Like many others, I have been self-quarantining since late February. I am grateful to have a home in which I find myself generally at peace, even while the world at large seems to be in chaos. One of the recurring paradoxes of the pandemic is the gap between the noise and turmoil of the outside world as presented through both the news and the stories shared by individuals with the sameness of the world at home.
I found an interesting blogging idea today to simply write down 5 of the things I’ve been thinking about lately. Like Nadia, my ambitions for my blogging far exceed my capacity. However, as with most skills, increasing capacity comes through excercising such capacity as already exists. So I’m going to try to at least once a week, write down a list of the 5 things that have been on my mind during that past week.
Note: This is an opinion piece that I wrote for the Amherst Student school newspaper. The original post can be found here. This is the time of year when I miss Amherst the most. The few orange or yellow trees I see along the road are a sad imitation of the colors that radiate in the hills of the Pioneer Valley. I am now far from that place, here in a different valley — one known more for silicon and software than puritans and poets.
I am deeply saddened to learn that the tech legal blog Groklaw.net is ceasing operations due to concerns about the security of their email. …the conclusion I’ve reached is that there is no way to continue doing Groklaw, not long term, which is incredibly sad. But it’s good to be realistic. And the simple truth is, no matter how good the motives might be for collecting and screening everything we say to one another, and no matter how “clean” we all are ourselves from the standpoint of the screeners, I don’t know how to function in such an atmosphere.
“The big deal is simply this: once you allow the government to start breaking the law, no matter how seemingly justifiable the reason, you relinquish the contract between you and the government which establishes that the government works for and obeys you, the citizen—the employer—the master. And once the government starts operating outside the law, answerable to no one but itself, there’s no way to rein it back in, short of revolution.