G. Thomas Simmons
In college, I spent years writing an undergraduate thesis that should have taken months. One day I was trying to summarize my research to a friend and realized with horror that what I was reading was effectively a blueprint for an amoral level of surveillance and consequently control of people in a way that has never been done in history.
That’s when I had a mental breakdown, spent a few months homeless, and finally decided not to publish.
I finished my degree by transferring to another school at my university and completed a different project that didn’t require selling out my principles. But what I learned while doing research on a small, but exploding area of research called Social Signal Processing (SSP) scared me.
Surveillance is not passive nor is it benign — and we (all people) need to fucking talk about it.