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Old April 11th, 2017, 03:46 PM   #1
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Praising mass surveillance

Praising mass surveillance

The Light of Other Days

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The Light of Other Days is a science-fiction book that praises mass surveillance, under the condition that it is available to everyone. It shows a world in which a total lack of privacy results in a decrease in corruption and crime....The wormhole technology is first used to send digital information via gamma rays, then developed further to transmit light waves. The media corporation who develops this advance can spy on anyone anywhere it chooses. A logical development from the laws of space-time allows light waves to be detected from the past. This enhances the wormhole technology into a "time viewer" where anyone opening a wormhole can view people and events from any point throughout time and space.

When the technology is released to the general public, it effectively destroys all secrecy and privacy. The novel examines the philosophical issues that arise from the world's population (increasingly suffering from ecological and political disturbances) being aware that they could be under constant observation by anyone, or that they could observe anyone without their knowledge.

Anyone is able to observe the true past events of their families and their heroes....corruption and crime are drastically reduced; nations discover the true causes and outcomes of international conflicts; and religions worldwide are forced to reevaluate their divine histories. As the underground movement grows, it utilizes a direct neural interface coupled with the unlimited communication provided by the wormhole technology to develop a group mind.
Group minds I like. Distinguish them carefully from hive minds. They are not the same things.
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Old April 11th, 2017, 03:48 PM   #2
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Future and Past in a Transparent World

The Light of Other Days

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The world becomes transparent. Military and corporate secrecy vanish. Unfaithful spouses, charlatans and criminals are exposed. No bodily functions can be hidden. The 5th Amendment is meaningless. People must learn to live with the possibility of being spied on at every moment, just as the devout have believed themselves to be under the eye of God.

Is this catastrophe or utopia? Clarke and Baxter could have been satisfied with giving us that much to argue about--considering how nervous we are about current surveillance technology--but they're just getting warmed up....

"Just as each human will now have to learn to construct a personality in the glare of pitiless WormCam inspection," a congressional report in 2037 notes, "so communities will have to come to terms with the stripped-bare truth of their own past. . . . And the sooner we get on with it, the better."
...

Young people adapt by becoming "Joined" -- having WormCams implanted in their heads and linked to their cerebral cortexes. They can share perceptions and memories, see through one another's eyes, exist as a kind of group mind--the next stage in evolution.
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Old April 11th, 2017, 03:52 PM   #3
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I am inclined to think that, in the universe as a whole, a technological species is not worth much until it develops telepathy, or a group mind. As we can see in our own species, lack of empathy, lying, inadequate flow of information and bad co-ordination of activity can lead a technological culture to the brink of self destruction. I doubt that such a species can long survive without telepathy.

"Group mind" is a general term. A "hive mind" is a particular form of group mind in which the individual minds disappear into the hive mind, as with the Borg in the Star Trek mythology --- or, in a sense, as with the individual neurons in our own brains, where the electrical and chemical activity of the individual neurons are almost entirely controlled by sub-systems of the brain, or by the brain as a whole.

Other types of group mind may be imagined, where the individual sub-units maintain some autonomy.

I would judge an advanced culture by its flexibility. Individual organisms could move with some freedom between the species consciousness as a whole, down through sub-systems of that consciousness --- down, down to limited individual consciousness. Useful activity could occur at all these levels.

I prefer to think of group consciousness as something like being Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Karl-Friedrich Gauss, Kurt Gödel and Johann Sebastian Bach all rolled into one, but raised to a higher power. Being unplugged from group consciousness and being a mere individual consciousness --- such as we are --- I conceive as being analogous to what sleep is to us.
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Old April 13th, 2017, 05:12 PM   #4
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I look forward to the day when no secrets whatever may be kept anywhere by anyone !! ˇ ˇ

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