Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I never imagined that getting my Masters would produce such paranoia.  But in the joy that is my new studious life, I have encountered new knowledge that has truly made me a paranoid person.  The article that I read and will be cited below, is about how "Intertwingled" our lives are.  We want systems that can do everything for us, in as small a package as possible.  We want a phone, that's a camera and a mini computer, with internet access and a music player.  Okay.  I can live with that.  And had the article stopped there, I would have moved on without a second thought.  But alas, the article continued to talk about some of the small crazy technologies that are now available or being made.  For example, apparently, there is now a Wherify Wireless GPS Personal Locator for Kids.  It claims to be a watch, clock, pager, and tracking device all in one.  All you have to do is use the small key to LOCK it onto your child's wrist.  No need for trust, simply track your child's every move.  
But let's not stop there, when we are talking about the great advances in technology.  It mentions a murder at a Blockbuster store.  How was the crime solved?  How was the murderer caught?  It's simple.  The surveillance camera ACROSS THE STREET caught the whole thing on tape and they were able to detect and capture the murderer.  Okay, my mind can handle and appreciate that.  It was used for good.  Now, I am really not a deep thinker, I usually just read these articles, take what I can from them and move on, but the author pushed me further when he questioned, "Who knows how many hidden cameras populate the homes, businesses, parking lots and roads we pass through each day?"  Okay, how am I supposed to react to that.  My neighbor across the way, could have a camera that sees into my balcony doors.  I am thinking as I read, those blinds will never be opened again.  Who needs natural light?
Continuing on, an English company is developing a toilet that is embedded with sensors that can monitor your diet and health problems.  I don't think I have a need for a toilet that can tell me about what's been going in or coming out.  Again, my mind drifts, what if they start installing these at the YMCA.  I can't pee anywhere anymore or they are going to know everything about me.  I am going to have stop drinking.  
And then I read about Microsoft's MyLifeBits project that combine cameras, sensors, and terabyte hard drives that store and retrieve everything we see, hear, and read.  And did I mention this is all part of the clothing that we wear?  So, now I am thinking, goodness I will go out one night to innocently listen to a favorite band and there I will be in someone's glass camera.  Great.  They will never forget me.  (I'm not sure what they would catch me doing, other than talking nonsense with friends or playing Uno between bands, but seriously, I don't like the idea of being recorded without my knowledge.  It seems to be a major violation of my privacy.)
Hopsitals have a  new RFID chip that they are implanting into patients.  A patients chart will never be lost again.  "Just a scan of your wrist sir, and I will be able to treat you for whatever you need."  Rather than, "Let me look at this chart at the end of your bed and I will be able to help you."   Really, was it that much easier?  Are we going to start implanting babies the moment they are born.  "Oh dear woman, let me just implant this chip in your babies foot and then you can hold her."  AHHH!
Then there is this SENTRI technology that employs the use of microphones.  It can detect the sound of a gunshot, point a camera at the point of origin and then summon the police.  Are they going to try and pick up my voice?
The funny thing is that I live a perfectly acceptable life.  If anyone wants to film me, or voice detect me, or trace me, its their loss (of time), they are not going to find anything too exciting.  And yet, I can't help but feel paranoid.  I can't help but feel like BIG BROTHER is watching.  
That movie Eagle Eye is starting to seem much more realistic and far less fantasy to me.  I'm not sure I really want to know all the technological advances that are being made.  There might be some peace and joy to ignorance.
All of this blog is thanks to the extra 8 hours I had today due to the "snow."  I included a picture of what I peaked through the blinds to find this morning (and I literally mean peaked).  I hope you all are well!

 Morville, Peter. 2005. “Intertwingled.” In Ambient Findability, 64-97. Sebastopol, Calif.: O’Reilly Media. 


  1. First of all, they call that snow? I can't believe you got a day off for that. :-}

    And second, it is frightening what technology is capable of. I could seriously go right back to 1960. We would all be better off.

  2. Mabey you should not do any more deep thinking!
    There has to be something more fun to do on a
    SNOW DAY...

  3. Seriously, you guys get a day off school for THAT! Maybe I should move to the South....

    It is nerve wracking to think about what our technology is capable of doing. Just simple cell phone cameras are scary enough. I know that me, my mom, and Stephanie have all stalked ridiculously dressed people in public places just to capture photos of them. While that was great fun it does make me wonder if anyone has ever done the same thing to me.

  4. Wow what a fun snow day! Just Kidding, Someday we are all going to have chips in us! Can you imagine dating life, "wait a minute let me scan your chip to know more a bout you... Never mind it says that you committed a major crime" Haha, you get paranoid and I just find it humorous, who knows it could happen though!

  5. Sometimes I wonder if the outcome of all this great technology is really "enhancing" our lives or causing us more problems. Most of the time in the long run I think it really does create new headaches! Did you know that they also have xray vision cameras (they see through your clothes) in airports! I guess it might be better than the creepy dude feeling you up to see if you have a knife hidden in your bra though! SCARY!!!

  6. I think they need to quit letting you stay home on cold/snowy days! I'm one of those people who just pretends none of this stuff is or will happen.

    Kellie and Angie, you girls are cracking me up. I do think a chip for dating purposes is a great idea though. If we had those 20 years ago, I might have been informed enough to make a better choice in husband material.

    As far as the airport goes, I pity anyone who had to look through my clothes.

  7. Oh Sarah, you are learning too much. Why do you need to know all that to be a Librarian? But can you think of all the things that will be out there by the time you are my age? I can't keep up now. I hope I don't live another 20 years, I will be way behind.....Love ya