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The Panopticon is a type of prison building designed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham in 1785. The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) prisoners without the prisoners being able to tell whether they are being watched, thereby conveying what one architect has called the "sentiment of an invisible omniscience." Bentham himself described the Panopticon as "a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example"

Is the world becoming a Panopticon?

Do you behave differently when you know there is a camera around?

Anybody from the UK where cctv is omnipresent -- does the knowledge that you are under observation whenever you are out in 'the commons' affect how you behave?

If you thought that your neighbors (the police, members of your church, total strangers) might be watching you, would you behave differently?

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    I just found the youtube video [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98u1HuqS7Nk"] The Get Out Clause [/URL] made - wow, bus cam, taxi cam, bridge cam - pretty cool idea Read More

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    I've seen many islands, and even been to a few. Which island are you referring to? :) Read More

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Is the world becoming a Panopticon?

Do you behave differently when you know there is a camera around?

Anybody from the UK where cctv is omnipresent -- does the knowledge that you are under observation whenever you are out in 'the commons' affect how you behave?

If you thought that your neighbors (the police, members of your church, total strangers) might be watching you, would you behave differently?

CCTV is all over the place here in California too, but frankly I don't think anyone is actually watching 95% of these cameras or if they're even recording. Plus most of them are cameras owned by a variety of private citizens. It's not like one entity (the government) is in charge of all of those cameras and is tracking every move. I have a friend who got in an accident on a busy street, there were conflicting stories, and he wanted to get the video footage from about five nearby cameras as evidence if there was ever a lawsuit, but he was told that none of the cameras (including the cameras mounted on the street by the Public Works department) actually had any footage. Whether that's true or whether he was just getting the runaround I don't know, but they sure didn't help him. I think we have way too many of them and they do more harm than good, but I pretty much ignore them. I don't think anyone's actually watching me.

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Anybody from the UK where cctv is omnipresent -- does the knowledge that you are under observation whenever you are out in 'the commons' affect how you behave?

Not on the street, but at work theres loads of cameras everywhere (staff theft issues) and i dont like being monitored all the time, its kinda opressive.

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We have cameras at work too but I normally ignore them, just do my job. The cameras are there for customer theft, and they do work/record all the time.

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If I knew I was being watched all the time Id pick my bodily orifices more often. :)

Not a lot of cams at my work actually theres more in my house then at my work, ha thats kinda weird when i think about it.

I think its good to have more camera in public places. It do make me feel kind of uncomfortable, but its for the greater good.

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>>Is the world becoming a Panopticon?

Maybe Europe or North America, but definitely not the world. The first step here would be to install functioning traffic lights. Cameras come after that.

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>>Is the world becoming a Panopticon?

Maybe Europe or North America, but definitely not the world. The first step here would be to install functioning traffic lights. Cameras come after that.

You dont have traffic lights? Is there much traffic?

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Quote from wikipedia

There are 55 lakh (5.5 million) registered vehicles in the city, which is highest in world among all cities (within municipal limits), while the Delhi metropolitan region (NCT Delhi) has 112 lakh (11.2 million) motor vehicles[1], again highest in the world among all metropolitan regions. This adds significantly to city's traffic and pollution woes. Delhi and NCR lose nearly 42 crore (420 million) man-hour every month while commuting between home and office through public transport, due to the traffic congestion.[2].

there are traffic lights in many places. But at times they do not work because of power failures or some other reason. There are many crossings where traffic lights are yet to be installed, but they are not major ones.

Oh and yes the traffic is hell. The worst I have encountered by car is travelling 3 kms (1.8 miles) in 3 hrs.

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We don't have traffic lights at all...
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There will be a day when all the world will be recorded from satellites.

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your, sir, are mistaken. such a day will never come
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John Twelve Hawks has written some very good books that do deal with this form of prison. I read them awhile back and if you enjoy reading his style of fiction I urge anyone to read them. The author himself is quite interesting.

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John Twelve Hawks has written some very good books that do deal with this form of prison. I read them awhile back and if you enjoy reading his style of fiction I urge anyone to read them. The author himself is quite interesting.

