Craige McMillan, Novelist ©2018. Armageddon Story. Reader's page.
Dispatches Across Eternity. A novelist looks at Earth's Final Kingdom.

Who wants to know everything about you?

Just what is the purpose of all this knowing?

by Craige McMillan
Beyond the obvious, which was covered in my column, who is it that really wants to know every little detail about our mundane daily lives? Your car has a GPS. It takes you where you want to go. But it probably logs the route you travel, and your start and arrival times as well. If you have connectivity in your car you can bet that someone is collecting your travel information and somebody else is buying it.

Law enforcement doesn't have to depend upon GPS, however. They have license plate scanners that operate from patrol cars and probably public transport. Over time they will snap multiple images of any given license plate at different times and places. Perhaps one day you will be parked in a friend's driveway. Click. A grocery store. Click. A hospital to visit a friend. Click. Once uploaded into a central database, everything can be connected.

Does it matter?

Maybe, maybe not. Maybe this police chief or mayor is only interested in solving crimes. Maybe the next one will want to go after opponents. There's no way to tell, is there?

The cost of storage is very cheap. Software can put together your travels, preferred routes, times of travel and destinations. If you take the bus, facial recognition software makes it even easier. Click when you board; click when you leave. Social media has everyone tagged in one photo or another. That connects your image with a vast treasure-trove of your daily thought, feelings, and frustrated rants. Just let everything hang out! What's one more flag in the database? Maybe social media hands over their info, maybe the sell it, maybe they keep it private. Maybe is all we know.

Did you take an airliner somewhere? Somebody else knows. Did you search online for detination info? It's all recorded. Did you rent a car with GPS? It's tied to your credit card. Dining? Shopping? A club you'd prefer to keep private? Unless your travel is within the confines of your own home, somebody else knows.

Search engines know your hatreds, your fears, your aspirations and your failures. They know if you are looking for a new job. Maybe your employer would like to know, too? Beyond your shopping habits they know your thought habits. They know what you're looking for, which of their suggestions you've visited looking for it, and if you found it.

Have a mobile phone? Hey, man! What do you think I am? A luddite? Well, whatever you are, you're pretty darn easy to track. Maybe your phone is obedient and simply carries your voice from its microphone to your listener's ear. Or maybe a third party has been added into the mix? Maybe your microphone activates when you don't make a call? Maybe it transmits what it hears along with your location and the time of the event? Maybe, maybe, maybe. We just don't know, do we?


All this leads to something called omniscience. Throughout human history, God alone has been credited as all-knowing. In just a few short years, advertisers, government, tech billionaires and probably employers will be just as all knowing. And within the four walls of your home? Well, your television listens to you as well. You do leave your phone on, don't you?

Artificial intelligence will synthesize all this information. Then it will develop a strategy for dealing with you under various scenarios. Voting. Policing. Predicting…early intervention. It will connect up your friends, your enemies and all your dark secrets. It will know just where you will hide out after you do something stupid.

Does that sound like heaven on earth to you? It does to perhaps a few hundred uber-wealthy and connected people in the world. Volume three of the Armageddon Story novel series. Absolution: The Singularity.


Pen graphic for contacting novelist Craige McMillan, creator of the Armageddon Story; Judgment, Interrupted novel series

Copyright 2018 Craige McMillan. All Rights Reserved.
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