"[N]o one’s ever been able to show me any difference between democracy and brute force. It’s just a majority ganging up on a minority with the minority giving in to avoid getting massacred." ~ L. Neil Smith
PBS Talks Nonsense About Talking Cars
You-all know I'm a peaceful, laid-back kind of guy; but just occasionally I get so riled up as to shout at the TV. Last evening on the News Hour was such an occasion. By and large the reporters are nice folk, but Gwen Ifil I dislike; Non amo te, Gwen Ifil, nec possum decere quare; hoc tantum posso dicere, non amo te. (See here.)
She ran a segment on talking cars, the latest squeak out of Detroit. Interesting, to a point, so long as it's an option. But her guest was a pro-government guy called Dan Neil, from the WSJ, and his implication is that government will do the choosing, not the owner. Take a read or a view, though do it sitting down. And best have no projectiles handy unless they're soft.
At the end Gwen asked him about those silly people who think there might be a privacy problem, what with government and all knowing everything there is to know about every car journey everyone ever takes. Ha, ha. Dan replied "Big Brother, more like Target and Wal-Mart and H&M. You know, when commercial interests have a good idea of where you are in your car, they can advertise to you, much like they do on the Internet. This is — the connected car and the connected Internet are going to have the same death of privacy issues."
No, they aren't, Dan, the issues aren't the same at all. There's all the difference in the world. The worst a company can do is to advertise to us (shock, horror) but there's no known limit to what government can do to us.