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World Travel: It’s Over And I Know It

I won’t take it.

Traveler alone
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UNDISCLOSED LOCATION- I was in the south of Mexico with my wife and two-year-old daughter. I made a living off of a blog. We’d stay in towns for a month … two months … three months and then carry on to the next stop. We’d cycle through places in accordance with the seasons, living about as close as you can get to modern nomadism. I’d drink a big bottle of Corona with salt and lime each day when I finished work. We’d eat street tacos for dinner. We were poor. I was a nobody. We were happy.

This was in early 2012.

Then one day while walking in the hills around San Cristobal it occurred to me that I should go back to China and do something with myself. I had a head start on the country from the years that I spent there as a backpacker and a student … and even more than that was the fact that I knew that few people knew anything about the place outside the palisades of Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. There was a huge demand for information about broader China and a dearth of supply. I knew that there was a place for me there.

So I told my wife what I wanted to do … This was a big ask, as life could not have been more idea in Mexico. For some reason she agreed. (Admittedly, I told her the food was good in China and a bunch of other lies). She took the bait, got a job at a Montessori school in the middle of the Yangtze River development corridor, we tossed our flip flops into the trash … and I became Wade Shepard, China guy.

Today, as I sit here a little south of the border, that world seems so, so far away.

***
If you can’t go one way, you go another. If one road closes, you try another way around. If a country comes up with asinine immigration policies, you go elsewhere. If your personal little Shangrila gets tourist-ified, you just don’t go back. If one place becomes tiresome, you get up and leave. If you don’t like your girlfriend, you get a new one. You don’t accept defeat, but you don’t fight either — you simply change direction and carry on …

This is the creed of the traveler.

I sit here today and smile, as I know that I’m extremely fortunate. The first era of my travels — two entire decades from 1999 to 2020 — was during  a time when the world was more open than it’s ever been before; when travel was never easier, safer, or, presumably, more enjoyable. I smile because I know I took full advantage of this blip in history. I took full advantage to the extreme. I went where I wanted and did what I wanted. It’s so rare in time when so many people were able to do this. I cashed in my chips as soon as I got them — I consumed my time rather than investing it in a future that is never guaranteed to materialize. People acted as though I was making a grave gamble, but I knew I was placing the safer bet.

In the beginning, I took this ease of travel as something ordinary, and like all things we feel entitled to, I didn’t think much of it. But at some point during my Silk Road travels (2015 – 2019) I began getting the feeling that this pax Gaia probably wouldn’t last for much longer — the world joins together just to break apart. I saw the fault lines in the system, certain entities were becoming too powerful, and a colossal rupture seemed inevitable. I had a lingering premonition that what I was accustomed to experiencing wasn’t going to last, and I did exactly what I should have: I relished every last minute of it. I pushed the limits, got the stories, and wondered how long I could keep it going … and then it ended.

***
In the summer of 2019 we moved to New York City, and this was one of the best decisions that I’ve made yet on this journey — but not for the reasons that I originally thought. I endeavored to use the city as a base of operations to access the world — I had already moved out of China and my area of focus was becoming more global, and NYC is the center of the world. My plan served me well for the few months — I was zipping all around the world — and then the “pandemic” hit.

I didn’t make much of it at first. I thought that all it would take was for the world to know the true death and hospitalization rates and we’d all come to our senses. I figured we’d be like, “So, most people have a 99.99% chance of survival and only 1% – 5% go to the hospital, and we’re locking down why?”

That didn’t happen.

Then when it came out that the report that convinced the US and UK to lockdown was severely flawed and thoroughly incorrectdubbed one of the most influential and most wrong scientific publications in history — the dominant narrative still didn’t change.

Or a little later on when a parade of studies came out that showed that lockdowns, social distancing, disinfecting everything, and mask mandates were the stuff of pseudoscience — that bars, restaurants, and gyms were not prime vectors of infection — I imagined that we’d all read the data, revoke our compliance, and force our governments to give up their authoritarian shticks. But instead we just started wearing two masks instead of one.

