Secrets and silence

Secrets and silence. According to some current philosophy this is a good answer to the modern problem of sharing and privacy. It is compelling in the current cultural climate. But understandably it is probably more important to consider what is shared. The boring details that can harbour our fears and desires are on display and that can be potentially risky in that you give away personal information but in some ways we always have to show a public face at some point. Though now it is monitored and stored for advertising. The issue which the philosophers address is what is around the corner? How potentially damaging can the erosion of privacy be? What if we were at some point forced to share or were coerced like putty in a companies hands?

All of these scenarios are worth considering which I may read up on a little more in the near future but what I want to consider is simply the ruminations of selling books about impending doom in the first place. The possible scenarios around the panopticon of the mobile phone and its slave master dichotomy. Doom sells especially in a very gloomy environment. But power relations have changed from incarceration and forcing power to people monitoring themselves. Though we haven’t simply left traditional power relations behind because the old rules still apply. Seeing someone heading to work with a tracking bracelet around their ankle which I have occasionally shows though that a device is a great tool for monitoring people. What I want to argue though is technology as far as simply being a window into your world still leaves open the possibility of unpredictable behaviour that can be recorded but not controlled in real time.

Scarily enough that would be the real change needed in social technologies, real time monitoring and real time feedback. In doing that though, and people willingly break the law and record it live incarceration is still the best tool for tracking people and it is hard to feel comfortable when someone is simply being monitored rather than watched by a real person. Anyway it is intriguing and we keep marching on. Technology is simply unregulated but isn’t that the joy of technology? We really have to hope people have intentions that aren’t simply good but responsible and transparent which is the opposite of being secretive and silent.

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