Friday, 4 September 2015

downspout or rear window

Though as the term to eavesdrop has evolved a great day from the notion of a busy-body positioning himself or herself at an advantageous audio-locus (the point just under the eaves of the roof where rain water drops down) by a neighbour’s house in order to overhear happenings inside, to casually listening to the conversation listening to a private conversation to outright espionage, I think that the mentality of the eavesdropper has remained fairly constant, insofar as they want the fragmentary, a little mystery to reconstruct that leaves other explanations out there even though the listen may assert his or her own conclusions. Surveillance that leaves little to the imagination—though thinking one can be implausibly wrong is interesting too—that assumes the mantle of ubiquity is not eavesdropping, and neither is it pleasant or the least bit stimulating to find oneself in a public place that’s been pressed in private service and one’s privy to an unguardedly intimate or strained discussion. I wonder though, if by introducing the element of time and prediction for future behavior and past links, one preserves the allure of the furtive, or whether reputation and risk becomes just something actuarial and algorithmic.  What do you think?