Minimalism | Cycling | Computers | Finance My interests include finance (my career), computers, privacy, minimalism, road cycling, and growing fruits & vegetables. Appreciate any support!

Google: Great Creations, Sketchy Privacy

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I am an advocate for privacy and staying away from big tech companies that collect and spread your data to the world. Google is one of the most known companies in the world that harvest your data and ruin all sorts of privacy. However, on the other side of things, the technology and capabilities are truly amazing. The connectivity and opportunity with the products allow users to make sure all content is in one place, built from a billion dollar infrastructure. Something else to note is they are always improving what they have to offer. If it was not for the privacy concerns, I would love to continue to use Google, but for now, I have de-Googled.

What some individuals forget to notice is that the algorithms that are built are not necessarily targeting individuals for their data for the purpose some people might believe. If you have ever watched "The Social Network" on Netflix, you would learn that companies such as Google actually just use the block of data simply to identify where the least expensive ads should be placed and which ones offer the most profit. All of the algorithms are just identifying what patterns to use to improve the convenience and efficiency for the user. That is what is great about Google. They are able to use our trends to make a better user experience and make sure everything is in the right place at the right time.

If you do not mind some of these things, maybe you can continue to use some Google products, but refrain from using others. For example, continue to use YouTube, Google Drive, and Google Calendar. Then, use Firefox, multiple privacy extensions, such as uBlock Origin, containers, privacy badger, Canvas Fingerprinting, etc. and DuckDuckGo for the search engine. For email, you can use Thunderbird, ProtonMail, and Tutanota, etc. This would allow you to use some of the Google products, but limit how much information and search trends are being logged onto Google's servers. When uploading information to Google Drive, you can encrypt it using VeraCrypt or Cryptomator so that you can remain private.

You do not need to sacrifice your convenience by ruining all of this. It is possible to enhance your privacy and security at the same time by limiting what you do and do not use from Google and then encrypting the information that you do input into Google. I still support the de-Google trend, so that we can make a statement and hopefully make a notice to improve the privacy concerns that Google holds. One day, we will have our privacy back, but it will not be today.

Privacy Idea

First off, I want to let you know that as I type, I am expressing my thoughts. This may be unorganized and possibly not make sense, but I will do my best to keep it flowing.

I have been on the hunt for a life of privacy. Away from both the corporate and government eyes. There are multiple ways of achieving these tasks, some better than others. What I have ultimately come to decide is that there is a method that could work that maintains some government and public eye, but having most of your life "incognito". This idea would require a decent amount of funds and would vary based on dietary and health needs. I will not be going into the digital things, such as what software and hardware to use, but just a general idea of living. Let's get down into the idea.

Based on the modern hierarchy of needs, the critical things we need to think about are shelter, clean clothes, electricity, running water, and funds to maintain them all. Cash and cryptocurrency (Monero preferred) would be the best payment options. What an individual would need to do is to have a minimalistic lifestyle who only owns enough items to fit in about a 40L backpack and a carry-on size suitcase. This would allow you to be nomadic in the event of needing to get away from somewhere. Staying in motels off the highway would be the best option for shelter. It is inexpensive, free wifi, electricity, running water, and is furnished with at least a bed and a microwave. Motels also benefit with being able to pay in cash. Now, this may not be the cleanest option, but it will make do. Secondly, for travel, you would use you hardened libre phone (Purism) to have apps such as Uber and Lyft to get around town or simply use a bike. You can pay using cryptocurrency or by using gift cards to either company that you buy at the local store.

Now you have the ability to travel around town to pick up groceries or other items. It might be best to live a raw vegan or vegetarian diet since you would not be able to store or cook raw meats in a motel. You could eat beef/turkey/pork jerky as well if you do not want to give up the meats. Another option would be to either eat out a lot or just buy a foreman grill and cook inside and have a mini fridge (which might already be in the motel) to keep the food cool and fresh. Being healthy might be hard. You would want to stay healthy and eat right so there are less long-term health issues. Calisthenics and power foods would be beneficial for making sure you do not healthcare often.

Now, luckily since we are in a motel, we would have the maids to clean our sheets, what about your clothes? Since you only have a few items of clothes, you could either use a scrubby (a clothes cleaning bag) or go to a local laundromat.

You might be thinking, how do we afford all of these things? Maybe the only exposure you have to the government and corporate world is simply your job and bank account. That way you have consistent funds flowing and have insurance. The other option would be some type of freelance work or self-employment that can be done straight from the computer. This could be artistry, programming (websites, applications, etc.), trading financial markets, blogging, tutoring, etc. Being paid via crypto would be your source of funds. You would need to state that upfront before any type of online work.

The main items you should own to stay nomadic and minimal are a few sets of clothes (shirts, hat, underwear, mask, sunglasses, etc), laptop (Purism), phone (Purism), scrubby (clothing cleaning bag), camping utensils for eating and drinking, and a mountain bike. The mountain bike allows you to ride on rough terrain if need be, then you could also carry a majority of your items in that 40L backpack while riding. If you need extra space, attach a rack to the back of the bike and strap that small suitcase onto it.

Sounds like a pretty boring life right? It could be, but it would be a challenge to either go off the grid completely (living in a forest with nothing) or to simply minimize your exposure to the corporate and government entities. All of these are just broad ideas. There is a lot of nitty gritty tactics that I could get into, but that would be enough for an entire book. You just need to make sure you move around, use as much cash as possible, get paid in either crypto or cash, trade/convert currency using Bisq, etc.

There are lots of ways to get this done and stay under the radar. Please leave a comment in the guestbook to point out flaws or if this is downright silly. I certainly would not go this far, but some people may want to if they are activists running from the law. I do not support criminal/illegal activities in any fashion, I simply see enhanced privacy as a challenge.