22 January 2022


Everything went down at our city house for five days: no Internet, no phone, no TV, no anything, due to a broken FIOS box at our house. Our home network was still operational, but not much useful could be done with it. Alexa didn’t work, Ring doorbells were out, thermostats weren’t transmitting, etc. etc. Then it really hit me. Why the hell are we so dependent on the Internet for all this stuff? Why can’t it work locally and give us  control over what is functional in our own homes?

The lame excuse is that using the web enables you to control things outside of the home, but which would you rather have- personal local control or the convenience of turning up your thermostat remotely from your car? I’m not going to speculate about motives as to why things are the way they are, but right now it clearly gives large companies a huge amount of access to your information, how you live, what you do, etc.  and, more disturbingly, they can control things the same way you do. There is no reason why things should be this way. 

Before all these protocols became established I thought of rigging my house up with a character named Max, who spoke like Arnold Schwarzenegger. He would have resided in the home and would have taken care of things locally like a sort of virtual valet. Then Alexa came along and I became an early user. But at this pont  I would rather have my Max processing my information than Amazon.  It should be possible for all of these devices to work locally, independent of the Internet. There is absolutely no reason why you at least can’t have both options.

More ominously, suppose that the big boys started sharing the information in concert, or even worse, with the government. As things stand all of them are currently on the same page in sweet harmony (with the potential exception of Apple) and it is not unreasonable to be concerned about the possibilities without getting paranoid. Whatever the case this kind of power concentration ought to be unacceptable, and the time has come to liberate Americans from this electronic yoke. 

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Anyway we were still able to do some things via our cell phones by establishing a Hotspot, so we could, to some extent, access the Internet, but none of the other stuff since it is on a different network. Now the fun part arose when we contacted Verizon for service. They responded right away and scheduled a repairman within a reasonable length of time. But at the appointed hour no one showed up, so I called to find out why. The response was that we hadn’t answered a Covid question properly and they wouldn’t send a repairman unless we answered a couple of questions confirming that we weren’t Covid positive and agreed to wear a mask in our own home! 

Now unbeknownst to me my wife had actually spoken to someone at tech support and had answered all the questions appropriately, so that should have sufficed. But somehow they decided to cancel because someone supposedly responded “Yes” instead of “No” to a text message with the same stupid questions. Neither of us ever got it, and although I don’t pay much attention to text since my phone is constantly flooded with Trump messages ever since the NRCC gave it out to everyone. I certainly never answered “Yes” to anything, so it is possible the boys just wanted to goof off. In any case they came two days later after we carefully answered the questions; twice, and yet again just before they would enter the house. So we compliantly masked up when they finally came and quickly replaced some sort of broken doodad. 

Things have really gone completely jabberwocky over Covid. It is the height of absurdity to make an urgent repair dependent on answering a couple of text messages, (and text messages only) confirming that no one in the house has a disease and that everyone is masked. This is just the pinnacle of paranoia in a city where you have to carry a card confirming you’ve been vaccinated just to eat in a restaurant, which is yet another burden on an industry that already has been decimated by government regulations. If all of this isn’t overkill I don’t know what is. Our lives are being run by screwballs and if we don’t revolt soon we are going to be transformed into corporate state run automatons.

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