Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Spies in your skies

Independent Online Edition > Americas

My prefered reading, fiction-wise, has always been science-fiction - especially the type of "dangerous visions" that sought to be prophetic or warn us about possible futures. Notwithstanding the works of HG Wells, Jules Verne, Goeroge Orwell and others, the genre itself was probablt still niche reading until the mid-1970s. Then came "Star Wars" and the door was opened to all manner of futuristic romps courtesy of Hollywood's cinema screens. So much so in fact, that those same "dangerous vision" scenarios have become part of the popular psyche - so commonplace in film, videogames and other entertainment media that darker messages are obscured by the trill of adventure in environments that many assume subliminally will come to pass with real time.

Such is the case with the 21st century epidemic we call the "surveillance state". One wonders how willingly we would accept it if the notion were not already implanted in our brains by nearly 30 years of fanasy entertainment wherein it appeared as the norm. There are countless stories where the world is infested with devices ranging from tiny robot "spy" insects to monstrous airbourne "tanks" that dispense death or justice at the whim of unseen intelligence and at the spur of the moment.

Residents of Los Angeles have now been treated to under step in that direction. See headline link above.


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