Monday, June 10, 2013

Paul Krugman on two different kinds of "surveillance states"

"There was a really good article written five years ago by Jack Balkin at the Yale Law School. He said that technology means that we’re going to be living in a surveillance state. That’s just gonna happen. But there are different kinds of surveillance states. You can have a democratic surveillance state which collects as little data as possible and tells you as much as possible about what it’s doing. Or you can have an authoritarian surveillance state which collects as much as possible and tells the public as little as possible. And we are kind of on the authoritarian side."

(Here's the video.)


rcommal said...

FWIW, John, I have a real problem with the dichotomy proposed--and not just a real problem, but also a serious one. Krugman posits not just the terms "democratic" and "authoritarian" in very careless, unthinking ways, but also betrays a deep, deep tendency toward a thinking that disavows any shared meaning of words that existed prior to 10-15 years ago (and, IMO, in some respects and areas that's stretching it). I hate to say it--and more that I had to learn it!!!!--but, truly, Krugman is pretty much a bad scholar, soldier and man (and forget about the notion of fair thinker). I'm hard put to remember when I last said--if ever I did say--something like this about an individual. Still, here it is.