Atualmente estou lendo Freedom, de Daniel Suarez, e o último capítulo que lí me chamou muito a atenção. (Para saber um pouco mais sobre esse livro, veja meu post anterior).

Neste capítulo existe uma conversa entre Sebeck e Price sobre o livre-arbítrio das pessoas, liberdade e armazenamento de dados pessoais.

A seguir você encontra parte dessa conversa.


Price noticed that Sebeck was ignoring him. “These people give you comfort, Sergeant? Walking among them like a regular person? Does it bring back the good times?”

Sebeck cast a look back at Price. “What if it does? Maybe it’s good to see how normal the world is. That there are still people who just want to go shopping.”

“Yeah.” He took another bite of his churro and spoke around it. “Too bad this place will probably be an empty shell ten years from now.” (...)

“It doesn’t matter what I think. Everything here exists because people want it. What gives Sobol the right to decide for them?”

Price shrugged. “Well, the public doesn’t really decide anything now—they just select from the options they’re given.” He stuffed the last of the churro into his mouth and chewed furiously. “Factions have a slang term for the general public. They call them NPCs—as in ‘non-player-characters’—scripted bots with limited responses.”

“That’s just obnoxious.”

“Is it? These people have only limited decision-making ability.”

“And we’re not Sobol’s puppets?”

“Okay, I think I know what’s going on here.” He balled up the churro wrapper and tossed it into the orifice of a trash can shaped like a robot. “You think these people are free, and that the Daemon is gonna take that freedom away.”

Sebeck kept strolling through the crowd. “Enough, Laney. Just let me walk in peace.”

Price stayed with him. “You, sir, are walking on a privately owned Main Street—permission to trespass revocable at will. Read the plaque on the ground at the entrance if you don’t believe me. These people aren’t citizens of anything, Sergeant. America is just another brand purchased for its goodwill value. For that excellent fucking logo.”

“Yeah, I’m sure it’s all a big conspiracy...”

“No conspiracy necessary. It’s a process that’s been happening for thousands of years. Wealth aggregates and becomes political power. Simple as that. ‘Corporation’ is just the most recent name for it. In the Middle Ages it was the Catholic Church. They had a great logo, too. You might have seen it, and they had more branches than Starbucks. Go back before that, and it was Imperial Rome. It’s a natural process as old as humanity.”

Sebeck just stared back at him.

“Look, there’s nothing wrong with people admitting that they’re owned. That’s the first step in becoming free. They just need to admit it.”

“You’re a lunatic.”

“That’s right. I’m crazy. But stand up in here with a protest sign and find out how quickly you get your ass tased by security. You want to see the world the way it really is, Sergeant? Forget your cultural indoctrination for a moment.”

Price started moving his arms as if conjuring a spell. Sebeck knew what it meant: Price was working with objects on a layer of D-Space. A layer that wasn’t yet visible in Sebeck’s HUD glasses. Price was pulling at invisible objects in the air around him. Then he turned to Sebeck. “This is the real world, Sergeant. The one you so dearly miss being a part of.”

Suddenly a new layer of D-Space appeared overlaid on the real world, manifested as thousands of call-outs, glowing numbers hovering above the heads of all the shoppers moving past them. Dollar amounts, green for positive, red for negative. Most of the numbers floating over people’s heads were negative: “-$23,393” hovering over a twentysomething woman on a cell phone, “-$839,991” over a dignified-looking man in his forties, “-$17,189” over his teenage daughter, and on it went. Number after number.

Price raised his arms theatrically. “The net worth of everyone. Real-time financial data.” He frowned. “A lot of red out there, but then again, this is America.”

Sebeck stared at the hundreds of numbers moving past him. Not every person had a number above them, but the vast majority did. A young professional couple with a baby, both of them with negative numbers in the forty thousand range. A poorly dressed woman in her sixties sat on a bench near the fountain with a bright green “$893,393” over her head. Sebeck kept staring at the numbers passing by. There was no anticipating who had money and who didn’t. Some of the most successful-looking people seemed to be worst off.

“Okay, Price. This is all very interesting, but I don’t see what it proves. The Daemon gives you the power to peek into their bank accounts. So what?”

“It’s not the Daemon that gives me this ability, Sergeant.” Sebeck narrowed his eyes. “These numbers are appearing in D-Space. This must be the darknet.”

Price was already shaking his head. “I get the data from commercial networks, and I project it onto D-Space. Ask yourself, how can I know their bank balances unless I know who these people are? Remember: none of them are Daemon operatives.”

Sebeck thought for a moment. He moved to a balcony railing and scanned the hundreds of numbers moving through the mall.

“Their data follows them as they walk.”

“Yeah. How about that?”

“How are you doing this, Price? Cut the bullshit. You’re faking this, or are you trying to convince me that someone implanted tracking chips in everyone?”

“Nobody implanted anything. These people pay for their own tracking devices.” Price pointed to a nearby cell phone kiosk slathered with graphic images of beautiful people chatting on handsets. “A cell phone’s location is constantly tracked and stored in a database. Don’t have a cell phone? Bluetooth devices have a unique identifier, too. Phone headsets, PDAs, music players. Just about any wireless toy you might own. And now there are radio-frequency-identity tags in driver’s licenses, passports, and in credit cards. They respond to radio energy by emitting a unique identifier, which can be linked to a person’s identity. Privately owned sensors at public choke points are harvesting this data throughout the world. It doesn’t have anything to do with the Daemon.”

Price turned to the mall again and drew circles on his layer of D-Space—highlighting sensors bolted to the walls at intersections in the mall’s traffic flow. “Storing data is so cheap it’s essentially free, so data brokers record everything in the hopes that it will have value to someone. The data is aggregated by third parties, linked to individual identities, and sold like any other consumer data. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s an economy, but an economy these people know nothing about. They’re tagged like sheep and have about as much say in the matter as sheep.”

(Retirado de Freedom, de Daniel Suddenly.)

Você achou isso muito absurdo? Pois acredito que se ainda não somos “gado” dadas grandes corporações estamos quase já.