Stephen Karlson (shkarlson) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Stephen Karlson

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For Book Review No. 10, a few gripes about Cheryl Chumley's Police State U.S.A.: How Orwell's Nightmare is Becoming our Reality.  Yes, it's useful to bring to readers' attention the evils of civil forfeitures, the surveillance state, businesses that require customers to play twenty questions to make a purchase, and overweening regulation allegedly in the public interest.  (And at the same time, these agencies and enterprises are careless about securing the information so extracted, leaving people vulnerable to the ministrations of Russian biznesmen or ne'er-do-wells in basements.)

But the work quickly turns into a generalized polemic against the incompetence of the Obama administration and its third-world-o-philia.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it is the kind of transition likely to turn off readers who might otherwise be favorably disposed to working against Big Data and all the other manifestations of a social order in which "information is easily obtained" because people are willing to spill their guts online or to get a stupid rewards card.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)

Tags: contemporary, ominous, politics, unimpressed

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