"As every man goes through life
he fills in a number of forms for the record,
each containing a number of questions .
There are thus hundreds of little threads
radiating from every man,
millions of threads in all.

If these threads were suddenly to become visible,
the whole sky would look like a spider’s web,
and if they materialized as rubber bands;
buses, trams and even people would all lose the ability to move,
and the wind would be unable to carry torn-up newspapers
or autumn leaves along the streets of the city.

They are not visible, they are not material, but
every man is constantly aware of their existence.
Each man, permanently aware of his own invisible threads
naturally develops a respect for the people who manipulate the threads
"


Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Cancer Ward - 1966


Today, everyman is not "constantly aware" of pervasive data collection, or how the "threads of self revelation are connected." Solzhenitsyn implied that in Stalin's Russia, the threads were obvious to everybody. In the course of his daily commerce, his bits of ordinary data were filled into forms. He later noticed the data from those forms became "threads" that kept him under the control of the communist party. His threads were chains. Today, the act of data collection is intentionally hidden. No forms are needed.



So, why do citizens of the EU have privacy protections (the GDPR) against this tangle of threads but not the freedom loving Americans? Is it that many EU citizens live closer to (or in) Germany... to Russia? Do they have better memories? Whatever the explanation, they seem to understand that Privacy is an essential issue in the Information Age. Politics and finding solutions for urgent issues of survival (like fixing politics) can't move forward if we are tangled up in threads.



Developments in high tech look interesting through the lens of privacy. The threads of personal information go interesting places. On this site, no news, no ads, no comments, no distractions No left, no right. It's fodder for conversation, a challenge to dialog. Think of it as a magazine on a kitchen table between friends - where no one else is listening. Ok... maybe Google or Siri - but that's getting ahead of the story.