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  • Writer's pictureJimmy Mac

The Surveillance State

Someone is watching us. Someone is always watching us.

There was a time when saying that in public would have gone sideways quickly. Raised eyebrows would have been followed by a thinning circle of conversation, and ultimately, the speaker of those words would have found themselves alone in the mental mumble of their own private Idaho. They would have never been invited to that (or any other) party again.

But if you say that now, you get knowing nods followed by shared experiences, until a growing group of friends would assemble on the back deck. Phones would be turned off, cameras would be scanned for, and someone would eventually mention the van across the street, "Why has it been there all day? I know plumbers don't leave their equipment overnight."

At least those kinds of plumbers.

Has paranoia become the reality of our times, or has reality justified our paranoia? Fifty years of Watergate, Iran-Contra, Jonestown, Ruby Ridge, Waco, NSA programs, Wikileaks, Snowden, Assange, the rise of big tech, body cams, web cams, Eyes in the Sky, CCTV, tracking devices, GPS, and, yes, ELD have literally put us on edge. We are on the edge of, inches from, a world where our own disappearance is no longer a personal option, and it is instead the preserve of a vast network of seemingly limitless power.

On the other hand, shake off that exhaustive despair. We could be entering a time where truth is poised for a golden age. Police brutality, government secrets, terrorist cells, corporate cover-ups, and even outmoded concepts of work and productivity all could find themselves under the harsh glare of the immediate moment. A place where voices in the street proclaim, "The whole world is watching!" Through the force of a galvanized public, the rats of oppression and power scramble back to shadows.

Except when they arrive, they find an infrared camera waiting for them.

Of course, it is possible we are taking this entirely too seriously. Maybe what is in store for us is life affirming with a dash of silliness. All those cams are meant to preserve a proposal kiss at the stadium, to memorialize a victory on a gaming platform, or to capture Pokemon while we enjoy the joy of joyful citizens at the park enjoying the same thing. A tracking app lets us know that our darling children are safely on their way home, speed limited by teenage driving mode. The baby cam lets the big rig mama not miss a moment of her grandchild's infancy. Mechanical, physical, and mental breakdowns are all anticipated before the shop, the urgent care, or the psych ward are ever needed.

The state of paranoia, state of bliss, and state confusion are all part of the modern surveillance state, and they are all part of the conversation of Dave Nemo Weekends this Saturday and Sunday, May 30-31.

Cut through the technobabble, and let us know about the benefits and drawbacks of the devices that keep tabs, assemble data, and regulate the behavior of both you and your world. Do you wonder how you managed without them? Are there devices you wish would join Atari's E.T. in a landfill? Or do you have an idea that you hope those silicon boys from the valley make happen to make you happy?

Give us a call or send us a message, and you will be part of a wild farrago of a conversation. On Saturday at 8:30 am ET, Peter Goodman arrives to announce the June 1st launch of a new app called Kazoo. Offering a precise 30 day location video history, the app not only provides access to 4500 emergency centers across the country, but it could also open up methods of tracking for COVID-19.

At 9:30 am ET, 2018 DRL Allianz World Champion Pilot Paul "NURK" Nurkkala--one of the world's most elite Drone Racing League racers--zooms in to discuss the league and its new virtual racing series FanDuel DRL Sim Racing Cup. And all of it just a day before the next race (watch on Twitter or NBCSN at 2pm ET, Sunday, May 31).

Speaking of Sunday, we begin in the spirit of those classic conspiracy movies of The 70's like The Conversation, Three Days of The Condor, and The Parallax View. At 8:30 am ET, New York Times bestselling author David Ignatius opens the books on his new novel The Paladin. A revenge tale of the cyber age, The Paladin tells the story of a burned CIA operative who returns from prison intent on exposing the forces that set him up.

The age of the app also provides opportunities to travel into the past, and that is exactly what QuantumERA President and Creative Director Michael McGar is offering at 9:30 am ET. He will be discussing his new app Gettysburg: A Nation Divided. The app allows its viewer to interact with those fateful three days of 1863 either on the actual battlefield or from the comfort of their own home. Narrated by Scott Eastwood, Gettysburg: A Nation Divided immerses its participants in specific events of the battle, historical artifact hunts, and trivia challenges.

By the time we are done, Dave Nemo Weekends will have helped you track yourself, previewed a real time race where even the participants aren't on the track, put a thriller about fake news in your Sleeper Cab Library, and allowed you to move forward into the past.

But all of it begins with your phone calls and comments. Click on the links, read up on the guests dropping by, and be ready to discuss the challenges and opportunities these folks are offering when you call the show at 615-292-6366. That's where it begins. But where does it end? Hopefully not with you looking over your shoulder.

After all, someone is watching you. Someone is always watching you.

Here's your taste of political paranoia for the weekend. It is amazing what you can achieve with a calm British voice, a nice suit, and cherry picked information. This kind of voice we might hear on an app some day.


Call in this weekend! 615-292-6366. Jimmy Mac and Clare Marie are live on Dave Nemo Weekends from 7-11am ET, Saturday and Sunday, SiriusXM 146.

Don't have a SiriusXM subscription? The channel is free to listen in May. Visit Missed a segment? We are on demand!

Cover photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash.

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