Surveillance and Taste

This weeks readings immediately reminded me of a new television show, “Wisdom of the Crowd”. This show draws on the ideals of surveillance, but uses them ultimately for the greater good. The premise of the show is that a father creates a crowdsourcing website to gather information regarding crimes in his city. Originally, he created the site to help get leads on his daughters murderer, but the program becomes the center of a new task for associated with the police. This kind of television program is the exact opposite of most 1984 related shows, that represent our impending future completely controlled by the government. Television programs and books that discuss this dystopian future are often very successful. However, “Wisdom of the Crowd,” a show meant to show the positives of surveillance, was actually cancelled after less than a year in production.

So what does this say about our society? I think it actually has a lot to do with taste. In general, we oddly seem to be attracted to television programs that are centered around crime or violence, unless they fall under the reality television category where the themes are much different. That being said, I think a show like “Wisdom of the Crowd” was not well accepted because we are not used to the idea of surveillance being used for the greater good, and ultimately the audience was bored by the idea. Either we need constant entertainment and comical drama from surveillance shows like “Big Brother,” or a more depressing outlook with films like “Minority Report”.

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