with the government enough as it is, a national healthcare program would simply be another method of data collection open to government abuse.

The scary thing is, there isn't really a good solution to this problem. It will get harder and harder to resist monitoring technology; it will become ubiquitous. It's not realistic to think that we can stem the tide of technology simply to prevent ourselves being monitored. Becoming a Luddite is futile. The only viable solution to the problem is to restrict government.

This must be done on at least two fronts:
  1. Restrict the power of government. Take control. Scale it back to the point where the only effective power of government is enforcement of law. Crime prevention policies only lead to tyranny.
  2. Remove the ability of the corporate infrastructure to use the state as an instrument of coercion. I'm open to suggestions on how to do this. At the very least, we need to do away with the corporate entity having personhood. The officers of the corporation should always have direct accountability.
It's really not technology that is the threat, it is government abuse of that technology. I'm not even terribly worried about individual abuse of the technology since individuals tend not to have the ability to pull disparate sources of information together to pose any significant threat.