You are quantifiably full of shit, in that US troops have killed US citizens and not only did it not spark some widespread rebellion among the population in general, it didn't even spark dissent among the ranks of those on the scene when it happened.
Call up Vicki Weaver and ask how that goes. She isn't answering the phone? Is Lon Horiuchi in prison?
And your idea of fighting alongside a bunch of weekend warriors is idiotic. Sit in the woods on opening day of deer season for evidence that most of those boobs can't hit something as large as a deer, at conversational distances, under not threat to their personal safety whatsoever. The idea just because a guy has a rifle in his closet he can mount some kind of resistance against a force as well equipped and trained as the 1% could muster is simply boneheaded. Like one day some clear signal will go out and you'll l get up off the couch and go live like Boers.
And of course in Siri stories many Android users just aid to get Vlingo.
Shouting your Slashdot posts into Siri is getting better, but still not all that good.
There is NO WAY that spam will ever be personalized enough to make it become priority mail
I think it could be. The baselines for creepiness in our interactions with machines is something that continually moves. I know a few older folks who find it creepy that their mobile phone knows when they've arrived at a certain location and can alert them to some reminder. Speaking to an 'assistant' program running on a phone is currently creepy (or just odd) to many people, but I bet in 5 years it will be absolutely normal behavior for 30 year olds.
The more comprehensive personal data collection becomes the better targeted spam will be, it is just a matter of applying some good predictive algorithms.
A friend texted me a bit ago about wanting to go to a certain taco shop for lunch. It may seem random, but I bet if looked hard enough at enough data his cravings for that taco shop are not random and could be modeled. So if he is sitting around one day around 10AM, which is when he normally thinks about where to go for lunch, and his phone showed him an ad for a different taco shop, that would be a nearly perfect time for that shop to advertise to him and he might actually appreciate the suggestion. That might seem creepy right now, maybe even in the next 5, but it isn't all that bug a step from saying "I want a taco" to your phone and getting the same recommendation.
At least it is a number.
Most projects, most laws in general, are sold via some hand waving and appeals to emotion. At this point anything quantatative is a step in the right direction.
I'm a big fan of good evidence but if you don't read Leo Strauss and discover that a critical component of neo-conservatism is having an enemy to unite people against, then find out that an entire war launched by neo-cons that dumped billions into the pockets of neo-con friendly businesses was based on entirely fabricated evidence against the enemy, then wonder if some elements of governments might be willing to engage in extreme hoodwinking to get what they want....maybe you are in denial.
The same way you affect the government?
In the 2010 US national elections there were roughly 90,000,000 votes cast. Thus you had a 1/90,000,000 overall 'affect'. Of course that is further dilluted by your affecting only the politics your state sent to Washington.
Goldman Sachs has a market cap of about 52 billion with a share price of $102. So for $500 you could have the same 'affect' on GS as you do on goverment.
In either case you could work to organize others. The Tea Party affected the government and the Sudan Divestment people are doing a good job on companies. That latter example is a good one for a 'control some shares and organize' model.
Slashdot overall actually has about every opinion possible. Some of the most loved (ie - highly moderated) opinions turn out to be as wrong as they could possibly be.
Consider this gem, particularly "If Apple enters that market with a phone, they're fucked". Fucked with finding warehouse space to store pallets of money, as it turns out.
Though there were plenty of opinions contrary to that one the groupthink doesn't often push them to the top.
Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard