surveillance, collapse & opportunity

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

1984 Revisited@avivakillian

“What is the aim of mass surveillance? One may suppose it is to stop terrible acts before they happen – as a means to watch over and protect the lives of innocent civilians. Another may suppose it is to establish a dictatorship that suppresses freedom of thought and seeks to solidify existing power structures. Its pretty obvious which of the two Orwell envisaged:

And its true, if you want to keep a secret these days you can’t even share it with yourself. Whether its a nude, details of an extra marital affair or even something as bland as your search history, it seems everything is on the table for whoever wants it in the age of hacktivism, mass surveillance and data broking.”

Image via

Image via

We spent two weeks wearing employee trackers@FastCoExist

‘What can this data be used for besides squeezing more work out of its users? There are few use cases outside of fixing the bottom line. If we had a specific business goal, perhaps the data could have been used to make changes to achieve that, but the information didn’t do much to improve individual workers’ understanding of their jobs.

Their thoughts might best be captured by a stray thought of Clendaniel’s as we paged through Humanyze’s analysis: “There are few use cases for personal improvement here, and many more for productivity and efficiency.” He wasn’t being particularly positive.’

“Massive inequality is incompatible with robust democracy”Robert Reich

“An economy depends fundamentally on public morality; some shared standards about what sorts of activities are impermissible because they so fundamentally violate trust that they threaten to undermine the social fabric.

It is ironic that at a time the Republican presidential candidates and state legislators are furiously focusing on private morality – what people do in their bedrooms, contraception, abortion, gay marriage – we are experiencing a far more significant crisis in public morality.”

Why we cannot learn a damn thing from Semco, or Toyota@NielsPflaeging

“What I mean is this: When talking about organizational leadership, even the best example just doesn’t help! At least not as long as one, almost magic ingredient for change, or transformation, is missing. And that magic ingredient is our image of human nature, the way we think about people around us, and what drives them. Not just the trust we place in other people is key, but whether we trust them to be self-motivated, driven by the need for self-fulfillment, and capable of self-organizing within boundaries and team settings.”

As Systems Collapse, Citizens Rise@Otto Scharmer

“To summarize, the refugee crisis is a microcosm of the future that we all face over the next 10-20 years. The social grammar of that crisis looks like this:

• As rules and regulations (that always reflect the past) are increasingly out of sync with the actual reality on the ground, we see

• Systems starting to fail, break down and collapse, which leads to…

• People, journalists/media rising to the occasion or not–and accordingly…

• The logic of collective action arising from either the past (muddling through or regression) or from the present moment (co-sensing by tuning into what the emerging future calls us to do).

If the latter happens, we begin to see that the crisis and breakdown of our larger systems are actually a phenomenal opportunity to renew and update our old bodies of rules and regulations to be more fluid and in sync with the actual situation on the ground.

If the former happens we will see an enormous magnification of human suffering and amplification of the system breakdowns on an unprecedented level of global scale.”



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