Saturday, July 07, 2007

Distributed realtime Sicko

In Sicko Moore says he put a note requesting stories of encounters with US healthcare, and received over 25,000 stories within a week.

My name is Eugenio Tisselli, and I am the developer behind (, a project in which specific urban collectives broadcast their daily experiences from mobile phones directly to the web. These collectives have included so far people on wheelchairs in Barcelona mapping the architecural barriers in the city, and motorcycle messengers (motoboys) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, among others.

From my point of view, small collectives engaged in communicative processes which are mediated by digital technology seek not only to represent themselves as a social entity, but also to make visible the invisible: the day to day issues that they encounter in their cities, which are particular to them and many times constitute problems or specific issues that affect their urban life. This process of visibilization is intended to have an effect not only on the general public, but also on the local government.
IDC list


not news at 11

For all our alleged "communities" -- orkuts, mySpaceyfacebeaks, freundsters, flackrs -- this seems not yet covered: What if everyone facing a health crisis, an overcrowded ER, a Kaiser cab ride to the Permanente Dumpster, were equipped with a cell and a site to break some news of the USian inhuman condition in real time?

What if people were making their healthcare events visible right now? On a public server. It could be called 911.

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Anonymous ahfukit said...

Oy oy oy. It really *is* inevitable that someday - soon? - the world will be 100% video transparent, and no less inscrutable? That 100% video world - everybody and everything pointing cameras at every body/thing else - is a personal nightmare. Seems like a horrible substitute for personal integrity (of healthcare professionals, for instance.) Madness, actually.

A friend once quoted to me someone from the early days of film (not sure if a filmmaker or philosopher/critic) something to the effect that film would be a massive cultural anxiety-producer. Pretty close, maybe, pretty close.

7/07/2007 10:18 AM  
Anonymous tom said...

well yes, at that point of "transparency," everything will be equally opaque. But then is not now. Tisselli's idea defamiliarizes, tears the package off the "story," removes the layers of corporate media sedation. Sure, it's a temporary possibility, open now, closing later.

7/07/2007 10:26 AM  
Anonymous ahfukit said...

Truth be told, my first response was "That's a good idea. Probably effective."

Then came the agita. ;-)

7/07/2007 10:46 AM  
Anonymous tom said...

That's the standard trajectory of most of my ideas ;)

7/07/2007 11:03 AM  
Blogger Juke said...

Ah well yes the all-camera all-seeing eye, where have we had that metaphoric rub before, the pseudo-divine semi-omniscient built up from sticks and stones and conforming to the cycle of planet and star then say but isn't this simulcast with the global runningoutofairwaterwoodandfuel thing? Fishandbears as well?
I can certifically guarantee many working minds will move easily from scarcity thoughts extrapolated to cold reduction of consumers as a way and means of reducing consumption and the heat of its consequence.
First. Before the alterate-my-lifestyle dance.
We will now, having fired up the machine, extrapolate toward a world from which death's cruel ravening has been banished at last after being with a great deal of smug and undiscussable certainty of righteousness vanquished to the margins of erstwhile society, being regulated passively tacitly down toward the undesirables long enough to...
Well there it is again.
We aren't superior because we're wealthy, we're wealthy because we're superior. Thus we already have adequate health care. Because we're deserving, not because we're grasping little conscienceless assholes suffused with pride and self-gratification and steeped in moral autism. Deserving. Face it. Deserving.
Thus we don't have a problem with that. You do, but then you're...well yes, c'mon now, it's obvious - inferior. Not in your own little sub-human context, but out here where the rubber of the past meets the road of the future.
So of course you're clamoring for help and healthcare and a guaranteed annual income and all that other touchie-feelie claptrap, and of course these demagogues rise up and ride to glory(and great wealth!) on the crests of your dim and outrage, and just as inevitably your inferiority makes it unlikely to impossible you'll ever get these things on your own.
Whereas we...
Well anyway. Global warming isn't going to be stopped by free hospitals, or even reasonably-priced ones. Yes, it's true the men who run them are vampires of a particularly unglamorous and disgusting sort, so what? Evolution produces vampires as well as angels. So what?
You don't mind the prison system being run by inhuman sadistic demons, you don't care that the "punishments" delivered therein are crimes of a more evil nature than what got their victims sentenced to begin with.
Because hardly anyone if anyone you know's in prison.
And in the end we don't need more people, now do we?
We need fewer less not nearly so many.
Also everything's falling apart.
Also Moore's agent is Rahm Emmanuel's brother.
Also Fahrenheit 911 never even mentioned the cabalistic nature of the drive toward war in Iraq. Placing the cathartic onus on Cheney and Bush like what's-his-face and what's-his-face waiting for a less poetically-inspired Godot.
Also Moore is living the pimp-life while dressing like an unemployed lumberjack's kid brother.
Health care as a business is a form of disease, yes, yes, yes!
But disease is not always evil. Death is not always evil.
Death is how evolution got us here.
This is a complicated thing, what we call human life at what we call the present time, and its multiple dilemmae will not vanish like magic to impractical altruistic spells and incantations that presume to proceed from a human nature that exists only in the minds of losers and the handicapped or their caregivers.
What is the issue, really?
Is suffering the issue? Unnecessary suffering caused by unchecked selfishness and myopic solipsistic half-logic?
And where will we find the most profound suffering?
Ahead, me boyos, not here - up there, in the days to come.

