Self-censorship

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.

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