It’s the nature of our shared faith. On the one hand, our heart-led path is very narrow, steep and rough. Precious few are those who walk with us. On the other hand, we so desperately need each other because no one of us has the whole picture. If you think I’m not learning from your witness, you really don’t understand. I may not have time to interact with you much on your blogs and sites, but I’m paying attention. We all depend on each other because that’s God’s way with us.
The likelihood of any of us ever concentrating our physical presence in one place is just about zero. I long to see each of you face-to-face, but God forbid that any of us would start to imagine that congregating someplace on this earth was essential to our religion. It’s the nature of our calling and how God is working at this time in human history that, without the Internet, we share precious little. More to the point, the Internet and computer technology is very critical to my calling. Such is the means of my mission. The degree to which your mission coincides with mine, we share over the Net.
On the one hand, there are numerous threats rising against the virtual freedom that we all take for granted. On the other hand, those threats are limited by the very nature of the Internet itself. More specifically, computer networking simply does not happen without a certain amount of philosophical agnosticism about content. It either transmits or it doesn’t. At the same time, there is a massive effort to find ways to place controls all around the network. At times I’ve indicated there are various threats against computers and our control over the devices we use. We really can’t stop surveillance; the traffic won’t go unless it’s possible to snoop. The real issue is hindering communication.
The biggest threat is a very dastardly attempt to condition us socially so that we stop thinking about serious communication. Have you noticed how advertising aims elevate in our minds the necessity of frivolous chatter? “Oh, the fun you’ll have! Leave the serious communication stuff to experts; we’ll tell you to whom you should listen.” They don’t care about you, only getting your money and reducing you to a pliable drone.
Right now we are in the midst of the most deadly form of warfare I’ve ever seen in this battle over what constitutes “fake news.” The corporate media is deeply invested in this and are out for blood. This isn’t just more of the same silly noise they’ve always made. They are losing control and it will mean their virtual demise; the gravy train becomes the grave. And a part of their warfare is infiltration.
Have you heard about “Pizzagate”? Look it up, but most of it was the results of manipulative prodding at over-enthusiastic grass roots sleuths. I’ll tell you all you need to know about it: The owner of the pizza place in question is very much a pervert without the slightest compunction about things like raw child porn, but he’s not that close to the Clinton camp. Nor does he run a child-sex ring. That is, he’s just an average member of the wealthy and powerful class, which is loaded with gross perverts regardless of partisan affiliations. That story was provoked as misinformation to make the independent media look stupid. Infiltrators didn’t have to actually lead the thing, just wait for some fool to start off with something bogus and feed it. They are watching for every chance to tar their foes and maintain their own unearned reputation.
But I’ve also caught wind of the coming hacktivist warfare; you ain’t seen nothing yet. This is of more particular concern for me because it affects my computer ministry directly. I’ve never prodded anyone to migrate from Windows to Linux, but I’ve always done my best to make it easy. The simple reason is that it’s harder to hack your home computer if it’s running Linux; I’ve had direct experience with that. As hacktivism grows, you can expect to see malware and automated attacks rise as tools of partisan propaganda warfare. Do you know how easy it is to write software that probes for private home computers used to share political activist interests? And can you just imagine how many millions are doing that sharing, promoting their favorite agenda by trading various email campaigns with a private mailing list? That describes the majority of all the clients I’ve ever served. Some of them have already had trouble arising from that activity and had to call me about it.
What if the corporation making the software decides to “fix” certain things that affect such activity? I’ve already seen stuff that makes me suspicious. While I share none of their political interests, I’ve had to help some clients find ways to get around balky software that, for example, prevented them sharing a particular email, or blocked attempts to copy and paste some of the content. I saw it myself during those times I played at running Windows on my own computers. While I’ve researched it, nobody seems to have an answer, but it seems it never affects those who prefer a leftist political stance. Still, it’s not consistent enough to raise alarms among users. Yet. I’m convinced it will get worse.
As long as God prospers your technology choices, stay with it. It’s much more important to me that you become aware of the probabilities that will affect our online communion. The biggest thing we do here is open the doors and free you to obey your own internal calling. That’s the one thing that separates us from mainstream religion. No two of us will see the world the same, and no two of us will make the same choices in pursuit of His glory. Just keep your eyes open and be nimble and ready to make changes as required by the shifting context.