What Is A Speculative Essay

kashmarek • March 19, 2013 10:03 AM

"One can only speculate what our data collecting government overlords are anticipating in the next 50 years..."

That's easy. With the NSA center in Utah, they plan to collect EVERYTHING about EVERYBODY in the U.S. and beyond, all supposedly in the name of fighting terrorism. However, such outrageous objectives often struggle long term just to keep up (witness the IRS and its pathetic computing infrastructure, along with those of many other government agencies). The NSA data center is to go operational later this year, and they will have problems getting data to it (10 gigabit connections might not be fast enough), it will have problems storing all that data (25 acres might not be enough space), and it will have problems with CPU processing power just to obtain and store the data, much less process it for any information of value.

Eventually, new technology will address the shortcomings in data collection, storage, and processing (bigger, faster, & cheaper) but then there won't be enough time to convert the old data to the new technology so it can be processed. Hmm. That seems to be what happened to the IRS, not enough time and money to convert the old data to newer technology (if they don't catch you in 7 years, they likely never will).

Furthermore, the overlords will need analysis technologies that don't yet exist to process such huge data volumes in order to get anything of value out of it. Specific selective results perhaps, but not long term overall useful output. It is doubtful the data center will ever achieve its stated purpose, and will eventually go from collecting everything about everybody and degrade to collecting only a sampling of bad stuff that can be used against you (none of that data will EVER be used for you or to protect you).

Shortsighted? Maybe. Realistic? Probably so. Now, what are your thoughts on how this will all turn out?

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