Talk:Panopticon

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IT as a New Panopticon[edit]

I am removing for a second time the long section which an IP has added on IT as a New Panopticon, which discusses Shoshana Zuboff's use of the Panopticon as a metaphor. My reasons are as follows:

  • The present article is about Bentham's proposals for a Panopticon. It has a section within it on "Criticism and the panopticon as metaphor", which is where, if anywhere, this material belongs. However, that section in fact already mentions Zuboff's arguments (which the IP seems not to have noticed).
  • The new material is far too long for what is a fairly minor and peripheral aspect of the Panopticon story: see WP:UNDUE. The existing short paragraph on Zuboff is about right in terms of length.
  • There is a separate article on Panopticism (which again the IP doesn't seem to have noticed, despite the headnote link). That article addresses the Panopticon-as-metaphor at greater length, and would be a more appropriate place for a fuller discussion of Zuboff (though this material still needs considerable editing on other grounds).
  • The text reads as if it has been cut-and-pasted from an essay (see WP:FORUM), and the IP has made no attempt to integrate it into the existing article. For example, the first paragraph includes the statement that "Bentham’s concept of a Panopticon refers to a type of institutional building where the design and architecture allows for a single watchman to observe all inmates of an institution without them being able to tell whether they are being watched or not". Well, that's all been said already.
  • The language is unencyclopedic: e.g. "Let’s say that User A sent a text to User B." See WP:FORUM (again) and WP:TONE.
So, I'm deleting it. GrindtXX (talk) 18:01, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Grand Theft Auto[edit]

Why no mention of The Panopticon area in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City? 82.12.226.250 (talk) 19:33, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

The Baha’i Faith as Panopticon[edit]

One user has somewhat ironically removed the following reference to the Bahai Faith as panopticon...

Juan Cole has compared the Baha'i Faith to panopticon in his essay "The Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon, 1963-1997," originally published in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 37, No. 2 (June 1998): 234-248.[1] He concludes that "Baha’i authorities exercise a great deal of control over discourse in the community, maintaining a virtual monopoly on mass media with a Baha’i audience. This control is felt necessary in part to prevent electioneering and coalition-forming, which are formally barred (despite the informal campaigning discussed above). It is perhaps not incidental that the controls on electioneering and other forms of communication have the side effect of ensuring that criticism of those in power cannot achieve wide circulation, and that the incumbents who exercise that control are reelected every year. Incumbents act aggressively against Baha’i owners of media who demonstrate too much independence. They monitor the speech of individuals extensively through a system of informants, and intervene behind the scenes to silence dissidents with threats of sanctions. They require prepublication censorship of everything Baha’is write about their religion. They intervene in the private businesses of believers where they think the interests of the administration are at stake. They tell private Baha’i publishers what books and even what passages in books they may and may not publish. They employ the threats of loss of administrative rights, humiliation in the national Baha’i newspaper, and even of shunning, in order to control believers."

A35821361 (talk) 12:22, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

The above is completely undue weight in this article. Baha'i content in articles of general interest have been reduced or eliminated because while there is sourced content, in general third party descriptions of that subject, the Baha'i view is not described. And in this article, that is the extreme. One article does not allow for appropriate weight to be included. Regards, -- Jeff3000 (talk) 12:49, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
I entirely agree with Jeff3000: this paragraph has no place on this page (which is primarily about the original Panopticon concept), and is unquestionably WP:UNDUE. It is more relevant to the Panopticism article, but even there it should be edited down to a single sentence and a proper reference. GrindtXX (talk) 14:32, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
I would note that the section here is "Criticism and the Panopticon as metaphor" with other metaphors included being work places like Wal-Mart and Amazon as well as municipalities in the U.K. that utilize CCTV. Juan Cole's description of control mechanisms in the Baha'i Faith in his appropriately titled essay, "The Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon, 1963-1997," is perfectly suited for this section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by A35821361 (talkcontribs) 23:05, 9 October 2016 (UTC)
Even if the very marginal, not to say vestigial, degree of relevance were much stronger - this is an article on a very specific subject - and a quite obscure one, that even someone of Mr. Cole's great erudition can (and does, in this case) misunderstand and misuse. An encyclopedia article on such an obscure and little known topic needs to be especially clear, informative, and very much to the point if it is going to fulfill its function of informing an "ordinary" reader, who is much more likely to be confused than informed by masses of matter of doubtful relevance to the case. So no, it is not "suitable' at all. This is nothing to do with our relative points of view - Wikipedia policy implies that we don't accept unquestioningly matters of faith and that no one is exempt from legitimate (i.e. among other things, fair) criticism. But splattering references to that criticism though as many relevant, marginally relevant, and totally irrelevant articles as we can find starts to look very much like an agenda driven crusade. Not good.
For what it is worth, there is an article on Baha'i review (the specific subject of Mr. Cole's paper) which may currently be a little one-sided. Have you considered editing this instead? --Soundofmusicals (talk) 23:30, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Dr. Cole's essay is not limited to Baha'i review, but the totality of how the Baha'i administration maintains control over its members. In the analogy to panopticon, the aspect of Baha'i review is but one small aspect.
"Baha’i authorities exercise a great deal of control over discourse in the community, maintaining a virtual monopoly on mass media with a Baha’i audience. This control is felt necessary in part to prevent electioneering and coalition-forming, which are formally barred (despite the informal campaigning discussed above). It is perhaps not incidental that the controls on electioneering and other forms of communication have the side effect of ensuring that criticism of those in power cannot achieve wide circulation, and that the incumbents who exercise that control are reelected every year. Incumbents act aggressively against Baha’i owners of media who demonstrate too much independence. They monitor the speech of individuals extensively through a system of informants, and intervene behind the scenes to silence dissidents with threats of sanctions. They require prepublication censorship of everything Baha’is write about their religion. They intervene in the private businesses of believers where they think the interests of the administration are at stake. They tell private Baha’i publishers what books and even what passages in books they may and may not publish. They employ the threats of loss of administrative rights, humiliation in the national Baha’i newspaper, and even of shunning, in order to control believers.
Having Baha’is inform on their co-believers allows the administration to discover nonconformists who might not toe the party line, and to monitor their activities. The system operates so as to maintain the “orthodox” ideology in power and prevent the election to that institution of dissenters through identifying them and ensuring that they do not become visible in the community. The practice of informing creates a panopticon, as described by Michel Foucault in his discussion of Jeremy Bentham's ideas on penal reform (Foucault 1979). Bentham argued that putting the criminal constantly under observation would deter him from further criminal acts, and would even cause him eventually to internalize the sense of constantly being watched, thus becoming permanently reformed. Conventional Baha’is often never discover the informant system, since they never trip the wire that would lead to their being informed on. The independent-minded, however, usually discover it fairly early in their Baha’i careers, and then have to decide whether they wish to live the rest of their lives in a panopticon. This practice, like many other control mechanisms, discourages spiritual entrepreneurship and keeps the religion from growing in the West."
It is therefore prudent to include mention of this essay in a section titled "Criticism and the Panopticon as metaphor." - Regards, A35821361 (talk) 00:25, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

