Government Intrusion VI

by | Apr 30, 2012 | Archives

Government Intrusion VI – Intrusion is here and it is local.

Chapter One explained how this series started when taking a picture of my granddaughter and my camera started flashing local ads on my image screen. My camera was being tracked. What implications! If algorithms could spot where I was, could they also reverse the process and even know what photos I was taking?

April 23 Wired article tags:

Photo from an April 23, 2012 article “Mobile Carriers Lobby Against Cellphone Location Privacy Bill by David Kravets that says:  Cellphone companies are objecting to proposed California legislation that would force them to publicly report the number of times they turn over cellphone location information to police and federal agents, arguing that it’s too burdensome, and would take time away from the important work of sharing customer data with cops “day and night.”

In a way we are seeing a race between governments and big business over who intrudes most in our lives.  In some cases its even worse…. big business and the government are working together to intrude.

For example, excerpts from the April 2012 article “U.S. Escalates Google Case by Hiring Noted Outside Lawyer” by David Streitfeild says: Federal regulators escalated their antitrust investigation of Google on Thursday by hiring a prominent litigator, sending a strong signal that they are prepared to take the Internet giant to court.

The Federal Trade Commission is examining Google’s immensely powerful and lucrative search technology, which directs users to hundreds of millions of online and offline destinations every day. The case has the potential to be the biggest showdown between regulators and Silicon Valley since the government took on Microsoft 14 years ago.

Then as now, the core question is whether power was abused. The agency’s inquiry has focused on whether Google has manipulated its search results, making it less likely that competing companies or products appear at the top of a results page.

The Microsoft case in the late 1990s transformed the tech industry, reining in its most powerful company and allowing for the rise of new companies like Google. Now Google wields the same sort of power that Microsoft once did, and is under the same sort of scrutiny.

It has been involved in one privacy controversy after another over the last year. Indeed, the announcement of the hiring of Ms. Wilkinson — made by the Federal Trade Commission’s chairman, Jon Leibowitz, at a meeting in San Francisco with reporters — eclipsed Google’s formal response earlier Thursday to a fine by the Federal Communications Commission for obstructing a separate investigation.

Google’s Privacy Changes

An CNN article by Doug Gross that appeared in February 2012 before Google’s new privacy policy kicked in was entitled “How to prepare for Google’s privacy changes” said  Under Google’s new privacy policy, a single profile of users will be created across various products.

To say that the change has stirred concern on the Web would be an understatement. Public officials and Web watchdogs in the United States and elsewhere have expressed fears that it will mean less privacy for users of the Web giant’s multitude of products, from search to Gmail to YouTube to Google Maps to smartphones powered by the Android operating system.

The major change is that, instead of profiling users separately on each of its sites and products, Google will now pull all of that information together into one single profile, similar to what’s found on Google’s dashboard page.

The result encapsulates perhaps the most basic conundrum of the modern Web. More information means better service (and potentially, more targeted advertisements). But that service (in this case more accurate search results, more interesting ads and new features that work across multiple sites) requires you to give up some of your privacy in return.

Here is the crunch… If one stops using Google, they lose a lot.  If one wants to turn off the data collecting process, it is very complicated. Most of us like ignoring the fine print at the bottom of the page, and just go along with the status quo.

Then there is the Government.

Better still we should say “There Are The Governments”…  Federal, State, County, City.

Even local governments can intrude now.

This excerpt from a  March 31, 2012 New York Times article entitled Police Are Using Phone Tracking as a Routine Tool by Eric Lichtblau shows intrusion at local government levels and says: Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show.

The practice has become big business for cellphone companies, too, with a handful of carriers marketing a catalog of “surveillance fees” to police departments to determine a suspect’s location, trace phone calls and texts or provide other services. Some departments log dozens of traces a month for both emergencies and routine investigations.

