This is a moment to ask as we make the planet digital, as we totally envelop ourselves in the computing environment that we’ve been building for the last hundred years, what kind of digital planet do we want? Because we are at a point where there is no turning back, and getting to ethical decisions, values decisions, decisions about democracy, is not something we have talked about enough nor in a way that has had impact.
We have to be careful about distinguishing between mere analogies linking the Romantic period to our own age that maybe don’t have any useful analogs, and those that do have some continued operational relevance. Because it is the case that Romantic writers like John Keats, Mary Shelley, William Wordsworth, philosophically modeled and to some extent thought through many of the debates and issues that we’re currently having as we seek to shape the contours of our future societies.
[T]otalizing perspectives which feed into mass-surveillance were framed ideologically in the Romantic period. Not only that, but strategies for resisting these totalizing narratives also emerged in the Romantic period in forms that exhibit suggestive correspondences with contemporary hacking.