Nothing: Surveillance and Singer Essay

Submitted By dp464411
Words: 1721
Pages: 7

Danielle Porter
ENG 151
Instructor Collins
February 6, 2011 When I was a junior in high school, I experienced something that happens regularly everyday. My wallet was taken out of my purse at a birthday party without me even noticing until the next couple of days. But instead of someone just taking money, gift cards, etc., they also used my ID to steal items from shopping malls. I did not even realize all of this was going on until my mother received a phone call from the police. They were explaining to her that I have been stealing, and had a warrant out for my arrest. My mom knew this did not sound like something I would do, so she insisted some proof and wanted to know more information. After she called me explaining the situation, we went to the police states to watch the surveillance tapes. Obviously, I was not the person in the tapes. It was a girl who was short, and had none of my facial features. My signature was forged, and my ID was used at eleven different stores. After reading “Visible Man”, my experience was replaying in the back of my head, and it had me thinking deeply about our privacy issues today. Peter Singer’s essay talks about the nations privacy issues, and how our world has evolved with this tremendously from centuries ago. With my personal experience in mind, and my thoughts from reading Singer’s essay, there were statements that were clear and uncertain to me; he loses the respect of readers from isolating his essay, his use of other personal experiences for explaining the right reasons for less privacy, and fails to give his ideas about the topic until the end of the essay. “Visible Man” by Peter Singer, gives great detail about how the technology world is decreasing our privacy more and more each day. Throughout his essay, he uses a metaphor by explaining the similarities of today’s society, and of an idea by a philosopher Jeremy Benthan. His idea was a building called a panopticon, which is “A circular building with cells along the outer walls and, at the center, a watch tower or “inspectors lodge” from which all the cells could be seen but no one would know, at any given moment…” (Singer 31). Singer then tries to provide information that shows how WikiLeaks could be a useful tool in the nation’s government. Peter justifies how American could be the cause of our privacy diminishing, and it is pushing the government to obtain more information and surveillance. He also explains that citizen surveillance could be a great advantage for solving crimes, and assisting the enforcement officers. He often argues if less privacy is better, and uses Assange’s belief to support his ideas. Assange, who is the creator of WikiLeaks, believes that “decision-making leads to better outcomes when based on the truth than when based on lies and ignorance.” (Singer 36). Singer then finally chooses a side, which is less privacy would be better for our nation, and our government. The thesis for this paper states how he loses respect from a group in our society by only directing his essay to certain kinds of people. This essay wasn’t written for the younger group in America. The essay was shown in Harpers Magazine, and this magazine is suited for people who have interests in politics. Peter didn’t write the essay impossible to understand, but it is more intended for people who have similar interests as he does. Some of the examples he used were not explained well enough, and that is where people could get confused on the point he is trying to get across. Like the statement he wrote about Hillary Clinton, which states how she said “WikiLeaks revelations tear at the fabric of the proper functions of responsible government.” (Singer 34). To people who can relate with politics, and people in the government, this sentence is more understood. But to people who do not follow along with the politicians, and also the government, would not be able to understand this as well. Another example of this is when Singer used…