Thursday, July 30, 2015

Panoptic Society and the Eye of Sauron

I'll bet you that dentist wishes he never killed that lion now. What with him baking under the microscope. Pinned under the baleful Eye of Sauron.

Michel Foucault wrote a lot about the panoptic society, how with the mere knowledge that individuals were under observation, they would be more likely to behave.

Not a new concept when you consider the threat of the invisible sky fairy watching everything you do. Certainly doesn't work all the time, but you have to admit the tactic is pretty brilliant. Rather than having to display through grisly ceremonies the power of the state, you suggest that  individuals self-regulate because their every unseemly act is observed. More importantly, unobtrusively observed.

Government: We was kind of hoping you wouldn't notice.

However, and again this is not a new phenomenon, there's also disapproval, shaming, shunning, ostracizing, vigilantism with a wink and a nod. With the internet, this can be taken to new levels. How many have had been put under the global magnifying glass? One must have avery, very thick skin indeed to handle the neutron beam of public scrutiny.

Which means the selection criterion is biased towards the sociopathic elements. Not a particularly good thing, but that's just the way the arms race goes. If you want to be a public figure, you've either got to deform your psyche by shutting down most of your humanity, or be born that way.

Makes you want to travel back in time and shoot people in the face.


  1. shooooot...., magne, no need to travel back in time when you can pack right out in the open and get your full face-shoot on (no homo) in the great state of Kansas right this minute.


  2. No, no. See? That way you can shoot them more than once until you get it right. It's what I did to Baby Hitler.