Category Archives: Reading Response 4 (June 9)

Reading Response 4 | Celina Laurette

If I were to give a speech about the state of computer technology today that would be read by someone 25 years from now I think the first issue I would talk about would be online privacy. I would discuss the recent changes that have taken place and their implications and the effect they had on changing the way my generation views social media, the Internet, and government security. For the first time, my generation is experiencing a (although microscopic, but still surprising given the popularity and socializing aspects of such platforms) migration from Facebook and other social media sites and apps. The people were outraged when they found out that Facebook owns the rights to the photos you post. They were horrified to learn that the fine print of the Facebook messenger user terms of agreement included unauthorized use of one’s microphone and phone camera. Employers have started to hire and fire based on the shit that you put and say online, the horror!

computer-ception

 

Ironically, we use computer technology to get to know someone just as much as we do to judge them. Take Tinder, for example, or any other dating/coitus app/website/service in existence. There are even websites that exist exclusively to help families in India arrange marriages. I predict this trend of using computer technology as a counter-productive crutch for social interaction will only continue to flourish over the next 25 years.

 

Generating matches ?

I would also add that the nature of online art is relatively free of policing and regulation, for the most part, at least in Canada. I predict that this current state of freedom of posting will no longer be so in 25 years time. Lately, Instagram has been controversially censoring and removing photos from users accounts at an alarming rate and with increasingly inconsistent standard of photos which are and are not fit for the Instagram world. I predict that more and more sites and technologies will be built to automatically censor and delete files, posts, and works that fail to meet “community guidelines”.

#teamRihRih

 

Online art will certainly look very different in 25 years time from now.

 

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Reading Response 4 – Montana

In the speech Informing Ourselves to Death given by Neil Postman, Postman states some very clear problems surrounding the growth of technology and how it affects society as a whole. In many ways, I agree with what is being said, mainly how today we (as a whole), making a generalization, are more naive than society in the middle ages.

In “today’s” society, information is basically being shoved down our throats no matter where “we” go, whether it be what the weather is, which celebrity’s birthday it is, what war is happening, gas prices, etc. “We” are flooded with information, and for the most part, society just accepts things as how they are. Without thinking a second of it, as they are more preoccupied with personal matters. And in a way, this is why what Postman was stating about society being more naive, is because society is more selective to what kind of information someone wants to hear. This being that, unless it effects a person personally, everything else is just a murmur. I like to believe that people use information as a practical tool, but not as a learning method. What I mean is that, there is a whole data base on the internet about teaching people about learning other languages, but if a certain person does not “need” to know another language, then they immediate opt out of the idea.

However, that being said, I do agree to the fact that society just believes information that is given to them. An example of this is the use of the phrase “here let me Google it”. Search engines allow people to gather “any” kind of information like a virtual library, and therefore, we don’t really question what kind of results we are getting, especially when someone has now clue of the topic they are searching. It’s almost this idea of learned helplessness; where there are cases where some people don’t think for themselves. Whatever is on Google must be true. This arguably, is due to the amount of information that can be easily accessed. Kinda like the weather, arguably, when someone is checking for the weather, they will immediately check Google before checking outside.

Mainly what I believe, which is what has already been said about technology many times in the past, is this lose of reality and humanity. Like I said before, people would probably check their phones for the weather instead of looking at the actual environment. Almost like the GPS, though it helps us to not get lost, getting lost is how people discovered interesting places. Tangent aside, the overwhelming involvement of technology and computers has created a more cold society, where no one really wants to interact with strangers unless it’s on the internet. That being, like relationships, many are created over Facebook, Tinder etc. I believe that in the future, we will lose “how we first met stories”. When kids ask their parents how they met, “through tinder” or “online”. The means of interactions has almost become obsolete.

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Reading Response 4 – Stephanie Blazevic

Although this speech was given 25 years ago at the advent of the Internet, many of Postman’s concerns and insights around technology and the role of the computer in defining contemporary life ring true today. If you were to give a speech about the state of computer technology today that would be read by someone 25 years from now, what issues would you address and what predictions for the future would you make?

 

I think the most important part of computer culture today to mention would be the sheer quantity of technology that has become so readily available to us, and how new that is for this time. It is truly a revolutionary aspect of todays culture, one that people 25 years from now should know about. In my lifetime I’ve gone from knowing a laptop the size and width of what would have been my torso at the time of it being in my house, to one that you could probably fit in the pocket of a pair of men’s cargo pants. Not to mention the fact that we carry even smaller versions of computers around with us at all hours of the day.

