Monday, 1 August 2016

achievement unlocked or gotta catch ‘em all

As an unapologetic flaneur, although sometimes I wish I had a dog on a lead as an alibi, I’ve never needed an excuse to go for a long walk and explore. Now, however, I fear removing my phone from my bag whilst out in public for fear I might be taking as hunting virtual pocket-monsters superimposed on reality. Perhaps this is the first evidence that our Universe is the product of a vast computer simulation I’ve heard mention of.
And while it is admirable to promote physical activity after a fashion, I don’t believe that there’s educational value or enduring health in the craze—like how Candy Crush was created to teach economists the concept of “sunken-costs” or how Solitaire was bundled with operating systems to teach people dexterity with mice. Mostly this exercise is a boon for Big Data to gather more and more reconnaissance and farm out the collection of demographics and map-making to willing-players by moving pedestrians out of the mobile-phone lane on the sidewalks and scattering them all over on scavenger-hunt for cartographic corrections and inclusion of those entities and preferences not already accounted for elsewhere, globally, and without deploying fleets of camera mounted cars. I wonder how long we can restraint ourselves from employing comparable methods for policing parking-violators, people on parole, suspected terrorists and others guilty of though-crime, already identified by self-incrimination. How long before we can curate reality and superimpose or erase more pleasant things in our idiosyncratic environments?  What do you think? We already leave our footfalls in indelible wet cement, and I don’t think we want to have a whole entourage accompanying us.