Project Camera Window

project camera window

It sounds like a new show on FOX network.   I can see the self-important Project going on about putting cameras into ordinary windows to spy on people.   The next big hit, no doubt,  destined to make shows like Big Brother seem almost scripted and passe.   Some days I feel like the only who is just so not into the whole reality tv thingy.   When I worked for an outsourcer that did customer support for the provider for the 24-hour live web cams I actually followed a season or two of Big Brother,  and a bit more enjoyably it’s UK counterpart.    And frankly one summer when I was getting paid for it was more than enough of that kind of programming for me.

Privacy seems like almost a quaint notion,  in this day and age when I am almost prudishly private in almost never including my face picture with most any project I am associated with.    I am perhaps the only person I know who doesn’t have a web camera,  because I don’t want one.    Even with trying to be a  participant in the constant global conversation that is always going on somewhere in cyberspace,  I think that I value my privacy rather more than most people.   I have to wonder if this folks who put their faces right out there,  next to their names every single time,   if they ever feel….well…over-exposed?   I get it that we’re all eventually supposed to have our own 15 minutes of fame.    But am I weird for not wanting my own mug to be displayed on everyone’s computer screen all over the world every single time I post something?   Am I less successful for keeping my face somewhat more private?   Or does privacy really mean anything at all in the Internet era?

My thanks to Quentin Karmark for suggesting today’s words.

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34 comments on “Project Camera Window

  1. I like your wall paper but I feel it leaving dots before my eyes! As to reality shows, I hate them all, and my webcam is thankfully broken so I avoid the waving and bobbing in and out, and up and down, to get my best profile!

  2. I am not sure what I think about privacy anymore. I put my mug on most of my stuff just to be consistent and to let the folks who care easily recognize that it is me. For me the important issue is to have choices and a bit of control over how much we expose to the world. I am moving toward acceptance that privacy will go away eventually. I am not sure if that makes the world safer or more dangerous.

    • I don’t know, Harold. Sometimes, sitting here in my living room, I feel very far removed from all of the things I type about online I kind of feel as though I know YOU…. though I haven’t a clue about exactly where you are typing from.

  3. May I call you njb for short – I too like the wallpaper, though I am wondering if this snow is ever going to settle and cover the new green carpet.

    But, such musing aside, as you see I put my mug right up there next to whatever I write. I do have younger, more flattering photographs of myself, but I value when I talk to other people on the internet being able to see their faces and imagine a real person that I am talking to. Funnily enough, I had no difficulty in imagining a face behind your books, Libdrone, but I am having difficulty at the moment on FB having a conversation with a bear. In time, I suppose I will manage to anthropomorphise the bear to the extent that I see him as you….

    • Frankly, Laura, I find myself feeling glad that I was able to give you such a vividly imaginative gift. (Though I have reverted the bear icon back to my little books icon. most places anyway) I understand all of the reasons and benefits you and other face pic people explain. Yet I remain unpersuaded.

  4. Great metaphor mixing window with privacy. Our social media presence, often demonstrated through our cameras, is a window into our private lives. Good combo!

  5. I agree with you and Harold that privacy is eventually going away. As humanity embraces the next phase of civilization, the social evolution, privacy is the cost we pay to advance, to whatever different degrees of protection anyone would like to still apply to themselves individually. The hazards involved will be no different than when we all deliberate over using the internet to expose ourselves a little bit more to the world.

    • I’m honestly uncertain the degree to which privacy must really go away as our civilization advances. Sometimes I do take actions to add bogus data and false impressions into ‘the machine’ 🙂

  6. People think that having a video conversation will have more impact on things. I agree with this article because at the end of the day, all that matters is that people stay true to their words because talk is talk, camera or no camera!

  7. For the longest time I skated by in my private little world. With cameras stationed everywhere and cell phones recording video, It’s a lot harder to maintain privacy.
    With the retail atmosphere severely weakened the past few years, I’ve come out of the closet so to speak. Giving in to interview requests, face time with camera crews, going public with our charity efforts. I believe putting the face to our brick and mortar has been the key to our survival these lean years. Heck, I’d even consider involvement in a reality show to keep it alive. Everything aside, I sincerely miss the shadows………..

    • Bill, your comment does seem just slightly ironic, in that it is your business name and logo which appears next to your comment. I don’t recall ever seeing a face pic of you now that I think on it.

  8. Privacy has long gone – Facebook now knows more about your friends who are not on Facebook than you know yourself by interpolation. The danger comes when a company like Facebook goes broke and will be willing to sell all of its data to prospective buyers or governments force such companies as Facebook to hand out all of it.

    Basically, the tendency towards uniformity (increasing by the hour) is the biggest danger of all. Soon we will have no choice where to buy books, share our pictures or with which client to send out emails as the number of influential companies will get smaller and smaller. Imagine Apple, Amazon and Facebook teaming up with your internet and phone company? They will know anything about you…

    There really isn’t much you can do against it. Unless you open up your own business … 😉

    • mmmm. I don’t think I agree that Facebook knows as much as you suggest. Facebook only knows what people tell it and it seems to me that many people tell Facebook more about how they wish to be perceived than about how they actually are. I do agree with you that consolidation among high tech behemoths is very bad for consumers. I don’t really see how starting up a new business would have much impact on that.

  9. Privacy, what’s that? Lol, seriously if we’re speaking about privacy over the net then you can forget any rights you believe you have to the wall-paper or image you post online. Cyberworld does what it wants in my view with little to no restrictions or outside authority.

