Nick on Fri, 11 Oct 2013 14:49:32 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Pascal Zachary: Rules for the Digital Panopticon (IEEE)

Quoth Felix Stalder:

> The concept of the panopticon has been very popular ever since
> Foucault elevated it to the rank of a central metaphor for modernity
> in "Discipline and Punishment" (1975). And the NSA revelations seem
> to confirm its usefulness once again.

It seems to me that the term "panopticon" is now used at such a far
remove from Bentham's idea that it's just a way of scoring style
points and making the author sound erudite.

The author of this article talks about predicting and preventing "bad
actions", but that really isn't what the panopticon was designed
to do (except rather indirectly). It was about the possibility of
surveillance moderating the behaviour of its subjects, not about
prediction at all.

Felix, thanks for the reference to Bauman. I haven't read him, but
it certainly sounds like a good way of conceptualising the present
condition, so I'll surely rectify that soon.


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