Re: The Violence Problem

Anders Sandberg (
28 Dec 1997 20:46:39 +0100

> Mobile phones are
> useful in this regard, and I suppose eventually very very small video
> cameras will be built into phones, which would be a great way to record
> evidence.

This is a good point. The MIT wearable group have suggested that
wearable computers with video cameras make a good crime deterrent (and
I think somebody suggested on this list, last time the subject came
up, that if you show signs of high anxiety level and stand still, the
wearable will start transmitting pictures automatically to people who
might call the police for you if you are robbed). David Brin had
glasses with a similar function in _Earth_ (and old people driving
teenagers nuts by *watching* them intently).

Overall, the mobile phone is already transforming our society
immensely in unexpected directions.

Not all defenses against violence need to be direct counter-violence,
although surveillance is hardly a solution to all forms of violence
either; the local transport company here in Stockholm has recently
fielded a new model of subway cars with video cameras, in order to
make people feel more "secure". But the events that make people the
most insecure usually involve drunk or drugged offenders which most
likely are not rational enough to worry about surveillance cameras.

In general, a more well-connected social network seems to be both
psychologically healthy and gives better security (not necessarily
along the lines "If you hit me, I'll tell my friend Don
Fettuchini...", but it helps :-). This is an area where social
technology (like mobile phones, wearables etc) might come in handy.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y