Thursday, November 13, 2008

How my freedom withered

Do you remember all these governmental reassurances about the high professionalism of the terrorist surveillance program? It did not bother me: as my neighbor said: "If they want to listen to my conversations with my aunt Amy, they are welcome to it!" Most of us have a boring life. The problem is that there is no such a thing as high professionalism, so of course we now hear stories of American soldiers abroad being listened to and laughed at when they have intimate conversations with their spouse. I do believe that the temptation to listen to political adversaries is also very great, and if we do, it is the end of democracy.

The police, or maybe your offended spouse, can easily add a GPS to your car (without a warrant) or, would you believe it, in the soles of your shoes. Then of course with credit cards and internet information, almost anybody will know more about you than you know yourself, because one can apply mathematical models to what you do. Why we still refuse to have an identity card does not make that much sense any more: we just refuse to face the truth.

But the worst enemy of freedom is not the government, it is science. Most of what we call adventure is now a fake: the world has been discovered, and if you do not prepare adequately for a trip, you are just a fool. I know in the morning how to dress because I look at the weather channel. I know it is bad to smoke, to drink in excess and to have unprotected sex (who knew much about these three things fifty years ago?) I am overwhelmed by dieting advice and I am instructed to measure my waist and make penance if I want to live longer. I am told how many steps I should walk everyday; science has counted them. Recently, the environmentalists got on my back too, and every detail of my house is reconfigured.

It is all for the better good, but freedom?
Freedom has one foot in the grave and it is the price we pay.

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