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The Hidden Systems That Have Frozen Time and Stop Us Changing The World
07-30-2014, 04:58 AM,
#1
The Hidden Systems That Have Frozen Time and Stop Us Changing The World
[Image: p023ldr3.jpg]
[Image: Adam_curtis.jpg]

A tremendous essay from filmmaker (The Power of Nightmares, The Century of the Self) Adam Curtis for the BBC is a must read for all disinfonauts:

If you are an American politician today, as well as an entourage you also have a new, modern addition. You have what’s called a “digital tracker”. They follow you everywhere with a high-definition video camera, and they are employed by the people who want to destroy your political career.

It’s called “opposition research” and the aim is to constantly record everything you say and do. The files are sent back every night to large anonymous offices in Washington where dozens of researchers systematically compare everything you said today with what you said in the past.

They are looking for contradictions. And if they find one – they feed it, and the video evidence, to the media.

On one hand it’s old politics – digging up the dirt on your opponent. But it is also part of something new – and much bigger than just politics. Throughout the western world new systems have risen up whose job is to constantly record and monitor the present – and then compare that to the recorded past. The aim is to discover patterns, coincidences and correlations, and from that find ways of stopping change. Keeping things the same.

We can’t properly see what is happening because these systems are operating in very different areas – from consumerism, to the management of your own body, to predicting future crimes, and even trying to stabilise the global financial system – as well as in politics.

But taken together the cumulative effect is that of a giant refrigerator that freezes us, and those who govern us, into a state of immobility, perpetually repeating the past and terrified of change and the future.

To bring this system into focus I want to tell the history of its rise, and its strange roots – the bastard love-child of snooping and high-level mathematical theory.

It begins with the grubby figure of the early 1960s in Britain – the Private Detective. Up till then private detectives mostly did divorce work. They would burst into hotel rooms to find a married person engaged in adulterous activity. Often these were prearranged situations, set up to supply the necessary evidence to get round Britain’s tough divorce laws.

Then two things happened. The divorce laws were reformed – which meant the bottom fell out of the market. But at the same time home movie cameras became cheap and available. Private detectives began to spend their time hiding round corners and behind bushes – recording what their suspects got up to.

Here are two clips I’ve put together. The first is one of the old-school private detectives going to a hotel room in Brighton to “surprise” the occupants. Followed by a wonderful item from 1973 where one of the new breed shows how he can film people without them noticing. Or so he says. From the evidence you’d doubt it.

He mostly works for the insurance companies – following people and filming them to see if they are faking an injury they are claiming for. I love the 8mm cameras he uses.

The item also includes an interview with a man who is opposed to this snooping. The interviewer says surely they are just trying to find the truth – that a film can’t lie. The man’s response is great:

“A film can lie very easily – the insurance company or the investigator can edit the film. Supposing someone has a bad limp that only occurs on wet days, or it’s a nervous spasm that comes on some days rather than others. The film is shown in court – and shows only the good days when there’s no limp”

It’s wonderfully silly – but he has a point. Bit like documentary films…

[continues at the BBC Adam Curtis blog]
long read , but do just that at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/posts/NO-FUTURE
Definition of Democrazy:
Two Volves and a Sheep
trying to agree on what
to have for dinner


http://deadlinelive.info/


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