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It was indeed Jeremy Bentham, proponent of Utilitarianism, that designed the panopticon. Fittingly, his remains are on display in a glass cabinet at the University College London, with a webcam pointed at him. Check out: http://doric.bart.ucl.ac.uk/web/Nina/JBentham.html

The prison was designed so that the prisoners could not see each other, nor the guards, because of the special shutters used in the cylindrical tower. They must assume they're being watched at all times.

In advanced industrial societies, the tools of coercion have changed; no longer must someone torture you to elicit information, but merely examine the paper trail (credit card report, etc.) you've left behind.