swiveled

a constitutional and human rights blog

About

Swiveled is a blog covering constitutional and human rights issues in the 21st century.

According to dictionary.com, to swivel is to “turn in a full circle.”

When I think of this definition I think of the increasing ability of governments and corporations to watch our every move.

Just as an owl can swivel its head nearly 360 degrees (270 degrees, to be exact) in order to scan its environs for prey, governments and corporations seek the all-seeing eye as they attempt to monitor as much of our behavior as possible.

The name Swiveled also references Jeremy Bentham’s idea of the Panopticon. According to wikipedia.org a Panopticon prison has a circular custodial tower with a 360-degree view of prison cells surrounding it. Prison guards in the tower are able to see every prisoner but prisoners are not able to see the guards, and thus do not know when they are being watched. Prisoners modify their behavior accordingly and act as though they are being watched without knowing if this is actually the case. Wikipedia notes that Michel Foucault believed the Panopticon was a “metaphor for modern ‘disciplinary’ societies and their pervasive inclination to observe and normalise.”

This blog is an attempt to make visible the ability of governments and corporations to swivel, or their increasing ability to take a 360-degree view of the populous.

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