Stok Footage

Continually experimenting with new ideas and techniques — Reconstructing, Developing, Modernising.

The Examined Life

I recently got the Kobo app for my iPad so that I can read some DRM encumbered ePub books. Until I got the Kobo app I had been using iBooks to read books, and it was not that different from a paper book experience, the biggest change being my notes are legible.

The Kobo app really opened my eyes, even the simple act of reading a book is now a mess of statistics, awards, mystery notifications, and it shocked me to see how much information they were extracting (maybe they should use the camera to track my eyes, just in case I’m not really reading but wasting time interactive with people.)

I believe the examined life is worth living, but I’d like to be the one examining me. It seems that electronic communications and computing products are being used to either make money off me, or to snoop on me.

Who really knows how many people look at my email, web pages, web searches, and listen to my conversations? I’m not just thinking of the corporations but also the governments of countries I used to consider liberal and democratic. If we take proposed legislation as a guide then in Canada the government seems keen to let anyone snoop on our Internet records, and for bonus points they want to let the US government have a shufti too, and if I were so disgusted that I decide to return to England then I’m not much better off.

Maybe if corporations want to monetize me they should be willing to pay a cut to me, the source of their valuable raw material.

If governments want to check up on me then all the elected members of the government should publish the same class of data which pertains to them for both business and pleasure so that they can be seen to be “good” (and if they try to avoid or circumvent monitoring and publication then their pensions should be cut back to the levels of normal citizens.)

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