Covert, Versteckt, Verborgen, Geheim, тайный

One of the new fascinations of our times, which perhaps speaks on where we are, is covert or black operations. There are books, TV programs, films and games; all based in this subject area. Spying is not new, it reaches back. Wherever there has been temporal power, spying has existed. Even Christ was spied upon, they had a double agent in his camp. From the look out or sentinel to advanced satellite technology and internet algorithms, gathering data on things has always been here. Now this game is open to the private individual through internet and Facebook stalking.

{I have in the past deliberately only said something online and then conversed with the person whom I felt was observing me and sure enough my morsel was repeated back to me.}

It is about advantage and the “upper hand” on one level. Machiavelli would no doubt drool in excitement at all the new possibility.

Viewed from a military strategy angle, this subterfuge makes perfect sense. It presupposes enemy. As long as the enemy remains the enemy, all is well. How though do you turn an enemy into a friend?

How do you deal with the question “Have you perhaps been spying on me and gossiping about me?”

Flat denial, though possible, can lack credibility. Justificatory arguments could be made. It does not get things off to a good start. The longer it goes on, the more difficult the circumstance becomes. It sours things. There is always the hope that the erstwhile “enemy” will be too polite to mention it or that the subject never comes up.

People derive a guilty pleasure from covert observation. As long as they do not have to come face to face with their subject, nobody need know. Their motivations, whatever they may be, need not ever be public. As is so often the case, it is the motive behind the action which does harm to the Web of Life.

And now we have voyeurism dressed up as so-called reality TV. We can watch people having it off, eating bugs, having a drama and posing. We have become “big brother” ourselves. It is “socially acceptable” to observe other beings from the safety of our own living rooms. It is the norm to spy on others. It is so-called entertainment. Of late we have been able to look at people’s bookshelves on the news.

What part of our being likes this? Is it light or dark?

Is it thoroughly justified?

Do I find the word covert somehow exciting? Why is that? Do I like having the “upper hand” even though this might sour any ongoing relations? Is that, in the final analysis, strategically wise?