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Bat Bean Beam

June 28, 2009

Quick pluggage (for what it’s worth, the dribble of readers at this place barely tickling the hit-counter): Bat Bean Beam, “a weblog of memory and technology”. Good post on the Dullest Person I’ve Ever Come Across, which includes this sinister little prediction from Bill Gates:

[T]he highway will also make it possible for an individual to keep track of his or her own whereabouts–to lead what we might call “a documented life.” Your wallet PC will be able to keep audio, time, location, and eventually even video records of everything that happens to you. It will be able to record every word you say and every word said to you, as well as body temperature, blood pressure, barometric pressure, and a variety of other data about you and your surroundings. It will be able to track your interactions with the highway–all of the commands you issue, the messages you send, and the people you call or who call you. The resulting record will be the ultimate diary and autobiography, if you want one.

“…if you want one”: as is too  often the case, Gates is distressingly close to the mark. Older visions of continual surveillance – Big Brother is the exemplar –  assumed we did not want to be continually monitored and recorded.  How wrong they were.

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One comment

  1. Ah, cheers, I’d reciprocate but I’ve been known to suck readers away from my pluggees. In that spirit I’ll refrain from saying that this is an excellent blog and that you should post more.

    Later in the same chapter of The Road Ahead, Gates lets it slip that he could see how constant self-surveillance would help if some day you needed to corroborate an alibi. The crippling insecurity that lies half an inch under the surface of that most chilling of books pops out in its most glorious moment there and then.



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