thoughts from New England

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by Google September 21, 2006

Filed under: future,society,Web — tim @ 4:02 pm

If you’re like me, you enjoy futuristic fiction, but not that crappy let’s-live-in-space/crappy-SciFi-network-shows/bizarro-future-worlds kind of futuristic fiction. I enjoy the social aspects of the future, like what will normal, everyday people be doing? How does all of this technology affect our lives and how will it affect future generations? What’s it going to be like in 20, 30, 50, 100 years? The differences between 1956 and 2006 are astounding; I’m just trying to picture 2056 and my mind’s getting, like, totally blown away!

Here’s a short story that was published in New Scientist magazine, via, and it’s all about teens in the future being completely put into line via the control of totally awesome social networking. Here’s a clip:

That creepy “differential permissioning” sure saves a lot of trouble for grown-ups. Increasing chunks of the world are just… magically off limits. It’s a weird new regime where every mall and every school and every bus and train and jet is tagged and tracked and ambient and pervasive and ubiquitous and geolocative… Jesus, I love those words… Where was I?

Right. We teenagers have to live in “controlled spaces”. Radio-frequency ID tags, real-time locative systems, global positioning systems, smart doorways, security videocams. They “protect” us kids, from imaginary satanic drug dealer terrorist mafia predators. We’re “secured”. We’re juvenile delinquents with always-on cellphone nannies in our pockets. There’s no way to turn them off. The internet was designed without an off-switch.


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