Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thinking about the Consequences of the Internet of Things

Sue Halpern's well-reasoned but dystopian analysis of the consequences (are they really unanticipated) of deploying the Internet of Things in the November 20 issue of The New York Review is well worth reading. Sadly, it is unlikely to be read by anyone in a position to reverse the train wreck that is now closer than we think. Even more ironic is that much of Halpern's analysis has been going into people's living rooms thanks to CBS. Person of Interest uses some of the basic ideas behind the Internet of Things and has extrapolated them to a fascinating cautionary tale of absolute power and its abuse. My guess is that those who have the power have decided to let this show have its say because not very many viewers are paying attention. However, if it ever draws audience involvement the way Mad Men does, we can expect that the series will be swiftly cancelled to make sure than no one is moved to think about what it is trying to say.

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