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Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc.
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mark211The world in a grain of sand: Privacy and the Panopticon in our future?2017-03-26 05:53:17
mark211Amongst the unfolding of more dramatic events last week came news of Professor Harald Giessen at the University of Stuttgart has perfected a new nano-camera, which is "a 2 millimetre by 3 millimetre chip that contains four lenses, each of which is 100 micrometres wide, or about the size of a speck of dust. Combining the data from these lenses produces a picture that is high-resolution in the centre and less focused towards the edges ..." As Professor Giessen himself notes: "‘Of course it gives the spies incredible abilities to spy even more on us,’ he said. ‘In the end it will probably end up in the hands of the bad guys. This is what I fear, but I think it will make a real difference in medical technology.’" (https://horizon-magazine.eu/article/grain-sand-cameras-born-out-chance-and-creative-freedom_en.html).2017-03-26 05:59:46
mark211Even in Orwell's nightmarish vision of Oceania, it was still possible to find some respite from the watchful eye of Big Brother - now that seems like an impossibility for all but the most determined and even then only achievable if you're willing to exile yourself to one of the world's harsher and more remote regions. So what does this mean for writers and enthusiasts of SFF? Does this herald the end of personal liberty and the right to privacy? Is it the beginning of the supranational superstate? Will we all feel ourselves under 24-7 observation? Will living in society feel like living in Bentham's Panopticon. in which "[t]he concept of the design is to allow all (pan-) inmates of an institution to be observed (-opticon) by a single watchman without the inmates being able to tell whether or not they are being watched. Although it is physically impossible for the single watchman to observe all cells at once, the fact that the inmates cannot know when they are being watched means that all inmates must act as though they are watched at all times, effectively controlling their own behaviour constantly"? What do you think, people? Let us know below.2017-03-26 06:05:04
WessonThey're shameless.2017-03-26 08:36:14
rtIt's like that in NK, China, Russia and The Trump WhiteHouse. See my story A TECHNICAL SINGULARITY. It covers that and more.2017-03-26 17:59:15
GordonRowlinsonI think a more frightening issue is the facial recognition technology. If the govt has cameras set up around a city, they can spy on the public. If they look for your face, the govt can determine where you go and who you see. This has fantastic possibilities when it comes to fighting crime as the police can locate criminals when a camera recognizes thier face. However I feel uneasy at the idea of the govt spying on me. 2017-03-27 08:51:05
WessonDamn, I was going for a joke but no one took the bait. When I say they’re shameless, I’m referring to the writers out there who actually think they’re important enough to be spied on.2017-03-27 11:48:06
WessonI hate to sound ageist but the idea of the government or any other entity using tiny cameras to spy on people is an outdated paranoia from the last century. Considering how attention-starved my generation is, there’s no need to spy on them. If a millennial ever found secret camera in their home they’d probably use to start a web-show, the government would have to suffer through hours and hours of cat videos. The real threat to personal liberty will be delivered by the social justice movement. The eyes and ears of hyper-emotional SJWs with access to the kangaroo courts of social media are worse than any camera. Most writers and artists are so blinded by their hatred of Trump that they miss this threat entirely. 2017-03-27 11:48:58
r.tornelloWhat's an SJW? I really don't know.

I agree that, a you call them, social justice vigilantes, do harm to a "free society". They are the other side of the fascist or any group book burning crowd.

Fuck em, I don't play on social media. You don't like what I write or paint, don't read it, don't look at it.

