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Ubiquitous video technology and the Internet have ushered in a œpeep culture that makes us all either—or simultaneously—exhibitionists or voyeurs, according to this eye-opening study. In good participant-observer fashion, Niedzviecki (Hello, I'm Special) dives into our mania for observing and revealing pseudo-secret personal information: he starts a blog, applies to reality television shows, does video surveillance around his house and slips a GPS tracking device into his wife's car. He's content to merely interview, rather than join, the middle-aged couples who post their amateur porn online. He argues instead that peep culture reprises an ancient impulse to bond through the sharing of intimacies, but worries that our digital version of village gossip and primate grooming is a weak and fraudulent foundation for community (out of his 700-odd Facebook friends and blog readers, only one showed up for his offline party). Niedzviecki's smart mixture of reportage and reflection avoids alarmism and hype while capturing the strange power of our urge to see and be seen.(June)
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ISBN-10:  0872864995
ISBN-13:  978-0872864993
Author:  Hal Niedzviecki
Publisher:  City Lights Publishers
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review by . August 12, 2010
Hal Niedzviecki's "The Peep Diaries" explores how and why popular culture has evolved into one in which so many people suffer from the TMI (Too Much Information) syndrome. Not only are millions of exhibitionists willing to share the most intimate details of their lives with perfect strangers, they work hard to make sure as many people as possible view those details. As Niedzviecki notes on the first page of his book, "Webster's New World Dictionary" added a new verb to its 2008 edition to describe …
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