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Supreme Court Must Understand: Cell Phones Aren’t Optional


Supreme Court Must Understand: Cell Phones Aren’t Optional

Andrew D. Selbst

 The government argues that it should always be entitled to your cell phone's tracking information, no questions asked.


The following quote is from 1970. What seems to be the evolution of cell phones has, in part, been part of a conspiracy–yes, I said the “C-word”. The maintenance of personal privacy and, more importantly, personal dignity in this Technetronic Era is myriad orders of magnitude more difficult than in the past. Read Emerson and you will find a beacon to help you do just that.

“The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities. ”
― Zbigniew Brzeziński, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era


Big Brother is watching us all disguised as a handy little device that we carry in our pockets. It sees you when you’re sleeping, it knows when you’re awake, it knows if you’ve been bad or good . . .


Social Awareness Negation Training Affirmation


Yes, “cell phones are not optional” when you consider that there are hardly any pay phones anywhere and the monthly fees for land lines keep rising.

For many Murkins a cell phone doesn’t even cut it…they need a smart phone. On a recent drive down the west coast I found several locations in several cities where the only way to pay for street parking is with an app on a smart phone. Ditto in a couple of gubmit owned parking garages…and I was not even looking for these places.


Exactly, one of the brilliant aspects of US capitalism is its ability to manufacture not only fads and desires, but make things “necessities” by deliberately removing the cheaper, far more efficient, and less environmentally or health-damaging - and usually publicly furnished - alternatives. The cell phone and now the smart phone and the removal of public phones are the latest things, but the biggest and most society-and-planet damaging one was the dismantling of public transit, and the replacement of urban spaces with suburban sprawl, in order to make the automobile a “necessity”.

And as far as smart phones replacing even electronic parking meters and kiosks, well, that means you get to park for free, right? Aren’t the parking tickets sent to a smart phone too?

Next…you soon won’t be able to use a taxi without a smartphone. Will public transit be next?


Doesn’t the Bill of Rights say that we are to be “secure in our papers and possessions,” and that we can’t be made to give evidence against ourselves? (he asked naively)


If cell phones are such essential technology, then why, may I ask, did everything seem to work so much better before they arrived on the scene? I hate to be a stick-in-the-mud luddite about such things, and sound like the old fuddy-duddies did when I was a kid, but really… this stuff is terrible technology. Seems the only thing it does well is provide a fool proof way for each of us to be tracked by a government that has no way to meaningfully employ the bizarre amount of information they collect. As far as I can tell it has been a major lynchpin in the dissembling of communication infrastructure in the country and world. So what if your phone can tell you the best route to get to Pyongyang, how to tie your shoes, and which song you listened to at 2pm on September 20 2005… unless you learn to return messages and stop avoiding face to face intimate interaction with anyone the only thing the friggin phone is good for is to assure you of your right to the human idiosyncracy of loneliness and existential dread.

Now I know there are a whole slew of you who weren’t even around, can’t even remember, a world without cell phone technology… therefore you are merely an easy target to be coerced into the industry propaganda that insists that smiling can only exist concurrently with the action of facing the ground and looking at your cell phone… but if only you could see how ridiculous you look! You herds of linked up, tuned in, and niftily alerted cell phone addicts as you maneuver the world completely shut off from it. Pullease…

… and stop telling me that The Revolution will be impossible without cellphone and social media intertwined and dictating what we like and do not like, all at the behest of our kindly neoconservative and neo liberal paternas familias (???)… the best and most successful revolutionary movements had nothing much more than pigeons for communication techniques… so… you’ve been scammed. Seriously.


You are so right. To get folks to come together in an: “I’ve had enough and I’m not going to take it any more!” moment, such as the vote on this horrible Tax bill deserves, something even more super-tragic will be required to shake their attention away from their hand held devices. They sheepishly and complacently say that: “Social Security won’t be there for me when I retire”, yet they won’t do one god-damned thing about it, like speaking up to their elected representatives on their own behalf," to fight for their own rights.


While visiting Copenhagen where public transportation is super efficient, I learned that a husband can track his wife by monitoring her transit pass. Yes this is not a rational response to not having a rapid transit system in the us but doesn’t the lack of public transit which requires automobile dependence make good excuse for global wars for oil.


Cell phone use are now being tracked with precision, as to where, when, duration of call, and who or which merchants were contacted. Put all that together, and your life is laid bare for the curious to examine. Our antiquated laws and safeguards are simply inadequate to protect legitimate expectations of privacy in this technological environment.

Thank heavens the Supreme Court seems ready to rule against the government in this one case. The ruling should only serve as a start; much works needs to be done in this area. But first we have to rid ourselves of the present crop of yahoos in Washington.


Cell phones are TPTB’s way of pruning the excess population. Since we now know that cell phones cause cancer and since there is no public place I can go anymore where I don’t see innumerable people with these devices absolutely glued to the side of their heads, I see very little hope. And not just cell phones cause cancer, even cell phone towers cause cancer.

I also think that every time there is another one of these mass shooting sprees, they should really report what type of cell phone the shooter was using. In the later half of the 20th century we had television, which was able to shape people’s minds somewhat in a very indirect way. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the intelligence agencies have figured out a way to directly manipulate the minds of users of these new emitters of god-knows what kind of EM-waves, directly into their cerebrum or hypothalamus or whatever part of the brain that elicits these types of behavior…

And now I hear from these writers that cell phones are not optional?? You’ve got to be kidding me…