There comes a point when you realize that this isn’t about a virus — at least not one of the pathological variety anyway.


The world is now being saved by the one thing that will set us free — the thing that will make the world’s most powerful corporations billions, the only thing that will allow us to get our lives back.

But I won’t take it.

There’s more and more data streaming in every day that validates why I won’t take it. Some of it is logged in government databases, some of it is first hand accounts of personal experience. Almost all of these inconvenient truths are subject to being ignored by the mainstream media, who knows what hand they feed from, or quickly scrubbed from view by tech monopolies who don’t want you reading them. Victims have no legal recourse — the manufacturers are immune from litigation. Accountability is nowhere to be found. Oftentimes, even acknowledgement is hard to come by … It must of been a coincidence that a healthy 18 year old suddenly …

But even more than that, why should I? Why should I take an unlicensed, uber-experimental substance with a dubious track record to lessen the symptoms of an illness that I have next to a zero percent chance of having severe symptoms from in the first place?

So you don’t spread it to others?

The likelihood of that happening is “very rare” and the substances in question don’t necessarily prevent that anyway.

Because everyone else is doing it?

No thanks.

Because they will let you have your life back?

***
I won’t take it, my kids won’t take it, and I will live with the consequences of this decision. Yes, I understand that many countries will probably prohibit the free movement of people who don’t take it. Yes, I understand that my way of life will be significantly altered — my livelihood will be stomped out. Yes, I understand that I will become a second class citizen, a persona non-grata, an enemy of the obedient.

No, the government won’t mandated it — at least not in the USA. They will rely on the entities that give our lives pleasure to do their dirty work for them. They’ve already turned bars and restaurants into enforcement arms of the state, and it’s a small step for them to require a scan of an app for entry, which most will do with gusto out of fear of being arbitrarily shut down again.

No more football games, no more stopping in at the bar, no more dining in at restaurants, hassles, harassment, and perhaps … no more travel. They will wield the carrot and the stick until we all comply and then tell us that it was our own choice all along.

But to give up your biological autonomy — the most fundamental and inherent liberty you have — is to give up everything.

The State seized something that wasn’t theirs — your property, your livelihoods, your children’s future, your freedom of expression / assembly / religion, your medical autonomy — and is now acting as though they are providing a benevolent service as they incrementally give what is rightfully yours back in exchange for your continued compliance. But if freedom can be given it’s not really freedom then, is it?

Filed under: Epidemics, New York City, USA

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3632 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support VBJ’s writing on this blog:

VBJ is currently in: Astoria, New York

25 comments… add one

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  • DaNuck April 29, 2021, 4:30 pm

    We were poor. I was a nobody. We were happy.”
    This speaks volumes…..
    As long as your “needs” are met, there is NO reason not to be happy. It’s ALL the “wants” that F people up…….
    Live your life knowing “less is more” and BE happy…….

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    • VBJ April 29, 2021, 6:25 pm

      Well put!

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  • Bob L April 30, 2021, 2:37 am

    Awesome article.

    I admit, I got the v___. I’m a bit older, and felt the risk management calculation favored getting the v___ for me.

    As the smallpox v___ scar on my arm shows, I am of the generation that was taught that vaccines are good. Hard habit to break.

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    • VBJ April 30, 2021, 10:54 am

      Thank you, Bob!

      I don’t fault anyone for getting the shots — hey, they are free — if they feel as if they are at risk. However, I think it’s dumb for young, healthy people with almost zero chance of having complications from the illness to participate in this experiment. But if they want to do it, that’s their call.

      What is particularly onerous here is that people are being forced — or at the very least heavily pressured — to take an EUA substance. There’s laws, not to mention the Nuremberg Code, that prohibits this.

      However, I have to admit that legality and even constitutionality have been thrown out the window long ago. We’ve rapidly become a country ruled by power, not law.

