Safety's Great; Robo-Dogs, Not So Much

It's time to stand up and say "no" to the surveillance state.

Manhattan Beach needs to make a clear statement: "No (robo) dogs allowed."

Of course we're all worked up about the news this morning that a startup company proposes to solve e-bike crime locally using A.I.-powered robo-dogs. (Go see the full story on MB News. We'll wait.)

Folks, if you don't see the slippery slope, maybe we can't help you.

Seen much Black Mirror?

Sure, part of the draw of Manhattan Beach is the general safety of the community. It's one reason why people pay the big bucks to live here.

We're in such good shape overall, according to crime stats (if not Nextdoor), that what really gets people's goat is e-bike riders. It was probably the #1 concern expressed during the previous city council election.

Now some wanna-be Steve Jobs rolls into town promising to bring the youth under control with tech. Red flag.

Let's say it works. They test out the robo-dogs and coerce instant compliance. Suddenly, Manhattan Beach's e-bikers become model citizens.

Then what?

That's the question you've got to ask.

This company is selling safety. They'll start with the e-bikes, and move on to new ideas for how their A.I. dogs can help make Manhattan Beach a perfectly safe community. Or a fortress of a beach town.

They're going to argue that Manhattan Beach can never be "too safe," that any level of crime, any kind of crime, is something they can fix. They think you'll pay for that. Heck, they've already got other communities paying them.

We've read too many dystopian books, seen too many of those movies.

Just say no. Otherwise, your freedom could be next.


Oh, now some people are saying it's all April Fool's. Yeah well, maybe this time. Anyway we just adapted this post from our previous (unpublished) article, "Why Manhattan Beach Should Say No to Automated License Plate Readers." We were kinda too late on that one.

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