Standing Up to the Creep State

The New York Times and the San Diego Union Tribune recently ran articles describing political operatives who have been abusing people’s privacy by harvesting our voting history, WiFi use habits, whether we voted, and then shaming us with our own information. That kind of behavior is not a surveillance state. It’s a #CreepState.

While voting records are public information, our right to peace and quiet outweighs politicians’ desire for office. Politicians do not have the right to ram text spam - which is a really a collect call - down our throats. Why do they get away with it? Because instead of pushing back, we let them. By not standing up to politicians, we’re facilitating the growing creep state.

We can, however, stop information abuse coming from fake friends who don’t give us the time of day until they want our money or our vote. That includes corporations that think we have to do it their way.

How do you say no? Instead of upgrading my rarely used iPhone, I rejected the technology arms race, relying instead on the craftsmanship of my fountain pens, film cameras, and slide rules.

Don’t need text and data plans: The New York Times paper edition, weather from NOAA Weather Radio on a 1973 police scanner, and cash work fine and are easier on the eyes than a glowing screen.

Walking to the store to buy the paper is good exercise starts the day off right. Buying the paper at the store instead of subscribing supports a local business, and keeps my name out of the hands of data brokers who help run the creep state.

Writing on paper with a fountain pen is much better for my fingers and neck than swiping on a phone or keyboarding. The Pelikan nibs sing as I write, and paper books never need a battery charge. No one ever got text neck or eye strain writing with a fountain pen, reading a paper book, or using a slide rule.

Letters are more secure than email. Forty years of constant availability is enough.

My first car phone, a Motorola Pulsar I, in 1980.

My first car phone, a Motorola Pulsar I, in 1980.

Retirement means never having to answer the phone again.