The Inspection House

An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance
Product Number: EB00664654
Released: Mar 27, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781770563896
Publisher: Coach House Books
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Description

In 1787, British philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham conceived of the panopticon, a ring of cells observed by a central watchtower, as a labor-saving device for those in authority. While Bentham's design was ostensibly for a prison, he believed that any number of places that require supervision-factories, poorhouses, hospitals, and schools-would benefit from such a design. The French philosopher Michel Foucault took Bentham at his word. In his groundbreaking 1975 study, Discipline and Punish, the panopticon became a metaphor to describe the creeping effects of personalized surveillance as a means for ever-finer mechanisms of control. Forty years later, the available tools of scrutiny, supervision, and discipline are far more capable and insidious than Foucault dreamed, and yet less effective than Bentham hoped. Shopping malls, container ports, terrorist holding cells, and social networks all bristle with cameras, sensors, and trackers. But, crucially, they are also rife with resistance and prime opportunities for revolution. The Inspection House is a tour through several of these sites-from GuantAnamo Bay to the Occupy Oakland camp and the authors' own mobile devices-providing a stark, vivid portrait of our contemporary surveillance state and its opponents. Tim Maly is a regular contributor to Wired, the Atlantic, and Urban Omnivore and is a 2014 fellow at Harvard University's Metalab. Emily Horne is the designer and photographer of the webcomic A Softer World.

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Author(s): Tim Maly, Emily Horne
Original Publish Date: Sep 29, 2014

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