How will spying through voice recognition technology impact our behaviour?

Interesting story: Samsung smart TV policy allows company to listen in on users

“The policy states: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”

I saw an interesting video of John Macafee, of Macafee computer security fame, talking about online privacy which I think has some relevancy. The attitude, I have nothing to hide, should not equate to the big technology corporations having the attitude: Then it doesn’t matter if you give us everything.

Last year’s revelations about the NSA proved the public’s data is being trawled for national security reasons, whatever they may be…

From Unique-Design’s website: “it is in the best interests of government policy makers to get the populace to conform to a certain manner of social behavior that the government policy makers believe to be the best template for society. To get the populace to conform government policy makers will use any method that is socially acceptable, including enlisting corporate support and facilitation, to change the manner of behavior of the populace so that it conforms to the desired model of acceptable citizen behavior.”


Handing over everything nonchalantly is lazy. Our data is a powerful tool in the hands of the right people. It’s imperative for business and governments to manipulate how the populace behaves in order to guide us into templates of the acceptable consumer they desire. But, what’s pivotal is that it’s subtle. We, the populace, must not notice they are doing it for it to be effective. Thus, we change with no argument. They infiltrate by using backdoors of social norms. Businesses are able to record conversations from our living room. Unthinkable before the internet age.

We may think we have nothing to hide. That’s not the point. We are being guided into homogenous behaviours. There’s only one Google. There’s only one Facebook. There’s only one Apple. Monoculture. The internet has splintered us into isolating microcultures where what’s cherished by me is alien to you. But we both use Google. It’s the new town centre and it’s free. If you aren’t the one buying something, then you’re the commodity being sold. 

Omnipresent surveillance alters behaviour. When you were a child and you knew your mother was watching, you played differently. Even when you were outside and she was watching through the kitchen window, you still knew, and changed play from what it would have been without her watching.

The consequence is idiosyncratic behaviour will disappear. We will behave in a new acceptable manner. I wouldn’t have had a slug bucket when I was younger. Societal pressures of acceptance will guide us into conformity. We’ll lack creativity and ideas, of doing things differently for fear of ostracisation. We’ll be predictable and unoffensive. Lowest common denominator behaviour.

Do you think it will be the same for the rich? Those who can afford quality education? Those, where power resides? Those, in a two-tier society of the 1% and the other 99%? Those, who think they are better than us, a different species, even.


The Project Gutenberg eBook of Poems, by Rainer Maria Rilke


The Project Gutenberg eBook of Poems, by Rainer Maria Rilke

So much appreciation for Project Gutenberg. Here is a collection from the Austrian Poet Rainer Maria Rilke, a master of the melancholic and the mystic. His Letters to a Young Poet are beautiful and warming so check that out too. Here’s a sample of what the collection has to offer:


As a lit match first flickers in the hands
Before it flames, and darts out from all sides
Bright, twitching tongues, so, ringed by growing bands
Of spectators—she, quivering, glowing stands
Poised tensely for the dance—then forward glides

And suddenly becomes a flaming torch.
Her bright hair flames, her burning glances scorch,
And with a daring art at her command
Her whole robe blazes like a fire-brand
From which is stretched each naked arm, awake,
Gleaming and rattling like a frightened snake.

And then, as though the fire fainter grows,
She gathers up the flame—again it glows,
As with proud gesture and imperious air
She flings it to the earth; and it lies there
Furiously flickering and crackling still—
Then haughtily victorious, but with sweet
Swift smile of greeting, she puts forth her will
And stamps the flames out with her small firm feet.