William Gibson: they'll keep spying on us anyway
There's an excellent interview with William Gibson (the guy whose groundbreaking sci-fi novel Neuromancer brought us the word "cyberspace") over at OpenSourceRadio, where Gibson discusses the wider, long-range implications of the NSA wiretapping scandals (the latest bombshells can be found in PEEK).
I've been watching with keen interest since the first NSA scandal: I've noticed on the Internet that there aren't many people really shocked by this. Our popular culture, our dirt-ball street culture teaches us from childhood that the CIA is listening to *all* of our telephone calls and reading *all* of our email anyway.
I keep seeing that in the lower discourse of the Internet, people saying, "Oh, they're doing it anyway." In some way our culture believes that, and it's a real problem, because evidently they haven't been doing it anyway, and now that they've started, we really need to pay attention and muster some kind of viable political response.
I think it's [the X-Files, Nixon wiretapping, science fiction]. I think it's predicated in our delirious sense of what's been happening to us as a species for the past 100 years.
It never ceases to amaze when various participants on our blogs and stories respond to scandals and discoveries with, "Of course they are! Duh!" Progressives often have this tendency towards smug "I knew it, I told you so" that isn't just self-defeating, it's dangerous. Time to muster up some gumption, folks, and actually do something about it.