Global information surveillance, data-mining -- call it what you want. Thus far, we have failed to apply democratic brakes to slow the inexorable expansion of corporate/state amassing of every shred of our personal information.
In this view, our selves are far more extensive than we've been led to believe. They extend beyond our own bodies to include what we think of as other selves and the world. We live in the minds of others, and they in ours.
The technology used is state of the art; the impulse, it turns out, is nothing new. For well over a century, what might be called "surveillance blowback" from America's wars has ensured the creation of an ever more massive and omnipresent internal security and surveillance apparatus.
The word "self" carries strong connotations of autonomy, individuality, and self-sufficiency. It's as if it were chosen to mask our interdependence. It's hardly an exaggeration to say that in buying into this notion of selfhood, humankind got off on the wrong foot.
When a government, in a blanket sense, views its citizens as potential or suspected criminals, or enemies of the state as the growth of Boston-like domestic terrorism may portend, then it is in a perpetual state of conflict with its own people.