June 30, 2003

Digital Shoplifting: Cameraphones and Secret Social Rules

Japanese bookstores desperate to stop 'digital shoplifting' with cellphones [via die puny humans]

This is pretty fucking funny. People going into stores and taking pictures of magazines, and they call it stealing? I've been pretty surprised how fast these cameraphones have taken off. And I think a lot of people are going to be surprised how much they effect society. We are about to hit a point where almost every social interchange is going to be potentially recorded and broadcast. Stopping it will require big time effort on the part of government and corporations. I don't think they'll make the effort to stop it.

You are under surveillance, live with it. David Brin's The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? explores some of the potential effects. But its a bit bland, I still haven't finished it... It's hard to say exactly what will happen, but I am pretty sure some of the unspoken mores that govern our society will break.

Monogamous marriage for one is a prime candidate for shattering. Its already worn down with our divorce rates. And what happen's when you can tell where your spouse is at any given time? Cheating is supposed to be wrong, yet our society if rife with it. It falls into a shift gray zone, and is ignored in order to maintain a system of monogamy. What happens if technology makes it virtually impossible to cheat? Does monogamy break? Or do we change our codes of behavior? Society as a whole may be heading for some cognitive dissonance. Heads up y'all.

Posted by Abe at June 30, 2003 06:19 PM


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I agree with you about the way you view the issue. I remember, long time ago, Jack London said something like "Everything positive has a negative side; everything negative has a positive side." I also find it interesting to see different points of views and learn useful things in the discussion.

Posted by: Richard Hill at May 16, 2005 08:59 AM