Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Big Brother Body Odor

Today I overslept and was an hour late to work. I smelled (still smell) like a glass of wine with a cigarette butt floating in it being slowly poured over a musty armpit. I have been so tired all day, doing the head drop doze every five minutes and almost snapping my neck. I made up a job that had to be done in the president’s office then snuck in there, sat right down on his big expensive office chair and took a 30 minute nap. It seemed to help.
Did you know there are people out in this world we share who don’t know what a peperocini is? I met two of them at the bodega this afternoon.
All I want in life is my comforter, a bath and Seinfeld. I think I’ll take a bubble bath and put the computer on the toilet when I get home.
I finished the New Yorker article “Hello, Hal” which is basically about computers learning how to communicate with humans. Man, it got heavy and scary at the end there:
The City of Groningen has installed an aggression-detector at a busy intersection in an area full of pubs. Elevated microphones spaced thirty meters apart run along both sides of the street, joining an existing network of cameras. These connect to a computer at the police station in Groningren. If the system hears certain sound patterns that correspond with aggression, it sends an alert to the police station where the police can assess the situation by examining close-circuit monitors: if necessary, officers are dispatched to the scene.
For a seemingly innocuous paragraph (and idea) I got incredibly creeped out after reading it. I’m no post-apocalyptic-conspiracy-theorist-information junkie but I think it’s safe to say that once city governments start monitoring aggression levels in public places via hidden recording equipment and then allowing a select few individuals (Police) to personally gage any emotion that exceeds a tolerable (socially defined?) amount of rage and determine whether or not a person is dangerous is just…so….I don’t know. Like Fahrenheit 451 or 1984, sure, yeah, we talk about police states and living in the public domain and the loss of privacy but it is actually happening and at such an increased rate. It’s just the way it’s sneaking up on us; the way it starts as this small invention/experiment created to better mankind…

1 comment:

melissa said...

i am a post-apocalyptic-conspiracy-theorist-information junkie. i can't get enough!

i heard on npr a couple of months ago, that soon our medical histories will be available online for doctors (and us?) to access whenever they/we need it. i'm excited to see what becomes of that.