Alex is a senior researcher at the University of Surrey, where he works on real world information infrastructures based on the Internet of Things. He is technical manager of the SENSEI project, a large-scale European project that focuses on the...
Entry Nr 1: Panopticon as a metaphor of the Internet of Things - Contest: Sally Applin
Sally Applin: "I would argue the point that rather than being only a Panopticon, the IoT is more likely to be a combination--if permitted to exist--between various perceptions. (This gets back to PolySocial Reality and perception, but I won't digress too much for the purposes of this discussion.) Some will see it as a Panopticon, due to the various reasons that have been suggested, but others may see it as Holoptism, where "everything is visible to all."
At the moment, my money is on "Anoptism," the invisible architecture "that we cannot see, but nevertheless influences and determines our behavioral choices." I would expand Anoptism to be the movement and behavior of humans in the system that is not part of the IoT. Because not everything will always be a part of it at all times. (See human fallibility below)
Even in a perceived Panopticon, what individuals choose to do or say, or not do and not say can shape outcome.
We're makers. Even in the most dystopic, wired, observed future, humans are going to figure out ways to thwart, immobilize, change and get around any rigid obstacles imposed upon them against their free will.
Furthermore, since humans are designing the systems that would hypothetically be this Panopticon, there are bound to be flaws, errors, shutdowns, breakages, outages, backdoors and all else possible, because we are fallible and we've thrown redundant system design out the window due to cost cutting, ego and all else.
So, my money is on the humans in this story. The makers, the hackers, the invisible forces that drive us to make and shape the world that we want to live in, not the one that the panoptic forces want to impose upon us."