How Will the Lack of Privacy Affect Your Life?

Your world, Vera, will be very different from mine. And I wonder what it will be like. Sometimes, I’m excited by the possibilities; sometimes, I fear the possibilities. One thing that concerns me the most if the utter lack of privacy you’ll encounter. And the power that puts in the hands of others, particularly, those who are intent on using power only for their own self interests. The glimpses we are already afforded into that world are disturbing. Continue reading

Should You Delete Your Social Media?

Jaron Lanier, regarded by some as the father of virtual reality, was interviewed about the hazards of social media. The interview is well worth your time, particularly if you’re a parent. It can be found here.

An interesting comment is Lanier’s contention that President Trump’s addiction to Twitter has not served him well. I can believe it.

As much as I enjoy following some experts and others on Twitter, I am not at all sure the positives outweigh the negatives. I’m off Facebook and LinkedIn and frequently consider pulling the plug on Twitter, too.

In any case, listen to what Lanier has to say. And if you really want to treat yourself, read Lanier’s book Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality. It’s a gem.

Is Your Connectivity Making Your Life Better?

A memo written by Facebook VP Andrew “Boz” Bosworth in the summer of 2016 contained the following controversial passage:

“[Connecting people] can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe it costs a life by exposing someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.

And still we connect people.

The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is *de facto* good.”

Continue reading

If You’re on Facebook but Care about Privacy

Don’t delude yourself: if you really cared about your privacy, you wouldn’t be on Facebook.

Or you’d be on it but:

  • would not enter any bio info;
  • would never post anything; and
  • would never click a Like or emoji.

But if you’re on Facebook and sharing fully, while clinging to a belief that your information is somehow protected from whatever disclosures, sharing, and use Facebook deems to be in its best interest, then you’re pretty naïve.

Moreover, if you’re using Facebook as your primary source of news, then you’re probably worse off than not being informed at all. There are worse things than ignorance.

And if you believe whatever propaganda comes your way, whether it’s delivered via Facebook, Fox, MSNBC, the pulpit, the classroom, or any other outlet, without subjecting the claims to scrutiny and skepticism, then you’re a tool. You really shouldn’t vote or participate in public discourse of policy issues. Leave the decisions to the skeptics and people who at least try to discern what’s really going on in the world (as opposed to the twisted views of ideologues or devious people who are trying to manipulate public opinion merely to serve their own selfish interests).

Personally, I’m not all that concerned about privacy. But I’m very concerned about humans’ susceptibility to propaganda. And our capacity to fool ourselves.

Our Naiveté Seems to Know No Bounds

The story hit the internet today that a bare majority of people no longer trust Facebook to obey laws protecting personal information.

Which causes me to wonder: What, if anything, does it take to erode the naiveté of people?

As a species, we tend to be trusting. Even in the face of compelling facts to the contrary. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing, you can decide for yourself. What I do know is that there is never a dearth of people willing to take advantage of it.