Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tell me a little about yourself...

Every where you go, every bloody thing you do these days somebody wants personal information. The cashier at most stores now want to know your postal code (that's ZIP for my American friends). I understand why they want this info. It's for demographic analysis. The corporations want to know how they can sell us even more worthless crap we don't need. They cross reference our addresses with income levels and other tidbits they can purchase from the federal government. The feds get this knowledge  by forcing us to complete a census form. Then they sell it to some private-for-profit money sucking greedcorp. Until recently here in Canada you could be fined and even sent to the big house for refusing to fill out this intrusive census form. Government forcefully extracting something from people to provide to corporations? Hey wait, doesn't that smell a little like fascism? Should we really worry? Maybe they are only in cahoots to  improve our shopping experiences. After all, as long we as continuously increase our consumerism, then things will be quite comfortable all the way to the collapse.

So I don't comply with what may seem like a harmless request by the cashier. Sometimes I reply that I will not take part in their financial profiling. Other times I say I'm homeless. Once in a while I've asked 'why?' No matter what I do, they always look at me the same way; 'Why won't you just blindly give me the answer I'm trained to ask for, like everybody else does?' Lately I've noticed they want an email address too. Some stores have even asked for my phone number. Are you freakin' kidding me? I might give you my phone number after you take me out for dinner and provide an evening of gasping pleasure. Maybe not even then. Of course if they did have my number they could have a computer call my GPS enabled cell phone with 'specials that may interest me' when I'm near one of their outlets. Just in case I'm not truly getting all the pleasure out of the shopping experience I should when left to my own devices.

Mayberry talks about starving the beast, starving the monkeys. There are many actions to take for this to ever be effective. But I know one for sure, don't give them something just because they ask for it. They already know too much about us all. They can take what's been tracked and collected about me using debit cards, banking, gov't forms etc., and run it through sophisticated computer algorithms. They probably know things about me that even I don't. I'm doing what I can to change this. Barter, pay cash, just don't buy, as much as possible.

Starve the beast or it will starve us.


  1. "I might give you my phone number after you take me out for dinner and provide an evening of gasping pleasure"

    Ha ha! That's classic! Thanks for the laugh, I needed it! As to zip codes, phone numbers, etc., I give them the numbers for someone I don't like, heh heh heh. Disinfo is more fun than no info, because it mucks up their system...

  2. The thing is, as you rightly point out, they already have your information- and more of it than you could possibly guess. While standing in line with you while you ask, "why?" and stare at the cashier like she's been sent directly from the master corporations can be uncomfortable and at times downright embarrassing (depending on the 'flair' of your delivery) it's really the only stand a person can take. Disinformation still leaves the impression that one is "okay" with the collection of personal information, as much as providing 'real' information does. People have to start taking the uncomfortable stand of saying, "no- I'm not okay with what you're doing and I won't go along"- at every level, not just with Walmart and Home Depot. But then- that would require people to think about what they are participating in, and I think we're a long ways from that...

  3. I don't do phone surveys either. Been known to stop doing business with people who ask too many personal questions.

    Use cash instead of a card, that'll help a bit.