This week it was very interesting to me to see how the concept of the “god trick” began. As mankind has progressed and as technology has advanced, this concept of always being watched is relatively new. As we saw from the examples, some of the earliest aerial photos are from the 1860s by artist like Nadar and James Wallace Black. Before that, the concept of seeing the earth from above was left to the imagination and the birds.
Over the years as the technology has continued to improve upon itself, it has been interesting to see peoples reactions to the constantly rising levels of supervision. I remember when i was younger and the internet was finally becoming mainstream, when it was finally available to any household. The issues of privacy were brought up and heavily debated. People thought nothing in their lives would be private anymore. Now, years later, people display much of their lives freely for all the world to see on the plethora of social media sites we all belong to. As technologies grow and change, new things will always scare the masses. However, give them time and they will move on to the next issue, forgetting all about what they were worried about before.
It has also been interesting to see this concept of the “god trick” displayed in our art, in particular in movies. Just a couple that i can think of off the top of my head are Sauron’s all seeing eye from The Lord of the Rings, and the film Eagle Eye, which was all about the state watching every move we make. Here are a few clips to stimulate your senses:
Some common themes from these two clips are phrases such as, “you can’t hide,” “we are always watching,” and “i can see you.” And these are just two films that use this concept as a main theme for their stories. You don’t have to look far to see this concept in many other areas of our society. The all seeing eye of Horus is on the back of our one dollar bill, the symbol of the Illuminati is the all seeing eye, and the eye is used in many video games and brand names. It is everywhere if you just take the time to look for it. Which is actually kind of ironic when you think about it. This “god trick” has so thoroughly permeated our society, that most of us don”t even notice anymore. We are used to the lack of privacy, and we want other people to know are business, which is why we post it online for millions to see.
The question i would pose is this, will this open exchange of personal and private information hurt us in the long run? That remains to be seen.
~ Jonathan Yergler