Thursday, June 10, 2004

Thanks to Pentagon "black bag" funding, the Total Information Awareness Program continues its Big Brother snooping: "When the woman in line deposited her paycheck at the Bank of America branch, a record of that deposit showed up immediately in the computer databanks in the office across the street, just as financial, travel and other personal transactions of virtually every American do millions of time every minute," reports Capitol Hill Blue. Pynchon saw it coming, of course:

"The other day in the street I heard a policeman in a police car, requesting over his loudspeaker that a civilian car blocking his way move aside and let him past, all the while addressing the drive of the car personally, by name. I was amazed at this, though people I tried to share it with only shrugged, assuming that of course the driver's name (along with height, weight and date of birth) had been obtained from the Motor Vehicle Department via satellite, as soon as the offending car's license number had been tapped into the terminal -- so what? [...] The question had only begun to arise of how to avoid, or, preferably, escape altogether, the threat, indeed promise, of control without mercy that lay in wait down the comely vistas of freedom that computer-folk were imagining then -- a question we are still asking."
--Thomas Pynchon, Introduction to Jim Dodge's Stone Junction