Democracy in a “Presentist Digital Landscape”

Great video from Douglas Rushkoff’s talk at the Personal Democracy Forum. Here’s a quotation from the end of the video:

The opportunity in a presentist digital landscape is a people-powered, real-time, local-biased, human-centric culture of activism. I think we’re on the brink of that. And if we are, then I’m much less worried about stories like [NSA wiretapping].

Let them read my friggin’ email. Because I’m going to belong to the real world.

Please — spy on me — please

When artist and professor Hasan Elahi was interrogated by the FBI as a suspected terrorist, he reacted to their suspicion in one of the most extreme ways possible. Elahi started Tracking Transience, a site that broadcasts his location, photographs of his most recent meals and the toilets he utilizes — and otherwise inundates the world (and the FBI) with the mundane details of his life.


I’ve come to the realization — guys, you want to watch me? That’s fine. I’m OK with that. But you know what? I can watch myself better than you guys ever could. And that’s what was really exciting about this project, it turns the surveillance upside down on its head… I live an incredibly anonymous and private life, because there is so much noise out there. I’ve actually created this data camouflage… We live in such an absurd age, that the only way you can counter it is by going even further absurd with this.

It’s a project reminiscent of 3rdi, which I first wrote about back in December. It’s interesting how these self-surveillance projects actually end up making our everyday tweeting/flickring/blogging/facebooking seem more extreme. Although most of us don’t publish a detailed record of our every movement, we do publicize portions of it, portions that could be used in nefarious ways if the intent was there.

{via on the media}