I’m fascinated by this Edward Snowden business: yet another whistle blower gives us a glimpse of what our ‘free’ western governments are up to, namely collecting data (and I pretty much mean all data) to protect us from all sorts of evils – and how this somehow turned into a mechanistic collection of literally all available data. On everyone. You. Me. My cats. Nietzsche talks about how staring at an abyss ends up with the abyss staring back at you. Besides the obvious HP Lovecraft association, this raises an interesting point, often raised by people sceptical of modern technology, especially social media: what if someone uses all this knowledge against us? Should we not try to minimise our engagement, be careful what we post – and hope no one ever interprets what we do in some way that will look suspicious, even though we’re perfectly innocent? Well, I have to say: too late. What’s suspicious lies in the eye of the beholder, and whatever our level of engagement with social media, or the Internets in general – we have created a world in which we are surrounded by technology that observes us on a constant basis. Hell, I have a smartphone that decides not to darken its screen by using its front facing camera to check if I’m still looking at it! Talk about spooky. But, surprisingly, it doesn’t freak me out – I don’t expect anything else than that technology which can observe us, will be used for that very purpose; and if not by the state, then by commercially interested parties. I find it fascinating to see that our ‘modern’ and ‘free’ societies resemble the dystopian visions of 1970s sci-fi more than we would have thought possible then. Am I worried – yes, but I’ve been worried since then. But I must admit, I’m mostly fascinated, given that I have no control over this anyway – I have been probably staring at that abyss for just a bit too long.