Re: Surveilance was: Transhuman fascists?

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Mon Apr 03 2000 - 15:25:31 MDT

Charlie Stross wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 03, 2000 at 10:02:37AM -0400, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> >
> > I'm not surprised that the cradle to grave nanny state is on the forefront of
> > this. I'm also not surprised that the areas in the US that are jumping on the
> > bandwagon also have similarly high levels of taxation, welfare bureaucracy,
> > police forces, and general social misery and oppression.
> Ahem. Taxation in the UK is roughly on a par with the USA -- it's the
> lowest tax zone in Europe, and one of the lowest tax regimes in the
> developed world. Welfare bureaucracy is minimal, too. This is the country
> where an allegedly left-wing government is privatising the air traffic
> control system and the post office, and has privatised most of the
> infrastructure items that are handled by local government in the USA.

I was referring to the US on those, but is health care privatized yet? What is the
ratio of police to civilians? Sounds to me like the Big Brother ministry is hiring all
of those out of work bureaucrats.....

> > All this incomplete coverage will do is cause more criminals to commit crimes in
> > areas that ARENT under coverage. The crime rate in more rural areas will go up,
> > people will get whacked out on the moors, etc. You'll see a lot of spouses dying
> > in 'accidents' during camping trips. Boating 'accidents' will rise, and
> > criminals will get more circumspect about cleaning up crime scenes.
> It's happened, but not the way you suggest. The first areas to get protected
> were central shopping/business areas and middle class suburbs. This pushed
> crime out into low-income estates. (There simply isn't enough rural area
> for people to get lost/whacked in -- or a high enough murder rate for the
> phenomenon to be visible. When I said urbanized, I _meant_ urbanized: 98% of
> the population lives in towns/cities, the housing density is comparable
> to Japan.)

I've heard that the violent crime rates are up some 28% or so over there... So you are
saying that rural villages are as tightly packed as the larger towns and cities?

> > So what you are saying is that Heathrow is a good place to test my Mr. Mike's
> > Big Brother Zapper...oh, that could be fun....
> Believe me, I've thought about it!
> Logical countermeasures:
> 1. Make BBZ's illegal, of course.

"What's this? Oh, its a camping microwave, oh, not that, no, thats a fleadle-o-meter.
What does it do? Well, it would be a little hard for a layman like yourself to
understand, being a highly technical piece of equipment, but its VERY SENSITIVE
equiment, expensive too. You wouldn't want to damage it at all, inspector. I'm here to
demonstrate it to various parties in the defence industry. Who? Well I'm not at
liberty to say...."

> 2. Switch from video to film cameras. Microtechnology will probably make this
> possible; use *really tiny* film reels, flying insects to collect the
> cameras and digest/develop/transcieve the film when nobody is around.
> (This isn't real-time surveillance, however.)

Oh, now thats fun. Make some mini-orinthopter AI bugs...

> 3. Fibre optics.

Which need to be resolved into digital form somewhere, or else processed in optical
circuits. Using a laser system would work wonders to fry such optical circuits.

> 4. Neural network detection of suspicious behaviour -- lurking with intent
> to zap a camera _will_ get you highlighted and questioned by the
> police. (This latter is currently in active development by, for
> example, London Underground, who want to be able to spot trouble on tube
> train platforms -- like disturbances, bombs, pick-pockets, or potential
> suicide risks.)

So I have a HUD on the inside of my sunglasses, and the BBZ fry-o-lator is disguised
as my breifcase. I use cortical scanning to identify targets, the AI of my fryolator
focuses the beam on the cameras as I spot new targets, and I simply walk on by....

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