Mar 22, 2013

Let a Billion Routers Channel the Ecstasy

Kyrill Viktorovich, 39, leading dogmatist of the New Transparency Movement, stepped up to the lectern and had a heart attack before five thousand people.

A crowd of augmented engineers and aspirant grinders rushed onto the stage, taking pictures as they blinked, mumbling suitable expressions of panic into their subdermal microphones. 

One of Wang Zi Won's mechanical Buddhas

The Russian-inspired name owes to my starting Vladimir Sorokin’s Day of the Oprichnik. The first couple of pages carry more tiny visual details than human memory can hold. We’ll see whether the book has more to offer than a baroque sense of atmosphere.

I bought it because I liked the title and the cover. Call it instinct; most of the time you can judge a book by its cover. On the subject of covers, check out Lousy Book Covers if you haven’t already.

Do you self-publish? My advice is, don’t skimp on the cover. You don’t want to make yourself a laughing stock.
Set some money aside and find a skilled person to do your cover design for you. Once upon a time (two weeks ago), a lady who shall remain anonymous suggested that you should “marry a graphic designer,” for which kind of advice the Spanish Inquisition used to burn people at the stake. Graphic designers are an invention of the Devil to lead us into the Apple Store with its sleek products and minimal design.

by EranFolio

Now, that “New Transparency” thing. Technological advances like Google Glass concern me, mainly because I’m seeing overly enthusiastic reactions to another potential limitation on personal freedom and privacy. I’d like to ask the anti-privacy advocates: Can I have your email password? May I come watch you as you sleep?

Chances are you believe in privacy, because you wear clothes and your windows feature curtains. Also, you don’t want to give me your email password, do you? You’ve just been sold on the notion that privacy is a throwback to pre-technological times.

This is not so. Privacy is by and large an invention of the 19th and 20th centuries. We used to sleep all huddled together in caves, damn it. And then in one-room houses, huts, call them what you will. Privacy is a conquest, a triumph of personal space, and the rise of privacy coincides with the dawn of the individual. A fully transparent citizenry, living 24/7 under the Panopticon’s glare, is a danger to you as a person. To your freedom of speech and self-expression; no less your right to be wrong in public without incurring perpetual ostracism.

Now the Panopticon comes to the streets, taking the terror of constant surveillance to eye-level.

Surveillance camera man has gone to great lengths to show us why the omnipresence of video cameras is abusive and disruptive. If this performance piece doesn’t touch you in bothersome places, I don’t know what will.

Progress comes in two flavors: Quantitative and qualitative. Which kind does Glass represent

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