Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A few links to kick 2007 off

Happy New Machine Year! Some links from the last few days to ease us into 2007...

  • BBC on sousveillance and Saddam. Ironically, the article highlights a) how much propaganda is really involved in wars, and b) how "moderated" news channels really are, so I guess sousveillance (like most things) is double-edged. What it also gets at, without realising however, is that - I think - we also expect, as consumers, the news to be moderated. In one sense, we do not like to be shown the full gore of war and the hideousness of reality. We like to be shielded, protected, safe to hold our own views quite aside from reality. The BBC have avoided showing what you can see on the Internet (namely, Saddam's final moment). The truth - death - is never shown. The results are left in that blurry world of imagination and subjective interpretation. Remember, news is, above all, entertainment.

  • The Telegraph covered the US' deal to grab lots of British flight passengers' details including, "oddly", e-mail addresses and religious dietary requirements. Furthermore, it is clear that this information is to be used as keys, not an end in itself:
    While insisting that "additional information" would only be sought from lawful channels, the US made clear that it would use PNR data as a trigger for further inquiries.
    Should there be laws to make certain that whenever anyone accesses data belonging to an individual, the individual in question is told about it? Perhaps that way, at least, people would realise the extent to which "privacy" is, currently, just an illusion...

  • Finally, "the Wife" (not mine) over at NCOTAASD brings the potential closure of her local park to our attention. You can follow the timeline of closure here, but she makes the extremely salient point:
    We talk about saving the planet, but how can we hope to save the planet if we can't save a little local country park?

Enjoy your year.

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