Surveillance Infrastructure Novel


As weird as it sounds, that’s what “The Watchers” is, but it is also written by Shane Harris who has something of an academic/journalistic background, which the subtitle “The rise of the American surveillance state” clarifies.

The concept developed, the surveillance state, is not really developed for use in theory, but it does seem to have applications for the general public as a (new) way to think about these issues (that Foucault cued us to long ago). Likewise, the book is written in a novelistic style even though it is based largely (if not entirely) on first-hand accounts from people Harris has interviewed. Makes for an interesting discussion: is it worth using the novel format to learn empirical truths about the state, or does the style/format reduce the “weight” of the argument?

I don’t know, but the more our ideas here get in congress with dmfant’s, I wonder if “more useful” is not always better provided “still true” is the baseline.

3 thoughts on “Surveillance Infrastructure Novel

  1. I fully agree with the point about on-line “entertainment-activism” … those likes on facebook end up in a god damn void, people!


  2. how about true to our purposes/interests/circumstances, if we want to accomplish things (especially off the page) we need to have some grasp on the affordances and resistances at hand I think?
    One of my concerns about engaging these interests via film/novels/online-gossip/commenting is that they may actually serve (in a vicarious/cathartic sort of way) to relieve some of the very environmental tensions that might otherwise spur one to action.


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