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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Thursday, August 09, 2007

An interesting story, buried in one of the English papers this morning..
'The Guardian' made reference to a public surveilance system, which could be linked to computers, which in turn could predict the mood, or perhaps intent, of any particular individual by their body language.. their heart rate.. their eye movements..
It's called 'Project Intent'.. and while they say the technology is still 'under refinement', it's expected that such monitors will be in place in some airports and rail stations by 2012..
If one goes back two years to a BBC story, it was camera software, dubbed 'Chromatica'.. which would alert Central Security of unusual crowd movements, or abberant behavior by an individual..
'Project Intent', according to The New Scientist magazine, say the plans describe how systems based on video cameras, laserlight, infra-red, audio recordings and eye tracking technology are expected to scour crowds looking for unusual behaviour, with the aim of identifying people who should be approached and quizzed by security staff.
The project hopes to advance a security system already employed by the US transportation security administration that monitors people for 'unintentional facial twitches, called "micro-expressions"', that can suggest someone is lying or trying to conceal information.
Peter McOwan, a computer scientist who is developing sensors to detect people's moods at Queen Mary, University of London, said: "It's just like something from Minority Report. They have been watching too many Tom Cruise movies"..
Yet, according to the two year old BBC report, "Transport systems across Europe have expressed interest in the advance warning software and Cromatica has already been tested at London's Liverpool Street station."
Deniability. Have to love it..
It's said, with some authority, that if you walk eight blocks around London, you will be photographed over nine hundred times..
It seems we've walked willingly, in the firm faith that it is for our own protection and with the unshakeable attitude that 'if you're doing nothing wrong, you needn't worry..' into what amounts to abrogation of personal privacy. We have been convinced that whatever rights we're giving up, aren't really that important anyway, especially when it come to the 'greater good'..
That by allowing the government to make us less less 'individual', we are in fact, allowing ourselves the fearless freedom to 'be' individual..
We, while being a people with a proud and ancient heritage, are very easily led, especially in times of crisis. This time, the problem we've had manufactured for us, is the current economic situation.. the cost of housing.. the cost of borrowing.. the stress of having to maintain a two-income household merely to maintain what used to be possible on one.
Now normally, one would insist the blame lies with each and every one of us, for allowing this to happen.. by electing governments which have bungled our economy into the sad state it's in today..
But in this case, the finger has to be pointed in two directions.
One, at the banks, for offering a credit lifestyle which, to most, is irresistable. Those with incomes which used to go into savings accounts, now cannot resist a fifty-inch plasma television, have one delivered to one's door the next day, with no payment really.. it's on plastic..
Two, at the government's policies towards profligate spending on that which, quite frankly, can't be afforded. We're enjoying the highest economic growth in Europe, yet we spend almost half again as much on a grocery shopping than they do in France or Germany, and half again for a litre of petrol.
Ten years ago, we elected Tony on a promise of 'no tax increases'.. and quietly watched as out tax bill increased 13 times..
Now while it may seem we have strayed from our initial point, that being increased surveilance.. more advanced surveilance..
Take it as a sign of what we're willing to take, right across the board.

1 comment:

hybrid machinima blogger said...

'Thoughtcrime is the only crime that matters[.] Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death.'

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