Thursday, 6 June 2013
Wired for what?
Modern life. Oh what brave new world that has such people in it. Free from the shackles of an agrarian subsistence, new age mankind roams free, bestriding the globe in giant leaps of faith and technology and gathering into our reach the farthest corners of an increasingly small Earth. From a mountain top in Brazil I can control a business empire in Billericay, from deepest Peru I can remotely patrol my premises in Purley for intruders and from the darkest corner of Romania I can authorise the conversion of money from Rand to Rupee.
Limitless power! Boundless bravado! It is all I can do to contain my urge to laugh “Mwuhahaha!” more often than I already do. For at my fingertips the power of the World Wide Web is mine to command. I can skype with Chris Dornan in Wisconsin, I can email Joe Lomax in Washington DC and I can publish a daily blog that is read by
millions ... thousands ... dozens
of people I have never met. I could raise and command an army to do my bidding
and march on Whitehall to overthrow the government without ever stirring from
Of course, if I am connected then all my transmitted thoughts can also be intercepted and parsed and scrutinised for hidden meaning. My missives can be spied upon and my every intention discerned and deterred forthwith. I could be placed under a state of constant surveillance and be electronically tagged without my consent. My funds could be hacked, my location pinpointed and my incarceration as an enemy of the state organised and authorised by remote and shadowy forces. My electronic freedom also enslaves me. Or it would, but for my secret weapon...
At this very moment I am typing this from an unguessable location. Free from connecting copper conductors I am tapping into the ether via a WiFi dongle of a sophistication that could not have even been imagined a mere decade ago. My intellectual essence is finding its way into the ethereal online world by the miracle of digital packet and radio frequency technologies, enhancing all it touches with its wisdom and veracity. My words are legion and the authorities will never discover me. Never! (Mwuhahaha!)
Why am I so confident of non-discovery? Because in order to get a connection I am fifteen feet above the ground, sitting on a low bough of a mighty English oak tree in a secluded corner of open parkland adjacent to a trading estate. I have my netbook on my knee while my other leg is extended horizontally out in front of me. And I am typing one-handed as my left arm is holding aloft the miraculous dongle, connected via a USB cable to a port on my device. Why, you rightly ask? I’ll tell you why - It’s the only way I can get a sodding connection.
The promised land.
Snoopers’ Charter? The powers that be would spy on my emails? Hah! Best of luck to them. I’d have to be reliably connected to the Internet in the first place for that to happen!