The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Silly Old Fool

10/31/2020

When you lose a loved one, it is normal to grieve and mourn the loss.  In fact, it is both normal and healthy.

The lead editorial in the local newspaper yesterday was titled “Privacy compromised in VA” and raises awareness of the new surveillance capability of police — collecting license plate photos with time and location – 1,600 per minute.  Hey, if it leads to the capture of one single criminal, that’s great, isn’t it?  Benjamin Franklin once said “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  But, what did Benjamin Franklin know?  He couldn’t even use a cell phone . . .

As a boy, there was a large stand of pine trees.  It was so dense you couldn’t see more than 10 feet.  Somedays, my dog (“Pal”) and I would spend all day laying on the pine needles and reading.  I enjoyed that freedom of mobility and solitude.  I was autonomous and loved it.  It was also liberating when I learned to read topographic maps, because I could then navigate any wilderness.  The quintessential image of existentialism is that of a wide, slowly-moving river covered with ice floes.  Some floes were empty and some had individuals standing on them.  It was more than the mere peace of aloneness.  It was the celebration of solitude.

Don’t discuss privacy with young millennials, if you don’t expect to be labelled as a silly old fool.  They will explain there is no such thing as privacy anymore.  It is DEAD!  NOW, GET OVER IT!  After all, security cameras and cell phones already track your every movement.  Filming your license plate is just one more tiny chip-away of your privacy.  It shouldn’t even matter.  Yet, it does . . .

People grieve differently.  Be patient with those of us who loved privacy!

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