Communion Of Dreams

See you at the crossroads.
July 31, 2011, 11:28 am
Filed under: Predictions, Privacy, Science Fiction, Society, tech, Travel

From Chapter 3 of Communion of Dreams:

The image of Seth disappeared, to be replaced by what seemed to be a miniature landscape of hills, a road, a small river, and a bridge. On one of the hills appeared a small person, looking around as though trying to find something. Ling commenced to play with the controls on the side of the projector. Jon didn’t recognize the game, looked to Klee.

The German smiled. In English he said, “No, it’s probably not a game you’ve ever played. It’s a little something Seth and I came up with to help her learn the fundamentals of game theory. In this first level, she has to learn how to communicate with the figure, and agree on a meeting place. The obvious choice is dictated by the terrain features: where the road crosses the river, there is a bridge. That is a unique point in the landscape, and hence a good starting point to establish a reference. The game goes on to introduce other concepts,using a variety of terrain features, multiple players, tacit and explicit communication, cooperation, and competition. She’s quite good at it, and no matter which variables the machine uses, Ling sees the essential key to each scenario quickly. Soon she’ll have mastered the principles of a zero-sum game, and we’ll move on to other lessons.”

* * * * * * *

Via BoingBoing:

‘Sleepy market town’ surrounded by ring of car cameras

Despite low levels of crime, police are installing a network of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras around historic Royston, Herts.

Police claim the devices will help catch criminals as Royston lies close to the borders of three counties and is the juncture of several main roads.

However, opponents claim the scheme is “grossly disproportionate”, an invasion of residents’ privacy and an unlawful expansion of Britain’s Big Brother state.

The system records the number plates of all vehicles passing through the cameras, logging their details in national database for up to five years.

* * * * * * *

It’s not the first time it’s been done, of course, though this is a somewhat larger scale. And after all, why should we worry? The use of surveillance cameras and other scanners is popular. It makes people feel safer. And if you aren’t doing anything wrong, why should you care?

Control the rules, and you control the game. See you at the crossroads.

Jim Downey

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