Monday, May 09, 2005

The Ubiquity of Unnatural Surveillance

Bit of a surveillance round-up. ParkingEye are running a press release to gather business in Scotland for their panoptic product line-up, so I shouldn't give them too much coverage... ;) Traffic wardens are among the various human factors that people love to hate, so it makes sense to automate them - after all, who could hate a lovable (unseen and impenetrable) robot? Awww.

Still, if you do manage to get around the scheme, expect them to chaneg the rules to say "you can't". Phew, just as well they've got every base covered.

Meanwhile in Muswell Hill, traders are crying out for a surveillance society. As usual, the folks looking for a quick fix to their own problem are ready and willing to sell out (read "lock up") the people who are supposed to be their neighbours. And, they would say, why not? Why not indeed? These nuisances of society deserve to be watched and treated suspiciously at all times, surely?

How about this - why not start addressing the problem of why people are getting so rat-arsed in the first place? Why not wake up to how we got here in the first place? The death of the human soul, the greying result of a culture in which work is more important than life, in which money is worth more than love, and in which getting people to like you is more attractive than liking yourself.

Our counter-culture of "partying" is a direct reaction to our culture of obsessive repression, and our fear of "failure". CCTV and all of its brethrenly observational ilk do nothing more than control us even further, beyond the controls we impress upon ourselves 10 hours a day. This is why surveillance will always produce nothing but underground revelry and a false sense of security.

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