Friday, February 15, 2008

Dystopian Red-Light Cameras at Bay

marjorie says...

I'm glad to see that the legislature re-directed the money collected from the red-light cameras away from operating the program. Many of my friends and colleagues have bemoaned the hoopla over the cameras, making the point that there are many more important things for the population to be up in arms over...such as: health care, child-poverty, corrupt politicians, etc. Not to mention, our privacy was shot all to hell a long time ago and is getting even more compromised by the minute. I can see their point. At the same time, I'm glad to see what appears to be an overwhelming distaste among our population for what feels like an invasion of our privacy.

The division on whether or not these cameras are good points to a classic ideological divide: those who think government is an embodiment of good and inherently trustworthy. These are the rule of law folks who think anyone who ends up in jail must belong there. And then there are those who think government and laws, like any system, is flawed and easily corruptible. As such, individuals easily and almost randomly can get the short end of the stick. The first group has less of an issue with privacy I think. Those in the latter think privacy is paramount, and are glad to see the cameras near gone. We don't like big brother watching us, and even though we know cameras are literally everywhere these days an official government program doing it really disturbs us. If we are indeed on an inexorable march toward a dystopian future, let's slow it down as much as possible.