I recently sold a condo in the French Quarter, and while I’m currently hotel-bound, I get to move into my new digs in a few weeks. I’m going nuts thinking about the beautiful porch that awaits me. I love porches. I love gardening. I love breezes, and rocking chairs, and pretty views. I’m so excited to furnish it with plants and a swing, and some funky lights. I’ve been scouring pinterest for ideas, and keeping a list of plants to buy at Harold’s on Broad. I’ve got “patio” and “plants” on speed dial at craigslist. I wish ya’ll could stop on by and sit a spell.
I read somewhere that its considered suspicious to prepare for disaster. Activities such as purchasing large quantities of basic survival items like food, water, fire starters, batteries, etc… are distributed to merchants as something to look for and report to authorities. Simultaneously, FEMA has ready.gov as a recommended resource for disaster preparedness. Here in New Orleans, the radio encourages everyone to prepare for hurricane season. When I lived in Beaverton, Oregon, our lovely mayor published a monthly newsletter that asked the citizens to do five things that month to prepare their family for disaster (most likely earthquake in those parts).
So which is it? Is it suspicious or prudent, encouraged or surveiled? To be generous, I assume different agencies with their own agendas view prepping through unique lenses. So, should I or shouldn’t I? I went through a major prepping phase after Katrina, and I was very cautious about it. When I stocked up at the grocery store, Ipaid cash and told the clerk that I just moved and have to replenish my pantry. I never went to the same store twice. I regularly bought a few bags of beans and rice in a large, otherwise innocuous shopping cart.
If it is supicious, why? Cui bono? Does anyone really want to see Katrina revised? Isn’t it in the interest of all of our safety to get ready? What is to be gained by chaos and breakdown? The darker, fearful side of me thinks that martial law is the desired outcome. I love (and laugh) at conspiracy theorists as much as any internet lurker, from the fema camps to the ammunition purchases, but seriously, what gives?
I want to write freely. I feel like I missed a very rare window for freedom of expression, a window that was briefly available to females in a western, educated society. I was fortunate to grow up after women’s lib, so I got a great education and was raised to believe I could be anyone I wanted to be. I took full advantage of that, and I am very grateful for the opportunity. Unfortunately, I was an idiot most of the time, deeply indoctrinated, unable to think for myself or see reality for what it is. Now that I am older, the scales are falling from my eyes, and I want to shout from the rafters how we were lied to, incessantly, insidiously, with forethought and malice.
But I’m too scared. I know they are watching, and I fear the consequences of publishing my words. Every time I write a sentence, I scan it for buzzwords that will trigger a “term extraction” algorithm. I hesitate to link to an article that will strengthen the metadata extraction monster and catch me in its dreaded circle of associations deemed a threat. I don’t want to allow comments on my blog, if I even have any readers besides the NSA, because I dont want to be seen as providing a platform for dissent. Oops, another buzzword alarm just went off, maybe I should spell it d1$$3nt.
I work in technology, specializing in databases. I remember reading years ago in the Association for Computing Machinery journal, about a code of ethics for dealing with data. I took that to heart, and I have always adhered to its principles when I could, and I always spoke up when I saw it being violated. Gather only what you need and no more. Reveal what you are gathering and why. Share it only with those with a need to know. Keep it only as long as required by law or purpose. Remove it safely when the purpose is served. Secure it from prying eyes. Do not link it to other data for unintended purposes.
What a joke.
I am voluntarily, but with great trepidation, casting these thoughts into the great data black hole, and I only hope the database gets crushed under the weight of its own mass before it sucks me in and crushes me too.
I thought it was about time i started writing about the thought storm that is my brain. I plan to write about anything and everything, but especially things I love – music, gardening, New Orleans, dance, nature, cooking; things I learn – technology, economics, documentaries, history, self-sufficiency; and things that scare me to death – the police state, the banksters, war, currency, climate, and the coming collapse.