 

Another slightly comical aspect I’d want to bring up is the size of cell phones throughout the years. They started enormous, the size of a brief case I’m pretty sure, and eventually they shrunk down to the size of your palm. After this everyone seemed to notice how inconvenient this was, and now they’ve been slowly making bigger and bigger phones once again – although they will never go back to the size of a brief case I’m sure.

 

I can remember a scene in a show, unfortunately I believe it was Supernatural, where a character comes from the past. The main characters nonchalantly mention that they will look something up on the computer, and the character who came from the past shakes this off as a joke saying “As if you could fit a computer in this room.” When really, it’s a typical laptop that is often used today. I would hope to touch on this evolution of technology if I were ever to give such a speech. I believe I heard at one point that when the computer was originally built, they guessed they would only ever need 5 in the world. Now, it’s not uncommon to hear of people basically having about 3 or 4 forms of computers – with the variety being laptops, desktops, personal and work phones, and tablets. This will no doubt increase once again as technology progresses. It could be said that the new Apple watch is a form of a computer, so already we are finding newer ways to introduce more, smaller technology in our lives.

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Blog Response 4 — Colin Rosati

If I were to make a speech about the state of technology today and the direction it is headed I feel Neil Postman’s speech raises some good points.

Subjectivity of media is becoming more malleable, and the internet provides a medium to fulfill subjective answers any sort of questions that someone might have. I feel that the internet is not the only actor in this flattening of subjectivity- postmodernity is a result of many global issues. The “losers” that Postman speaks about will be granted a voice, venue and community to be apart of. Not, only the “losers” but anyone that has access to the internet is able to transcend there geographical limits and create new communities. Communities and culture will be sprouting up everywhere, localized information like memes, fan fiction and user generated content will be a competitor to cultural insititutions like universities and hollywood. The collapsing of cultural producers and identities is also a changing factor. Jeremy Bailey’s project The Master Slave Invigilator is telling of how an artist/celebrity can be a host for their audience. https://vimeo.com/83501199 Taking this a few steps further we can see how anybody will implanted camera’s could live stream their POV to any audience members. The audience will then be able to consume multiple identities. With the increasing invisibility of technology I see in the near future a fully integrated tech system with our bodies. We are hurtling toward the stretching of our senses into a new exciting place where communities can organize information for themselves and really generate their realities.

Looking at this flattening and fluidity of identity I see corporation and government spying to become an even more prevalent part of how we conduct ourselves. I have an idea for a sic-fi plot where a corporation is creating AI and uses someones social media platforms as the education to make a more human AI machine. In this plot the AI machine is an evil entity that tries to replace the real you. It is really important to recognized the privatized ownership of these technological tools we use because they really shape us in the end. I often ask very technological deterministic questions as a way of getting to know how these tools reflect and shape us. Like how is Facebook changing your relationships, and interactions.

In the digital archiving world many people are preparing for a post-google time because the amount of information google is constantly pulling will be so large that it won’t be functional in a useful way. I see individuals starting to create their own distribution systems or mini archives. In this way the achieve of information becomes more subjective to the archivist but also decentralized outside of corporations like Google.

 

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Blog Response 4 – Laura Rojas

Although this speech was given 25 years ago at the advent of the Internet, many of Postman’s concerns and insights around technology and the role of the computer in defining contemporary life ring true today. If you were to give a speech about the state of computer technology today that would be read by someone 25 years from now, what issues would you address and what predictions for the future would you make?

One point that I think Neil makes a great job of addressing is the loss of community that comes with the internet. This is a point often debated- are social media conversations considered community? What about online groups and forums? In a sense, the world is more connected and people have been able to go as far as to maintain meaningful (“meaningful?”) relationships with people they’ve never met in real life. But a large part of community is lost when we remove in-person social interaction from the mix. If that’s something that we’re already starting to see now, in 2015, then I predict it will only have escalated in 25 years.

However, many people are becoming aware of this social shift towards individuality. Narcissism, short attention spans- all these are symptoms often discussed by critics about our generation. People are even a little freaked out by Google Glass and other types of wearable technology. Will things be any different in 25 years? Will people learn from our mistakes and put their devices down, disconnecting a little from the net? That’s what I’m hoping.

Although the internet has definitely brought upon a myriad of positive changes and shifts in the way we construct our societies, Neil is correct in saying that not everything can be positive. The future may bring forth recipes for an easier lifestyle, convenience at our fingertips- but none of it will be worth anything if community and real-life experiences dissipate.