7/07/2007 5:12 PM  
Anonymous tom said...

One thing Moore does - and it's something that might bother some who are sympathetic to his theme - is wrench sick and homeless people out of their lives, put them on boats and drag them to Guantanamo, then to Havana, to create some baroque didactic allegory. We are assured the people benefited in the end, but there's a sort of demiurgic ferocity to the way as Sicko makes its case he insists on embellishing its core with a kind of metaphysical conceit.

I suspect if you see the film you might see that it is very much about USia as the nation of the loser. But the vision of human nature as something other than a unit of capital that emerges does so implicitly, offstage, via forced marches through Canada, London, Paris and Havana. What begins to rise up are the crude outlines of the foundation of a kind of society that's nearly unimaginable - unspeakable - on USian soil.

7/07/2007 10:09 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

ahfukit said...
Truth be told, my first response was "That's a good idea. Probably effective."

Then came the agita. ;-)

7/07/2007 10:46 AM
tom said...
That's the standard trajectory of most of my ideas ;)

I often feel that my standard trajectory is the opposite ... but I have been well and truly agitated for more than 15 years now.

Mostly I feel sad ... sad that money and power have replaced people and societies' well-being as the driving forces in North America.

7/08/2007 5:17 PM  
Anonymous ahfukit said...

Hey, Jon, again I'm hearing some Herzog resonances, he often says things like "...when you meet him you immediately see this agitation of mind, everything around is aflame."

There he was speaking of a "comrade in arms", filmmaker Errol Morris, but he's also said it of the "Grizzly Man" subject of his recent feature, among others.

Morris is such an odd duck, when he accepted his Best Doc Oscar for the McNamara film, "The Fog of War", he said

"This thing is heavy. I'd like to thank the Academy for finally recognizing my films. Thank you so very, very, very much! I thought it would never happen..."

smiling agitatedly. One of the few natural laughs I've had watching that show.

"Morris's interviewing technique is unorthodox. He sits out of sight of the subject, in a curtained booth with a camera and a monitor, while the subject stands ten yards away, facing a customized device that Morris calls an 'interrotron.' Basically, the interrotron is a camera with a special screen that displays the live, disembodied image of Morris as he shouts out questions, makes funny faces, and orders his subjects to repeat things."

Anyway, far afield, but maybe you and Werner will take a walk... or swim... some day. Or you'll be interviewed via interrotron. You could have worse comrades, me thinks... ;-)

7/09/2007 5:40 PM  
Anonymous tom said...

juke: from same Tisselli email -

So, for me, the central question is not necessary surveillance (although it is also important) but independence. I think that communities engaged in digital communicative practices should reclaim and protect their independence from local governments. Keeping the discussion out of "The House" is the only way that demands and compromises can hold some credibility.

7/09/2007 8:49 PM  

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