I closed out my article last week (some might have called it a rant) with a term, which by the way, I hope and pray I just made up -- "thought police."
The speech police is a reality today, and I am a little concerned that one day we might lose the last bastion of privacy known to man (or persons) -- the privacy of thought. You say it can't happen?
Well, we already know that whatever website you surf, some gigantic media clearinghouse somewhere has it locked in. Within a few minutes, after I check out AutoTrader for a van or SUV, I am bombarded on Facebook with ads featuring those same vehicles. I get e-mails from them. Hey, not so fast!
I've also been told that my Android phone can transmit to this mystery clearing house exactly where I am located at any given moment. I heard on the news recently that not even removing the sim card will prevent it. We've come a long way from the time when Walker Texas Ranger could clip a tracker under the wheel well of a criminal's vehicle and monitor his whereabouts.
And how "smart" are these Smart TVs? If someone on FOX news utters some political thought you disagree with, and you shout rants back at your TV, are your "subversive" words being collected somewhere, and one day when you want to run for city council, it will be played on a big screen for all to see -- and hear? There goes your political career.
Will the day come when technology has advanced to the point some kind of laser-like beam can penetrate the brain, transmitting your innermost thoughts? Disney toyed with such a storyline in the Disney movie The Misadventures of Merlin Jones (Tommy Kirk) in the early 1960s. A college "egghead" doing experiments on brain waves, accidentally let some antennas on his makeshift high-tech helmet touch a live electrical current, enabling him to hear people's thoughts for several hours. It made for some great humor. Nowadays I'm not so sure such couldn't become a reality.
Preacher, next time that thug cuts you off in traffic, you'd best just pray for them, quote scripture and go on. Don't hurl expletives at him in the privacy of your car -- don't even think it! The incident may be exposed on the church video screen the following Sunday.
I pray to God that these Smartphones will never do more than just pinpoint our location. I don't want to get a print out in the mail stating, "Our reports reveal that on January 23, 2018, you were at Red Lobster in Lufkin, Texas at 12:03 p.m. -- and you wanted to order raw oysters but selected fried crawfish instead. This information has been transmitted to your physician."
Yes, perhaps I'm having a little fun letting my mind run amuck with a few self-made conspiracy theories -- but do you recall 50 years ago, watching Dick Tracy talk to Go Go Gomez on his watch? And if you didn't say it, you at least thought, "how outlandish?"
Well, how do you feel about that today?