 

 

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Reading Response #4

by Emily-Rose Gibbons 

If I were to give a speech about the state of computer technology today that would be read by someone 25 years from now, I would address several things, namely: the struggle to manage augmented online realities, privacy, the biological emergence of technology and the body, and business.

Reality versus augmented realities, digital presentation of self

I predict that the lines of augmented digital realities and real life will continue to be blurred. With technology, a new type of memory has become prominent in our daily lives: our digital memory. Digital memory not only purposely remembers the things that we want it to, that intentionally we input (such as phone numbers and schedules), but also remembers things that perhaps we have not purposely chosen to remember (such as that Google search on relationship problems and private health problems on Web MD).

If you scroll back on your first posts on Facebook from seven years ago or through your inbox, chances are you will find things that you don’t even remember or had completely forgotten about. While face-to-face conversations are suspended in time, and exact word and actions may be forgotten by our natural memory, our online activity is never forgotten by our digital memory. That’s both useful and scary. Viktor Mayer-Schoberger discusses this strange recent phenomenon in detail in his book, Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age.

As these technologies only continue to grow in popularity, I feel that people in the future will struggle to find a balance between managing their realities and what they share in their online lives (whether it be relationships, religious and political views, daily activities, rants/opinions, etc). It should also be mentioned that managing the audience, who sees and has access to the past and current information posted to online platforms will continue to be taken into serious consideration.

For instance, when I am 35 years old, perhaps the view of a potential employer could be skewed when viewing my online posts by my 17 year old self. I could quite likely be spending a significant amount of time managing and even covering up my digital trail of the past, so as to present the best version of myself online.

Privacy 

Privacy is also a huge issue I would address. Since nowadays we have our phones on us at all times, the government can see with who, when and where we communicate.

Identity theft is easier than ever since we share so much about ourselves online. For example, I have even personally seen several of my acquaintance’s photographs and information that was posted on Facebook, used to create fake accounts. Whoever created the fake account would add the mutual friends of the original person’s fake account in order to have access to even more users’ information.

Google knows what we search for and even caters our search results based on what it knows about us. Facebook’s advertisements coincide with previous Google searches and Amazon sends you e-mails reminding you about that chair you were eying up the other day. It is so easy to be taken advantage of by the capitalistic endeavours of the Internet, a lot of which has to do with manipulating our activity online to entice us to make purchases.

Biologically 

At this point, much of society have grown an additional unnatural limb: mobile phones are attached at all (or most) times.

The neuroplasticity of our brains can and have changed with use of technologies. Think about it: how many phone numbers do you actually remember? How many times have you logged onto Facebook, only to receive a reminder about a friend’s birthday or upcoming event that you had previously forgotten about? We rely on technologies to remember and store things for us. It certainly makes our lives easier, but we need to be aware of how much it affects us, even on a biological level.

Since technology makes our lives easier –no need to remember things, finding an answer to our question within seconds through a Google search, etc.–it is easy to fall into addiction. This addiction can also be seen in MRI scans of our brains and can lead to very real problems in living in the present moments of day-to-day life. I predict that as technologies such as smartphones and the Internet gain even more popularity worldwide, there will be an even more widespread need to address the best way to properly manage our technologies without doing harm to our mental and physical states, as we have already seen cropping up in many studies.

Furthermore, I predict that eventually technology will be a physical part of us, engrained in our bodies. As previously mentioned, much of society has adapted another limb: their cellphone. Technologies such as the Apple Watch and Google Glass promote attaching devices, which connect to the Internet and your mobile phone, to your body. Scientists are currently working to engrain technologies inside of the body, such as DNA nanobots which aim to fight cancer. Though the intent of nanobots is currently on the medical track, I wouldn’t be surprised if nanobots grow to involve communication purposes.

Business  

I predict that the need for businesses to have online presence will only increase, and that a hefty disadvantage will come to those who do not partake in such online endeavours (social media, website, etc.).

The way in which business is done will continue to evade our privacy, as previously mentioned.

As Amazon 1-Click ordering and Amazon Dash Button is onto now, purchasing things is something that will become nearly effortless and though real-life businesses will certainly still be present, the popularity of online shopping will continue to grow. In the future, people will not continue to gawk or laugh off such products, rather, it will be a common way of life and business engrained in our society.

Communication 

The way in which younger, more tech-saavy generations communicate with one another is totally different, for the most part, to how older generations do. Our language has changed (LOL, anyone?), social expectations have changed (Facebookless in 2015? Better expect to miss out on party invites), being connected and in the know about everything on your Facebook feed is practically social requirement (FOMO aka Fear of Missing Out has even developed – when your friends are talking about the latest funny cat video and you aren’t in the loop about it, you fear that you’ll miss out on social opportunities), not having a website in the business world can be detrimental nowadays.

