Sample Chapters: Excerpts

Sample Chapters

Chapter 7 Future Peep: A Semi-Transparent Concluding Letter to My Daughter Who Is Just Barely Out of

Dear Daughter,
I first encountered the idea of transparency almost ten year ago. I was collaborating with Steve Mann, cyborg extraordinare, on his book about the future of humanity in the age of the wearable computer. Perched on a stool in Mann’s University of Toronto laboratory I listened as Mann, surrounded by transducers, wires and circuit boards and looking every bit like the mad scientist his image suggests, argued that if everyone was monitoring everyone and instantly uploading the footage (so that their camera couldn’t simply be confiscated and destroyed) it would be impossible for anyone to abuse their authority or take advantage. He called his plan sousveillance and to this day dreams of equipping us with wearable computers that can instantly record and broadcast everything we see and say.
Since then, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to reflect on the notion of transparency. For one thing, it’s become a bit of a buzz word. When President Obama took office (that was kind of cool…you were in daycare) one of the first things he promised was transparency. By that he meant that the decisions made under his Presidency would be public, as would the process by which those decisions were arrived at.
Today, just about everyone’s talking about transparency. Why not? It seems like such a panacea. No more lying. No more hiding. No wonder Mann’s argument is such a powerful one. Not only does it suggest the ways in which Peep technologies and practices can be forces for good, it’s also something we can actually see in action. In the past, singular unexpected pop culture phenomenon have served to challenge orthodoxies, change minds and fundamentally alter perspectives. Now, we have the Peep culture equivalent: Sudden, unexpected, electric eruptions of transparency.

 

The Book: The Peep Diaries

The Peep Diaries will be Published by City Lights Books in May 2009
ISBN 1991022

Buy The Peep Diaries Right Now:
In the United States: www.citylights.com
In Canada: Chapters/Indigo Amazon:

 

The Publisher: City Lights

City Lights Books

City Lights Publishers

In June of 1955, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, co-founder of City Lights Bookstore, launched City Lights Publications with the Pocket Poets Series. The first volume was a collection of his own poems, Pictures of the Gone World, which has since become a classic of beat literature and… more...

 

Author! Author!

Hal Niedzviecki is a writer, culture commentator and editor whose work challenges preconceptions and confronts readers with the offenses of everyday life. He is the author of six books including the novel The Program and the nonfiction book The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves… more...