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What I'd say is that until somewhat recently, I was interested in politics but not engaged. I took your position during that part of my life. Now that I'm actually engaging in political activities, COINTELPRO and its current incarnations scare the bejesus out of me, and I'm not doing anything that radical, just left of the Democratic Party. YMMV.

There may come a time in your life when you wish to have a say in the political system or are wronged by a powerful corporation. You'd care in that case. When your political rights disappear, they aren't easy to get back.

I agree that one in that context cares, but I think you can agree that most people are not in that context. So on the whole, they receive benefits from deep data integration and no immediate downsides.

Which circles back to the original question: should a person feel guilt over creating tools that help the average user and harm the political dissident? Seems an open question. Perhaps one heavily dependent upon whether the actor agrees with the political dissident's position.

Generally, dissent is a healthy thing and you'll get a better society that way. Once the capability for real dissent is eroded, the social controls of the society will be turned to the benefit of the victorious faction. This turns out poorly for everyone else.

We should not be creating a mass surveillance state. The actual abuses domestically generally of minority populations, abroad, generally of non-NATO civilian populations, and potential domestic abuses (with many well noted assassinations and infiltrations in the past) are alarming and have already stronger, more precise abilities for social control of the population by the state than existed in dictatorships. The Stasi would have killed for the NSA's database and planting live tracking beacons on most citizens.

I'm on the left, but the non-financial political freedoms of the right are a bellwether for my own (though the literally genocidal far right is a more complex discussion). In general this makes a lot of logical sense because conservatives and right wing ideologues wish to maintain the status quo (literally to conserve it) or to return society to a past state (e.g. the relation of men and women, the role of religion, etc.), and range from libertarian to authoritarian, neither of which really threaten established authorities (and often reinforce them) and so are treated with kid gloves (watch how police treat right wingers at protests on average). Blue lives matter is a right wing cri de cœur that's an example of a "protest" that celebrates existing civil authorities.

Liberals and more-so leftists wish to change society into a new state which threatens the established order. Therefore, the civil authorities do not treat them with deference. Typically political freedoms lost by the right are applied with vengeance against the left.

Encourage dissent. We make fun of countries that don't. :)

EDIT: added info on why losses of political freedoms for the right are an especially bad bellwether

Perhaps we need more freedom in this scenario. We have public airwaves which are presently owned by corporations (the highest bidder) where in fact we ought to give everyone the freedom to carve out a slot of that bandwidth in their spatial region. We ought to homestead the airwaves giving individuals the ability to both send/receive and route packets. These airwaves should be treated like byways where everyone can send/receive packets. We'd carry an envelope of bandwidth around us wherever we travel by reserving common airwave (e.g. 2.4ghz, 5.8ghz, etc...). In this way, you starve the companies of their revenue, making their existence more difficult.

I'd like to ask anyone within RF earshot to carry my packets. I'd even consider paying for faster bandwidth if others were offering below some threshold. Some common low bandwidth communication should always work, say some fraction (split between freeloading users) of 20% of the link speed. I'll carry your packets if you're in earshot, rebroadcasting as needed, following the same rules. We could rotate our source addresses every so often.

You'd be persona non-grata (illegal) if you're recording and sharing who you hear. At the heart of it, saving and recording in perpetuity who you're communicating with and where ought to be illegal. Certainly selling that data should be too, or you end up with what we have today.

Does the UK encourage dissent? It doesn't seem to. And it seems to be doing fairly well.

All I have to say to that is that regardless of how you feel about them the US picked Trump and the UK picked Brexit. These were both events that demonstrated that elite opinion was so cloistered the rubes started throwing molotovs at the political system, in some cases just for the cheap laugh in the voting booth.

Yes, the UK absolutely needs additional dissent.

Really? Didn't you just demonstrate that when the "rubes" are given power, they vote Brexit and Trump?

That seems like a terrible idea.

If you create a dielectric barrier, the required charge to overcome it can have more effective power than the constant flow that would otherwise occur at a low resistance.

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