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      • Chad August 20, 2021, 10:19 am

        I will never get the v____, I will let the virus pass harmlessly through my body via natural infection.

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        • VBJ September 8, 2021, 2:14 pm

          Right on. Just did that. While the experience was a little odder than I imagined — got some weird symptoms — I wasn’t that much worse off than my wife, who took the “V.” Now she has to spend the rest of her life worrying about ADE and getting boosters while I (theoretically, at least) have way stronger and more robust immunity.

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  • terry coon April 30, 2021, 8:19 am

    I have been saying everything that you just wrote about for the last year and a half. I’m not sure that I’ll go as far as talking about tinfoil hats but there may be unintended consequences in the future from these unproven v___. I am old 70 years and fat and have no intentions Of getting shot. I guess I might get shot if I try to use my unredeemed cruise ticket from Rome to Galveston Texas using a less than legal shot documentation.

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    • VBJ April 30, 2021, 11:04 am

      Yes, if we look at the track record that some of these substances have there is definitely cause for concern and skepticism. We’ve been conditioned to believe that kids with asthma, ADHD, spec.tru.m dis.or-der, allergies, neurological issues is normal. We’re doing something that’s fucking us up — and whatever it is certain companies are banking billions over it.

      Haha, yes, have fun traveling without it. The EU already put up the blockade. It’s happening.

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  • Jack April 30, 2021, 11:10 am

    Ah, hand wringing time. So much to agree with, so much to disagree with, so much to call bullshit, so much to say amen about. Nevertheless, plenty to make you think about.

    I recognize that your 99.9% is hyperbole so I won’t touch that. I’ve been saying for more than a year that death rates of even 99.9% wouldn’t justify taking away our personal liberty so I think that debate is unimportant. I’ll just say that the numbers don’t matter. People either want to control people or they don’t. Unfortunately, the numbers who don’t are small. The Tucker Carlson’s of the world may be against masks and lockdowns, but they want to control people as much as the Fauci’s of the world. When an asshole tells people to call CPS if they see kids wearing masks, anyone supporting that is anti-freedom. You don’t sick the government on anyone for the choices they make. When I saw that clip, I once again said there is no difference between Republicans or Democrats, just how they hang their curtains and or maybe the color of them.

    The most important thing we can learn in this world is to “Respect the rights of others.” That is what we have lost in this pandemic. But guess what? It was lost a long time ago. I saw it gone in the 1990’s and it was probably gone earlier. Everyone wants their own rights protected and maybe they care about the rights of people who hold similar views to them, but f*ck those who think differently…they don’t deserve rights. For me, that is a** backwards. Protect your rights when they are genuinely attacked, but first and foremost, respect the rights of others.

    Someone wants to take a vaccine? Respect that right. Someone doesn’t? Respect that right. Someone wants to require masks in their property? Respect that right. Use your freedom of choice to choose what you do.

    Like in most other things, people are f*cking stupid. I bought my masks in January 2020 when Fauci was saying that the CCP Virus was nothing and said that masks were worthless because this virus wasn’t airborne. Yeah right, we all know how that turned out. It’s the same as it’s been since February 2020. The virus gets in the air and then lands on objects.

    And let’s talk about masks. I think we need to get this out in the open. They are like a booster. They reduce the chances of getting infected by probably 10 to 20%. They also reduce the initial viral load. I think that’s a given. Will they prevent you from getting sick? Maybe but if you are in an enclosed place with someone sick, you will get sick.

    But me? I like wearing my mask. I bought some nice Columbia masks. They are nice and soft and with the Columbia tag, they scream “Enlightened Liberal.” Bonus: my body has the scars of the travel. I’m missing a tooth up front and another one that is chipped. I’m too lazy and cheap to go to a dentist(need to go to one when I am back in Mexico) and I’m self conscious. No worries, because my mask covers it. Bigger Bonus: It covers my facial expressions. Now with my bad eyesight, people think I’m giving them bad looks. It keeps people away from me. I don’t have to deal with people around me. I don’t have to interact with people. I can tell people to get out of my space and get off my damn lawn.