2017-03-27 12:04:25
IronspiderFor a while there was quite a paranoia about surveillance in the UK - we apparently still have some of the most surveilled cities in the world - but most UK citizens don't seem to be able to sustain any long-term thought on the matter, so it's faded away. There was the uproar about 'ID Cards' and erosion of personal freedoms. Which I never really understood. I was more concerned that a credit-card sized piece of magnetised plastic would contain my entire medical record and any other official documentation or statistic related to me as a person. Can anyone say 'identity-thief's dream'? The outcry by the public and some sectors of the press put paid to that idea. The other concept that's caused some concern is the 'in-car locator' - effectively a government GPS system that lets city traffic control systems know where your car is at any time - to help with traffic flow. Also handy for the police and security services. While the ID card idea was still live, there was a further suggestion that a reader within the car could know who was present and that information could be relayed along with the car's location. At that point extreme paranoia kicked-in and civil liberty became a topic of interest for a lot of people - probably those with something to hide. Some of this may well be apocryphal, there are always rumors regarding government surveillance, and I dare say the truth is probably far more frightening than any fiction! So, roll-on the appearance of 'smart dust' and medical nanotechnology that adheres to your optic and audio nerves and sees and hears everything you do or say... "Sometimes paranoia's just having all the facts." William S Burroughs2017-03-28 01:16:39
meghashriSpying where you go, what you do seems OK as long as they don't read the thoughts.... 2017-03-28 20:04:48
r.tornello@ Ironspider, Here on the USA the back of the drivers license, in more than a few states, a cop has access to data going to the 18th birthday. The IR scanned section opens up to all that. I discovered that when I got a marriage license and talked to a few official types. So we do have a national database only most people are not aware of it.2017-03-29 04:28:15
Ironspider@r.tornello - The UK driving license is now a pink, credit card-sized piece of plastic that carries your picture, birth date an place of residence. It has no visible magnetic stripe, nor an obvious embedded microchip. I know there is a database that holds my driving information, my vehicles tax, insurance and MOT (a road-worthiness certificate). What else may be stored on that database I'm unaware. Whether that data can be linked to any information held by the police or by any other Government agency, I'm also unaware. I suspect it can, but I don't mind if it does. As @meghashri has mentioned - as long as they don't read thoughts! The one place we're all reasonably free. For now!2017-03-29 04:43:15
rt@ Iron-arachnid IN Virginia and Maryland for example, there is an infrared readable strip that open up to everything. The first time I saw that I was floored. 2017-03-29 07:17:06
Wesson@rt: As far as I can tell, SJW is an internet term for social justice warrior, I'm ashamed to say it took me a while to figure that out as well. They're the lovely social engineers and femi-nazis who would likely say your choice of words "Fuck 'em" contributes to rape culture. 2017-03-29 07:43:20
RTNot in the NYC Metro area. It's a hello2017-03-29 14:20:12
RTNot in the NYC Metro area. It's a hello2017-03-29 14:20:22
RTlet me rephrase that. It would really mean let it pass, It's not worth the energy. But Fuck You is sort of a NYC Metro hello among friends and such.2017-03-29 17:05:54
micheledutcher@RT The way people say 'Hello' in Louisville Kentucky is 'Yagotta' - as in "Yagotta cigarette? Yagotta lighter? Yagotta quarter for the bus?" As far as spying on citizens I have always tried to stay under the radar but now that things are heading like a freight train towards social oblivion, I'm standing in protests with trumpers going up and down the fence filming us. A time comes when you can't be quiet anymore or the fascists will take the country to hell. 2017-03-30 08:59:03
dandrew72I wonder, in 2117 will surveillance and the voyeuristic nature of social media have so deeply exposed the technologically advanced world that the idea of privacy being violated no longer carries a sting? Think about it. There was a time when outlandish rock bands - or more recently a time when the Bestie Boys - were shocking. But year after year of the outlandish has taken us to a place in which for the most part we are sensitized to an objectionable lyric, or a racy stage performance. WIll year after year of eroded privacy produce a people that view privacy as some arcane notion of yesteryear the way we view the beehive haircut, juke boxes, and phrases like "23 Skidoo...whaddya do for kicks"? 2017-04-03 17:03:50
RT@dandrew72: Excellent observation. I think the word you're looking for is "desensitized".

Couple your comments that with the lack of certain courses being taught, an example being civics, where an understanding and history(cause and effect)of the Constitution, is all but forgotten like some long lost piece by Pythagoras.

2017-04-04 05:49:51
WessonI’m going to make the mistake of playing devil’s advocate. Let’s say dandrew72 and RT are right, technology becomes so advanced that we can’t walk outside without being recorded by drones, security cameras, etc. So what? We’re almost at that point already. It may be a detestable society to live in but how would it objectively impact someone? I guess you could argue that it makes things easier for identity-thieves and authority types who want to punish people for subjective things like sedition but I don’t see that happening right now (not counting those rare exceptions that partisans use to prove their point). Besides, as I argued before, social justice vigilantism is more effective at punishing people for “wrong behavior” than any institution. 2017-04-10 11:39:02
WessonWhen it comes to technology, I often think about the lyrics to a Rush song about the atomic bomb: “Big shots try to hold it back, fools try to wish it away”. Are we being fools right now trying to wish away technology? Perhaps adapting is better than fighting, not every little change is proof that hell is around the corner.2017-04-10 11:39:22
r.tornello@ Wesson, Who is wishing technology away? 2017-04-11 13:35:21
WessonMy mistake, no one wants to eliminate technology, they just want to complain about its negative implications for three weeks straight. So, what's your solution if and when we reach panopticon status? 2017-04-12 07:59:36
RT@ wesson Drugs?

I'm not sure my generation will be dealing with this. "They" will probably cashier all us oldies or Past-Old-Workers unless we have $$ like the strumpets and such.It's the young ones who will be dealing or not dealing with it. The propaganda machines w/in each society work rather well and following a Jesuit? (comment in the past not really sure which sub set of the catholic Church, but I like the Jesuits so I'll give them the credit), "If we have them up until they are 13, we have them for life."

2017-04-12 09:08:41
micheledutcherSorry to break in BUT just a reminder that we are having a humor contest winners announced in June with cash prizes. Check out the specifics in our NEWS section. Thanks! Michele dutcher 2017-04-14 00:29:07
rtShort of waking up, wiping the sweat off, and discovering all the crap that's going on in the world was a bad dream, there's not much to really laugh about.

Sorry about the cold water, but that's my take.

2017-04-15 07:16:29

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