William Gibson – Google’s Earth

From [William Gibson’s Op-Ed Contributor article – Google’s Earth – NYTimes.com](http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/opinion/01gibson.html?_r=2):

> Google is not ours. Which feels confusing, because we are its unpaid content-providers, in one way or another. We generate product for Google, our every search a minuscule contribution. Google is made of us, a sort of coral reef of human minds and their products. And still we balk at Mr. Schmidt’s claim that we want Google to tell us what to do next. Is he saying that when we search for dinner recommendations, Google might recommend a movie instead? If our genie recommended the movie, I imagine we’d go, intrigued. If Google did that, I imagine, we’d bridle, then begin our next search.


> Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon prison design is a perennial metaphor in discussions of digital surveillance and data mining, but it doesn’t really suit an entity like Google. Bentham’s all-seeing eye looks down from a central viewpoint, the gaze of a Victorian warder. In Google, we are at once the surveilled and the individual retinal cells of the surveillant, however many millions of us, constantly if unconsciously participatory. We are part of a post-geographical, post-national super-state, one that handily says no to China. Or yes, depending on profit considerations and strategy. But we do not participate in Google on that level. **We’re citizens, but without rights.**

Read [the whole article](http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/opinion/01gibson.html?_r=2). A fascinating take on Google and cyberspace, from the guy that invented the word cyberspace.

also [via Brian Alexander’s Infocult](http://infocult.typepad.com/infocult/2010/09/kafka-glands-and-human-coral-reefs.html)

Anthony Bourdain on the modern panopticon

In [Medium Raw](http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Medium-Raw-Anthony-Bourdain/?isbn=9780061718946), Bourdain describes the thoughts he had, transitioning from a coke-head heroin addict to a doting father, and how the panopticon (he didn’t call it that, though) played a role in the process:

>NewImage.jpgThe iniquitousness of Twitter and food- and chef-related Web sites and blogs has totally changed the game for anyone with a television show – even me. You don’t have to be very famous at all these days to end up with a blurry photograph on DumbAssCelebrities.com. You don’t want your daughter’s little schoolmates reading about her daddy, stuttering drunk, two o’clock in the morning, at a chef-friendly bar, doing belly shots from a chunky and underdressed cocktail waitress – something that could well have happened a few years ago. In a day when a passing cell-phone user can easily get a surreptitious photo of you, slinking out of the porn shop with copies of *Anal Rampage 2* and *MILFBusters* under your arm, and post it in real time, maybe that’s a particularly good time to trade in the leather jacket for some cotton Dockers.