As nearly everyone knows, You Tube will play a nice video add before allowing one to view a video. One can skip the add, sometimes, if one can quickly find the button. The difference between this and legitimate advertising is obvious upon reflection. If one is very busy, attending to matters of higher priority, one may continue in the face of normal advertising, but with involuntary shopping, one has no choice, but must stop what they are doing to attend to what You Tube has chosen for you. Writers are especially annoyed by this practice, because we often have more thoughts than we can attend to, and need concentration, while the usual American surfer may be more at leisure. Further, writers do not have much money, and so do little shopping. The same is true when these viruses and our other friends, such as the Website builder Wix, take or send us on an involuntary shopping spree, involving the taking over, or usurpation, of our computer screen.
The Fifth Amendment prohibits government from depriving us of liberty without due process of law. We no longer recognize that the Fifth Amendment prohibits our government from randomly interfering with the citizens, for example by staging fake events, then seeing if our reaction can be understood suspiciously. I received a nice survey about guns after sending comments to public radio, and am often treated to machine guns popping up on my screen, just to see if I am interested. The survey said it was about radio, but centered on guns, asking for example do I have one in the house- a question it is not even safe to answer. But lives have been saved by these programs, they will say, when finally they admit that these things are being done. But we no longer uphold the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. That is why these things are being done by private companies that happen to have access to a piece of our liberty. And this is why police are accidentally shooting people they perhaps had no right to interfere with to begin.
Soon the information collectors will realize that our trash has been declared public so that the police can look through it. Tell them I have the bank statements and credit card offers of very rich people, right under the cat litter! My apologies to the police, but, someone must continue to live free in order for the liberty you are sworn to defend to have any meaning. Did you pee in a little cup for your boss? I have told our governor directly that I plan to die a virgin to your drug testing. But that is more about the Fourth Amendment. It is Facebook, who we are also supposed to flatter, that has especially taken its cue from the non-existence of the Fourth Amendment.
A few days ago, I attempted to download Duck Duck Go on to my computer. This is a company based on integrity, where Google depends on their calculation that the Americans care more about selfies and American Idol than their constitution. The download did not work, and still does not work, but my screen was taken over by PC Doctor and PC Keeper, volunteering their services to help me and Kypersky with our internet security. Google or WordPress had already cut or curtailed keyword searches and cross references, hoping that like everyone else I would quickly “upgrade,” i. e. pay for access. We think this because, even in America, it is mathematically impossible that, of the thousands of topics, words and keywords on my webpage, there is not a single visit from a reference in many days, and then just a trickling few. After my last Blog, word of mouth traffic may even be curtailed. Imagine setting up a business based on getting long distance telephone calls, only to find after four months that the connections won’t work without additional pay, which they are sure that, after so much work and time invested, and having no other choice, you will cough up. You set up your business assuming that receiving long distance calls was free? How do you expect them to pay for the service?
Or imagine driving down the road, and having a billboard set in the middle of the lane, so that one must stop, get out and do something before being allowed to proceed. Do the Republicans think this is just advertising, and should continue unregulated? Have those twenty lobbyists influenced their position- it cannot be called an opinion or view. The cost to the U. S. GNP is stunning, and far exceeds the profits that Google and others will have at our expense. But for enough of a campaign contribution, to either party or both, they will again sacrifice the public good to special interests.
When a company violates my natural rights, such as in compulsory shopping, I refuse to do business with them again. The reason is not only a sticking to principle: they will do the same in larger ways, seen and unseen, so that the principled reaction is a point of future safety. I once had a boss, who had given me about 100$ at Christmas the previous year, withhold my pay in order to compel me to be more on call. I work for several craftsmen, usually on certain jobs, and then return to my study when the job is over. First he withheld 500$, then he finally paid me, but it was 100$ short. I could pick this up when I worked for him again. For a mere 100$, I saved myself the trouble of learning later, and in a larger way, that his way of doing business was extortion and control, or might become so, given the mood. I will simply not answer his calls, even when I am dangerously unemployed. Honor in the trades is very important, especially for laborers, who extend a great deal of credit to their employers each week. One like this might get you into a position where they can really slam you, say for a thousand dollars. I had this occur once, and only with the threat of reporting the event to the labor board did I recover three quarters of it. He thought because my pay was in cash, there would be nothing I could do about it. He did not appreciate the importance of paying ones taxes voluntarily, or proudly. Because I had done so, I could call on the state for my defense, and did not need to be thrown into a state of nature with him. But for only 250$, I learned many things, including not to place myself in such a position again. Another wanted 10% from my boss for referring him to homeowners. He did not know it, but I, the laborer, was angry enough to fight him over it, though I did not understand why.
Regarding the reasoning of any unseen matters, the first response of those entrusted with doing something about them is as though one were delusional. “Your crazy” they will say, even three times. Then when it becomes clear and publicly admitted, they will say “So what?” This is what we are in danger of doing on the issue of internet integrity. “Oh sure, Google or someone is interfering with searches on the internet. Three times they will respond as though I were delusional. Then when the matter becomes public knowledge, and Google pays off our legislators with their funds swollen from our payments, their marketers have shaped public opinion regarding their “image,” everyone, including those entrusted to secure our rights, will say “So what? Is that not only the price of doing business?”
This same has occurred regarding surveillance. Have 10 million Americans, that is, one of every 28, been subjected to “infiltration” by the U.S. government? The statistic was given by a professor from Ohio on Public radio. He noted that our odds of being killed by a terrorist are one in four million, of being murdered in America, one in 22,000, and of being killed in a car wreck, one in 8,000. (Go take your kids driving, just don’t smoke!). But one in 28 are being “infiltrated.” Are you sure the people around you are who you think they are? One in 28 surely cannot be sure. Are you sure you are not one of the 28? And how much more likely is it if one is involved in matters of some importance? And what do we care if the government takes our privacy? I would say ask the fellow who failed to get his hands out of his pockets quickly enough, but we can no longer ask him. But so what if they do this to ten people: regarding one, lives were saved and terrorism avoided. It is the other nine we worry about. And this number, like the number of innocent persons tortured in the “enhanced interrogation” program, can go up infinitely, while from the one Zarqawi it will be argued that the program is effective in stopping terrorism. Now we need those other nine, and might only find one. Had we used persuasion, say from a reading of the Koran, we might have those nine, even if what was done to Zarqawi had to be done. We would also have saved ourselves from the national sin of torturing innocent people. Mr Muhammudu is the one we care about, and he has a book describing Guantanamo from the inside, inside the soul of one who suffers these injustices.
It is the very purpose of government, according to the third assertion of the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence, to secure rights. The purpose of legislation regarding the internet is to prevent things like extortion and compulsory shopping. If we allow these things to occur when we can do something about it, we place ourselves in danger of similar things occurring in larger and less visible ways.
So, do I want to place a video on You Tube at the expense of other people having to do back flips through hoops in order to skip the adds? Looks like there is an opening for a competitor to set up a You Tube with integrity, unless by the tactics of a monopoly they can subvert the enterprise. Anything that is legal, profitable, and possible will be done, unless Congress and the President act together to bring law and order to this new wild West of the internet. In the mean time, I am afraid that it is quite legal, profitable, and possible for Google and others to control searches to a stunning extent. Have you said three times that I am crazy? And will you now say “So what?