Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sousveillance is a Juvenal Activity, and an Enema of the State

David Brin calls for a "transparent society" in which everything will be known to everyone. Here is a step in that direction, a website of sousveillance i.e. "inverse surveillance" -- the poor and disadvantaged spying on, or at least monitoring, the rich and powerful. (That's why I call it "an enema of the state.")

ObLitCritCit: Lots of contemporary literary theory deals with the "panopticon"; M. Foucault's Discipline and Punish is a prominent example.

And the issue of how to prevent the authorities from being corrupt and/or tyrannical goes back at least as far as Aristotle and Juvenal. As James Hughes put it, new technology (e.g., cloning, cyborgization, A.I., nanotechnology) doesn't require new ethics, it only requires the application of old (and valid) ethics.

Update: Radley Balko has a devastating pro-sousveillance article at that hotbed of left-wing anti-authoritarianism,

Update: "Jimmy Justice" is videotaping NYPD officers breaking the law. Hat tip to Instapundit, of course!