Damn! you're good - that is actually what I have been reading lately and what triggered this thread. I just started Dark River (I think that is the name - to lazy to walk to the bedroom to look).

I just heard of an Indie group in the UK that had a new album to release but no money to produce a video so they performed for free in public around Manchester and then submitted Freedom of Information requests for the public tapes and built their video from that. The poor guy said that he does not know how many times they had to do the show for free to get a complete production because many of the cameras were dummies, sometimes the FOI request did not go through. Here is a story about them: The Get Out Clause

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I found this article on the Freakonomics blog; The city of Dallas budgeted for a lot of income from their 'red light cameras' and darned if people stopped blowing through the red lights (like by 50%).

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Not just Dallas. Dutch police are actually given financial targets to meet each year for traffic violations, split by category (speeding, red lights, etc.) as well as targets for impounded vehicles (which are sold for profit by the government), impounded driver's licenses (which mean someone needs to take another driving test, fee to go to the government), etc.

The grand total of all those fines is something like several hundred million Euro per year, a decent sized chunk of the total government budget.
And they still maintain that those fines are only "to promote road safety by making people think twice about violating the law".

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Not just Dallas. Dutch police are actually given financial targets to meet each year for traffic violations, split by category (speeding, red lights, etc.) as well as targets for impounded vehicles (which are sold for profit by the government), impounded driver's licenses (which mean someone needs to take another driving test, fee to go to the government), etc.

The grand total of all those fines is something like several hundred million Euro per year, a decent sized chunk of the total government budget.
And they still maintain that those fines are only "to promote road safety by making people think twice about violating the law".

Wow ! no wonder Dutch people follow traffic rules so obediently ! And, I guess, people on bicycle are given the highest priority ?

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Wow ! no wonder Dutch people follow traffic rules so obediently ! And, I guess, people on bicycle are given the highest priority ?

In some cases: yes. In the town were I live we have 'bicycle-zones'. That's means you're welcome with your car, but you have to let every bicyclist before you.

There used to be (or is, I'm not sure) even a rule that when a bike and a car have an accident, the bicyclist is always right, no matter what.

A month ago I got a fine for speeding. I was driving 55 Km/h (34 mph) where 50 (31) was allowed and it cost me 30 euro's (about 45 dollar)

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In some cases: yes. In the town were I live we have 'bicycle-zones'. That's means you're welcome with your car, but you have to let every bicyclist before you.

ah! Thats why everybody stops when I arrive ! ;) I like it !

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You ever read 1984?

the fear isnt that you are constantly watched, the fear is that at any time someone might just be watching

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the fear isnt that you are constantly watched, the fear is that at any time someone might just be watching

Which is the whole point of a Panopticon prison and yeah I read 1984. Good book.

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That law is still in effect, Niek.
It's only been slightly ammended in that the car operator is no longer automatically criminally liable if a pedestrian or cyclist gets hurt, only financially (which really only matters if the pedestrian or cyclist dies).


Another change was introduced after a drunken cyclist ran into a parked car. Under the original rule the car owner (even though his car was parked, he was not in it, and the car was parked correctly) was legally guilty of having caused the accident (despite the cyclist having been stone drunk and didn't carry lights).
That situation was corrected, now the law only applies to cars in motion at the time of the accident.

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Another example of police on a witchhunt against cars: A colleague this week got a parking fine for parking outside a marked parking spot.
Nothing wrong about such a fine, you'd say, until you find out that he had been parked on the company's private carpark on which the police have no jurisdiction whatsoever.

Company is going to file an official complaint about that with the city council, as well as assist in any legal cost to get that fine reversed.

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I used to think that Brave New World was scarier and a more likely outcome but since the 'war on terror' has been declared suddenly 1984 now seems to be an equal future (continuous warfare, citizens encouraged to spy on others, constant monitoring via cctv, newspeak, historic revisionism -- vs -- medicated society, poisoning of the lower classes, yadda,yadda,yadda)

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It is on my long list of books to read. Right now I am reading Crime and Punishment. My list is at least 100 books long. I read about 80-100 a year but it never stops growing. I really need a vacation to play catch up.

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