Sunday, July 3, 2011

Changing Times: Video Vigilantes see through Mob Anonymity

...Nathan Kotylak... When his beloved Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup ice hockey championship on June 15, Nathan...joined a gang of rioters in downtown Vancouver, who did what rioters everywhere always do: break shop windows, burn cars, and fight the power. Police managed to arrest a few of the worst (or slowest) offenders on the spot, but rioters have always been able to take advantage of the anonymity afforded by the mob.

Until now.

The upstanding citizenry of Vancouver, shocked and embarrassed that their city had become synonymous with hooliganism (which is not a Canadian virtue), called for something to be done about this outbreak of anarchy.

Within a few hours, one of those citizens had set up a blog, the Vancouver 2011 Riot Criminal List, where they solicited all of the imagery captured during the riots - photographs from newspaper reporters, video footage from television helicopters, even images snapped on mobiles, uploaded to the web.

Vancouverites set to work, digging up an enormous wealth of material...

We're coming into the 'Era of Omniscience'. Anything that depends on limited knowledge - or, as the strategists term it, 'informational asymmetry' - has begun to fall apart. Whether you're a rioter or a vigilante, a cop or a criminal, a resident or an alien... (more) (sing-a-long)