    In case you are wondering if I’m laughing when writing this, yes I am.

    Now back to your headline. I don’t think it’s over. I see that there are plenty of places to travel to around the world, but I do think you need to have a base outside the US. The US is probably not the best country to come in and out of because of all the requirements, but flying from another country still means that a lot of world is still open. Check out Bald and Bankrupt and the place he is traveling to. He came down with Covid last summer in the Balkans and was hospitalized with it. He is still out there traveling and making videos. I think things have changed and we have to do things differently, but we still can.

    I got the J&J jab before it was paused. I have no issue with having it and after I did my personal research about it, I felt it was the best choice for me. I still do. I had to travel to another state to get it and I’m glad I did.

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    • VBJ May 2, 2021, 6:38 pm

      Haha, man, you caught me! It’s actually 99.98%, but I figured I’d give myself an additional hundredth of a percentage point as I feel as if I’m a little more active about health than most people haha. Talking IFR not CFR. But, anyway, I know where you’re coming from and I 100% agree that even if C was a highly dangerous illness the government’s response would still not be warranted.

      “The Tucker Carlson’s of the world may be against masks and lockdowns, but they want to control people as much as the Fauci’s of the world.”

      I agree. It’s my tribe against yours. If you’re going to report me for coughing in public I’m going to report you for masking your kids!

      While I don’t agree that parents masking kids is grounds for child abuse, I do think that states that masked kids in school or cancelled school was / is abusive — especially when it was clear that kids weren’t spreading it. My kids have been conditioned accept being masked. They don’t question it. They don’t ask to see the studies backing up the mandates. They’re not like, “Viruses are microscopic, right? They why do we think that a piece of cloth that I can see through stops them?” No, they just accept the fact that the state can impose nonsensical restrictions on them that they will follow. The other day I told my younger daughter to stop wearing her mask over her nose and she goes, “No, daddy, then I will get in trouble.” They’ve been conditioned to simply accept the power of the state without questioning. This is the new model of education here. [Note: My kids go to a super alternative private school, not even public school]. When I was young we were taught to think for ourselves and had lessons on how to be original thinkers. That’s not being valued anymore. Now our society is demanding it’s members to be more like people are in China: accept what authority tells you, don’t question your superiors, stand six feet apart, wear a mask. It seems like small things, but I believe that this kind of obedience will be exploited in other ways in the future — the psychological impact is real and lasting.

      But that’s just my opinion — so much so that I won’t write this is the body of a post haha.

      “They reduce the chances of getting infected by probably 10 to 20%.”

      Maybe. I don’t agree based on the studies I’ve read … but maybe??? What I don’t like is that the authorities weren’t like use N95 or such and such type of mask that actually has filtration capacities, but just said cover your face with … anything. I don’t believe an argument can be made for a bandana or a piece of cloth having any impact on a .08 – .02 micon aerosolized virus. If they demanded filtration masks then I would still disagree with it but I could see their rationale a little clearer. But instead they imposed a social obedience exercise.

      Man, it really makes you wonder what we are being conditioned for by all of this … What they did — especially in places like NYC — was, I have to admit it, impressive. They took a city of uncontrollable, freedom loving Americans and turned them into obedient little servants of the state. The meat factory scene in The Wall kept coming to mind throughout the past year … They instituted mandates that weren’t backed by any science that severely disrupted our lives and 99% of people got in line and marched right into the meat grinder. It was fascinating in a way.

      If you like wearing your mask, that’s cool. I’m not going to argue with anyone who says they want to do something.

      “I see that there are plenty of places to travel to around the world, but I do think you need to have a base outside the US. The US is probably not the best country to come in and out of because of all the requirements, but flying from another country still means that a lot of world is still open… I think things have changed and we have to do things differently, but we still can.”

