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The FDNY Firefighter Spy

We’ve turned a horrible new page in the War on Terror as the FDNY — The Fire Department of the City of New York — have joined with the Department of Homeland Security to spy on residents.

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Naked Blogging as Semiotics Shall Rule the Word

We are living in the Golden Age of Text. We most effectively communicate on blogs, in email and via instant messages where The Word is King. However, in the next five years or so we will toss away our text — along with our newly enhanced ability to cogently write to persuade others — in favor of video: Semiotics Shall Rule the Word. There are active rumors that the next iPhone will have a touch screen that is a camera so you can do live video conferencing via iChat right on your phone. There is one proof-of-concept using the current iPhone that persuasively argues for video communication over text right now.

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Salome in Antiquity: To Cure To Kill Today

We are fast moving into the world of quick curing so we may better kill and that is a strange disconnect in a society where we are required to claim our care for each other.

Like Salome in antiquity — who was rewarded for her dance with the granting of any wish from King Herod — chose a false cure for a certain death and a killing from her own curse. John the Baptist never saw his beheading coming until he appeared on a silver platter.

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Normal Discrimination and Average Power

Michel Foucault is one of those certain talents where a quirky mix of genius, talent and savantism all congeal in the mind of one person to shed the powerful glow of meaning and context on the rest of us One of Foucault’s passions in life was his love of words and his research into the power of labels.

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The Deadly Danger of Wikipedia and Corrupt Community Research

The problem with unrestricted community involvement in online research is the great risk to truth and accuracy in the reporting. If one community member cannot be trusted, then the entire veracity of the rest of the community — guilty or not — is also placed under the microscopic and burning Panopticonic eye of doubt and disingenuousness.

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Incarceration Nation and the Carceral Citizen

According to the annual report from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in every 32 American adults were doing hard time, were on probation or on parole last year.  2.2 million were incarcerated; 4.1 million were on probation; nearly 800,000 were on parole.

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The NYPD Panopticon Imprisons Harlem

The Panopticon — a prison so built radially that a guard at a central position can see all the prisoners — is also known as the infamous and ever-vigilant Foucauldian unblinking eye of authority watching every move a prisoner makes while remaining rough and ready to strike punishment as often as needed, has come to the streets of Harlem as “Sky Watch.”

The Sky Watch, about two stories tall, consists of a booth for a cop that stands atop a tower that collapses when the officer is ready to leave. The booth, which gives the cop a line of sight from 20 feet up, has four cameras, a high-powered spotlight and various sensors. The digital cameras, which continue recording when the booth is unstaffed, save the video to a hard drive.The units, which cost from $40,000 to $100,000 apiece, are also being used by the U.S. Border Patrol and cops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Dallas and Fort Worth. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said the department has leased one or two of the devices and hopes to eventually have five. Since they’re moveable, they’re more flexible than fixed cameras. One tower was installed about three weeks ago at 129th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem – drawing cheers and jeers.

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