TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Inscription: Surveillance Turned Inside Out

Inscription: Surveillance Turned Inside Out

Monty Solomon (
Sat, 18 Jun 2005 16:58:31 -0400

By Howard Rheingold, Thu Jun 16 08:15:00 GMT 2005

Using mobile devices to snoop on ourselves could augment our memories,
improve our health and better our lives, says a Microsoft researcher.

Keep your eye on Marc Smith, the new manager of the social computing
group at Microsoft Research, who is thinking about ways to use
tomorrow's panoptic snooping technologies -- cameras, microphones,
even sensors of your bodily processes -- as a new kind of authoring.
"Inscription," he calls it, an artifact of his sociology background.

Smith is worth watching because of his prescient research instincts as
well as for the place he works: 15 years ago, he was one of the first
sociology graduate students to study social cyberspace: check out
Netscan if you want to see a mind-blowing graphical representation of
Usenet's hundreds of thousands of discussions. Five years ago, he
encouraged me to look into mobile phones and collective action (and
suggested that I use the term "smart mobs" to describe what I
found). The last time I was at his house, Smith turned me loose with a
mobile barcode Googler.

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