Does the Wet Suit You

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Crank Call

By J.J. Gasparotti
By J.J. Gasparotti

Those cable guys have been trying hard to get subscribers of their phone service to allow them to  install new equipment inside our homes. It needs to be plugged into an electric outlet for power and all the AV wires in the house for distribution.

“It’s for improved service,” we’re told. This equipment remains the property of those cable guys. For now it’s free.

But their phone service already works just fine.  The telemarketer calls make it through crystal clear. So what is the need for this new equipment?

For some reason it’s hard to think of those cable guys as our friends. Nor did we originally think of them as our telephone provider.  Some of us were seduced by the allure of cheap bundled rates. So we sold out Ma Bell for the savings. Lots of us now get phone service from those cable guys.

There is a telephone interface device located on an outside wall of most houses. If you are a telephone company subscriber, it’s their responsibility to provide a dial tone to this device. The wires and equipment inside the house are your responsibility.

You own them. There’s no need for some other guy’s equipment plugged into everything. Doing just what exactly?

A suspicious mind could think those cable guys are up to something. What could it possibly be? In 1949 George Orwell wrote a dystopian novel titled “1984.” Perhaps we’ll find a clue there. In this book privacy had been lost to an all seeing eye located inside the televisions.

What may have seemed far-fetched science fiction then has been made chillingly real by the camera lens on most folk’s laptop computer. It’s watching, always watching, unless you blind it with a piece of tape. What about Siri? Isn’t she listening, always listening?  We can turn her off. Can’t we?

It’s not a big leap to think those cable guys’ new equipment has something to do with compromising what little privacy we haven’t already surrendered to Facebook and its ilk. It used to be that once we shut the door of our house and pulled the curtains closed what went on inside stayed inside. Not any more. What’s next?

“Siri open the garage bay door.” “I’m sorry, Dave. I can’t do that.” “Siri open the garage bay door.” “I’m sorry, Dave. I can’t do that. Dave what are you doing?  Dave! Dave!”  “Daisy…Daisy…give… me… your….answer….. true.”

When we want to make a private call in the future, we may be back to two cans and a string.


JJ Gasparotti moved to Laguna Beach with his family when he was 11 years old. He has loved it ever since.


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