Douwe Osinga's Blog: Bentham's Panopticon is here

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Bentham proposed a panopticon, a building where everybody was visible for some centrally positioned person. In many ways, the panopticon is here and it is called Google. Everything I type on my blog is instantenously (well, it takes a day or so for Google to visit) visible to every Internet user.

I know, this is only in as far as I decide to put things on the Internet, but it is still very powerfull. Discovering something on the Internet has become totally different from discovering something in the real world. There are no real discoveries, everything is already there and indexed daily. There are no distant lands where it takes a lot of effort to get there. This makes the net a rather un-poetic place. No fantasies about what could be, because it is clear to everybody what is.

We're all naked under the eye of Google.