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.
I made this image with the concept of the Earth being like a circuit. Much like the two halves of the brain, the continents of Earth have billions of connections internally and join together through a much smaller number or neurons or wires. All of the wires on Earth and the cells in your brain serve similar functions, to host electrical impulses in order to transport information.
Just like your thoughts can’t be brought to reality just by imaging them, neither can physical objects be transported by sending their likeness through the wires. I still feel bad for the lady trying to send soup to her son on the front line.
Under the image, the morse code reads “The Earth is a circuit” in order to pay respects to the technology that began the technological age, that made the Earth the circuit it is today.