Thursday, October 11, 2007

Top Secret

It looks like I sent my resume off to this Princeton company that makes a "semantic collaboration workspace that seamlessly ties together people and analytical applications to help our customers collect, organize and process disparate information in order to quickly and effectively respond to changing conditions," whatever that means. It's basically a electronic doohickey that receives data and filters it. Anyway, they got back to me with an email including this completely comforting information: "Due to the nature of our work and customer base, you will be subject to a government security investigation." I assume that Semandex employees are also issued photo ID badges, encoded with your retina scans and maybe some DNA, which isn't Orwellian at all.

Not that I have any real secrets to keep, aside from a somewhat embarrassing web browser history laden with HTTP requests for softcore porn — which, just so you know, can easily be tracked and linked back to your cable modem or DSL line — but the only reason I'm not cowering in paranoia as our government illegally taps our phone lines and AT&T sells them our domain name server requests, is that there's three hundred million people in the country and I'm pretty sure when it comes to the most boring and irrelevant, I fall somewhere in the top two hundred ninety-nine million. It's a pragmatic thing, fully, since I certainly don't trust the government — especially this government — to keep its prying eyes away from me because unjustified spying rends the freedom and priciples that make America great. The data is collected and dumped into this mechanical Semandex filter, and who knows what a buggy computer or an overzealous bureaucrat will do with it. (That, by the way, is my only real concern with this blog: jerks exploiting it, and idiots interpreting it out of context.) It seems better to not encourage them.

I don't really know if I could obtain government security clearance anyway — I got fired from a webmaster job at the theater for writing in my blog. I might have a rather fuzzy line between what's supposed to be private and public, but I'm quite sure I wouldn't be revealing the identity of an undercover CIA agent. I'm not that stupid, or politically vindictive.

The whole black market thing really confuses me, from both the inside and out. Like, how does one get started in international gun running? What's the job interview like? (Speaking of which, the CIA is hiring. Also available on their website, employee profiles... which kind of seems like it would defeat the purpose.)

And on the other hand, where are the links between the black market and the general population — how do I purchase a Slovenian prostitute, if I wanted to? There's no listing in the yellow pages for "Sex Slave, Retail." (I didn't check, I'm just assuming.) The weird thing is that I have friends who don't have library cards but know where to buy illicit drugs. Really? Friend of a friend of a friend? I mean, I don't even know who to call when my cable TV goes out; the idea of being a link in the chain of a Robert Ludlum novel is unfathomable to me.