That's a nice theory. The reality is that the ten million or so vaguely worded and broad patents rubber-stamped by the patent office in return for fees serve to lock down almost all paths to innovative products.
The NSA doesn't have to "blackmail" anybody in the classic sense of showing up with pictures or recordings and demanding some kind of service to keep them hidden. It's far more insidious. Judges and politicians are hard-driven personality types who have spent a lifetime climbing the ladder of power. They have secrets. And they've done things that they don't want public. It's sufficient that they know that the NSA knows everything about everybody. This will have a chilling effect on any decisions they might make. Safer to keep master happy than to rock the boat.
Civil forfeiture is an abomination. But most people don't really care. They just see it as free money for the heroic police which helps keep their taxes low.
What in the living hell does people's voluntary decision to share information on a corporate owned website have to do with the government grabbing people's private conversations and correspondence against their will?
This "judge" goes far beyond just being a hack or a political tool. He could serve as the figurehead for everything wrong with our overwhelming powerful and grasping Federal government. There are no, literally no, constitutional arguments to be made in favor of mass data collection. So he just weaves a big web of irrelevant bullshit and then rules the way his masters want.
I agree with you. I also grew up 50 some-odd years ago and look back fondly on those years when every daylight hour outside of school would be spent climbing trees, exploring creeks, playing pick-up baseball games and roaming the wider neighborhood with a pack of friends.
The radical change that's taking place now is not specific to any generation. It's a case of modern technology overwhelming the ancient human brain. We are a social species and evolved in small tribal groups. Our brains give us positive feedback when we interact with others. We get a small jolt of dopamine when we socialize. We get a feeling of security and connection which are valuable for building tribal cohesion.
The trouble comes when you are able to pull a little electronic slab out of your pocket and get this little burst of pleasure on demand. It reminds me of old movies from the 40s when everybody whips out a cigarette at any available moment. Social media is addictive. I go to a restaurant now and a good 80% of the other customers either have their cellphone in their hands or sitting on the table by the plate where it can be constantly checked. It's middle-aged people just as much as young people doing this.
What's getting lost here is a sense of self and self-reliance. The ability to be content when alone is an important part of adulthood. I've never liked the idea that I walk through my life and anybody in the whole world can reach out and ring a bell in my pocked, demanding my attention. It's like being on a tether. I cherish my independence as well as my social connections.
But this seems to be getting lost in any general sense. People seem to be developing an early form of hive-mind where constant connection with others is demanded.