      That’s true. Part of travel is jumping through hoops. There will always be a way.

      “I got the J&J jab before it was paused. I have no issue with having it and after I did my personal research about it, I felt it was the best choice for me.”

      That’s cool. Good for you. What doesn’t make sense to me is that the other two substances had 10x the amount of the issue that the J&J one was blamed for and they weren’t shut down. But this is probably something that you really shouldn’t ask why about …

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      • Jack May 3, 2021, 3:54 pm

        “What I don’t like is that the authorities weren’t like use N95 or such and such type of mask that actually has filtration capacities, but just said cover your face with … anything.”

        Oh come on, you know why they did that. They told us in February 2020 to not wear a mask…as we later found out, they did that because they didn’t have enough masks to go around because people didn’t prepare. They wanted to make sure that the PTB secured their supplies.

        I’m not going to suggest that there was a more sinister motive……like trying to encourage spread of the disease so that it wouldn’t be immediately shut down before it got started in earnest. Nope, not going to suggest that because that is conspiratorial.

        “I do think that states that masked kids in school or cancelled school was / is abusive — especially when it was clear that kids weren’t spreading it.”

        I don’t. 🙂 Parents do need to take an active roll in their children’s education and know what the hell their government is teaching their kids.

        “They took a city of uncontrollable, freedom loving Americans and turned them into obedient little servants of the state. ”

        No they didn’t. The people were freedom lovers and uncontrollable. They were people who followed along with whatever the media or government told them to. How do I know? Out of nearly 2.8 million votes cost in 2016 in NYC for President, Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, got just about 28,000 votes. That’s about 1%. Hillary Clinton got 75% of the vote. Anyone voting for her wasn’t someone who could be classified as freedom loving by any shape or form.

        “What doesn’t make sense to me is that the other two substances had 10x the amount of the issue that the J&J one was blamed for and they weren’t shut down.”

        No, you shouldn’t ask why. 🙂 You shouldn’t even acknowledge that fact.

        Nevertheless, I still think we are only about half way through this thing at this stage. I think we have about a year to go before we get through this. I think when it’s all over, we can talk about IFRs and more. NYC has 8.7 million people and there have been 32,626 deaths from Covid so far. Assuming that everyone in NYC has already had Covid, the IFR would be 0.38%. That’s a bold assumption……even seroprevalence studies put it well under that amount. I used to say that I believed that the IFR was somewhere between 0.5% and 1.0%. As I study this more, I believe it is higher. But I could be wrong.

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        • Jack May 4, 2021, 6:26 pm

          in the interest of full disclosure, I’m that guy who would be perfectly happy with the system all burning down. Everything I say should be run through that lens. 🙂

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        • VBJ May 26, 2021, 12:04 pm

          Hello Jack,

          Apologies for my late response. I’ve had this comment rattling around in my head for a while… Here goes:

          “Oh come on, you know why they did that. They told us in February 2020 to not wear a mask…as we later found out, they did that because they didn’t have enough masks to go around because people didn’t prepare. They wanted to make sure that the PTB secured their supplies.”

          In the beginning, yes. But as the pandemic wore on, no way. I believe that the United States of America had the capacity to manufacture adequate amounts of N95 masks over the course of a year and a half if they felt they were truly necessary. This is a country that can bomb other nations into oblivion in a matter of days. To think they can’t make masks I think is a little … not correct.

          But anyway, I believe this was just another Fauci lie. I don’t believe that he initially lied so that we wouldn’t rush to buy up masks, I believe that he said what he thought, changed it, and then tried to cover up for it. This is a guy who bold faced lied to congress. Nothing he says can be trusted.

          “I’m not going to suggest that there was a more sinister motive……like trying to encourage spread of the disease so that it wouldn’t be immediately shut down before it got started in earnest. Nope, not going to suggest that because that is conspiratorial.”

