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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Information does not equal intelligence



I’ve been giving some thought to the surveillance state recently. State operators have more and more information at their finger tips, but often they don’t know what to do with it. Domestic or foreign, it doesn’t seem to matter. They get a lot of stuff wrong.

For decades the US and Soviet Union struggled against each other in the cold war. The spying that went on was epic. We’ll never know how much money was spent on it as much of it was “black budget” -invisible to the average person. In spite of the massive effort, the collapse of the USSR was totally missed. That was huge and nobody saw it coming.

Take our involvement with Afghanistan. To get the Russians out, suitcases of money were given to people who turned out to not be our friends. Sure, the Russians were forced to leave, but then the some of the same guns were turned against the US. Pretty short sighted.

Domestic spying has access to huge volumes of computer data. Our whole lives are tracked. Everything we buy. Every e-mail we send. Every blog post I write. There are records of everything -even when not strictly legal.

How is it whenever a “domestic terror cell” is uncovered, they turn out to be a bunch of wanna be losers? None of them would have done much of anything at all if not for their secret government informer. He’s the who supplies them with stuff like arms and bomb materials. Embarrassingly often, these cases are thrown out of court.

Now consider the government can infinitely detain someone on allegations of terrorist connections. That’s pretty scary. Now consider how often they get people’s intentions out and out wrong. Then it get’s really scary.

Governments use a lot of the same data mining that companies use for marketing. I don’t know about anyone else, but a lot of stuff is marketed to me for stuff that I don’t want. For example, at one time I was researching marine diesel fuel tanks and fuel transfer systems. My project was converting a car to run on waste vegetable oil. I was looking at marine fuel tanks because they come in may different sizes and shapes, and I was looking for one to fit in the available space in the vehicle. The fuel transfer equipment wasn’t for diesel but for veggie oil. From that information, marketers were under the impression I owned a large diesel powered boat. My mailbox was flooded with advertising for power boat related goods and services.

That’s only one example. In one day’s mail I got stuff asking me to join the NRA and a membership offer from a group pledged against the NRA. Since I’m a writer, I often research stuff that other people might be interested in, or sometimes I’m researching for a negative blog post. If I criticize a product, there will most likely be ads for it on my blog. Hope you are as amused by this as I am.

It’s funny when it’s marketing. It’s deadly serious when it’s national security or personal freedom.

Government agencies are agenda driven. They will only see what they are looking for. Nobody gets promoted finding evidence that goes against the boss’s pet project. With so much information available, it’s easy to cherry pick the “facts” needed to “prove” any viewpoint. Information is not intelligence.

-Sixbears




14 comments:

  1. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)September 20, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    I think there are only two words you can use and not be tracked - "and" & "the".

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's the pet project thing that irks me the most. They are there to do a job, not whatever they feel like doing such as "fast and furious". Quite honestly, most of those jobs are totally unnecessary at best. The snooping, well that is illegal. Did you get all that Janet?

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  3. Anytime the federal govenment gets involved in personal matters it is a bad thing. That is the local govenment's job, but only with the proper warrants.

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    Replies
    1. Proper warrants indeed. Like in a functioning democracy.

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  4. Actually, the suitcases of money is time honored "enemy of my enemy" behavior that has always gone on. That isn't ending any time soon.

    And MANY of us saw the end of the Soviet Union as soon as they got involved in Afghanistan, but the government denies that because that might mean that since WE are now in Afghanistan, it could be OUR end, too.

    Graveyard of Empires and such.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those who have a darn good idea about what's going on don't tend to get to the policy level of government.

      Graveyard indeed. Have we no sense of history? Do we think that we are so special that the ruled don't apply to us?

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  5. The universe is amazing in providing what one needs, when one needs it.

    Just this morning, this popped up at a website I visit. Then I later come here and the very subject comes up again.

    http://www.prepperpodcast.com/remove-yourself-background-check-websites/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link. I'll have to check it out in depth.

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  6. More and more folks are watching our every move! Hope they find it more exciting than I do!

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    Replies
    1. Must be a boring job most of the time. Sad way to spend one's life.

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  7. Replies
    1. Too many are schooled and too few educated.

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