Using Big Data as a Weapon

We’ve blindly accepted Facebook terms and conditions for a long time. We are conditioned to just accept them at this point. We want to like things, they want our data. Ever wonder what happens to the data you provide as you continue to use the service?

Click on the vid below for a snapshot into how one company has used personal data that’s been harvested to manipulate the way we think.

Should the Attention Economy be Regulated?

The red notification indicator on our favorite apps, the “like” button, the downward refresh-feed sweep, all of these things are the backbone of what is now being referred to as, the “attention economy.” This new economy drives our national discourse, which is very reactionary, and has partly-created the dreaded feedback loop that drives social media interaction. At best, these queues let us know when grandma likes our most recent brain fart, but on the other hand, it has enabled an attention-seeking reality TV star to become a president. The Guardian has a nice article on the impact of the attention economy¬†here, which is well worth reading.¬†It discusses the dangers of this new economy and how it came to be. It also highlights what some of the well-meaning tech gurus responsible for the habit-forming queues we’ve grown to rely upon are doing to pull away from their own inventions, recognizing that they are dangerous. Ironically enough, like most monsters, it’s creation didn’t come from a place of bad-intention. And maybe it can be reeled in before things get even more out of hand. The question we might need to begin asking is, if drugs, alcohol and tobacco can be legislated and regulated, can code, and the application of it be as well? And if this is asking too much, those that are paying attention might need to deactivate a few things.

My Version of the Anti-Facebook has Finally Arrived

This is sort-of my anti-social network. This project is about reclaiming ownership of what I post on the internet without fear of some third party hijacking my content for their own self-interests. My data and my thoughts belong to me, not Facebook, Google +, etc.

I recently published a piece on Medium highlighting how I feel about the impact of social networks on the human. If you’re interested, view it here.

So how am I fighting the powers that be? I opened up a Fastmail account to get away from Google. I wil be deleting my Facebook on my birthday – only because I want to give my contacts there enough time to find me here. And I’m using a carbon neutral web hosting service to house this blog. Here I will provide photos, my happenings, and other things I was never really comfortable enough to post on Facebook.

SO thank you for reading and following. I’ll do my best to keep myself entertained here, and hopefully you’ll find this fun too.