I received this share today from a cousin:
-Hello! Is this Gordon’s Pizza?
-No, sir, it’s Google’s Pizza.
-Did I dial the wrong number?                                             pizzaTakeout
-No, sir, Google bought the pizza store.
-Oh, all right – then I’d like to place an order, please.
-Okay, sir, do you want the usual?
-The usual? You know what my usual is?
-According to the caller ID, the last 15 times you’ve ordered a 12-slice with double-cheese, sausage, and thick crust.
-Okay – that’s what I want this time too.
-May I suggest that this time you order an 8-slice with ricotta, arugula, and tomato instead?
-No, I hate vegetables.
-But your cholesterol is not good.
-How do you know?
-Through the subscribers’ guide. We have the results of your blood tests for the last 7 years.
-Maybe so, but I don’t want the pizza you suggest – I already take medicine for high cholesterol.
-But you haven’t taken the medicine regularly. Four months ago, you purchased from Drugsale Network a box of only 30 tablets.
-I bought more from another drugstore.
-It’s not showing on your credit card, sir.
-I paid in cash.
-But according to your bank statement you did not withdraw that much cash.
-I have another source of cash.
-This is not showing on your last tax form, unless you got it from an undeclared income source.
-WHAT THE HELL? ENOUGH! I’m sick of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. I’m going to an island without internet, where there’s no cellphone line, and no one to spy on me.
-I understand, sir, but you’ll need to renew your passport. It expired 5 weeks ago.

Sometimes I feel haunted by technology. After searching for something on Amazon, I find related objects popping up on Face Book and Outlook showing that someone has tracked my history. Some computer that is registering my buying patterns posts ads at another time targeting these patterns. It is unsettling.

What’s happening that I don’t know about? I have not heretofore worried about listeners and hidden records. I have thought that if we have nothing to hide, we don’t need to be troubled by the knowledge stored about us. Aside from a couple of hacks of my Face Book identity, I have not felt threatened. We, of course, use a computer program to protect us from malware of various kinds.

Should we be afraid? We lock our doors and take rational precautions in driving and negotiating our physical lives. We protect medically and financially (sorry, no money under the mattress). We make sure relevant taxes are paid. Centerville, a city of 17,000 people, by its nature doesn’t have a high crime rate (unless we are the ones burglarized—at which it rises to 100%). Do we need to install surveillance cameras everywhere?

Security is necessary to wellbeing. Frightened people are the core of millions of refugees that are now fleeing to anywhere they can, some leaving everything behind. As I look out my window at our quiet, affluent street I know that an earthquake is predicted to occur at any time, We’ve got cards in the kitchen to signal our status to potential rescuers. Should I become a mental refugee, afraid and unsettled before the earth shakes? To assume a jungle mentality expecting an anaconda to drop out of the trees or a tiger to pounce doesn’t seem realistic—unless the jungle is the invisible internet and there really are virtual “lions and tigers and bears” out there. PMA

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