Client/Seller Architectures for secure Quality of Life (QoL) e-commerce middleware

Copyright, left, and center (c), Steve Mann Corporation, Assistant Mailroom Clerk of EXISTech Corporation, April 1, 2001.

I always found it strange why individuals so willingly acquiesce to the mechanized invasions of privacy caused by video surveillance, or being asked for ID, yet the same people become angered when overtly photographed by an individual weilding a handheld camera, or being asked for ID by an individual person. To resolve this seemingly strange paradox, I have experimented with making myself into a corporation, with its own body-worn video surveillance cameras, etc., for the protection of its body's property. What I have learned is that if I can abandon (or appear to abandon) my autonomy, by becoming a corporation, I have much greater freedom. In particular, I discovered that if I am bound by external forces of policy and procedure (as is typical of a corporation), I can be, in some ways, much more free.

To explore this concept, I recently founded a federally incorporated company (EXISTech Corporation) and appointed myself as Assistant Mailroom Clerk, so that I could be bound to certain freedoms afforded by self-demotion from President and CEO, down to the level of Clerk.

But let me start from the beginning. Back in the 1970s I came up with what seemed, at the time, a crazy invention, comprised of a body worn photographic computer apparatus.

During my more than twenty years of wearing this invention, I have gained some interesting insight into how people regard photographic ideaology, especially in places that:

(See for example, ShootingBack.) In particular, what struck me most oddly, was that I could often get away with taking pictures in places such as department stores and shopping malls where photography was strictly prohibited, even if I could not conceal the apparatus of the invention. (The apparatus has evolved over the past 20 years in various embodiments and has only been made completely covert in this past decade.)

The early cumbersome versions of the apparatus were far from covert (in fact they looked somewhat hideous by today's standards of miniaturization). They certainly attracted far more attention than even a large hand held camera. Yet the facilitated something I came to call incidentalist image capture.

Incidentalist image capture is image capture that appears to be occurring merely by chance or without intention or calculation. My camera apparatus was wearoperable (e.g. worn in a manner that it could operate at any time), so that a person such as a department store security guard, could not readily discren whether the apparatus was actually taking a picture.

To ask such a question, the security guards at times seemed paranoid, and in fact posing such a question began to scratch the soft underbelly of something very interesting indeed.

Recently, in 1995, I built a version of the apparatus having the appearance of normal sunglasses. In 1996 I built a full color version of the appratus having appearance of normal eyewear, and finally in 1998 made a version that was reproducible by students in my Pesonal Cybernetics class.

What next

So the apparatus is totally covert, and I had great fun shooting my documentary video in gambling casinos, department stores, and other places where video surveillance is used by the regime, yet photography and video are prohibited by individuals. (Such establishments amount to what Simon Davies refers to as totalitarian regimes.)

So what next?

I've been recently experimenting with deliberately making the cameras more visible, so that they are very obvious, while at the same time fashioning cameras that echo the decor of the establishments and organizations that become my experimental subjects.

What I found most remarkable and interesting about these experiments, is that if I further incorporated the apparatus into a company uniform, or externalized the locus of control, was that I could be empowered even more by this form of self-demotion. Thus, in addition to an incidentalist nature of the apparatus, if it were seen as a corporate uniform (e.g. so that I was just a clerk running errands and stopping off at a department store), I could, in plain obvious sight, capture images, and even have a wearable flash lamp to make it very obvious I was doing so.

The result of this research has been to produce a set of forms that can be used by others to reproduce some of these results.

These forms represent a kind of reflectionist philosophy in which the individual mirrors the establishment (e.g. holding up a mirror to society), while at the same time creating a kind of symmetrical structure in reverse.

Thus employees of EXISTech Corporation are required to photograph everyone they have business relationships with, and at the same time, ironically, require persmission from Head Office prior to allowing themselves to be photographed by others (e.g. for ID cards or the like).


Here are three forms (forms A, B, and C) pertaining to being searched: All three forms are available here.

The Client/Seller Architecture

What happens when an individual person becomes a corporation open for business? What happens when a corporation is confronted by an individual wearing a fully functioning magnetic stripe card reader. Pleasewait was an example of such a corporatized individual (Steve Mann Corp., 1998 Keynote Address for the Virtual Reality Conference in Rio de Janeiro).

In performances of Pleasewait, corporations are required to comply with the protocols, rules, and regulations of the corporatized individual.

Reflectionism: I am a cyborg luddite

Pleasewait provided me with a seeing license, and a listening license because it covered my eyes and ears until a license was downloaded by way of its credit card reader.

I have a speaking license and a license to think, a license to stand up, and a license to sit down. For everything I do, I must ask permission. A license is a permit. May I use the restroom, please? Yes, you may, here is your license. May I compute the square root of a number? Yes, you can if you download a license for that particular algorithm.

How to deal with such a dehumanizing monstrosity as the patenting of basic knowledge, the ownership of ideas, and the policing of thought? Reflectionism is this art of taming the moster with a piece of itself. The corporatized individual holds a mirror up to society, and that mirror has the symmetry that beholds an image of the society.

The new deconomy

Like electronically tagged animals, to be passed through the processing chain of the New Deconomy. Stripped naked of our individuality, our dignity, and respect, we are passed through the decontimantion machine, to emerge unified. Seamlessness of thought is the new world order.

Deconstructing Deconomics

Imagine, if you will, the smart building. Already we have toilets that are networked and controlled centrally (Sloan Valve with Lonworks and Echelon). And some even do automatic drug testing. Lighting, heating, ventiallation, as well as washing and hygiene are also part of the New Deconomy. Everything's a node in the client/seller architecture! But with the microchip implant, we may also become nodes in the network as well. Step into the showers and you're recognized and billed for the amount of hot water you use. Take as long as you like (or can afford). No longer will the sensor operated showers time out or shut off like today's intelligent computer networked showers often do.

So receiving an implant will be seen as a benefit. Doors will open automatically, no keys will be needed, and you won't need to carry any cash. No longer will there be restrooms with signs that say ``for customer use only'' because we'll all be customers (clients) all the time. And we'll only pay for what we use. We'll only pay for the exact amount of hot water we use to wash our hands, the exact amount of soap we decide to use, and the exact amount of waste we deposit in the bowl for disposal. And it will all be very affordable, but not free! Trying to dispose of waste without paying the appropriate waste disposal fees is theft, and with modern DNA analysis, such thefts can easily be prosecuted. But what we give, give off, produce, or generate, may also be of some value, whether for epidemilogical studies, or simply as a source of energy and recycling, so we will be appropriately re-imbursed for value so generated.

A brighter, cleaner, happier, and drug-free future awaits us!

Next page: The nanocent livestock deconomy

aaaa: add subjectrights medical (EXISTech employees undergoing medical exam)