Conclusion

I am a self-professed tech junkie and I fully support the evolution of technology. However, in order for technology to do us more good than harm, I cannot emphasize how greatly we need to grasp and follow the concept of managing and limiting our technological use so as to not miss out on reality and so as to not be manipulated by many of the underlying capitalist intentions (advertising, sponsoring, etc.) that are erupting seemingly everywhere. I think that it needs to be engrained in future generations that technological addiction can very well be just as harmful as any other addiction and that people should be taught to properly navigate these technologies in an educated way so as not to be sucked in by it.

As Michael Harris notes in his book, The End of Absence, “just as we decide to limit our intake of the sugars and fats that we’re designed to hoard, we now must decide to sometimes keep at bay the connectivity we’re hardwired to adore” (206).

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Reading response #4 – Jack Lambermont

If I were to write about the state of technology and where I think its progressing, I think it would refer to to growing divide between the plastic-coated, app-store driven, fool-proof technology filled with micro-payments and monopolization, apposed to open-source, hackable tech, and why its important to breathe new life into the latter.

In recent editions of Mac Os X, non apple-approved applications are disabled by default. The User has to KNOW to go into system preferences and enable the ability to install them. For many users, the initial error message would be the end of their effort to install the app. I worry that it is only a matter of time before the “app store” becomes the only platform for distributing applications.

 messagedisable-gatekeeper-mac-os-x

Mac OS X Yosemite “security warning” (left) – and How to enable third party apps (right)

The alternative has always been windows, but that seems to be becoming threatened as well. With the new Windows 10 OS, it seems Microsoft is learning from apple that industry-standardization and removing user control can be a financially fruitful decision. As it tends to produce less confusion, but at a cost.

Recently, in one of my rare ventures into a mall, I noticed a “Windows Store”, with a nearly identical layout to the Apple Store (no central check out or cash register, casually dressed employees). I assume this is plays into Windows slow move into becoming an apple-like company, sacrificing true control for perceived intuitiveness and user friendliness.

3808.Windows Store_2

Windows Store screenshot

The internet and computer technology have historically been amazing grounds for experimentation, exploration, uncensored content, and free exchange of ideas, and it seems to me that it is morphing slowly into a lifeless orgy of consumerism and corperate control.

If I were to give a warning to future consumers of technology, it would be to show interest in alternative operating systems and content delivery platforms. To not rely entirely on algorithms crafted by corporations to consume content (netflix, ect.). Also, I would encourage those creating the alternatives to think about the competition, and not only create platforms consumable only by tech-literate people, as seems to be largely the case with Linux and its derivatives.

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reading response #4 – Rob Kim

Reading Response #4
Rob Kim
2457265
Professor Pearl

If you were to give a speech about the state of computer technology today that would be read by someone 25 years from now, what issues would you address and what predictions for the future would you make?

I would address the issue of separation and diminish of physical human relationship caused by decreasing needs of physical contact due to the developed virtual technology. Even now days, we have smartphones which allows us to talk, see and share informations through mobile and web applications without physically meeting them however after 25 years later, there will be much more developed technology which will overwhelm the needs of physical contact and pursue all of the actions we need through a virtual program. Social network systems such as facebook and instagram or skype allow us to message, see and video-chat with our friends from anywhere and as we developed from text to voice call to video chat, there will be more enhancement of techonology that will allow us to share more than just informations but things related to our senses such as smell, touch, temperature and more. There was a article about a new technology that is still being tested which is a machine that can deliver the smell from one computer to another. Also there was a article about how Scientists in Singapore invented a kiss-machine that contains imitations of the couples tongue and allow each other to send a signal through their mobile to turn on the machine and allow them to kiss thorugh the machine. They recognize the motion of the tongue and will deliver the movement signal directly to the partner’s machine. As these technologies develop further more delicately, the need of human physical contact will decrease and also, the technological relationship may be more sastifying than the actual action in reality.
The positive side of the developing technology will be its skill to help and support the people around the world more easily without the obstacle of distance. For example, a delicate medical virtual remote system which can deliver the movement information from a country to other part of the world through the machines will allow the doctors to do surgeries immediately to emergency patients. Therfore the most significant aspect we should be care about is how these technology will be used in our society and who will be the ones that are allowed to access these technologies and how they will manage them for the goods.

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