Device Manager

My phone asked me this morning to update Google Maps. The app demanded my location and other sensitive information. I surrendered my papers without incident.

Baudrillard enjoyed relating a Borges fable in which a king commissions a surveyor to create a map of his entire kingdom. The map captures every detail of the terrain, with new lands depicted upon possession. Eventually the model consumes the actual kingdom. In a massive reversal, the map precedes the territory, such that no memory of the “actual” remains.

Today Google Maps precedes the map that precedes the territory.

You can’t blink without turning up on someone’s radar. How’s a husband to cheat these days? Wherever you go, to play upon the title of a popular book on mindfulness, the government’s already there.

Global Positioning System? More like Global Police Surveillance. We can’t get lost if we tried. Moving through a crowd, I see myself on my phone, moving through a crowd, staring at my phone. Who’s following my shadow? Who’s plotting my moves?

If bereft of my own devices, how will I know I’ve arrived?

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