Ordering A Pizza In The Panopticon

How much of the ACLU’s prescient 2004 short film Ordering Pizza, which envisions ordering a pizza online in a future dystopian electronic surveillance state, has is already starting to come true? Getting takeout has never been so traumatic:

We are facing a flood of powerful new technologies that expand the potential for centralized monitoring, an executive branch aggressively seeking new powers to spy on citizens, a docile Congress and courts, as well as a cadre of mega-corporations that are willing to become extensions of the surveillance state. We confront the possibility of a dark future where our every move, our every transaction, our every communication is recorded, compiled, and stored away, ready for access by the authorities whenever they want.

3 Comments on "Ordering A Pizza In The Panopticon"

  1. BuzzCoastin | Feb 8, 2013 at 12:37 am |

    all of this is done now, but not as blatantly
    everyone has a national ID number since mandatory SS
    Google is doing this shit all the time
    so it’s not a question of if you want to prevent this
    but do you want to continue with this
    the reason it continues
    is because most people live fast food lives
    and there’s no real secrets in a Happy Meal Life

    • Yeah, that’s exactly right. Controlling people through their social tendencies is an age-old practice. In _Mutual Aid_, Kropotkin argued that the state gained power by taking over pre-existing medieval guilds, unions and other mutual aid-based societies. The state harnesses all of the social instincts in people to come together to work towards a common goal and directs those instincts towards ‘itself’ (the core). The result is the social obligation that one person feel towards another is minimized in proportion to the aggrandizement of the state.

      Later on this morphs into increasingly more complex social engineering (thanks to the rise of the social sciences in the 19th century) techniques like censuses, demographic statistics, and so on to make entire swathes of population legible/visible to the core, as James C. Scott argued in his amazing book _Seeing Like a State_.

      So, obviously now with the interwebs and iSlave technologies, the Bastards simply continue this trend of using our own sociality against us.

      • BuzzCoastin | Feb 8, 2013 at 2:30 am |

        most of Big Homelander’s snooping is benign, even helpful
        given the extraordinary number of people
        who believe that civility is preserved by a nanny government
        and not by self-interest

        fortunately Big Homelander is inept
        and you have to place yourself in his safekeeping
        so anyone not inclined to the Big Homelander Hug
        can easily sneak past his goons
        (unless you’re not white,
        sorry, I didn’t make the rules)

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