Ever been to Iceland? The Icelandic government spend a hideous amount of money on fireworks every year. But the road out of Keflavik is still a dirt track. These are the people who’re going to fund your new digital infrastructure? They can’t build fucking roads. Our authorities are sometimes at their most benign when they’re at their most incompetent.
As I was writing this, Laurie was sending through reports and photos of kids being beaten by police on the streets of London via her ghost box. Because Western societies don’t, yet, switch off the internet and the mobile phone network when they want to beat the shit out of their populace. And I often think that it’s not that they don’t want to, so much as they are old and slow and haven’t quite figured out the way the world works yet. Ten years ago in Britain, there was a great outcry when speed cameras became ubiquitous on our roads. Lots of talk of 1984, Big Brother. But the anger kind of died away when it was later found that, not only were the cameras not digital, but that most of them didn’t have any film in. The county of Norfolk had no film in any of its speed cameras for the whole of 2001.
And that might be the best case scenario.