Thursday, March 18, 2010

Capture in the Cave

I thought that my visit to the cave was very interesting. I really enjoyed being fully immersed in the space, often to the point where I stopped caring that I was in the cave in order to fully jump into the space. I only really started to think about my spatial relation to the cave after digging deeper into Agre’s article, “Surveillance and Capture: Two Models of Privacy.” I started to piece together how we were being both surveyed and captured in the cave.

Agre’s idea of how everything is tracked in modern society relates to the cave in the obvious way that if we were the ones wearing the tracking glasses or using the clicker, we were being tracked, which confined us; however, in this tracked sense of confinement, we felt an added sense of freedom to do, move and click wherever we wanted (which is what some others touched on in previous posts.) I then thought of a real-life tracking example from Agre – the UPS barcode example. I feel safe knowing when a package I order will arrive and free knowing that I won’t have to be checking my mailbox everyday. I know that is a small-scale example, but it really illustrates how surveillance and capture impacts even the minutia of our everyday lives.

Regarding the bigger examples of surveillance and capture, we can feel safer knowing that a potential mugger may be swayed away from mugging me if there are cameras around, but while we are gaining one freedom, we are sacrificing the freedom to roam without surveillance. While this example does not pertain as well to the cave visit, the cave still knew what we did and may use that information to compile a database on human motion, who knows, since computers are “activity-mapping schemes…[which are] applied to the automation of activities’ (p. 745.)

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