The silly game I suggest we play is the “Let’s Fisk* the Daily Mail game”
According to Harry Phibbs of the Daily Mail, Google Street view is categorically A BAD THING (as most Daily mail articles about modernity tend to be)
I hate the daily mail with an absolute passion so I thought I’d tell you why Harry Phibbs and the Daily Mail are in fact wrong.
Fact number one.
If you have eyes then just walking around you local area will tell you more about your neighbours than Street View could.
Fact number two:
It’s not a real time feed. If you were a burglar you could case the joint yourself, if you were a stalker you’d have to be exceedingly lucky to catch your stalkee on camera in the first place and by the time you arrive they’d have had several months after the photo was taken to escape.
Fact number three:
It’s not sinister and Orwellian. 1984 was about the affect of an all intrusive totalitarian GOVERNMENT. Not a private corporation. Google are releasing the data into the public domain anyway so it’s not like anyone has more power through using this information than anyone else would have.
Fact number four:
The Daily Mail supported Fascism in the 1930’s so it’s not like they have a moral leg to stand on when complaining about surveillance culture.
Fact number five:
My friend is currently at a conference in San Fransico. Having never been to the city before he was able to visualise exactly where his hotel, the airport and the conference centre all lay in relation to each other. Something that was less easy with 2D maps, so yes it is a useful too damnit!
I think that’s enough vitriol for now, but I think it’s fair to say I can’t stand the mentality which states “everything was better in the good old days”. I guess when Google release the Rose Tinted Specs v1.0 application (see the world exactly as it was in the 1950s!) things might change.**
* For a defintion of fisking see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisking (and it’s not as rude as it sounds)
** For the record I’m not some sort of Google fanboy or in anyway affiliated with them. I just think that Street View represents another jump towards the science fiction future that I imagined as a child.