I originally wanted to make a meme about me trying to use Cortana (ick) to make some kind of smart statement about the future of technology. Instead, I guess almost proving my point, I couldn’t even turn it on. Here we are moving into the automated, technologically capable age, and I can’t even turn my laptops voice control on. I know there was an error popping up, but it would flash for a second before I could read what it said and nothing else on the page could answer my queries.
As much as I want to be excited (or scared???) of the future of high powered computers, but Cortana has reminded me that we’re definitely not there yet. I would love an automated home and car that responds to all my needs, but judging by how well my computer handles voice control, I don’t think I’m willing to trust them with that much power yet.
I made this meme because I’ve never felt more personally victimised before in my life. My message was blocked yesterday, which revealed to me two very concerning things.
The first is what I’ve suspected for a long time but could never confirm: Facebook monitors everything that you say.
Secondly, they don’t approve of roast rolls.
How could you not approve of this?
Admittedly, it was only a problem because of my ham fingers type “from.red” instead of “from red” but this is a perfect example of internet surveillance getting it wrong. Now whilst it may be just an interesting story for me if this surveillance tool was trying to figure out whether I was a dangerous criminal the implications for it making the wrong decision could be much more extensive.
Thankfully, Facebook has banned third-parties (such as the police) from being able to use Facebook to track down criminals and protestors. This doesn’t mean we’re safe from Facebook itself.
Hide your roast rolls everyone, internet surveillance is coming for you.
I made this meme in response to the discussion we had in class with Ted. He talked of the internet and citizen journalism as a tool for revolution, allowing us to access frame free news and decide on our own storyline. Whilst I agree that for some people this may be the case, assuming that everyone is going to ditch legacy media seems a little far fetched. Take my mother for example. I love her, but she’s not great on fact-checking. It’s gotten to the point that she simply assumes most news pieces on the internet are a waste of time because she’s never bothered to check their validity. Instead, shes still one of those people that watches the 6 o’clock news to get her knowledge of the world.
This tends to make people like me, that thrive off the internet, pretty irrationally mad. For the most part, there’s very little wrong with legacy media. They have very clear and calculatable biases. With stories or pieces of information on the internet, the perspective of the source is often a mystery. Neither form of journalism is right or wrong, but both should be available for people to choose between.
I made this meme because I was angry. This week we were discussing the power of people coming together through social media to make a change, and I thought it was important to point out that sometimes that change isn’t necessarily a good thing. I’m a firm believer that the anti-vaccine movement would never have gained such a strong following without the same social media influence that helped people in the Arab Spring free themselves from tyranny. I’m not saying this makes social media a bad thing. As I’ve said before, I don’t think anything is inherently good or bad.
All the same, people die, every day, from things they wouldn’t have if some blogger hadn’t decided they knew better than doctors. I love the ability of social media to spread information that controlling governments would have otherwise wanted to keep quiet, but a little fact checking never hurts.
I made this meme out of a bit of suppressed rage and disappear at the stage of scientific news. In the lecture, we talked about the rise in citizen journalism and how that may affect the quality of the news stories, and all I wanted to do was crackle manically because science journalism has pretty much always been that terrible.
There is a problem with untrained individuals writing about stuff they don’t fully understand. We see it now with the rise of the regular citizen reporter, but with science, this has always been a problem. Very few people have been trained in both journalism and the scientific field, and either side tends to look down on the other. I know this because I’m one of the unfortunate souls caught between the two. Science writing may get better, with projects such as The Conversation, and accessibility of the internet means that more scientific professionals will get their voices heard. This being said, so will a lot of people who have no idea what they’re on about, and when its a complicated subject, it becomes harder and harder for the public to know who to trust.
Just use Google Scholar guys, it’ll save a life.
The rise of mobile usage wasn’t meant to be the focus of the lecture, but it made me have an “Oh my god why do I do this to myself” moment when I remembered all the times I chose to watch Netflix on my phone while my laptop is right next to me. This is especially concerning considering there’s evidence to suggest that consistent mobile browsing can actually damage the muscles in your hand. I made this meme to summaries my self-destructive life habits.
As for the debate between open and closed systems, I think it should be the consumers right to choose. I don’t want an Iphone, because I like flexibility in my choice applications and settings. This being said, I don’t want my Nan to have to use anything other than an iPhone. She’s only just figured out how to adjust the brightness of her screen and I think Android software would be a little too much. Each has their place in society.
I made this meme to highlight that I probably don’t care enough about internet safety. I know that Facebook is harvesting my data and selling it to companies so that they can, in turn, sell me stuff. I’m okay with this. In this system, I get to use Facebook for free (which is a win) and I get cool stuff that I’m actually interested in shown to me (which is an even bigger win). I will admit, I’d like to think I’m not super vulnerable to advertising (which is probably total bogus). I don’t think I’ve ever actually bought anything from the ads I’ve seen in my social media, so I don’t feel that threatened by it. I do think that it’s sad that Facebook targets people that are more vulnerable, but so does late night television.
I even tried to protect my privacy on the internet by covering my webcam but I used blutac which kept sealing my laptop closed, and I decided I’d rather have a laptop that’s easy to open and let people take videos of me looking like a homeless person at the library.
It’s a tough world out there.
Adventure Dave: A GIF
I made this meme because, in the age of Trump, general news has finally become as much of a disaster as scientific news has always been.
Legacy media often neglect scientific news as it doesn’t fit the “formula” for news writing. If you’re a journalist with a deadline and no scientific training, science news is a challenge. As a rule, science isn’t one of the most popular subjects either. Legacy media relies on hits, thus there’s very little point of them including content that doesn’t draw more customers in.
Science has now become an “in” thing. The rise of the internet has aided this. It’s easier now than ever to hunt out the scientific news. It’s also easier than ever to read things, lots of things, that are completely false. The prosumer culture has lead to everyone thinking they’re an expert. Scientific writing doesn’t need any more amateurization- we’re already there. People with alternate (and sometimes very bad) ideas can fall into an echo chamber of content produced by people with no training and no valid research to back up their statements, which can lead to devastating outcomes.
The only way we can remedy this, and remedy the problem at large of fake news, is to check your sources. Even news agencies get their news from somewhere. When in doubt, do your research.
Like everything else, I’d like to stress that I don’t think liquidising labour is inherently a good or bad thing. It just is. I have a job doing social media for a night club, where they make me work set hours in an office away from the club. The whole process seems dumb. For a social media company to hold onto the relic of a by-gone working era (the set office hours) feels ridiculously backward.
I have another job that I work at casually, whilst handling their social media on the side. The social media aspect of my job is completely fluid, which allows me to do my work late at night when I’m most productive. If I have questions or need feedback from other staff, I’m still limited by their office hours and have often run into the problem of them thinking I can complete work at any hour. Both have their downside, but I believe flexibility and giving the employees the right to choose how they’d like to structure their work is the best way to go.
In the lecture, Ted talked about the concept of Utopian versus Dystopian futures. After a week of having to follow the story of the (democratically elected) leader of one of the most powerful countries playing “my toys are better than yours” with another- possibly even more unhinged- man in power, I’m not feeling too confident in our chances of making it to a future where we get to sort neatly into either category.
The leaders of two powerful countries.
I also don’t believe that a distributed system or centralized system are inherently going to lead to either future. We have an example of an unregulated system in the form of the Dark Web. 70% of it is perfectly legitimate, but the other 30% is some seriously dark stuff. Centralized systems can also easily be abused.
A system is only as good or bad as the intentions and actions of people using and controlling it. No system can protect against human nature.