Welcome to
The Plantation


The Plantation is... your new home.

Picture a beautiful white antebellum mansion in the old South, surrounded by cypress trees. Genteel folk sit on the wide verandah sipping mint juleps served by...


YOU ain't supposed to be lookin' at the verandah.

Boy, you'd better turn yo' head real quick-like and get back in your place in that shack before the massah sees you.

The verandah's only for the house slaves an' you ain't one of 'em, y'heah?
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Where do you really live? In a house?

Where else do you live?

And where do you work?

How much time to you spend looking at this computer screen? Don't you also live part of your life right here?

Don't you experience a significant part of your world through this little window?

If so, then is this window on your world as open as your access to the physical world is open? Or is it rather controlled?

Is this part of your life -- this window on the world that keeps growing in importance -- is it controlled by someone you don't really understand? Someone you don't concern yourself with?

Who's the massah of this window, anyway?

If your physical world -- your home and your kids schools and your neighborhood etc. -- consisted of images and words that were controlled by large distant organizations, you would assert your right to be free of such manipulation, wouldn't you? After all, our freedom comes from our willingness to assert our right to freedom.

I was prompted to write this page when I read an article in by Dr. William Douglas relating his experience running a clinic in Uganda in the 1/8/07 edition of his Daily Dose medical newsletter:

"I barely got out of there with my life. Such are the rewards of attempting to help those who will not help themselves by overthrowing their ineffectual leadership...

Let's be blunt. Our passive acceptance of what happens in our computers has led to their control by a gang of corrupt organizations.

Are we talking about botnets, those networks built by planting malware in your computer to turn it into a server of spam and more malware?

Sure, that's part of it. But there's more to it.

Why is your computer so receptive to malware? How did such a bad design get so widely accepted by the public?

The simple answer is that the software that comes installed on your computer and the software you buy and install was designed to accommodate two very shady groups:

The FUD Clubs


the Cookie Clubs.

Are you familiar with FUD? fudMost computer industry professionals are very familiar with the use of the FUD Factor: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

If you have never heard of FUD then you are in precisely the same situation as that slave on the plantation who only imagines what goes on in that mansion when da massah and his cronies get together to smoke cigars, sip mint juleps, and manage oppression. FUD is at the core of computer marketing strategies.

"Those folks in the shacks down on the plantation have no idea what's going on and they's no reason to tell 'em. If we keep it confusing it just confirms their belief that this software stuff is too complicated for them to understand. They'll leave it to me, da massah, and mah friends."

Then da massah picks a few particluarly docile slaves, trains them on getting around obstacles deliberately placed in the software, and certifies them. Since the massah can't be everywhere, his domestic slaves keep an eye on things for him. If your computer doesn't work you call a certified mansion slave. He's paid his tribute to da massah, he knows the magic fix. The FUD clubs make sure that what happens in your computer, what you see on the screen, the tools you are given to work with -- all of them work together to ensure that you stay down on The Plantation. Their plantation.

The cookie clubs are just as bad. Members of the cookie clubs share information about you behind the scenes. You know, they place innocent cookies in your computer that by themselves only connect a session in their records with your particular machine. Not much information there.

It's when the members of a cookie club get together to share the information that they got from the cookies they planted in your computer that each one gets a complete picture of everything you do online. Some of them come to the cookie club table with information gleaned from "adware" that they planted in your computer. Adware is really just a nice name for spyware. Nothing is off limits to spyware, including bank account numbers and passwords, if they can find them. Reputable companies don't steal bank account numbers and passwords, of course. Reputable companies simply see to it that your computer's software enables manipulation and spying. Of course when the real crooks come in behind them to steal your money, those companies that ensured that your computer was wide open to spyware become suddenly oh so concerned about your security. "Here, our new anti-spyware package will protect you, just click here and enter your credit card number and you can download it right away..."

Well, that's pretty bad, isn't it. But hey, we invited the FUD clubs and the cookie clubs into this part of our life by being so passive about the online spaces that we inhabit.

Imagine if your home were managed this way. Imagine if you left your doors open to any company that claimed to be able to come in and rewire your house, change the appliances around, move some walls, go into your desks and file cabinets, examine their contents, place a few pieces of paper in there for their own use next time they decide to barge in, etc. Would you tell them, "you really know more about household management than I do, so I trust you to do whatever needs doing. You don't even need to inform me that you were in there."

That's just what we offered the "reputable" organizations that "manage" the online facilities that we inhabit.

That would be bad enough. But what we have now is worse than anything that was imagined by the FUD and cookie clubs.

Very simply, what we have in our computers now is organized crime. There's a good chance that your computer is running software that makes it part of a worldwide organized crime network.

The organized crime cartels that operate the botnets are surely beyond any of the kind of FUD and cookie clubbing that the sotware vendors had in mind. The software vendors may be willing to lie to make a buck, but they're not thugs. At least they don't like to think of themselves as thugs. They just got mixed up in the wrong crowd over the years - they didn't notice it was happening. They opened up your computer for their lesser mayhem and then gradually they lost control. Things got a bit out of hand.

The folks you got your software from would tell you how very sorry they are, but their apology would be used in court to prove their guilt. Instead they put advertising in your face telling you how hard they're working to keep your computer secure. You of course pay for the ads when you buy the latest version of their FUD infested product. An you bettah be happy with that, Boy.

There are two things that will free you and me from The Plantation:

Click here to learn more.