…hich is precisely why “democracy on the web” isn’t the end of a conversation, but the start of one. The gosh-we-didn’t-see-that-coming defense when the utopian future goes sidewise doesn’t work anymore. Seeing that coming is part of the job.
I certainly have to agree with you there. I came of age in the Cold War military, and back in those ‘low tech’ days of electronic evesdropping and spycraft, countermeasures and secrets, we were indoctrinated on the myriad ways that information can be compromised when enough of it is compiled and filtered. This shit isn’t new. The profits of digital tech and the flipping of companies amid the blow-up of phones and fake money have simply allowed too many to ignore what the professionals say to them. The profits write the company rules and as long as there are profits, even the rules don’t get followed. So much money has been flowing to Congress that there’s no real chance that the people who should sue (identity victims, etc.) will ever get reparations in proportion to what is happening to their lives. There is no motivation to create simpler, manageable, secure operating systems and hardware because the more complex and expensive things are, the less time people have to actually contemplate what those systems do. The less time they have (after earning enough to buy that crap), the less likely they will even care. Sleep deprivation and overwork are typical torture tools to break people’s spirits.
We can’t afford to turn these systems off and we can’t afford not to. As with most civilizations, Fortuna will decide for us.