          Haha yes … Either they are the biggest idiots to walk the earth or something more is going on.

          “I don’t. 🙂 Parents do need to take an active roll in their children’s education and know what the hell their government is teaching their kids.”

          I agree with this but parents are powerless when it comes to mask mandates. My kids are STILL wearing them in school.

          “No they didn’t. The people were freedom lovers and uncontrollable. They were people who followed along with whatever the media or government told them to. How do I know? Out of nearly 2.8 million votes cost in 2016 in NYC for President, Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, got just about 28,000 votes. That’s about 1%. Hillary Clinton got 75% of the vote. Anyone voting for her wasn’t someone who could be classified as freedom loving by any shape or form.”

          You win. I can’t argue with this. These people view freedom as a threat. They want to control and be controlled.

          Yes, it’s almost moot to argue CFR and IFR. In the beginning only patients with the most severe symptoms were tested, the PCR tests were set to be WAY too sensitive and produced, by some accounts, 80% false positives, the death count included hundreds of thousands of “suspected” Covid deaths, and the way we even count Covid deaths is suspect, as even if Covid is a tertiary or lower cause of death it gets logged as a Covid death. We don’t count deaths of any other disease like this, otherwise we would have had an epidemic of pneumonia in the 80s… In other words, this is a mess.

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          • Jack May 30, 2021, 11:19 pm

            Just a couple of points: My kids haven’t worn masks for one single day in their classes since this pandemic started. I home school them because I don’t trust what the government is teaching them.

            Another point: What if we didn’t get N95 masks because they wanted controlled spread? If we are going down the conspiracy rabbit hole, then that’s one possibility to look at. Fauci isn’t the smart guy that some people say…or maybe he is an he is just evil. He knew what was going on at that Wuhan lab because he got the government to fund part of that research. He pushed the false line that all respiratory diseases are transmitted by surfaces and not the air. That was preposterous. But that is what we have.

            Today another person my wife personally knows died of Covid. He was just 54. She has lost several relatives in the last month from Covid.

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            • VBJ June 14, 2021, 12:57 pm

              First of all, sorry to hear about your wife’s losses.

              Now on to the rest:

              “Fauci isn’t the smart guy that some people say…or maybe he is an he is just evil.”

              Yeah, this is a huge question. But if you look at what he’s done and said and it seems completely improbable that he’s this dumb. Basically, what he’s done is create a situation where Covid would spread the most … but, yeah, maybe should stay out of that haha.

              “He pushed the false line that all respiratory diseases are transmitted by surfaces and not the air.”

              Especially when there was published research readily available that countered this seemingly unarguably.

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              • Jack August 3, 2021, 5:48 pm

                With the new Delta variant spreading so much…..I think it’s easy to look at the actions of certain go……nt officials and see that they are doing all they can to encourage the spread. I won’t say the F name but I’ve been saying this about him since May.

                By allowing the virus to spread, they have been able to continue to take away our liberties.

                I don’t know what the solution is, but I’m building on my off grid ranchstead right now…well not right this minute, but I was building this morning and I’ll do some building tonight. I’m lazy and don’t like the heat too much.

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                • VBJ August 12, 2021, 11:44 am

                  Jack, you and I often take different paths but we generally end up at the same destination. I agree with you completely.

                  The Delta variant is particularly interesting because it’s more transmissible but way less deadly … so it’s doing what a virus normally does.

                  It’s going to be interesting how they spin the fact that their experiment doesn’t work. Way too many V people getting infected — and they take a test that’s significantly less sensitive than non-V people. My best friend got the J and J a few months ago because he has a wedding coming up. Yesterday he tested positive with symptoms. We could see correlations that suggest the shit doesn’t work from the start … but I wonder when — if ever — this will sink in.

