All in all, the recent election proved the validity and accuracy of most polls.
It proved something else. More than ever, we are an open book, an easy target, a bloodless check mark. Our individuality has been compromised. Technology has destroyed our privacy and revealed our preferences, desires, fantasies, biases and prejudices.
The very moment you open up your computer to the Internet you are revealed, a demographic statistic categorized in every aspect of your life, slotted and parsed.
Your lifestyle is surgically dissected. Every tiny piece of you is registered somewhere in limitless data banks. The state of your health is assessed by your drug choices, your health plans, your insurance choices, your doctor or hospital's coded input. If it's in a computer, any computer, someone knows.
Your physical body, its strengths and weakness, your sicknesses and your treatments are all duly recorded. Even the slightest clue to your condition is available to scrutiny.
Your consuming habits are inspected, filed and shared. And now, you are followed. If you buy or show even the slightest interest in any product or service, a pitch and reminder will follow you like an annoying and persistent salesman everywhere you go on the net. The most innocent inquiry of any product online puts you in the loop of a perpetual snare. You will be hounded and pursued.
Your sexual fantasies, however bizarre and secretive, including the most casual exercise of curiosity on any porn site is recorded and cross-referenced. You will find yourself in the searching loop of casual sexual partners in your own neighborhood or being contacted by some potential global marriage possibility or suddenly being besieged by online pharmacies for drugs or vitamins to increase your sexual prowess.
Everything is interconnected. Nothing is off the table. Even your politics, especially your politics. As in everything else, your political preferences are duly noted, dissected, scrutinized and filed for use in upcoming campaigns, ever ready for persuasion.
When it comes to email, there is no immunity. If the email of the head of the CIA, the most covert enterprise in the world can be hacked, then how secure is anyone's email?
Even the most highly guarded network needs perpetual observation. An army of experts must always be one step ahead of sophisticated hackers who have proved themselves to be ruthless, remorseless, and efficient.
Aside from the private firewalls that must be maintained for national and financial security, the unguarded and open landscape of the Internet is a wide enough pipeline to contain most of the information needed to demolish any illusion of privacy. Someone can find out everything about you.
Well then, is there a way to counteract this phenomenon short of a cold turkey elimination of the Internet in your life? Even a closed and uncharged computer in your home might be a threat. Who knows? In this environment paranoia is practically endemic.
Perhaps the safest bet to remain a private human entity is to take your technological gadgets, disassemble them, throw the parts into a deep pit and cement them over. Even that tactic may not work. Some pulsating remnant might survive somewhere. Think "cloud." Worse. Think "clear." On a clear day you can see forever.
On the other hand, there are those among us who don't give a damn whether their privacy is compromised. They don't care whether everything about them is open for inspection.
They want to show everything, take off their skivvies, moon us, and confess all. They revel in exposure and exhibition. They want everyone to know who they are, what they want, where they go, what they think about, what they purchase, what they are made of.
They are proud of their nakedness, their revelations. They want to be looked at, scrutinized and counted. They want to be known, noticed, discovered. Ask them anything and they'll oblige.
Which is worse? It's a case of open or shut.
As they say: You pays yer money and you takes yer cherce.
Warren Adler has just released his 33rd book "The Serpent's Bite." Best known for "The War of the Roses," his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the dark comedy box office hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito, Warren Adler quickly became the fountainhead of Hollywood screenplay adaptations, fueling an unprecedented bidding war in a Hollywood commission for his unpublished book "Private Lies." While "The War of the Roses" garnered outstanding box office and critical success with Golden Globe, BAFTA and multiple award nominations internationally, Adler went on to sell movie and film rights for 12 books, all noted for his character driven and masterful storytelling. Produced for PBS' American Playhouse series, Adler's "The Sunset Gang" was adapted into a trilogy starring Uta Hagen, Harold Gould and Jerry Stiller, garnering Doris Roberts an Emmy nomination for 'Best Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series.' "The Serpent's Bite" is now available as an e-book and hardback.
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