Thursday, December 16, 2010

You are being watched. Make a Silver Surfer.


  1. I detest the fact that large amounts of information about our personal lives, about typecasts, about everything is recorded by a computer or camera in nearly all activities. I would love to completely unplug. However, the catch is that I wouldn't be able to be part of the wonderful typosphere. I have already limited e-mail use to company e-mail. I no longer use Facebook (or anything of the sort) and I no longer own a cell phone. Now, I realize that my call records from my landline at home can be traced and used. But if I choose to walk outside and go somewhere, thereby making myself unable to be reached, there is no record of it unless I go to a place that has a surveillance camera, which is most places. I realize my bank account can be scrutinized and that information has been available about private matters long before the internet. I feel like non-internet related things would require work for an actual person to access, while internet-related activity is monitored by a dumb non-human gadget constantly.

    I realize it wouldn't be rational to completely unplug, not if I want to find out about things like typewriters, but I HATE the amount of surveillance that exists these days. And like you said, if Stephen King thinks it's creepy, boy, watch out. I suppose the moderate thing to do is to think very carefully about information gets posted/sent through electronic means.

    (Sorry for the longwindedness. This is a subject that I think about often and get just a tad bit passionate about.)

  2. I heard that story - it is a worrisome trend, to be sure. It's all "opt-out" rather than "in" these days. I wonder if the kindle for pc does the same thing. I mean, for the price of the kindle I can get like a dozen typewriters!

  3. This worries me - I used to think that typecast images/scans were largely off-grid in a sense because the googlebots of the world couldn't 'read' their content. But it makes sense that they'd use OCR technology on these images as well. Which means the only things that aren't scanned/assimilated/categorised/monitored are... letters, private conversations etc.

    Which means our world is getting more and more like a Philip K Dick world every day; and we largely don't care about it.

    Not long ago there was a lot of stink about facebook and privacy, but I think people are simply opting out of the whole debate. I think that when everything is non-private, accessible and feeding some mega trending/segmentation/analytics machine - it's what we choose to keep private, discreet and personal that *really* starts to matter.

    Hmmmmm typewritten letters as the last true samizdat...

  4. The data tracking is why car makers want computers in cars and the power company wants so-called smart meters and appliances. They can then track you and if wanted stop your car or your appliance or limit your electric use. Big Brother and Monster (remember the Steppenwolf song?) are here. Been here and will stay here unless we all disconnect from wireless and wired to the internet devices.

    Then there are all the traffic cameras and surveillance cameras all over most cities. The police force is watching the people...

    I wonder if my Kindle stores my information and sends it when I reconnect my Kindle to get a new book. 99% of the time it is not on line.

    I had to read this and your other post on the silver H3k. I have a rusty old beat one that I may do in plain old polished aluminum. It is presently a parts machine, but it typed nice until I did what you warn against. I disregarded how I handled the removed carriage around the drum and let the draw string become unattached with one slight short zippp. This is perhaps the 5th H3k carriage I removed. So far I have not had problems re-installing them. I did heed your advice about re-assembly ever since the first one.

    1. In London, where I am at the moment, signs everywhere announce that you're on CCTV. It's said that the average Londoner is recorded 300 times a day by video cameras.

      I'd bet anything that your Kindle is keeping track of all the data available from your reading habits, and sharing it with Amazon. Why wouldn't it?

      Our books are reading us.

  5. Oh, and I forgot -- digital cell phones. The quality is no where near as good as the old analog and the drop-outs more frequent because of low power and no ability to connect an external antenna or have a high power mobile. Digital can be easily tracked.