An Amazingly Stupid Idea

Image result for images of delivery man entering house

For those of you who missed it in the comment section today, there’s a new technology that will let delivery personnel into your house or apartment when you aren’t home (

Are we getting ourselves in too deep with our technology?

The problem they’re trying to solve is people stealing your stuff because you weren’t there when it was delivered. So they will have “a link to an Internet-connected door lock” so the deliveryman can get in.

If you need me to explain why this is a bad idea, you need to think it through a little longer.

I’m pretty happy with amazon’s delivery system as it is. If there are people in your neighborhood who steal your packages, it won’t help to replace it with another problem that might easily turn out to be much worse: allowing some stranger to potter around in your home while you’re absent and maybe get to wondering where you keep your credit cards, etc.

But these days, if any idea is all that bad… they’ve just gotta do it.

11 comments on “An Amazingly Stupid Idea

  1. Sounds like a parable about government to me: Hey, you can’t trust your friends, family, and neighbors, so trust the faceless bureaucrats with your life instead.

    1. I should have said “a parable about government propaganda,” instead, to make it clear that it’s the government spin that’s coming up, not my own opinion.

    2. As a liberal member of my family once said, “The government takes better care of you!” I am afraid he was an adult when he said it.

  2. A very scary thought is that people are so willing to allow these techno-invaders into every aspect of their lives.

  3. However did we survive before? We are becoming far too dependent upon technology. How ironic would it be if the very things mankind exalts are the things that end up ensnaring him.

  4. There are ramifications of our “connected” world which I find very troubling. There are even smart refrigerators now, which allow you to query the fridge from the grocery store. I fail to see the pressing need for this.

    But it goes far beyond Amazon’s idea and smart appliances. We’ve been being gamed for years, and blithely cooperating. When I go to the grocery store, if I give them an identity card tied to my phone number they will dramatically discount some purchases, or so they say. The fact is, they are not discounting in the slightest, they are overcharging if I refuse to give them private information about myself.

    If I take that same card to certain gas stations, I will receive a modest “discount” on the price of gas. So now the grocery store knows where I buy my gas and has a good estimate of how many miles I drive. They are starting to piece together an interesting little dossier. They will know if I buy enough vegetables, or too many sweets. They will know if I buy liquor. They will know how much gas I use and be able to track my travel to some degree.

    If I use a credit card for any store purchase or to buy gas (while using their “discount” card) they will have a treasure trove of information about me which locks my identity down to an absolute. There is only one person with my credit card numbers, only one person with my phone number.

    Beyond the obvious breach of privacy, there is a frightening possibility of misinterpretation. Suppose that I purchase items for the benefit of others. A realtor hosting open house events might buy an inordinate amount of cookies and coffee. A person that hosts worship meetings in their home might buy a lot of wine for communion.

    Any time we use a credit card, we leave bread crumbs, so to speak. When we use the “discount” cards offered by supermarket chains we leave tastier bread crumbs. When you tie all of this together, a highly accurate picture emerges; a picture which has the potential to destroy your privacy.

    One thing that both amazes and frightens me is the way online ordering affects my web browsing experience. Some time back, I bought a book about Abraham Lincoln’s life and personality. It illuminated the fact that Lincoln was quite prone to depression. Right after I bought that book, my web browser began to display ads for firms that treated depression. Apparently just reading about Lincoln’s Melancholy was enough to label me as a depressive. How utterly senseless.

    What’s next, will I get ads from cancer treatment centers if I read the biography of someone that died of cancer. If I read about Lou Gehrig will I be targeted with ads for hospitals which specialize in ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease? What if I read book about someone that died of AIDS or some other STD? If I read about Dillinger will I be labeled as a potential bank robber? If I read John Belushi’s biography will my computer decide that I use cocaine? Heaven help me if I ever read the biography of Woody Allen or Harvey Weinstein. 🙂

    When information is collected, it WILL be put to use. The gravest danger is when that information is misused, and I suspect that is already happening.

    1. The digital age has made privacy and anonymity a thing of the past. A lot of this is driven the the technocracy movement that began in the the 1930s. They believe that scientists and engineers, not politicians, should run things. They want to micromanage society like some sort of real life Sim City game to create the perfect society. It’s really just another form of Utopianism. Back then they didn’t have the technology to do it, but now they do. This is why everything is being wired to the internet, which will be used to provide feedback and managed remotely. There’s lots of scary places this can go. The end result could be something like a digital prison that you cannot see or touch, but monitors and controls your every movement.

    2. That is soooo 1930s! “Let the smartest people rule.” Only they always turn out to be even bigger idiots than the rest of us.

  5. They say the most frightening words in the English language are: “I’m from the Government, and I am here to help you.”

    The NSA (and hackers, or is that being redundant) has the ability to turn on the camera in smart phones and on our computers even when they are off. I read where the latest TV sets can be hacked so the hacker is watching you, even if your TV set is off. Seems like George Orwell was onto something when he wrote “1984.”

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