Rise of the Participatory Panopticon
I'm at a future of video workshop at the Institute for the Future today, and the topic of the participatory panopticon has come up. For people who are new to the concept, here's the original discussion of the participatory panopticon, the text of a talk I gave in May of 2005. I'd been talking about the PP since early 2004, but this was the best summary of the argument (at least as it stood in 2005).
Soon -- probably within the next decade, certainly within the next two -- we'll be living in a world where what we see, what we hear, what we experience will be recorded wherever we go. There will be few statements or scenes that will go unnoticed, or unremembered. Our day to day lives will be archived and saved. Whats more, these archives will be available over the net for recollection, analysis, even sharing.
And we will be doing it to ourselves.
This won't simply be a world of a single, governmental Big Brother watching over your shoulder, nor will it be a world of a handful of corporate siblings training their ever-vigilant security cameras and tags on you. Such monitoring may well exist, probably will, in fact, but it will be overwhelmed by the millions of cameras and recorders in the hands of millions of Little Brothers and Little Sisters. We will carry with us the tools of our own transparency, and many, perhaps most, will do so willingly, even happily.
I call this world the Participatory Panopticon.