Controversies over Baha'i review[edit]

The careless use of this term in the title of an academic paper on quite another subject (already treated under its proper subject) does not necessarily justify its mention here. -Soundofmusicals (talk) 22:33, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

As mentioned above, I would note that the section here is "Criticism and the Panopticon as metaphor" with other metaphors included being work places like Wal-Mart and Amazon as well as municipalities in the U.K. that utilize CCTV. Juan Cole's description of control mechanisms in the Baha'i Faith in his appropriately titled essay, "The Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon, 1963-1997," is perfectly suited for this section. The term "panopticon" is not used carelessly in the title of the article but deliberately chosen by the author to describe the Baha'i administration's method of control over members, beyond the prepublication censorship euphemistically labelled Baha'i review. — Preceding unsigned comment added by A35821361 (talkcontribs) 23:09, 9 October 2016 (UTC)
Rights and wrongs of Baha'i review is not the question at point. See above. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 23:34, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly that the "rights and wrong of Baha'i review is not the question at point." Dr. Cole's analogy of the Baha’i Faith in America as panopticon is more concerned with the totality of how the Baha'i administration maintains control over its members. In the analogy to panopticon, the aspect of Baha'i review is but one small aspect.
"Baha’i authorities exercise a great deal of control over discourse in the community, maintaining a virtual monopoly on mass media with a Baha’i audience. This control is felt necessary in part to prevent electioneering and coalition-forming, which are formally barred (despite the informal campaigning discussed above). It is perhaps not incidental that the controls on electioneering and other forms of communication have the side effect of ensuring that criticism of those in power cannot achieve wide circulation, and that the incumbents who exercise that control are reelected every year. Incumbents act aggressively against Baha’i owners of media who demonstrate too much independence. They monitor the speech of individuals extensively through a system of informants, and intervene behind the scenes to silence dissidents with threats of sanctions. They require prepublication censorship of everything Baha’is write about their religion. They intervene in the private businesses of believers where they think the interests of the administration are at stake. They tell private Baha’i publishers what books and even what passages in books they may and may not publish. They employ the threats of loss of administrative rights, humiliation in the national Baha’i newspaper, and even of shunning, in order to control believers.
Having Baha’is inform on their co-believers allows the administration to discover nonconformists who might not toe the party line, and to monitor their activities. The system operates so as to maintain the “orthodox” ideology in power and prevent the election to that institution of dissenters through identifying them and ensuring that they do not become visible in the community. The practice of informing creates a panopticon, as described by Michel Foucault in his discussion of Jeremy Bentham's ideas on penal reform (Foucault 1979). Bentham argued that putting the criminal constantly under observation would deter him from further criminal acts, and would even cause him eventually to internalize the sense of constantly being watched, thus becoming permanently reformed. Conventional Baha’is often never discover the informant system, since they never trip the wire that would lead to their being informed on. The independent-minded, however, usually discover it fairly early in their Baha’i careers, and then have to decide whether they wish to live the rest of their lives in a panopticon. This practice, like many other control mechanisms, discourages spiritual entrepreneurship and keeps the religion from growing in the West."
It is therefore prudent to include mention of this essay in a section titled "Criticism and the Panopticon as metaphor. - Regards, A35821361 (talk) 00:30, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

RfC: Should there be mention of Juan Cole's article "The Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon, 1963-1997," within Criticism and the Panopticon as metaphor[edit]

The consensus is against inclusion per WP:OFFTOPIC. Cunard (talk) 02:03, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should there be mention of Juan Cole's article "The Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon, 1963-1997," within Criticism and the Panopticon as metaphor A35821361 (talk) 10:58, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

  • No - it's WP:OFFTOPIC, as the article is about a prison architecture. Even if this was being suggested as an example of metaphor usage for the prison image, it wouldn't seem to have due WP:WEIGHT since there are many more occurances of panopticon mention about computer surveillance, or Gaza strip as panopticon, etcetera. Markbassett (talk) 22:51, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.