Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tomorrow's Dystopia Today

Querétaro is a city of close to a million people, some of them quite poor, many of them just assholes and so of course, as in any city of that size, shit happens. Still, as 16-year residents of New York City, we can authoritatively assure the populace that Querétaro is the safest place we've ever lived - perhaps the safest we've ever heard of (and yes, we're including Swampscott, where our house was broken into and sacked - not counting other failed attempts - and where we got the shit kicked out of us on a twice-weekly basis during our formative years).

This hasn't stopped the municipality from dumping between 6-10 million bucks on a state-of-the-art Batcave-like communications center, where feeds from 100 citywide surveillance cameras will be monitored and analyzed. Calls to the 066 hotline will be routed there as well, which should lighten the Big Brother vibe considerably, since the government announced a couple of weeks ago that 90 percent of emergency 066 calls are pranks. Police officers will now be able to cross-reference the video feed to determine that, no, their refrigerator is not running, and there's no need to dispatch a car to go catch it.

(Also, as an object lesson on the difficulty of finding accurate information about anything around here, note that just ten days ago the government was reporting that 066 received 1000 calls a week. Today, the reported number is 3,506 a day. No mention of 3,150 of them being pranks.)

What no one seems especially eager to disclose are the locations of these 100 surveillance cameras. As a public service, we'll do our best to map as many of them as possible, and invite local readers to comment or email us with any locations they're aware of.

And just to show that we're not paranoid, anti-technology Luddites, check out this absurdly hi-def, zoomable photo of the July 4 Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium. Cool and unnerving at the same time.


Jorge Arturo said...

My first thoughts after discovering Google Earth... "COOL!" after that "Oh my god the army (USA) must have live feed if they let this out" Big Brother 24 years later

By the way, there is one camera in "Santa Barbara bridge" in the "Tejeda Bridge there is another" and I think infront of "San José Hospital"

Large poles with the camera on top of it.

Burro Hall said...

Nice work, Jorge. Your loyalty may be suspect, but we'll vouch for you.