Instruments of Politeness

Paul Raven @ 17-03-2011

Instrument of Politeness… which point out how much of what we call “politeness” is actually disguise and dissembling.

At present we can lie about our current situation because the only transmitted information is the actual conversation and background noise. In the future mobile phones will be able to estimate our activity by evaluating multiple sensors in the device. This information will not only be used by the device itself but shared with our environment. The project ‘Instruments of Politeness’ allows the user to lie about his current activity.

The gizmo there is designed to wobble your mobile device about in a manner that will appear to the accelerometers as if you’re taking a walk with it in your pocket (when in fact you might be at home, or in a pub, doing something generally less constructive than the errand you’re supposed to be doing).

Now, mix up whimsical little scams like this one with Scott Adams’ Noprivacyville; utopias (be they real or misdesignated) will always decay under the natural human propensity to secure a little personal advantage. Or, in other words: Everything Can And Will Be Hacked.

Via those fascinating folk at BERG, who – despite the name – seem to do very little involving actual rockets, but an awful lot of other cool stuff.