The Surveillance Society

In the UK there is a television series called “Hunted” in which competitors seek to evade a team of hunters and then share the significant cash prise. Most people are caught touching base with family and/or friends. Many are hooked via their extensive on-line connectivity and use of mobiles. Because the series is British it has access to the truly vast surveillance society in the UK. There are cameras practically everywhere. Exactly who watches all the images remains a mystery, perhaps it is AI as in the case of number plate recognition cameras.

The wife reckons that I could be good at evasion because I can go a long time without talking to anyone and I not a social media junkie. If was going to do this, I would prepare well and effectively cheat with caches of stuff and a burner ‘phone.

Out here in the wild west there are not many cameras. We were in the town square yesterday. There were cameras near the ATM and the banks but after that I had trouble spotting any. In the supermarkets there are cameras on the alcoholic spirits aisle and at the entrance.  But compared to the spy in the sky UK it is refreshing. I do not know what it is like in the big cities here. Building access in the UK is in so many cases by swipe card and security is high. Out here not.

Hunted here would be easier. The only problem is I am so obviously not French the moment I open my mouth and civic connectivity here is good

People engage in “intelligence gathering” on acquaintances of whatever level of prior intimacy from lover to colleague. There could be people I know, stalking me here. This fascination with information, hopefully juicy, on acquaintances is, I am led to believe, prevalent and considered normal. It is all about motivation.

If one has a light friendly motivation this kind of thing is light and friendly. If one is a control freak looking for ammunition it is dark, nasty and unpleasant.

It is this kind of appetite for gossip which sells tabloids and can ruin lives. Many people deem the collection and propagation of titbits normal. It is seen as part of life.  But is it uplifting?

People do a whole bunch of stuff without thinking it through. They can use their “infallible” reason justify it to themselves as being OK, good and true.

I am not convinced that this obsession with surveillance is a healthy one, it is bad for the evolution of humanity. It focusses often on the petty. Looking at the tabloids this morning they are purporting to know what the royal family think about other members. Really? I think that there is a lot of made up shit in print. People do that they make shit up and then tell other people. Bizarre.

Have you ever stalked someone online?

How did it make you feel?

Are you perchance doing it now?

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