View Sidebar

Post Tagged with: BigBrother

I love (Orwellian) Big Brother!

I love (Orwellian) Big Brother!

First off, let me say that I hate the idea of Big Brother, at least in terms of governments tracking my every movement and data. Mostly because I can’t even trust them to send CDs in the post without it getting lost. I’m totally against any form of ID cards being introduced to the United Kingdom, and won’t be voting for any party that wants to introduce them.

But… for the last two months, I’ve had an Oyster card to get around London – which is basically the electronic version of a traditional paper travelcard. And yes, it does mean that London Transport (a government agency) now has full details of my movements across London in the last two months. Probably the security services too.

But it also means that I can easily see the data on my travel movements via the Oyster website, and I find that accumulation of data oddly fascinating. It could only be better if someone merged it with a Google maps mashup so I could see my travel, and played with some statistics to find my most frequently used journey or something. It also means I get to save money since I no longer have to buy daily travelcards for the convenience of quickly getting in and out of a tube station. To ape Richard Hammond, it’s just brilliant.

And there’s more. (I’m watching too much Top Gear, can’t you tell?)

For the last month, I’ve had a GPS system permanently installed in my car, so my car insurance company knows everywhere I’ve driven to. This should make car insurance cheaper, and have the side benefit of reducing carbon emissions. Now if only the car insurance company would let me see the data that I’ve accumulated, so I can (again) track my movements.

The thing is, I still hate the idea of ID cards. But I’ve lovingly signed up to having my movements tracked electronically. But then I can’t really see the point in ID cards at all. How am I going to benefit from them? And if I’m not going to benefit from them, why should I be forced – or even encouraged – to have one?

Succumbing to Big Brother…

Succumbing to Big Brother…

Ever since I had to spend the summer of 2000 avidly watching and writing about Big Brother 1 (the one with Anna the lesbian nun, Nick the evil Brit and Craig the dumb-but-handsome plumber) for work purposes (oh that glamorous summer), I’ve mostly avoided Big Brother. Especially since it stopped becoming a vaguely interesting look at a cross-section of the British population and became a freak show.

However, this year, interest seems to have really peaked all around me. People keep sneaking into the office with the big TV to watch Big Brother 2006 – because there are two Welsh-language-speaking contestants on it. Although the Welsh gossip network has already informed me that Glyn is actually a nice, quiet and shy boy in real life – then again, I’m not too sure flamboyance would do you much good in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

In a hugely controversial move (well, controversial if you’re in Wales – the rest of the UK couldn’t give a monkeys I’d imagine), Big Brother stopped the two of them from speaking in Welsh (their natural language) to each other.

So there was I, quietly shaking my head at people trooping in and out of the big TV-office just because there happened to be two Welshlanguage-speakers on Big Brother. While secretly hating Lea – a former 22-stone woman who’s had multiple plastic surgery, apparently has the biggest boobs in the UK and says she hates fat people.

Then I get home for the weekend, where my sisters gleefully inform me that, of all things, a British-Chinese woman is a Big Brother contestant.

Bloody hell. Now this is progress. I’ve got no idea what she’s like – whether she’s a future Jane Goodey or a future Anna, but by Jove I’ll have to follow her progress, and probably vote for her to stay each time. If I ever find the time. 14 days till I have to move all my worldly belongings into a storage room and a front room!

%d bloggers like this: