Farewell to Modernity in the New Age of Surveillance

By , January 30, 2011 9:16 pm

Terrorism was connected to a variety of ideologies and served a variety of purposes. Every now and then, bombs exploded in the world, hostages were taken and airplanes hijacked. Every now and then, innocent people were dying somewhere. It always caused terror and made it hard for those responsible for security to sleep at night, forcing them to develop ever-newer techniques and ways of protection against terrorism. It caused worry, and, moreover, forced the introduction of ever-increasing limitations of freedom in the name of improving security. Gradually, terrorism changed our mentality. Step by step, we have become accustomed to limitations of freedom undertaken for the sake of improving security. After the assassination attempt in St. Peter’s Square, where the bullets of the Turkish hired gun hit the pope, the pope moved from an open car to a bulletproof display carriage – the popemobile – and we soon considered the strange vehicle to be normal. Years later, nobody remembered that it used to be otherwise, that the pope had driven in an open car and shaken the hands of random people, and that those who managed to push through to the front of the crowds could get close enough to touch his cassock. In the same way, we got used to personal control at the airports.

via Farewell to Modernity in the New Age of Surveillance.

Climate of Hate

By , January 10, 2011 12:03 pm

When you heard the terrible news from Arizona, were you completely surprised? Or were you, at some level, expecting something like this atrocity to happen?

via Climate of Hate – NYTimes.com.

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