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A woman I worked beside always cried out, at points of stress, "for the sake of the cameras". She would be trying to get a new install of a PC card working and when the, in those days, DOS drivers failed to load she would shout this out to the heavens. She did so loudly, she did so often.

It wasn't something that bothered any of us much. She was good at her job, she was easy to get on with for the most part. At works nights out she was always sparkling with joy and fun. We just took it as being something that she said.

Then, one week she failed to turn up to work on the Monday morning. She still hadn't shown by Thursday and my boss got anxious. He phoned her home number to see if she was alright and to enquire as to why she hadn't been at work for so long without contacting anyone.

The woman wasn't at home but her sister answered. She explained that the woman had been placed in a hospital with a severe mental problem and was under heavy sedation. My boss, ignoring social norms, asked as to the nature of the problem.

Apparently the woman believed there were cameras watching her every move and was prone to shouting about it.

Now, of course, in my home town of Glasgow, it would not be thought strange at all to shout such a thing. We have cameras in every corner of almost every street. Some say this is for security, some complain it is repressive. Me, at least I know somewhere that paranoia isn't always misplaced.

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