    • I think you’re a bit cynical about the lack of authority over things that happen online. You’re right that it can be a bit wild, wild West at times but there are definitely limits 🙂

  10. Hi Alan, Privacy was for an age long gone. Just take a look at the logo at http://www.soca.gov.uk/ This logo or organizations is mentioned in Revelations. When it was launched a reporter said it was like no other that England have ever made. Privacy is no more! Revelations 9 v 7 Teeth like that of a lion, Crown on heir head, Brest plates like as iron (body Armour) sting in the tail is the trasa gun etc The grid I think is relating to everything you will do will be tracked, IE most banks now link to the super computer France so they know within a few days what activity you are doing via your bank account or credit card. and the hair like women’s hair is Lawyers wicks which is the EU in Strasbourg France. The sound of many horses, is the fan propelled flying car they are now producing for the police force it costs $70,000 per vehicle……. This scripture will soon be fully filled ,,,, Privacy was kissed good by a long time ago..

  11. I’d be curious to see how this show would depict each and every violation of privacy in the microcosm of their “reality”. The truth of the matter is that there are 3000 satellites orbiting the planet at any given time. Do you really believe that privacy exists or that anyone “really” has any rights to it? Big brother has been watching since the end of World War II and the Cold War just augmented that. The only difference is that instead of the United Stated looking at other countries, we are now looking at ourselves. This is what happen when you sleep with the enemy.

    • Yes, there are however many thousands of satellites orbiting the planet. But none of you has any idea what I look like sitting in my living room. I’m not sure how sleeping with the enemy comes into play.

  12. I do think if you are in a profession that requires your face, than you do need to post it, it lends credibility. However, privacy is important. I do not have a camera hooked up to my computer either. I feel the need to keep everyone out of my home. I do feel we often give too much away. I just had some security guys visit my office and show how easy it is to hack into routers, so yes I feel vulnerable.

    • It’s interesting to me Michelle that you are part of the ‘face pic required’ crowd yet are with me on the no web cam thing. Thanks so much for adding your comments.

  13. It depends on your profession. Superheroes seldom reveal their identity. Famous authors often write under pseudonyms and of course intelligence operatives are never who they appear to be. Then there are those that post a picture of themselves that dates back to 1975, long before their male pattern baldness kicked in and their waistline exploded. Think twice, not about privacy, as you are already on the web, but how your personal appearance can impact your brand. There is no doubt that a photo of Jack LaLanne personifies the product line he sells, but there are many of us that are innovative, talented, and driven, that do no include the camera in our circle of friends. Think of the powerful messaging behind the design of a carefully crafted logo, if your a little camera shy. If your smile carries the message of your work the best way possible, then go for it, but remember, no one has ever seen the face of Zorro, but we all know him from a simple”Z”. Happy returns.

  14. Web cam? OFF! Everyone has a different perspective of what their on-line experience or appearance will be. I would rather read GOOD CONTENT than strictly have a view of another face (or worse)

  15. Don’t feel too alone about not having a web cam. I don’t have one either. In today’s society, it appears that privacy is not valued very highly. The plethora of tell all and show all reality shows belie a culture where privacy is not only not valued, but rejected openly. The next wave could very easily be a reaction to this open display, and represent a return to privacy. Such is the nature of human societal cycles.

  16. Well I’m with you with hating reality tv. I really never understood that…genre, I guess, of “entertainment”. Never got through a single episode of Big brother and the million and one spin of niche reality shows just make me either cringe or shake my head when I see references to them.

    Not wanting your face seen though? What’s with that? You from a native tribe somewhere who thinks that your soul is stolen through a photo or something? Your face is made up of atoms, the same atoms that make up the keyboard I’m typing on and everything else around us. I can’t see any “fear” or “distrust” or even “discomfort” of your face being seen as any sort of particularly healthy mindset.

    Mind you neither is it particularly less healthy that the desire FOR it to be seen. Which I know many people have. I certainly don’t share that desire as to me it’d be HORRIBLE being famous, not being able to go anywhere without everyone recognising you..it’d be awful I reckon. But that level of fame is never going to come from having an avatar next to your posts.

    What DOES come from having your face “out there” is you are viewed as more credible and genuine, in this age of zero’s and one’s people tend to trust someone they can associate better as a real person, a real human. And nothing triggers that association automaticaly more strongly that a pic of a face.

    Just watch the newbies on EmpireAvenue….any newbie with a picture that shows them in it gets more investments than those who feature logos or other things as an avatar (or don’t have one). This happens because there’s an immediate higher level of trust that this person is a real person, someone who will interact and prove more likely to be a wise investment.

    I think it comes down to two questions:

    1/ what do you potentially have to lose by showing your face online? what are the risks? (if you can come up with a single tangible one I’ll be impressed)

    2/what do you potentially have to gain by it?

    Personally I think you are putting a lot more of yourself out there every single time you write something than you would be with a face shot. A picture is just a picture…could be anyone…but when you write, well whatever, you are expressing opinons, personal thoughts, by the way you write you are giving hints as to your education level and how you think about the world…much more personal information than a bunch of pixels that don’t really MEAN anything….

    • Congratulations, Ben! You win the Holly Jahangiri prize for Comment Longer Than The Post. I think we agree that writing about personal things, as I generally do on this blog, is ultimately a lot more personal than most face pictures. I suppose I may have forfeited some credibility with some of my readers by my choosing not to post a face picture. And yet I take real comfort at never having photo-shopped myself with green hair in pursuit of web celebrity. My ideas and inner life I will share. My own personal image, I will not.

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