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  • Rory April 30, 2021, 2:13 pm

    “The world outside is burning with a brand new light
    But it isn’t one that makes me feel warm
    Don’t go mistaking your house burning down for the dawn” Song 1933 by frank turner rings true to me for a lot the last few years

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    • VBJ May 1, 2021, 8:47 pm

      You have it pretty good out there in Montana. You can just sit back and watch all of this madness.

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  • Rory April 30, 2021, 2:42 pm

    MT just passed a prohibition on vaccine passports https://www.krtv.com/news/governor-prohibits-vaccine-passports-in-montana

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    • VBJ May 1, 2021, 6:49 pm

      It’s really interesting. A line seems to be getting drawn and states are deciding what side of it they’re on. Going to be interesting how things work out. Can’t have a country where people walk around like they live in occupied territory showing their papers at every turn and other parts where people live free. The grass is certainly looking greener on the other side from where I’m standing about now …

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  • Jeffrey May 1, 2021, 7:55 am

    As Jack said, there’s a LOT to discuss now. The pandemic accelerated a host of issues.

    A few years ago, I finally started to research digital privacy, reading a stack of books and going online to see what I could learn. What I learned scared the shit out out me–and made me really angry. Big Tech was selling our private communication, ideas, and relationships for piles of money and hiding their actions in fine print. What did I do?

    I requested the closure and deletion of all online accounts. Now no Google, no Facebook, no Flickr. From 2004 to 2009, I had run a very successful Blogspot (Google) weblog (blogrolled at the New York Times and the Washington Post), but after transferring all the files to my computer, I did not hesitate to delete the thousands of pages from that site. You need to rip your information from their clutching fingers.

    Years ago, I had only tried Facebook for a few weeks and didn’t like it. When I asked for the account to be deleted, they made me wait a month. What can you say? That’s the kind of assholes you find there.

    Back in the 2000s, using Flickr, I had uploaded lots of scanned photos that I later linked to for friends to check out. It was a good platform. Later it was sold to Yahoo and a few other companies. In my research, I discovered how dangerous all those photos were (watch video link below). Deletion was the right move.

    I never had Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok accounts, so there was nothing to do there.

    Next, I started removing all of my personal information on people-search sites and from data brokers. This took more than a month. You need to contact each individual site and request an “opt out” or “do not sell my information.”

    Today, digital privacy is one of my main concerns. This is one of those turning points in history. Will people give up all of their privacy? Will Big Tech and Big Government fuse to control individuals, turning citizens into subjects and data points?

    Jack makes a good point about the upside of masks. Anything that has an anonymizing function needs to be explored.

    Okay, here’s the link to a Vox piece on facial recognition.

    What facial recognition steals from us.

    If any of you know of other ways for us to restore privacy and real individuality, let me know.

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    • VBJ May 2, 2021, 6:52 pm

      “Today, digital privacy is one of my main concerns. This is one of those turning points in history. Will people give up all of their privacy? Will Big Tech and Big Government fuse to control individuals, turning citizens into subjects and data points?”

      I agree. We don’t yet have a clear picture of how this data is being used and how it will / could be used in the future. Advertising isn’t even half the story.

      Good that you got out of that entanglement. However, I once did a post on something similar and someone commented that not having what could be considered a normal social media record will soon be regarded as suspicious. Our present reality has become a movie from the 1990s …

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      • Jack May 3, 2021, 5:30 pm

        Wade, you and Jeffrey are spot on. I hate the erosion of rights that has accelerated in the last few years.

        Ever seen Enemy of the State? Every tech in that movie is old tech and everyone that it is.

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      • Bob L June 19, 2021, 8:22 am

        arguably, the thing more important then digital privacy, is who controls what people see. Tick tock is not dangerous because of digital privacy it’s dangerous because it decides what a person can and can’t see. Feces book and the others do this as well. We don’t need the CCP to bomb our country, it can just control the minds of people by controlling what they can and cannot see. It’s easy to sew division, hatred, distrust. You so enough distrust of so-called experts, and the government, and then no one knows what to believe. And it just keeps getting worse.

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