02 | Alex Lightman: “Surveillance Tsunami” Surveillance, Stress, Well-Being, and Social Ranking


So, this is day two of my YouTube channel. It’s December sixth and behind me I have a police boat cruising around, watching
me wherever I go. So I think that we are in the
“Surveillance Tsunami.” I wrote an article with that title almost 20 years ago and I
had no idea that we would be watched online by all of our apps, we would be watched by
so many cameras and we’d be watching with 38 different government databases
just for our medical data alone. Half of these have our names and addresses and
half of it just have various statistical information. So I find it amusing I just walk up and
there’s a police boat cruising around. What’s the, what happens when we’re
under surveillance all the time? Well, one thing that happens is that we experience
stress and the average cost for somebody in Cuba for medicine is $200 a year. The
average cost for someone in the United States is $13,000 per person per year.
And so many medical conditions come from stress, particularly things related
to lower back pain, neck pain, stomach pain, autoimmune disorders and
all kinds of diseases that surface because we have this constant flood of
cortisol going in. And cortisol gives us bursts of energy in the beginning by
dissolving things there’s all these cells in our body and so I don’t think
that we actually want to create a society that keeps people more and more
under stress in China they’re experimenting with their social credit
system that’s giving people a sport I actually made a post about this on
Facebook with somebody who had a very high score but was still hiding her face
because she didn’t want to be known for having a high score because she might
put it at risk but what happens is if you buy too many video games if you make
a negative political post if you go to the wrong place we associate with the
wrong people then it can mean that you suddenly have a drop in your score and
you get slower internet you can’t take high-speed trains you can’t book hotels
above the three-star Hotel you will have a loss of job things so more and more
surveillance creates data sets and eventually those data sets are used and
those data sets are used mostly in ways that you probably don’t know or don’t
to use so I would say to the extent that you can opt out and you can make
yourself capable of being free of being judged being reported and being under
stress you’ll have a happier life overall thank you

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