Re: dreams of a better world

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Tue Mar 07 2000 - 22:28:48 MST

Jeff Allbright wrote:

> Spike - As long as the light illuminates *everything* then there's nothing to
> fear.
> The representation is the reality and it's neither good nor bad. It's those
> damn searchlights that make me uncomfortable. - Jeff

Well, I dont know. Let me take a running start at this. A few days
ago Robert Bradbury made an offhanded comment that gave me one hell
of a brainstorm. He said something to the effect of " much more
would be accomplished if every engineer didnt need to keep reinventing
everything..." OK, now there is one invention that is looking more and
more like *the dividing line* in my own life: the web. That one invention
changed everything, more than the computer, more than the internet,
(which I had been using since about 1980 for email), more than the
microwave oven or anything. It allows us to stop reinventing everything.

Nowthen, we also have webcams now. Anyone can not only set up
a camera pointed at you, she can also fix it to broadcast on the web,
so in a sense we are already living in a far more transparent world than
ever before, and furthermore, the cameras continue to get smaller,
cheaper and... ubiquitouser. We already have faaaar less privacy now
than any time since... the last century.

On the other hand, if anyone is really interested, they can log on to
one of the many intentional and voluntary webcams, such as the
first of the oft-copied genre, Jennycam. So Jeff, no one *cares*
to look at you or me, when they can check out Jenny, or whoever
is her male counterpart. So yes, our privacy *can* be violated,
however at the same time, no one *really wants to* because they
have the choice of looking into some more interesting person's
fishbowl life. We are protected by the wealth of info, in a sense.

Is this a breakeven? I dont know.

Consider that sports guy who was videotaped fooling around with
a stewardess, what was his name? Frank something? Gilford?
Why did that whole adventure get so many headlines? Was it
because he was nailed by a hidden camera in a hotel?

Consider this: cameras are now so small and so easy to hide,
you can put one inside that ground hole in an electrical outlet,
and they wouldnt even be seen. They work, and you can even
plug something into the socket, the camera will retract, then
come back out when the plug is pulled out. Those electrical
socket cameras are cheap.

There was a local dentist who hid a camera in the womens
restroom of his office. He videotaped for months, only getting
caught because his female employees noticed him scampering
off to his office every time one of them went to the restroom!
He must have noticed them looking for the camera, because he
removed it, but the feds busted him the next day with the
videotapes. The ladies never did actually *find* that camera.
The wretch practiced dentistry right here in this town.

How do we act differently now, knowing that we could be
getting videotaped, any where, any time? Eventually you
know some yahoo is going to invent a mechanical robofly that
can carry a camera and microphone into your home, thru the
AC vent or something. Would that affect the way we act?
It is suddenly a privacy advantage to be a nerdy nobody.

But please, one last comment. This attitude is coming from
me, spike, the original info-nudist, the guy who is willing to
let his every move be recorded, if there could be some
scientific advantage to it. What about the saner majority,
who really *want* a bit of privacy, and now know that it
can be taken from you against your will? Would some of
you comment on the robofly camera please? spike

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