ENTRIES TAGGED "panopticon"

The Digital Panopticon

The Digital Panopticon

This post is part three of a series raising questions about the mass adoption of social technologies. These posts will be opened to live discussion in an upcoming webcast on May 27. In 1785 utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham proposed architectural plans for the Panopticon, a prison Bentham described as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.” Its method was a circular grid of surveillance; the jailors housed in a central tower being provided a 360-degree view of the imprisoned. Prisoners would not be able to tell when a jailor was actually watching or not. The premise ran that under the possibility of total surveillance (you could be being observed at any moment of the waking day) the prisoners would self-regulate their behavior to conform to prison norms.

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