MindGuard by Lyle Zapato
MindGuard is a program for Amiga and Linux computers that protects your mind by actively jamming and/or scrambling psychotronic mind-control signals and removing harmful engrammic pollutants from your brain. It also has the ability to scan for and decipher into English specific signals so you can see exactly Who wants to control you and what They are trying to make you think. -- [...]
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Featured by Amy Alexander.

MindGuard is software that purports to help the paranoid avoid the evil mind control signals that bombard us every day. It's structured like an anti-virus software program, but the perils it scans for are mind-jamming signals with names like "CIA Russel" and "UN Belgian subset." MindGuard's claims to safeguard us against mind control signals parody the way commercial virus scanning and security software generates paranoia about never-ending computer threats - and then happily saves us from them. But, as with Greg Hewgill's project Homeland Security Threat Monitor, the more interesting question it raises is the reverse: how much has the current geopolitical mood come to resemble the constant self-fulfilling paranoia of anti-virus software?

Besides poking fun at Big Brother paranoia, MindGuard also takes a few jabs at the sometimes knee-jerk self-righteousness of free software and open source movement politics and the unintentionally ironic rhetorical tactics that are at times employed in the advocacy of software freedom. MindGuard's website proclaims "Use Linux, because THEY don't want you to," as well as featuring a testimonial quote from a "B. Gates" who writes, "Curse you, MindGuard, and the freedom of thought you stand for!" And naturally, there's a cease-and-desist letter threatening to shut the site down, supposedly sent by intellectual property lawyers representing the commercial product being confronted (in this case, the authors of the patented "1-Zap Mind Control(r)" algorithms.) Zapato promises to fight this legal attack, but, ironically borrowing a favorite propaganda term of recent US presidents, urges all "freedom-loving people" to mirror MindGuard, just in case.

A final note: while MindGuard is clearly a complete software solution for the paranoid, those who prefer hardware-based mind control protection will be interested to learn that Zapato has also authored a book on do-it-yourself construction of Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanies (aka tinfoil hats.)

by Amy Alexander, posted 14 Nov 2004

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