What Comes Next

Last week was a bad week.

For starters, there was the revelation that the NSA keeps a massive database of all our phone calls, which (in my view) shows a stunning disregard for our civil liberties.

Unrelated to that: my brain goes through cycles of clarity, and cycles of dark despair. Last week was sunless. I’m feeling better at the moment, which is why I’m able to write this post in the first place. Fingers crossed that it stays that way.

And I was out sick on Friday. So, there’s that.

I’m not trying to drown you in complaints. Just trying to get my head screwed on straight, and point this blog in the right direction.

In the wake of the NSA news, I wasn’t sure what to do with the blog. I generally avoid political stuff, and I generally don’t focus on any one topic for very long, for the sake of variety. I don’t want to alienate or bore you by droning on about civil liberties.

On the other hand, this blog is a reflection of what I’m thinking. And right now, it’s hard to think about much else. When you learn that your own government is using the Fourth Amendment as toilet paper, how can you just shrug your shoulders and move on?

Well, here’s what I’ve decided.

I’m not shrugging my shoulders. I’m going to do my best to organize (peaceful) resistance to the NSA’s domestic spying program. For starters, I’m going to publicly protest in Columbus on July 3. I’m organizing a local meeting of other people who feel the same way. I’ve signed the petition at stopwatching.us and I encourage you to do the same. And for those Redditors among you, check out reddit.com/r/restorethefourth for more information about the protest movement.

To be honest, I don’t know if it will make any difference. A lot of people (for reasons I fail to understand) honestly don’t mind that the government is doing this. And a lot more people don’t like it, but won’t do anything about it. I just don’t see enough public outcry at this point to be very hopeful.

But I have to try.

As for the blog, it will be what it will be. I’ll still talk about philosophy and AI and books and writing, and all those fun topics. But you’re also going to see a lot more about the NSA stuff, because this blog reflects my thoughts, and that’s front and center in my mind right now. If that’s a turnoff for you, I’m sorry, but it can’t be helped.

So. *deep breath* Onward.

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2 responses to “What Comes Next

  1. Talking about the fourth amendment and the NSA’s abuse of it is all right with me. I would also love to know how other countries are responding to this, so while we’re still on the topic I would love to see your thoughts and what other countries think about this. If you’re willing to look into the topic, of course, because it is your blog.

    • Great question. The citizens of Hong Kong (where Snowden is currently hiding) have taken to the streets to protest his extradition. A stronger protest than anything we’ve seen in the US so far, unfortunately. Also, a representative from the European Union has expressed concern.

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