The Mentality of the Young

Youth drives people, experience maintains them, but though some say that, “youth is wasted on the young,” I say that if we young-uns had the experience to “know better,” then we wouldn’t have the drive to try anything in the first place.

When I talk to older people about my beliefs that civil liberties should not be compromised, that net neutrality is vital, and that content piracy is a complex issue that shouldn’t be resolved by outlawing it outright, my words come from my desire to use the things I know to succeed in life.

But, my age group is fighting an uphill battle against a larger demographic of people, the Baby Boomers, who have dominated the world thus far. Baby Boomers already have the choice property, the best jobs, and the government authority. They still decide the course of the world in which I live. And that means that the odds are stacked against me to succeed.

So, I use whatever tools I have at my disposal. I don’t own property, I don’t have power; I do have some money, but money by and of itself will not bring someone to succeed. Instead, what has real value to me and what is the tool for success to me and to everyone my age is information. Our strength is our knowledge of technological information and how to control it.

It’s this knowledge that scares the powers that be.  They see technology and youth’s comprehension of it as a force that must be tightly controlled, or it will get out of hand and consume them. In our modern age, the average teenager can find out just as much about another country in an afternoon as it would have taken an intelligence agency a week to compile 30 years ago. And 30 years ago, the people that run governments were in my shoes, pushing hard to succeed and get ahead in life.

So, is it any wonder that those who run governments want to limit and control information and technology? These are the weapons that will usurp their throne. This is why they’re wielding great blunt instruments, in the form of laws, like the recent FISA amendment, to smash this surge of information, by intensely scrutinizing it for the ‘presence of evil.’

But we, the young, know this won’t work. We know that “terrorists” ─ I hate that word, it’s the most loaded catch word in the history of propaganda ─ are not so dimwitted as to place a collect call, or send an email to their pals at Bombs-R-Us in the country of ‘Ihateamerica-istan’ to order their nuclear warheads. The government knows this too, but they’ve got us from both sides, from the side of  those who trust them to do right by the people, and from the side of those who don’t trust them, but feel powerless to stop them.

Ironically, those of us who understand how the infrastructure of modern information  works know that simply by existing as is, it makes extremist activities on a massive scale intensely difficult. Because we users of that technology are watching, and we cry out loudly when we see something worthy of our attention. Nothing goes unnoticed on the internet and everything gets recorded, or archived in some way. Posting “terrorist activity” (that word again) on the internet would be like an escaped felon mailing his current address to the FBI so his friends know where to send him a Christmas card.  So why is it that governments feel the need to outlaw the sharing of much of this information, or somehow mystically monitor ALL of it?

Those older than I believe that this information is a threat. They tell me that America is at war and that just across the pond there is a nation full of religious extremists busily strapping dynamite to their chests and getting on planes, and that we need to tap the phone line of everyone in the country in order to find out when those bomb guys are checking their luggage. And I’ve asked these older than I why they believe that the government should be trusted to only use this private information to “only find the bad guys”? There are already impeachment proceedings going on because the current United States Administration used the Justice Department to prosecute people for political reasons.

Yeah, they’re only going to use telecom info to find the terrorists… riiiight.

While I’m busily using the new tools at my disposal to carve my niche out in life, the establishment sees my chipping as an erosion of the status quo they’ve worked so hard to build. So, they want to take my tools away, or at least blunt their edges, maybe even have them made out of foam, so I don’t hurt myself. But the information and technology at my disposal let’s me know that’s not their real reason, so I won’t give those up without a fight.

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