Compassion versus guilt, and other essays by Thomas Sowell

By Thomas Sowell

A columnist for the Scripps-Howard information provider has compiled a number of of his brief essays written for the typical reader right into a assortment, protecting such subject matters as affirmative motion, media hype, and gay politics.

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Saskia Sassen, for instance, notes that, whereas in the contemporary economic market production is increasingly dispersed, finance and services are being concentrated in fewer and fewer ‘global’ cities (1991). This process of separation between production on one hand and finance and services on the other has led to a distinction between sub-global and global cities. The latter, to impact globally, must be centres for financial services (banking, insurance) and headquarters of major production companies while also being seats of the major world-power governments (King, 1990 and Sassen, 1991, emphasis added).

Toywar on the other hand, arose out of necessity. Unexpectedly, etoy found itself sued by the US-based dotcom toy business eToys for alleged infringement of its trademark rights even though the company’s Internet address was actually registered three years before the American corporation registered its own site. EToys, concerned that clients would mistake etoy for them, first offered to buy the etoy site and then demanded that it close its site or pay $10,000 each day the site was kept open. Etoy immediately moved into exile on another site but in doing so alerted a number of lists.

Of course there is not just one ‘Big Brother’, but rather we are under surveillance by a number of different and not necessarily concomitant gazes. As an average citizen, it is difficult to know exactly who, or what even, is behind a given surveillance camera, and whether, for instance, it is operated by a public service, a private business, an individual or a group of citizens. Also, it is impossible to know whether an observation point actually corresponds to an eye. So we do not usually know if a camera is switched on, whether it is recording, or even storing our data.

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