Monday, September 16, 2013

Right to Privacy? Yeah, Right.

I've been hammering on the financial destructiveness of Obamacare lately (and for years, in different places - still trying to develop my blogging habit; I'm getting there). It's an easy one to discuss because most people can perceive immediately the negative impact of the numbers on their own lives. Just about everyone has at some point felt the sting of an unexpected added cost (car breaking down, baseball through a window, food stains on brand new clothes, etc.). You can explain that to someone, tell them how it's going to be like experiencing that every single day for the rest of their life, and they get it.

Talking to someone about their rights being taken away is a lot harder. It's not something everyone experiences very often (at least up to this point, but more and more of you will get to sample this experience soon). I had the experience at an early age, so it's easy for me to grasp what is coming at me in this regard.

Probably the simplest way to make it understandable for the most people is to put it in terms of experiencing an embarrassing incident. Think of something that you would feel is embarrassing, whatever that may be. You're a bit lucky in this case though, because only one other person is aware of your embarrassing incident, and they're keeping quiet about it (maybe it embarrassed them, too).

Move forward in time: now you're in a situation where you need something. Whatever the something is isn't important, just understand that it would be rather unpleasant for you to not gain access to it. To get the thing, you have to answer some questions.

To answer one of the questions truthfully, you have to reveal the embarrassing incident.

Here's the part that really sucks: the embarrassing incident really has nothing at all to do with what it is that you need to gain access to, but you still have to answer a question that could reveal that it happened to get the thing. Whatever answer you give will also be recorded, put into a database, and will instantly become accessible to thousands of other people who have nothing at all to do with helping you get the thing.

So now you have to lie, or you have to reveal the incident. What's worse, and what you can't forget, is that you can't reveal the incident without also revealing that your friend was also involved in the incident - you don't only expose yourself, you expose another person. You become responsible for embarrassing your friend. There's a very good chance that the other person is not going to be very happy with you for exposing his/her secret.

So now you have a choice: lie to protect yourself and your friend, or tell the truth and embarrass both of you.

Let's skip an analysis of the benefits/consequences of taking either path. They're pretty obvious: lie, and you get the thing. Tell the truth, and you get the thing. The right and wrong of lying isn't the important thing here, nor are the ramifications of telling the truth and injuring a third party's reputation.

Remember that I said that the question being asked and the incident you're keeping secret have nothing to do with the thing that you're after. The important thing here is: why are you being asked this question at all?

Think about that. The thing you're trying to get access to, you really need it. The people who can give it to you, they're asking you to jump through hoops that are completely unrelated, but which can inflict a different, unacceptable harm on you. Does it occur to you that perhaps they're doing this because they know that your immediate need of the thing gives them some power over you, but that getting the unrelated information out of you would give them even more power over you?

Do you feel resentment yet? Are you becoming angry? Scared? All of the above? Do you enjoy feeling these things?

Are you thinking to yourself, "why am I being put into a position to experience this? They're doing this to me because they can, and it has nothing to do with what I need right now!"

It's called leverage. Private information, in the hands of a third party, gives that third party power over the individual they have information on. It's another way that some people can effectively own other people. That's what they're going to try to do with you. You will be their property. Your only means of defense will be to lie, and to do it consistently and flawlessly. If you slip up even once, your answers will conflict with what's in the database, and then they'll have you. 

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