Kevin Kelly has come out of the Closet, not as a homosexual (which is not to say that he isn’t a Homosexual) but as a full on Marxist, lover of tyranny and all around uber douche bag.
I once worked with Steven Spielberg on the development of Minority Report, derived from the short story by Philip K. Dick featuring a future society that uses surveillance to arrest criminals before they commit a crime. I have to admit I thought Dick’s idea of “pre-crime” to be unrealistic back then. I don’t anymore.
Most likely, 50 years from now ubiquitous monitoring and surveillance will be the norm. The internet is a tracking machine. It is engineered to track. We will ceaselessly self-track and be tracked by the greater network, corporations, and governments. Everything that can be measured is already tracked, and all that was previously unmeasureable is becoming quantified, digitized, and trackable.
If today’s social media has taught us anything about ourselves as a species it is that the human impulse to share trumps the human impulse for privacy.
We’re expanding the data sphere to sci-fi levels and there’s no stopping it. Too many of the benefits we covet derive from it. So our central choice now is whether this surveillance is a secret, one-way panopticon — or a mutual, transparent kind of “coveillance” that involves watching the watchers. The first option is hell, the second redeemable.
We can see both scenarios beginning today. We have the trade-secret algorithms of Google and Facebook on one hand and the secret-obsessed NSA on the other. Networks require an immune system to remain healthy, and intense monitoring and occasional secrets are part of that hygiene to minimize the bad stuff. But in larger doses secrecy becomes toxic; more secrecy requires more secrets to manage and it sets up a debilitating auto-immune disease. This pathology is extremely difficult to stop, since by its own internal logic it must be stopped in secret.
The remedy for over-secrecy is to think in terms of coveillance, so that we make tracking and monitoring as symmetrical — and transparent — as possible. That way the monitoring can be regulated, mistakes appealed and corrected, specific boundaries set and enforced. A massively surveilled world is not a world I would design (or even desire), but massive surveillance is coming either way because that is the bias of digital technology and we might as well surveil well and civilly.
To which I tell Kevin, go fuck yourself. You want to believe that you will be one of the privileged few for whom eternal surveillance will not be a serious problem, fine, live in whatever fantasy world you like, but keep your fucking Nazi Marxist fantasies to yourself. The rest of us are already feeling the impact of what your desired police state will bring. IRS crushing those whose political opinions don’t follow those of the Whitehouse. Yea, we are there right now, and no, human nature being what it is, a police surveillance state will never get better than it already is.
Ask the Residents of East Germany during the 50’s 60’s 70’s and 80’s just how wonderful living in just such a police surveillance state was, it wasn’t, it was a living hell. Oh, and Kevin you imbecilic douche bag, just for the record, no, you would not be exempt, hell, you would probably be one of the very first victims.