06/11/2013 by syrbal-labrys
Blogotopia is mad for PRISM and the revelations of the illusive Mr. Snowden. I am not surprised particularly, although there was a time most of my day’s work was directed to the NSA — back then in the Cold War we had “real” boogymen, of course. We had Soviets with nukes, for pity’s sake! And evil East Germans surrounding Berlin. And it was all, apparently, a sort of dry run for an American security state now?
I am surprised that many people who oppose this security state idea still attack Mr. Snowden‘s motives or character; I mean if someone pulls you out of a fire, do you really care, for instance, if he is a broke down drunk instead of Mr. February off the Firefighters Calendar?
Now, perhaps it is a bit like Sir Terry Pratchett’s humor about “small gods“….the NSA simply had to re-train to hold onto a believable purpose in a post-Cold War world? But it strikes me as more like another piece of science fiction that has never ceased to haunt me: The Gameplayers of Zan (cover image above) by M. A. Foster. Surely it can be no mistake that Foster’s job as an analyst (my job as well once, likewise the Russian linguist bit), helped create his fictional society as one SO monitored that any individual can be picked out on the street and not only tracked through a city, but be analyzed for mental state and possible intentions?
And yet, all this dull collection of information has not rendered our society safer. Boston’s finish line was blood spattered and littered with shattered extremities. Armed men spray bullets into shopping centers, street corners, and homes daily. All that security schtick really only works all “beneficially” and such IN science fiction. Of course, one side’s answer to this objection is that we need MORE security and observation. And don’t touch our guns, god-damn-it. It looks a lot like some kind of collective insanity to me. And unfortunately for those of us maintaining a slender hold on sanity; we don’t have the escape M.A. Foster’s “ler” had —- we cannot get on our secretly built (IN SPITE OF SECURITY!) spaceship and fly away from the crazy.