Video cameras, Day 2
Monday, August 20, 2007 by Dave Winer.
Elaborating on yesterday's post about video cameras...
I think it's silly for a group of people in a garage in Palo Alto to think somehow there's something significant about them standing in the garage on a Sunday morning listening to a talk about the history of the place. It's a nice place to be if everyone is acting like a normal person, not like a TV star. But with three video cameras running, one a big professional rig (it seems to me) people are exaggerating what they say. As I talk, I wonder which soundbite is going to appear on the blog everyone points to tomorrow. My mind moves away from the garage, out into the future, and I want to get the fuck out of there as fast as I can.
I'm at a cocktail party, but I've been drinking water because I'm being taped in every conversation I have. One guy is even live-broadcasting to god knows who. I feel like a presidential candidate. What if I say something which, taken out of context, sounds like I have a belief that's politically incorrect. Think that's crazy? In 2003 if you said the war in Iraq wasn't patriotic, and that Bush wasn't a visionary, people looked at you like you're strange. I don't have to imagine living in a totalitarian state, we've been there, maybe we're still there. But I really would like to be at a party with friends and have a chance to relax and enjoy myself without having to worry whether what I say there makes sense when viewed in a completely different context by people who weren't there.
All this is a roundabout way of saying that with so much seriousness, having to be so careful so much of the time, maybe people can understand why in the future we may think the greatest luxury is to be so far away from video cameras that our words won't be recorded, so we can just be dorky shlubby nobodies whose words would seem foolish if the wrong people were listening, even if just for a short while.