Even Thumbs Deserve Privacy

This article published by Il Fatto Quotidiano is illustrated by a photo that portrays a policeman from the mobile team of Rome and an arrested man whose image is blurred. Not, as you might think without seeing it, on the face that also has a winking expression towards the photographer, but on the hand that is shaped in the pose (the thumb raised) universally become synonymous with “I like it”.

The expression of the arrested subject is disturbing because it is no different from that of a star crossing the red carpet of a film festival or a sports champion celebrating a victory. And it reinforces the mistaken perception – further distorted by television series such as Narcos and Gomorrah – that there is an aesthetic of evil in the name of which, by committing atrocious acts, one can become famous.

This “right thumb” attached to the hand of an ordinary person accused of a crime obviously means that from the desire for a “moment of glory” experienced in film/television fiction we have moved on to the lust of a celebrity at all costs, including that of becoming a protagonist of a crime story.

I don’t know who (whether the photographer or the newspaper) has made the choice to blur the anatomical detail of the arrested, but in both cases I can’t find a reasonable explanation, except for the one that, by now, even the thumbs have a right to their privacy.

Putting people in social cages since when they are kids

Retouching  8 years old  school photography as a service?

There is nothing wrong in having a spot on the chin, a pale look or other somatic peculiarities. We are how we are. Full stop.

Of course, everybody has the right to self-retouch his appearance (what does aesthetic-surgery is for?) but that should be a personal (and non-questionable) choice.

In contrast, supporting the idea that a kid’s photo should be photoshopped to have him look better is just plain wrong. It inculcates into kids’ minds that they have something “wrong” and, therefore, that they ARE “wrong”.

Leave kids shine for the beauty of their age, and leave photoretouching, make up and surgery to “growth” adults who forgot what really matter.

The “next level” of social control

The title of the Italian newspaper Repubblica.it about the alleged end of the sentimental engagement between Cooper and Shayk (…Social Network users to dream about a liaison with Gaga) is a microscopic but interesting sign of how, in the blurred head of gossipers, the conviction of being able to direct the life choices of the victims of their peepingtomish attitude makes its way.
In the show business, many artists are involved in fake scandals and media combine, and it is not a bad thing if for once it is not they who organise the “scam”.
It is interesting to note, however, the tendency according to which a group of (reciprocal) strangers who gather through a social network pretend to heterodirect the choices of someone else, transforming themselves into a “collective” that writes the texts of their very personal reality show.
Maybe Gaga and Cooper will be involved in the same wedding without the “help” of gossipers. But if this happens, no one will take from their mind the conviction of having played a role in the story (with the “s” in the subscript).

The Hypocritical Correctness’s Taxonomy

A short list of the hypocrisy disguised as “human right protection” that floods the Internet:

  1. Privacy is a fundamental right,
  2. Weapons are evil,
  3. Web giants too are evil,
  4. We must fight to stop climate change,
  5. I work for the “enemy” not because of the fees, but because I will make him a better self,
  6. I don’t do it for money, but for “the Principle”,
  7. Trust me, even if it is gratis,
  8. China is dangerous,
  9. Exchange ideas is better than being paid with money
  10. He/She

Taxonomy of a conference or: on the distillation of knowledge

A researcher has an idea. He shares it with his colleagues, they start brainstorming together and present it in a “geek-only” seminar.

A journalist stumbles upon the idea. He understands little and nothing about it, but writes a column about it because he is “the one who deals with innovation” and interviews the “expert”.

The “expert”, who has been answering whatever question in the same way for thirty years, explains to him that there are also “legal problems”.

A legal scholar reads the journalist’s article and the “expert” statement, understands about it  even less, but decides that he “knows best” and organizes the conference “legal aspects of XXX”.

A politician is invited to the conference. Until a minute before, he was dealing with something else, but he understands that this can lead to votes. He decides to jump on the subject and invites the legal scholar, the expert and the journalist (but not the researcher who had the idea) to join the “steering committee for XXX” – which worth nothing, but looks “cool” – and presents a bill.

Meanwhile, the researcher notices that his idea had some flaws. He tries to contact the journalist, the expert, the legal scholar and the politician, but nobody answers him. They can’t admit that they didn’t know s…omething.