“Life is full of trade-offs. Based on our own value system, we’ll accept a little of “this” so we can have some of “that”. Alaska is one of the most beautiful places on earth but I wouldn’t want to live there because for me the price is too high: A glorious eight week summer of sparkling lakes and mountain meadows surrounded by a couple of months of cool & cloudy rain, sandwiched in between mind-numbing cold and snow. Nearly three quarter of a million people disagree with me and it’s those differences in the trade-off scale that make the world go round.
I wonder what Edward Snowden was willing to trade when he divulged the inside workings of the US NSA surveillance set-up. He has most certainly changed his life forever and at the age of 29, that’s saying something since he likely has much more life in front of him than behind. Believed to be hiding out in Hong Kong, a place that has already indicated they will likely extradite him if the US government requests it, he’s gone from “The world is my oyster international consultant” to one of the world’s most wanted men in the blink of an eye. Being at the center of a media feeding frenzy is almost never a good thing unless your last name is Kardashian.
The personal fate of Snowden aside, he has raised the bar on the issue of “what price” and “what will we trade”…Â Now that we know our own government is spying on us, following our communication trails, and storing that information, what price are we willing to pay to stop the bad guys and how much of our privacy and freedom are we willing to trade to do it? On your trade-off sliding scale will you tolerate the intrusion of your government in to your private, constitutionally protected rights in return for the promise from that government that will keep you safe?
As for me; I don’t live in Alaska because the beauty isn’t worth freezing nine months of the year. And as much as I think Edward Snowden should be dragged home and put on trial as a traitor, there is a part of me that is grateful to know the information that he revealed because I also don’t believe my government needs to intrude in the lives of its citizens to this extent.