I mainly try to use this journal for work I've written on my own, and have hardly ever "re-blogged" others' work, since I feel I'm most meaningful when limiting myself to a handful of interests and avoiding the urge to comment upon every news item that initiates a strong emotional reaction. From time to time, though, I feel it's necessary to keep friends and followers aware of developments that are crucial for all of us to have a say in. Of course, in stepping outside of my 'comfort zone' that roughly comprises those ill-defined areas in between artistic practice and psychic research, I have to concede that others have much greater articulacy than myself, in addition to taking much greater risks in order to convey their core message.
Both of those boxes can easily be checked when discussing Glenn Greenwald's clear and eloquent defense of privacy in the age of the Survelliance State, an issue that he has refused to waver on despite his fellow "progressive" journalists' capitulation to the idea that any government also advertising itself as such is still, somehow, grossly abusing its authority and flaunting its own laws with a "greater good" in mind. Greenwald's rejection of political partisanship is, I feel, an absoute sine qua non for the ability to think independently. This also leads him to the sadly obvious conclusion that much of the political establishment exists solely to perpetuate itself, and merely pays lip service to concepts of altruism and just governance - it is a theory that he does not touch upon in the brief time typically alloted to TED Talkers, but which he certainly does expand upon elsewhere.
Seriously, there's not much insight that I need to add as a preamble to viewing Greenwald's spirited monologue. However, for those who come to this page expecting a different sort of content - again, something more in keeping with the unstable arts - I can't emphasize enough how relevant this message is. Greenwald's message on privacy applies to artists every bit as much as it applies to those who can affect public policy, since relatively independent artists (not the hired hands known as "creatives" in infantile American job-speak) have the most to lose in a world where privacy is seen as something only needed by those who are engaging in destructive and exploitative acts. I wholeheartedly applaud Greenwald's dismissal of the CEOs of Google and Facebook as sanctimonious hypocrites; and highly encourage others in the artistic or "creative" communities to heed his words here: it is time to stop thinking of anyone who freely facilitates communication as being a promoter of real expressive freedom, as paradoxical as that may initially sound.
Greenwald's key contention - that lack of privacy causes a hesitancy for any type of original thought to surface or for ideological diversity to flourish - is something that I am optimistic will finally 'get through' to some of those individuals who still view privacy rights as a refuge of scoundrels. However, if I can add anything at all to his otherwise well-done exposition, it is that lack of privacy (online or otherwise) also encourages a State that enriches itself through the criminalization of more and more minor types of deviation. For a State whose authority is maintained by projecting an image of itself as a great protector, it will become necessary for it to make an increasing number of acts and attitudes deviant and criminal.