With cellphones ubiquitous, the police call phone tracing a valuable weapon in emergencies like child abductions and suicide calls and investigations in drug cases and murders. One police training manual describes cellphones as “the virtual biographer of our daily activities,” providing a hunting ground for learning contacts and travels.

But civil liberties advocates say the wider use of cell tracking raises legal and constitutional questions, particularly when the police act without judicial orders.

The internal documents, which were provided to The New York Times, open a window into a cloak-and-dagger practice that police officials are wary about discussing publicly. While cell tracking by local police departments has received some limited public attention in the last few years, the A.C.L.U. documents show that the practice is in much wider use — with far looser safeguards — than officials have previously acknowledged.

In cities in Nevada, North Carolina and other states, police departments have gotten wireless carriers to track cellphone signals back to cell towers as part of nonemergency investigations to identify all the callers using a particular tower, records show.

Intrusion in our cell phones are not close to the intrusion that is taking place.  We’ll see more of this in upcoming chapters of the Government Intrusion report, but in this chapter we no want to look at the silver lining.

Our reports have been looking at government intrusion since the 1970s and the problem is not the intrusion but a lack of knowing how to gain from it.

A wonderful story on NPR tells how a Chinese community dealt with government intrusion there.

An excerpt from the article says: In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China’s economy in ways that are still reverberating today.

The contract was so risky — and such a big deal — because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village’s collective farm; there was no personal property.

In theory, the government would take what the collective grew, and would also distribute food to each family. There was no incentive to work hard — to go out to the fields early, to put in extra effort, Yen Jingchang says.

“Work hard, don’t work hard — everyone gets the same,” he says. “So people don’t want to work.”

In Xiaogang there was never enough food, and the farmers often had to go to other villages to beg.

So, in the winter of 1978, after another terrible harvest, they came up with an idea: Rather than farm as a collective, each family would get to farm its own plot of land. If a family grew a lot of food, that family could keep some of the harvest.

This is an old idea, of course. But in communist China of 1978, it was so dangerous that the farmers had to gather in secret to discuss it.

The farmers tried to keep the contract secret — Yen Hongchang hid it inside a piece of bamboo in the roof of his house — but when they returned to the fields, everything was different.

At the end of the season, they had an enormous harvest: more, Yen Hongchang says, than in the previous five years combined.

That huge harvest gave them away. Local officials figured out that the farmers had divided up the land, and word of what had happened in Xiaogang made its way up the Communist Party chain of command.

Within a few years, farms all over China adopted the principles in that secret document.  Since 1978, something like 500 million people have risen out of poverty in China.

Today, the Chinese government is clearly proud of what happened in Xiaogang. That contract is now in a museum.

We’ll try to identify and formulate ideas in this report that you can use to help overcome intrusion.

One idea for example is to earn as a writer and self publisher. The US government cannot interfere much due to Freedom of the Press provided by the First Amendment to the Constitution.  Second, this is a mobile business that one can take anywhere. Third, as government intrusion makes life more complicated… writers can make life simpler. Fourth, they can fill the demand for more and more information.  Fifth, government intrusion demolishes  faith in the institutions.  This creates a need for rallying points so people can still belong to areas of focus that they believe.  This is a growing role filled by writers.

We have a course on how to be a writer and publisher and are wrapping up our recent year of updates.   Here is an excerpt from one of the lessons.

Self Publishing 202… Tidbits on Kindle

Lesson 8:  Focusing on Fun & Profit to Overcome “Writer’s Block” and “Writer’s Agitation”.

This lesson looks at how to make writing and publishing fun and fulfilling.  When we enjoy the process, our chances of success rise.  More importantly we can use fun as one of nature’s most powerful forces to overcome writer’s block.

gary-scott-image tags:

One way I avoid writer’s block is by moving around. Here I am writing by the pool. Other times I’m in the lanai… sometimes on the couch… other times I write sitting under a tree. Once in awhile I even  use my office.

