« finding homo economicus in Manhattan | Main | after gentrification »

July 28, 2010


Peter Slack

Alan Moore has described how he included CCTV cameras as a manifestation of the totalitarian society of "V for Vendetta'. He recently noted that he has become less troubled by them since he discovered that at the surveillance centre in his home town managers had become so dissatisfied with their staff's capacity to detect antisocial or criminal behaviour that they had installed cameras to watch them watching the monitors.

Will Davies

Nice. Maybe the loop will eventually get short-circuited, and we'll just spend our days gazing sleepily at images of ourselves to make sure we're still alive... oh hang on, that's called Facebook.



Clearly there is more to our prospective panopticonic brave new world than having lots of surveillance cameras. You also need some means of mining the relevant data from the vast numbers of images (and thus transforming it into "good hard data").

My knowledge of datamining is sketchy, but it is plausible that machine learning techniques will catch up with the proliferation of CCTV and lead to a more effective panopticon than currently exists.


The major difference was the evidence available in the MPs expenses case was concrete stuff that tied the MPs directly to the items they claimed.

In the Ian Tomlinson case the problem was proving that being pushed over actually was the cause of his death (which was the requirement for a manslaughter charge) which the footage couldn't prove unless it had one of those CSI-style inside the body shots.

Now had the original post-mortem said he died as a result of the fall instead of heart attack the constable in question would have faced a manslaughter charge. The whole reason the case didn't go forward was because there was disagreement over the cause of death which the defence (as is their right) would have driven a bus through.


on that legal issue, the key is 'experts' who'll point their finger at the bad guys as they're hired too. or if you'd prefer that in academese:


The comments to this entry are closed.