Friday, December 27, 2013

Big Brother and Petite Brothers

I am amazed that so many people think that mainly the NSA is spying on them. How many foreign governments are also spying on us, I wonder. The technology exists and the temptation exists and the money is always there for that kind of things.
Of course, it is not Big Brother that is the most annoyuing, it is all the businesses that buy information about you and put you in a category to target. We don't want the government to spy on us, but every bank or business or geek is welcome to spy on us. Does it make sense?
Based on my age, I get every week a proposition to get buried lavishly, to buy a handy wheelchair and take care of my deafness and my life insurance. I am not targetted for the things I like: new dresses, antiques, books, elegant shoes, pralines, good wines, cheese and expensive perfume. Petite Brother is persistent, but stupid.
If I google "Russian stove" because I don't understand the description of a huge stove  in a book, I receive propositions to buy a Russian stove for a whole week. Nobody in their right mind would buy a big stove in Savannah, Georgia: it is too hot out here. How the ads moguls have the guts to say that "targetting works" is beyond me. I look once at a site like Overstock, and they "target" my Google page for several weeks. It makes me smile. I am an avid reader, I look at hundreds of things I am curious about, every week. I don't want them.

We have a tradition of being afraid of Big Brother, and it is enhanced by the fact that the Press will naturally report more on Federal excesses than on local excesses: it gives them more audience.
But frankly, who is most annoying? Who writes 100 pages instructions for a building permit? Who imposes the color of your house? Who decides that your grass should be no more than 7 inchers high? Who prevents you to grow vegetables in your frontyard? Who decides what you should recycle or not? Who sells lottery tickets to pay for education? We do know, isn't it,  that the lottery is a secret tax on the poor? It is all done by all the Petite Brothers around you,

Culture has us fighting Big Brother, but it is the Petite Brothers all over America who pull the carpet under your feet.

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