mp on Tue, 8 Dec 2009 03:54:11 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Handoko Suwono: Facebook paves its way to IPO

Prem Chandavarkar wrote:

> The 18th century English utilitarian philosophy Jeremy Bentham came up with
> a design for prisons called the "panopticon".  In this design, the prison
> cells are arranged in a circular configuration, and at the centre of the
> circle is a watch tower.  The guard enters the watch tower from a hidden
> staircase at its base, and the watch point is screened by louvers so the
> prisoners cannot make out whether the guard is in his tower or not, or when
> he comes and goes.

It was actually Bentham's brother's idea.

See Peter Linebaugh's interesting work on related issues in "The London
Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century", Chapter 11
"Ships and Chips: Technological Repression and the Origin of the Wage"
(pp. 371-401).

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