Saturday, May 2, 2015

Crime: "Everyone Behaves Better" When They Think They're Being Watched

It's a sad day for personal freedoms when it takes cameras to keep officers of the law from overstepping their duties of "protect and serve" and instead taking a page from Jim West's book, "shoot first, shoot later, shoot some more and then when everybody's dead, try to ask a question," (Wild Wild West, 1999), as officers did in two separate incidents in Illinois and South Carolina early last month.

Are we approaching a day foretold in science-fiction, where everybody has a camera ("Archangel Protocol," Lydia Morehouse, 2001) or it takes the extinction of privacy for people to behave like decent human beings ("The Light of Other Days," Arthur C Clarke and Stephen Baxter, 2000)?

"Body-worn cameras hold tremendous promise for...promoting accountability," said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. We can only hope it takes so much longer for everybody to just "get over it," and devolve back into their routines of behaving like nobody's watching, as happens in the end of The Light of Other Days.

The only sincerity of action and behavior is when you behave like somebody is watching when nobody is, where your actions in public and private are nigh identical. That is an ideal every individual should be striving to attain.

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