We all have a story to tell.  The most basic fundamental for success in writing and publishing is a good story that suits your specific reader.  When we live and tell the stories we are meant to share, we get in the zone.  Vice versa, when we are in the zone, the stories we tell are the ones we are meant to share.

When in the zone something wonderful happens. Words just flow… time stands still and stories write themselves.

Then there are the dreaded times when nothing flows… everything seems forced…  you can’t sit still.  Or even worse… writer’s block arrives and nothing comes out.

This s a very long lesson, compiled from many reports I have written about Super Thinking AKA “being in the zone”.

But most of this lesson is just scientific and case study back up.  Let’s share how to overcome writer’s block.

I have been writing for so many years and have such a clear vision of what my readers desire that my “stuff” comes out quite easily.  In fact often too many ideas come out and I picture being like my hound dog chasing our flock of chickens… running from one chicken to the next… in fits and starts… not sure which chicken’s tail feathers to grab.

I call this mental state “Writer’s Agitation.”

Either form of mental imbalance… too little… or too much can be equally disruptive to the writing process.  In either case… the most active… least creative of our brain waves…. the in the box, logical, linear, restrictive beta waves are dominating.

When in the zone, all the brain waves are integrating and pulling together.

Merri and I have a three part routine that helps us get into and stay in a whole brain state for writing.

Routine and writing everyday is important… even if what you write does not seem correct.  Do not fear having to throw away a day’s worth of writing.  If you do the effort was not wasted but is part of getting you into the zone.   This is no different than exercise… some days it is effortless…other days is does not come easy.

Routine overcomes this so make a routine to write every day… ideally around the same time.

First, before we write, Merri and I meditate or relax.    Then we walk in the woods or somewhere in nature… or something mundane and repetitive that we love doings… planting flowers… crops…. harvesting. 

This for us is not work, it’s fun and does not require logical thought.  We use TM… a form of meditation to start the day… but any relaxation or meditation tactic you choose… that works for you… is great.  There are many great ways to relax and or meditate.

Then we usually go for a 45 to 60 minute walk… all before breakfast.

Second, we listen to Baroque music to modulate the frequencies of our mind. We experience the power of sound… every day… listening to 60 cycle Baroque music.   The power of music (frequencies in tune with the flow of nature) creates order out of chaotic days.

Here is a portion of the 60 cycle music list we use.

Bach, J.S.: Largo from Concerto in G Minor for Flute and Strings. Bach and Telemann Flute Concerts and Aria to The Goldberg Variations.
Corelli, A.: Sarabanda (largo) from Concerto #7 in D Minor.
Corelli: 12 Concerti Grossi op.5.
Handel, G.F.: Largo from Concerto #1 in F. Music from the Royal Fireworks.
Telemann, G.: Largo from Double Fantasia in G Major for Harpsichord.
6 Fantasias for Harpsichord Vivaldi, A.: Largo from Winter. The Four Seasons.

Remaining relaxed in stressful circumstances can be as simple as listening to relaxing Baroque music such as Handel’s Water Music. A few other compositions at this cycle include Corelli’s Concerti Grossi, Op. 6, Violin and Orchestra in No. 2, 8, 5, 9. or J.S. Bach’s Fantasy in C Minor and Trio in D minor or Vivaldi’s Five Concertos for Flute and Chamber Orchestra and of course Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Third, we take the food supplement, Theanine, (chemical name: r-glutamylethylamide) an amino acid that helps the mind slip into the zone as well.

Theanine is one of the chemicals found in green tea. Theanine is used to reduce stress and anxiety without the tranquilizing effects found in many other calming agents. Scientific evidence shows that Theanine stimulates the brain’s production of alpha waves, making the user feel relaxed but alert and not drowsy. It also helps the body produce other calming amino acids, such as dopamine, GABA, and tryptophan. As might be expected from a calming supplement, Theanine may be able to lower elevated blood pressure as well.

We use the “Source Naturals” brand called Theanine Serene.

