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The Other Side of Everything

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Written on November 12, 2004, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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I upgraded my phone from a Sony Ericsson T610 to a K700i which takes much better pictures and makes video. I like the pictures, but they are mostly a bit too big to post unedited. My main reservation is that the annoying, exaggerated, synthesised camera sound cannot be disabled.

I browsed forums to find out why this is. Apparently some appalling people somewhere have decided that you’ll be likely to infringe people’s privacy if this sound is not present to warn them that THEY MAY BE BEING PHOTOGRAPHED.

It’s a triumph of prurience over choice, and it makes no sense at all. If you want to take pictures of people without their consent, there is a host of unobtrusive digital cameras available which are completely silent, most of them cheaper than this phone. How can I possibly take wildlife pictures without scaring birds and animals out of their tiny lives ? And what if, as I photograph my world, creating images that other people wouldn’t see the point or value of, some lunk hears a huge “KER-LACK!!!” and decides I am stealing the soul of his wife’s underwear and puts me in hospital ? Cries of, “No, honestly, I was photographing my own shadow!” will not be convincing – even though this is something I frequently do as an existential act of self-acknowledgement. Pretentious this may be, but it is my right to be silently pretentious if I so choose.

I can see lawsuits looming.

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