All five of my regular readers no doubt have been wondering, What’s Bob going to do with his blog this year? Well, in the words of Napoleon Dynamite, “Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!”
But, to be less succinct:
→ I’m going to be writing more about how your personal secret private information is being vacuumed up invisibly before your very eyes, not just by government spies and mobile phone network corporations, but by damn near every retail and web operation with which you come into contact. And why that’s
not always virtually never to your benefit. And stuff you can do about it.
Why just this morning, reader MariaB suggested that if I thought Target’s data collection and alleged digital security system was bad, I ought to check out Walmart. I have. It’s scary. For instance, the company acknowledges right in its own “privacy” policy tidbits such as:
If you uninstall the mobile application from your device, the Walmart unique identifier associated with your device will continue to be stored. If you re-install the application on the same device, Walmart will be able to re-associate this identifier to your previous transactions.
Think about it. All that’s left is for them to make it so their swiping machines “accidentally” stamp your finger with a chip implant while you’re typing in your debit card pin number. And its just the tip of a Walmart iceberg containing what the company itself reportedly has described as petabytes of your collective data (fyi, it is estimated that all of the information stored in all U.S. academic research libraries could be contained within 2 petabytes). Which makes you wonder, if the National Security Agency has pressed Verizon and AT&T and Google and Apple and Yahoo and Facebook into service on behalf of mass spying campaigns (and evidence strongly suggests that they have) then is it not logical from a Big Brotherish standpoint that government spooks would’ve pressured Walmart to participate in those same efforts?
Yes, it would be logical, seen from Big Brother’s point of view, especially since a large part of Walmart’s data-gathering efforts are aimed at what’s known as “predictive behavior.” Someone should ask Edward Snowden about that, eh?
→ Factory food and food safety have been of abiding interest to me ever since I discovered I don’t like to vomit that much, while the conglomerates of agriculture appear so intent on producing food-like substances that will make me and members of my family do just that.
From the likes of salmonella-laced peanut butter to E. coli-infected hamburger treated with ammonia to cookie dough contaminated by the same stuff found in animal poop to to little cartons of exploding Greek yogurt, it appears the nation’s (if not the world’s) food production and distribution system is in slow-motion collapse.
And, increasingly, consumers and family members are left without recourse or protection from an increasingly unreliable and dangerous food supply.
→ Which is why I’ll endeavor to provide more hints and methods for growing or otherwise producing your own food, based in large part on the mistakes and corrections I make myself. For instance, here’s a tip: If you plant peach trees too close to areas frequented by deer and cattle, they are going to gnaw and whittle said trees down to peachy nubs and toothpicks.
→ Random sarcasm and alleged humor. I’ve started a new category called Grumpy Old Man Does Retail. It’s true. And because I am officially retiring next month, I will have even more time to devote to grumpy old manishness. Who knows where that could lead? Plus no doubt the reader can enjoy new editions of ever-popular posts about how it got cold so I had to move my plumeria plants all around and other such endless possibilities. Wow, what a year this promises to be.