A message titled DC City Council Approves Temporary Expansion of Video Surveillance was posted to a list I belong to today with the body of message being just the phrase “And so it begins.”
Begins? This is just the latest phase here in the US. In Britain and in many other places across the world, this type of technology is already in place, being used by gov’t to keep track of its population on a day to day basis.
This is not a beginning, it’s an ending. The beginning is lost to history. Perhaps it occurred following the Civil War; when the gov’t that succeed Lincoln’s, fused what was a collection of independent states into a federal conglomerate that would be henceforth declared indivisible. Perhaps it goes all the way back to the time of the founders, when Alexander Hamilton got in bed with the bankers of his time and created the first central bank in the US.
Whenever the beginning was, it makes very little difference now. The current (and growing) police state has very little to do with the free nation that existed before it. As the old adage goes, frogs will jump out of hot water, but will stay put until it’s too late if the temperature is slowly raised.
…It’s getting very hot around here.
The entirety of this post is a slippery slope fallacy. As much as any one of us can see 1984 in the surveillance technologies in use today, there is also no denying that crime is averted or solved, lives are saved, with this technology. The real question is, where do we draw the limits? That is the conversation that (still) needs to occur.
The title is a reference to a myth, as is the closing statement. As this article points out,
First, a frog cannot jump out of boiling water. Remember the last time you dropped some egg white into boiling water: the proteins coagulated into a mess of thin, white strands. Unfortunately, the proteins in the frog’s skinny legs would do the same thing. So the frog in boiling water could not jump anywhere. It would die a nasty death.
Second, a frog would notice the water getting hot. Professor Hutchison states, “The legend is entirely incorrect! The ‘critical thermal maxima’ [the maximum temperature an animal can bear] of many species of frogs have been determined by several investigators. In this procedure, the water in which a frog is submerged is heated gradually at about 2 degrees Fahrenheit per minute. As the temperature of the water is gradually increased, the frog will eventually become more and more active in attempts to escape the heated water.”FROG FABLE BROUGHT TO BOIL