Tomasz Kaye, Pt. 3: Omniveillance | Who Shaves the Barber? #20

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The last 250 years have created an explosion in technological progress that has fundamentally changed human society. Can we expect the rate of technological improvement to accelerate even further? If so, how might those developments transform humanity? Might some of the changes be so fundamental as to render our ideas about social and political ethics moot?

After some musings on possible transhumanist developments, Tomasz and I zero in on one in particular: omniveillance. Omniveillance refers to a society in which everything is recorded and everyone has the ability to check what anyone else is doing. This would be the end of privacy as we know it. As scary as this outcome sounds, Tomasz explains the reasons we can expect it to happen even if no one wants it. We also discuss reasons it may not be as horrible as it initially sounds. We conclude with some thoughts on how the omniveillent society might exercise horizontal social control, in potentially good and bad ways.



Next week: Why (I) Do Philosophy
Special thanks to Jackie Blum for the podcast art, and The Tin Box for the theme music.

Topics discussed

0:40 – Implications of transhumanism on political philosophy
7:35 – Introduction to omniveillance
12:45 – How omniveillance will happen (assassination markets and collective action problems)
19:47 – Horizontal social control: good or bad?
23:32 – Could privacy survive?
26:26 – Deviance
27:07 – Reaction to omniveillance as inkblot test
31:45 – The end of individuality?


Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future” by Tim Urban
Mutually Assured Snooping” by Tomasz Kaye
The Transparent Society by David Brin

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