Big Data

superman-unbound-trailer-1The recent revelations by Ed Snowden had to come and if it hadn’t been him it would have been someone else and there will probably be others in the line of whistleblowers who put their lives on the line in their attempts to show the world the truth of the activities of Governments. If nothing else the discussions around these activities will surely leave few ‘information virgins’ out there in the real world, who are shocked and surprised by Government and by the information gathering capacity of those things we use every day for fun, relaxation, to keep in touch and in our innocence and trust that our personal details will not be sold, collected, used or employed for nefarious purposes. No-one today can now be unaware that all they do, say and think is available to the world, not able to be deleted or refuted and may dog our footsteps forever, affect job applications, relationships, reputation, credibility and all our future activities.
After all, how many of you have stopped using Facebook or cancelled your Gmail account? I’m going to guess that the number is miniscule. Mr. Snowden has painted a picture, in stark and unavoidable relief, of the world of Big Data, one in which corporations and governments have access to detailed and intimate information on almost every person on the planet. Mr. Snowden has torn down the last thin veil we had left and shown us that our belief in privacy in the new hyper-connected cyber-system we inhabit is an illusion we ourselves had created.
The creation of this great man-made commons has brought about a revolution in politics, in religion, in society and in business. It has created vast fortunes and new global brands, while devastating less adaptable companies. It has empowered citizens all over the world as nothing since the printing press has done, allowing them to inform and organize themselves cheaply and efficiently against corporate and government interests. It has expanded trade, created markets, reshaped our vocabulary and our social habits. It has shrunk the world by an order of magnitude

The Destruction Of The Commons By Fernando Betancor.

In relation to adoption and adopted people, we have seen a proliferation of forums, groups and contacts which are mostly useful, helpful and give a place to discuss in ways that have never been available before. Our world has been expanded, we can be in contact with every adoptee who uses Facebook, Twitter or anything else available in the world. It has been immeasurably beneficial, useful, comforting and encouraging. Adoption activism has reached new levels and has many more possibilities. We have been able to challenge the myths of adoption*, blow apart the commonly held beliefs that comfort and often excuse what has been done to adoptees by non-adoptees in the name of adoption. For example that all adoptees are ‘loved and wanted’. Once we know our stories or some part of them, it is very clear that this is not the case. For some of us, it was not the case when we were born and it is not the case when we attempt reunion; what adoptees often call ‘the double whammy’. That adoption ‘doesn’t hurt’ and that babies can be ‘grafted’ onto families other than their own, has been shown up for the problematic, difficult and painful process that it is and continues to be, well into adult life and way past the offensive ‘Gotcha Day’.
That adoptees don’t need to know who they are and where they came from has been more than amply and heart-rendingly illustrated by those of us who are LDA’s – Late Discovery Adoptees who have their adoptions revealed to them in a huge variety of ways, all with attendant excuses, sometimes without, when the papers are found following the death of the adopters or the fact stumbled upon by accident well after childhood. Sadly no-one is innocent, without guilt or in some way culpable. When adoptees examine their life stories, there are always those who lied, mislead, misconstrued, invented, assumed, glossed over or failed to recognise the importance of the truth. The real truth that is, not the concocted stories made up to satisfy those doing the paperwork or to keep adoptees quiet and not asking questions.
I have recently been following the discussion on another blog, about the costs of adoption and the ways in which funds are raised*. There are so many assumptions about what adoptees will find acceptable when they are old enough to ask questions about what they cost and how the funds were raised. Adopters are careful to explain that the money paid over to the agency is for ‘costs’ and so on. How is it that in a country – America – where everything has a price and often a high one, the price of adoptees is high and often unaffordable, for what my Government calls ‘ordinary people’? Prospective adopters raise funds anyway they can, usually by demeaning themselves in some way – begging from family and friends in some way reminiscent of an Amway selling technique, by having garage sales, subscriptions, advertising campaigns and other methods which would be unthinkable in any other area of human life – imagine begging money from everyone you know to pay for something else you badly wanted or needed in your life or believed you were being directed to undertake or entitled to, not presumably by ‘voices’ or writing on a wall! Most who were asked would be appalled, offended, cut off contact or consider you a grovelling, grasping low-life who had no pride, ethics or compunction about begging. Of course there are always excuses and we are told just how the adoptees who are the object of such endeavors will react, what they will think about it and what they will say!! If anything was an indication of the programming of adoptees, of the presentation of a life script then this is an excellent example!
Some of course will consider these words next to treason*, anything which challenges the dearly held beliefs about adoption by the ‘true believers’ is offensive, considered ‘vile words’ and seems to open the way for personal attacks, assumptions and advice on how to live the adopted life. Your blogger is way past the age of taking advice on how to live what is a good life, except from family and good friends. When we stop learning, changing and being flexible in how we view our lives and what we do in them, there is little hope for us. There is much to learn still about adoption, other people’s and my own and my efforts never stop, my interest never wanes. My dedication to justice and truth does not waver and never will. It burns more strongly now than ever and these days I’m blessed with the time to think, to read, to listen and to write. Today I know more than I ever have about how other adoptees are thinking, feeling and travelling. I am grateful to be trusted, asked, invited, informed and kept in the loop. It is a privilege I value greatly and I am honoured to know so many adoptees of all ages, countries and beliefs who are willing to share their ideas, thoughts, feelings, sorrows and hopes. The courage and strength of adoptees of all ages never ceases to amaze me; the situations they live through; the ways they find to survive; the necessity they have for fighting for their identity and the need to know who they are which never wavers, is not about curiosity and often forms the foundation of their lives. That adoptees live out the adopted life, while at the same time get on with what others call ‘normal life’ – working, studying, creating, raising kids and so on, is nothing short of miraculous! No wonder Superman* was an adoptee!!

* – 1978 with a great cast!


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