Keep walking.
July 9, 2003 2:55 PM   Subscribe

The Future is Now. "It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face… was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime…"
posted by the fire you left me (15 comments total)
don't be scared. they can smell fear!
posted by mokey at 3:26 PM on July 9, 2003

Sounds like my girlfriend.
posted by keswick at 3:37 PM on July 9, 2003

At each checkpoint, the car's speed, time of arrival, color, size, license plate, and shape are all instantly passed on to a central server. If the early tests identifying cars go well, software that recognizes a person's face and style of walk could also be added.

Before it can be added, it has to be written. Hasn't this kind of thing been tried, with negative results? Note that the car tests will apparently not even try to deduce the model, only the "shape". Its a long way from there to face recognition.
posted by anewc2 at 4:32 PM on July 9, 2003

Ah, Johnny Dangerously could beat that system with a few rolls of shelf paper.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:34 PM on July 9, 2003

The authorities want people to obey the law, to behave rationally. But video surveillance does the exact opposite. It makes people feel—correctly—like they're constantly being watched, like they're paranoid.

Maybe at first, but not permanently. The UK has the reputation of being one of the countries with the most CCTV cameras in the world, and yeah, they're everywhere. Yet they fail to reduce crime even though they do a great job helping the police catch the criminals afterwards.

Once you've grown up in an environment full of cameras, you ignore them. They don't change what you do. I know, the UK has been like this for ages. We have speed cameras everywhere, I still speed, I just slow down for the cameras. We have 'red light cameras', sometimes I zoom through on a late orange if I've worked out there's no camera there.

Infact, to me, cameras have the opposite effect to that desired. I look for cameras, and if I don't see any, I incorrectly kid myself that the area is lawless. And so comes from living in a country filled with cameras watching your every move..
posted by wackybrit at 5:52 PM on July 9, 2003

wackybrit, I agree with your assessment re speed and red light cameras, which are everywhere here. Everyone still speeds, but they are a lot more alert to their surroundings than before the cameras came (which is a good thing in itself, I guess). There are many well-known areas that the cameras tend to be and there are certain places that are the most suitable (hidden from a distance, but with a clear view of the road, enough space to park the vehicle the camera is in safely etc). One tactic that seems to have evolved accidentally and that I have noticed particularly on the M1 is that cars tend to drive in packs rather than singly, due to a belief that, if there is more than one car in the target area of the camera, the officer manning the camera cannot book them. Of course, if the police force here ever gets their wish to change the legislation to allow hidden speed cameras granted, we could be in trouble...
posted by dg at 6:28 PM on July 9, 2003

TFYLM: What's the citation for the prose? Don't remember it from 1984.
posted by lostboy at 6:37 PM on July 9, 2003

This is wonderful!

Ahah! Ahahaha!

[Hildago pulls his face back into a tight, anxious smile for several hours. Finally, a bead of nervous sweat betrays him and he is killed by poison gas from the vents]
posted by Hildago at 7:56 PM on July 9, 2003

lostboy - will this do? (about 2/3 of the way down the page, under Book One, Chapter 5). I immediately recognised it, but then your comment got me to wondering.
posted by dg at 8:24 PM on July 9, 2003

This is nothing. NASA proposed a device, after 9-11, which would seek to detect potential terrorists at airports by monitoring for "terrorist" brainwave patterns (yes it's true - your brain broadcasts EMF's), but the problem of their interpretation hasn't quite been solved..........yet.
posted by troutfishing at 8:50 PM on July 9, 2003

lostboy, look here. Quote is about halfway down the page and headed Book One, Chapter 5.
posted by vbfg at 6:28 AM on July 10, 2003

Jinx! Ok, now you both owe me a coke.
posted by bshort at 6:33 AM on July 10, 2003

Let's see...could the solution to this be as simple as a few paintball guns, some strategically placed mirrors, wire clippers, and a distributed network of anonymous camera hackers who coordinate their "modifications" to the system?

Hmmm...just asking.
posted by mooncrow at 6:42 AM on July 10, 2003

All money from tickets, via camera or old-fashioned cop, should go directly to feeding the homeless or to road improvements or something which would not give the camera manufacturers, the police departments, or the people in charge of them a really HUGE FREAKING CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Oh, drug and money confiscations, too, of course.

mooncrow, you're thinking too hard. It'd just take a rock or a stick.
posted by callmejay at 8:21 AM on July 10, 2003

My country has gone to Hell in a handbasket. Any single Canadian men in here looking for an imported bride?

posted by evilcupcakes at 9:04 AM on July 10, 2003

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