This is pretty much a daily routine as we write almost every day.

Idea Freshening Secret

This routine works pretty well for us.

However our problem is that we often have a lot to write… often on demand.   I suggest that most writers write each day for at least 30 minutes, but sometimes our business requires that I write for eight hours… for a week or more at a time!

When I feel stale… when the writing becomes work rather than fun then  have another tactic that helps me return to the higher forms of intelligence that we cannot access in normal lingual form.

I practice this technique in writing and business and we teach it in our Frequency Modulation Workshop during our Writer’s Camps.

Here are the three steps in this mind freshening technique:

Step #1: Write by hand for five or ten minutes everything you can about the idea your are writing on.  This connects the the mind/body functions and helps integrate the brain waves.

Step #2: Take a ten minute meditation or sit quietly for 10 minutes listening to Baroque largo music.  Relax and let your mind wander… use innocence… no expectation.

Step #3: At the end of ten minutes write down whatever is on your mind at that time. Write as much about it as you can even if it does not seem to fit into what you have been writing… just let it flow.

In the thoughts… in the visions that you have at the end of the ten minute meditation or in the quiet listening, there will be an out of the box idea to dwell on… often in graphic form… a picture rather than words.  Dwell easily on this in context of your publication.

This tactic was taught to us by a Buddhist Monk and what it does is let the fresh parts of the brain take over the creative process.

I learned about brain fatigue many years ago when I as being treated for visual problems caused from a blow to my head (I walked into the swing of a baseball bat).   If there is swelling on the optic nerves, the message that gets to the brain can be scrambled and this requires mental capacity to unscramble the message coming through.  The brain learn how to function in a different, less efficient way.  One way to deal with this is to shut down peripheral vision. Imbalances can also eliminate depth perception.

Later when the swelling goes down, the brain has to go through a relearning process to regain efficiency.  In my case my depth perception was gone and the physician was having a hard time to retrain the brain to see varied dimensions.

One routine he used on my was to have me listen to a tape for 20 minutes and keep track of how many words I would hear. The tape started with Table… later it shifted to Mable… then Fable and then Cable… on and on all able words.

I proudly kept count and when I provided my tally the doctor smiled and said “do you know how many words you really heard”?  “One.”  “Table.”

What happened is that the part of the brain that was stimulated when it heard the frequency that it interprets as “Table” was stimulated too many times, it became fatigued so it passed on the job to a nearby area of the brain that was stimulated when when it heard the frequency that it interprets as “Mable”. When that part of the brain was fatigued  it passed it on again and so forth.  I really thought I heard many Able words because my brain was fatigued.

A synonym for fatigue of the brain is boredom so if your mind becomes bored with what you are writing… you stop having fun.

This three step idea freshening technique taps you into larger… more interesting fields of intelligence so your brain and mind body connection can continue to create.

We are all connected…we are all a part of infinite intelligence… that is overwhelming in relation to our ability to think… especially in terms as restrictive as language.  The universe terra, terra infinite, bytes of data.  Our logic in comparison as a processor… not even 64K.  So at the least we cannot expect to tap into the universe in English.   Symbols perhaps.  These symbols that come in a dreamlike state will lead us where we as writers will have fun.

That’s it… how to overcome “Writer’s Block” or “Writer’s Agitation”.

If you jog, you legs muscles with grow… your cardiovascular system with expand.  You do not have to know why.

End of Excerpt

Intrusion is here from both big business and government. We choose to accept it because the tools we use that allow this intrusion work so well.   This intrusion is growing at local as well as national and global levels.  Intrusion brings change. Change can bring problems. Problems can however create opportunity.

We look forward to finding and sharing that opportunity with you.


Read New York Times U.S. Escalates Google Case by Hiring Noted Outside Lawyer

New York Times Police Are Using Phone Tracking as a Routine Tool

NPR Secret Documents

Wired’s article Mobile Carriers Lobby Against Cellphone Location Privacy Bill