So might we all, in some not-so-distant future, have our own “robots.txt” – a signal that we can instrument at will, one which is constantly on, a beacon which others can pick up and understand? Such an idea seem to me not at all far fetched. We already all carry the computing power and bandwidth on our person to effect such a signal. All we need is a reason for it to come online. Glass, or something like it, may well become that reason.
"Katniss is a totem not because she takes direct action against the Capitol – what form would that take, in these conditions? – but because her place in the media allows her to function as a means of connecting otherwise atomised populations.
Her role is symbolic, but – since the capture system is itself symbolic in the first instance – this is what makes her such a catalyst. The girl on fire … and fire spreads fire … Her arrows must ultimately be aimed at the reality system, not at human individuals, all of whom are replaceable.”
When we ask “who owns information?”, we should think about in terms of both negative (“I reserve the right to withhold my information”) and positive (I reserve the right to use my information as I choose.”)
Unfortunately, much of the way we talk about our interests in our personal data relies on anachronous analogies to the physical world. We instinctively say, “I should own my data.” But “ownership” over data suggests that we prevent others from it—and that doesn’t align with the realities of how easily data is copied and transferred. We’re using apps and sensors to create the data, and sending it off to cloud servers run by firms with legal claim over the large-scale datasets they are helping co-create…