I rented We Live In Public from iTunes last night. It wasn’t the best documentary that I’ve ever seen, but it might be the one that everyone should see.
The early part was almost a history lesson on the early internet; to start a website with streaming video in the early 1990s is just mind-blowing. It makes you wonder what is small right now that will be huge in the next few years.
I thought the movie would be more of a cautionary tale against having technology invade our lives too much, but what it says is that you can be cautious all you want, but it’s coming anyway.
Both experiments obviously had an effect—and a large one at that—on their subjects. Big Brother was mentioned a few times and how the collective watching and comments could really wear one down. The thing that makes me wonder though is that if this is what is to become of everybody, then there are no anonymous users hiding behind a computer and making comments on your every move because I should be able to do the same thing right back.
With the Quiet experiment there were obviously manipulative people at work messing with people. Same goes for the wired apartment, though it was more of a group effort to manipulate the two. But when everyone is placed on an equal playing field will people really be able to manipulate another person when they are being manipulated themselves?
If you eliminate the manipulation of the underground experiment, would it have turned out differently? If people weren’t being interrogated, but were still free to do what they wanted to, would people have been happier? That’s the direction I see real life heading closer towards.
There are some incredibly fascinating things to ponder—his comment about telling people two hundred years ago that people today could sit and watch a “box of fire” we call a TV for eight hours a day it would’ve been beyond comprehension to say the least. But what does that mean for the future when things in today’s world increase exponentially?