Have you ever downloaded a free app, or innocently searched for a product on Google, only to see your private information fed back to you via targeted advertising? Perhaps it was a private conversation you had over text with a family member, or an email between coworkers–but it made you wonder how much of your private life is actually that private.

The topic of personal privacy may be one of the most important issues facing our society today. With every tech innovation–from social media, to smartphone and even smart houses–more and more of our personal data is getting fed to large entities like Facebook, Google and even the U.S. government. Mark Angelides, author of the forthcoming The Second American Revolution: Tech Tyranny and Digital Despots, thinker, and expert on Ancient Chinese Poetry, shares his insights into how these issues both today’s and tomorrow’s generations.

Is identity politics an acceptable way for Americans to view themselves and the political system?

Identity politics is certainly pervasive, and we all have an urge to be “part of the club,” or feel more included in an increasingly-isolating world. But Americans used to have membership of one the best, most-exclusive clubs in the world: they could identify as Americans. As the very concept of nationality begins to be challenged, and the existence of nation-states comes under fire from those who believe in fully-open borders for all, Americans have sadly lost that interconnectedness. In its place has risen the idea of Identity Politics. There’s no turning the clock back, but it’s a shame that such a vital connectivity has been broken.

Why is the federal deficit an issue for Americans? How much is the federal debt? Should the issue of unfunded future liabilities be discussed or does it complicate the situation?

I think the keyword here is liability. We hear a lot of chatter about handing over the world to the next generation in a better state then we first inherited it. You see this in the talk about Climate Change … rightly or wrongly. The vast majority of people just want to hand down a better future. But when you have unfunded liabilities, what you’re really handing down are commitments to programs, commitments to spending, based on money that doesn’t actually exist yet … you’re handing down a timebomb.

Why is the tax rate an issue in American Politics?  What would the ideal tax rate be? What would the ideal tax structure be from a LN point of view?

Liberty Nation is a very broad church. We have authors from a range of political perspectives and as such, don’t have one unifying view on what an ideal tax rate might be.

But I think we can all agree on one aspect: It should be as low as possible to keep the country running, without applying undue hardship on those who have to struggle to make ends meet. If that means cutting waste, streamlining government, avoiding adopting ruinous policies, then so be it.

In Tech Tyranny many warning signs are mentioned. From Liberty Nation’s viewpoint, what are some of the warnings that we should look out for as a nation living in the digital world?

Perhaps the key concept is that of personal privacy. What you do in your daily life is your business. We all love technological innovation that strives to make life better, and safer, but for so many of these new products, the real goal is not to provide the consumer with an improved life. That’s perhaps just a byproduct. The real purpose of so many innovations is simply to gather as much information on you and your habits as possible. We often forget that a free app or service is so rarely actually free… we pay for it with our privacy and in some cases, liberty.

Every book has a story that brings it into fruition, what is the story that inspired the book “The Second American Revolution: Tech Tyranny” by Liberty Nation?

As with many of these things, the concept really grew out of multiple conversations, happenings in the world, and to be blunt, shocks.

Much of our time at Liberty Nation is devoted to tracking down the root of stories; this involves digging deep into data, finding the connections, analyzing what you’ve found. And what we found was that personal privacy is at an all-time low….but here’s the thing, most people don’t even realize the uses their personal information is being put to. They don’t realize that they are being constantly tracked, recorded, classified, in ways that they didn’t really give express permission for. When someone wants to send a message via an App to a friend, they don’t have the option to say: “I just want to send a message, I don’t want a range of organizations to know where I am, who I’m interacting with, what other Apps I’m currently running, what key words I might be sending.” That’s not what people want. But that’s what happens.

Liberty nation really just wants everyone to know what they are letting themselves in for, perhaps shed a little light on what is traditionally a secretive industry.

Interview provided by Mark Angelides of Liberty Nation. https://www.libertynation.com


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