2 votes

MJ: The NSA knows every detail of our lives-So how come it misses the big picture?

I am normally not a fan of Mother Jones, but this is a fantastic piece of work.
Revelations on the extent of NSA spying should teach us not to conflate omniscience with omnipotence.

—By Tom Engelhardt
| Wed Nov. 13, 2013 12:41 PM PST

Given how similar they sound and how easy it is to imagine one leading to the other, confusing omniscience (having total knowledge) with omnipotence (having total power) is easy enough. It's a reasonable supposition that, before the Snowden revelations hit, America's spymasters had made just that mistake. If the drip-drip-drip of Snowden's mother of all leaks—which began in May and clearly won't stop for months to come—has taught us anything, however, it should be this: omniscience is not omnipotence. At least on the global political scene today, they may bear remarkably little relation to each other. In fact, at the moment Washington seems to be operating in a world in which the more you know about the secret lives of others, the less powerful you turn out to be.

Let's begin by positing this: There's never been anything quite like it. The slow-tease pulling back of the National Security Agency curtain to reveal the skeletal surveillance structure embedded in our planet (what cheekbones!) has been an epochal event.

Continued: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/11/nsa-spying-washi...

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Great article; I really like

Great article; I really like the way that they lay everything out and the perspective that they take. Very surprising coming from Mother Jones. There's always a couple things that they get right. Thanks for sharing.

"The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live." -Ayn Rand

I agree. I thought the

I agree. I thought the perspective the article took was clever.

The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. - Heinlein