Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I am here eating at Pizza Italia and am writing live about one of the many reasons this country has devolved. There are two middle aged men sitting in the next booth whom I've been listening to kvetch over Facebook for the last ten minutes. These are large, grown men. The one doing the bitching is probably 50, six feet tall and probably well over 200 pounds, with rather impressive biker-style mutton chops. The guy listening and commiserating is a bit younger but of equal size. In other words, these are not a couple of simpering quasi-adult metrosexual Starbucks types. Not liberals, from the look of them. Either of these guys could beat me to death with their bare hands within ten minutes.

I'll let you in on the conversation. Evidently 'Toby' was talking shit about 'J.C.,' so the mutton chop guy sent him a private message on Facebook to tell him that wasn't cool. J.C. sent him a rude message back, so Mutton Chop de-friended him. I read recently that the term "de-friend" (or defriend, I don't know) has been added to some of the big dictionaries as an actual word. Just like to Google is now an official verb. But any, Mutton Chop didn't know J.C. before he became the sales manager, because he, Chop, recently moved here from the office off of Westheimer in Houston. So he didn't know that J.C. was such an asshole, so naturally he added him as a friend when he got the request.

But now Chop is talking to his friend about how he just straight up tells people when they're being dicks, and that's what he was forced to do to J.C. I've been here for 15 minutes now, just got my pizza, and ever since I sat down these two guys, who do look like bikers (Chop even has one of those wide bracelet-style leather watch strap/holder things) and possibly even ex-military, are still talking about people on Facebook. This is incredible.

They're not even watching the bread and circuses on the HDTVs -- the Yankees are playing some white-and-red team. I don't care enough to wait until after the commercials to identify them. They are sharing a pitcher of dark beer but it's still almost full, so they're not drunk, but all they are talking about is Facebook.

Facebook, unlike most of the big Internet institutions, was not started by the globalists. It was started by a college kid who was angry that his girlfriend dumped him, so he put up his own web site essentially to post embarrassing photos of her for all to see. Now, because of the incredible narcissism of the American people, having spread as well to the rest of the world, this putz is now rolling in millions and millions of dollars. But the government certainly knows how to use this tool against you.

It's perfect both for the putz and for the globalists -- they don't provide any content. That's the beauty of it for them. Facebook is essentially a blackboard, a scrapbook or whatever analogy you like. A white piece of electronic paper on which you inscribe details of your personality, your daily life, your political and cultural opinions, your likes dislikes, rants, raves, and where you can also put up photos and videos. In other words, it is a giant goldmine, a treasure trove of your personal information, and the neatest thing for the CIA, NSA, Homeland Insecurity and FEMA is that they don't even need to use their illegal wiretapping dragnets to get your data. You push it to them. All they do is use normal web crawling bots to retrieve what you voluntarily give them.

But perhaps the most valuable information they extract from your Facebook pages is perhaps the least obvious, and, at first thought, the most innocuous. But it is indeed quite important to the government's intelligence agencies. The data they most desire is your list of friends. It allows them to build databases of your relationships -- family, friends, lovers, co-workers, people you agree with politically. They use the kind of software that creates maps of peoples' interrelations. Perhaps you've seen such maps, the look kind of spiderwebs, with you or whomever or whatever the target is at the centers, your closest friends one level out, and your lesser relations further distant from you. And then each of those people has their own web of connections sprouting from their own data point.

This is the same technology that the FBI uses legitimately to suss out drug gangs, identity theft and child pornography rings and the like -- starting with one known criminal they use it to find others who may be involved in illegal activity and, after closer investigation, bring them to justice. Used in this capacity, such automated web crawling and indexing, I'll call it "relationship hashing," is a good thing. The FBI and CIA have used it in the Middle East to identify members of terrorist cells. Whether or not those terrorists were actual fanatics or paid for the government is irrelevant in this discussion. The technology is the issue here.

But the very same software programs are being used to build maps of your own personal life. And in coming years these data which are currently being hashed and stored in giant server farms like the new NSA facility here in San Antonio will be used to identify and hunt down dissident groups that speak out or act out against the government. The media have been able to convince such a huge percentage of the American people to put every detail of their lives, voluntarily, on the Internet in sites like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, YouTube and on blogs that they already have very accurate personality and behavioral profiles on nearly everyone, and each new bit of data you give them allows them to constantly refine the virtual you in their systems for better accuracy.

So I started by complaining about the inane conversation between to men who, ten years ago, before Facebook, would have been talking about the baseball game, or about work, or, if it had happened back then, the worst environmental disaster in world history, still ongoing, with the potential to be a world killer. But no. Still Facebook this, friend that, it's unbelievable to me. This has gotten close to half an hour and still Mutton Chop is just bitching about people. But he won't have anything to worry about. Being a Facebook slave of this order, he's no threat to the government. They have Chop and his friend exactly where they want them -- in the sheep pen, where most of America still stands, motionless.

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