Is You IS Or IS You Ain't?
Over the weekend the History Channel ran hour after hour of segments on Russian history. I watched them all just to see if anything new jumped out. There was nothing especially new but the 'every schoolboy knows' stuff threw out the serfs being tied to the land. History has a recurrent theme of the working poor losing common land and being fettered to near slavery by landowners. Only the needs of the Industrial Revolution gave the poor a few degrees of freedom in the slums of the major cities. I think we might soon become a new sort of serf. An IS, an Information Serf, tied to biometrics and database entries that lock us into what some profiling software says we are.
In the push to implement IT in a service driven world we're losing sight of principles of freedom. The 'War on Terror for the Children' is putting in place information fetters said to be there to protect citizens against aggressors but potentially creating a new class of serfs. It's almost a classic von Clausewitz maneuver with a Kafkaesque twist.
Mostly, after thinking of IS for information serf, then of the old jazz classic 'Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby' I just wanted an excuse to try out the title. :)