Your Car is Watching You

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If knowledge is power, there sure is a lot of power lying around out there, waiting for someone to pick it up and use it.

Modern cars are full of computers, and those computers transmit all sorts of data back to the car’s manufacturer: not only data on the car’s performance… but on yours ( Data on your weight, what restaurants you go to, what music you listen to, and your choice of destinations.

And if you connect your smartphone (beware anything that’s sold to you as “smart”!) to your car, watch out! You’ll be sending the manufacturer a lot of personal information expressed in your phone calls and whatever else a smartphone does. I don’t have one.

Although European Union courts have ruled that the information thus collected belongs to you, the car’s owner, here in the U.S. we don’t yet have any laws as to how this information may be used, or by whom–just a set of voluntary guidelines adopted by the industry five years ago.

Who’s to stop the manufacturer from selling your information to whoever wants to pay for it? From turning it over to, say, the IRS or some other government agency? Nobody, actually. What we have here is your car watching you, listening in on you, and reporting all of it back to the manufacturer. And where it goes from there–who knows?

And another thing nobody knows–how to put this genie back into the bottle.

Study: Teen Depression Way Up Since 2012

According to a new study published by Clinical Psychological Science–which you could read more about, if WordPress would allow my news links to link to any news–the number of American teenagers feeling “useless and joyless”–that is, depressed–increased by 33% from 2010-2015; and at the same time, teen suicides increased by 31% (

The author of the article I try in vain to link to believes something happened in 2012 to fuel this epidemic of teen depression. In 2012, she says, “smartphone” ownership in America passed the 50% mark–and a lot of teens were spending a lot of time online: much more than is good for them.

I’m not going to defend the smart phone. Anything carrying the label “smart” is almost certain to be  bad for you. But this answer strikes me as far too simple.

The biggest thing missing in these teenagers’ lives is family. And family is even more important for young, developing children. But now both parents are chasing their careers all day, they think “quality time” is driving the kids to soccer for half an hour on the weekend, and they make up for what they know, deep down inside, to be neglect by buying their kids expensive goodies. Like smartphones.

And the kids go to public school where they learn that there is no God, their country sucks, their parents are idiots, the only sins are political sins as defined by left-wing teacher unions and the Democrat Party, abortion is a holy sacrament, Science Is Real and your life has no intrinsic meaning–and why, O 12-year-old, aren’t you having sex every chance you get? You must be a biggit!

The wonder is that they aren’t all depressed.

Keep your kids out of public school, make time to raise them yourselves, and don’t give them smartphones. And I’ll betcha anything the depression rate goes down.