One thing I noticed both in this book and in real life is how quickly people’s opinions can change on a subject after dealing with certain experiences. In the case of this novel, the subject is data-mining and surveillance. Throughout the course of the book, we see many different stances on privacy rights, but we also see many people change their ideas after going through life-changing experiences.

One of the primary examples of this is Marcus’s dad Drew, who we see going back and forth between sides multiple times. On page 109, we see Drew come back home, after Marcus was questioned by the police. To Marcus and his mom, this questioning was unjust and a waste of time. According to them, it made no sense to detain every single person in the city who showed some sort of odd travel behavior. But when Drew heard about it, he believed that they were just doing their jobs, and if anything, all of this tracking and surveillance was helping to keep them safe. This was a complete turnaround from page 78, immediately after Marcus returned from DHS custody. His dad was absolutely livid, but at the time, he hadn’t had a chance to learn what had happened. Later in the book, Drew changes his mind again, after learning what truly happened to Marcus after the bridge bombing. He went from supporting all the extra surveillance, to hating it in an instant. This shows that just having one extreme experience can completely change one’s views on a lot of subjects.

Not only did this happen in the book, but I have also experienced this in our class. When we originally answered the question about security and privacy, I believed that having privacy was more important than having more security. Once we read the article about the college campus and data-mining, my opinion changed to having more security. After reading little brother though, my opinion has changed back to more privacy. It’s possible that these examples are skewing my opinions because of how extreme they are, but I’m still realizing how easy it was for them to change my mind. From now on, I plan on being more aware of this as I continue to learn more about how surveillance can be used on us.