November 27, 2005

We The Media Chapters 8 & 9

I feel that these chapters mesh with eachother on the very basic issues of trust and privacy. Yes, Google can allow prying eyes into your life, by what you put on the net deliberately, or inadvertantly. I don't like that someone can type your phone number into google, and get your address, then a map to your home. I also don't like the way google sells your info to other companies, keeping track of your searches and browsing. I dunno. The net is a shady place, when you come to really think about it- and it gets even worse when you throw in the "Trolls, Spin and Boundaries of Trust," in chapter 9.

Ahhh. Computer technology. Cuttin' and Pastin', video editing, Photoshoppin', endless manipulation of data and misrepresentation/distortion of facts. It's a Catch-22- computers and "those innernets" :-) have made life easier and more productive, in countless ways, but also opened the floodgates of misrepresentation. On this subject, and despite being a fan of the internet and modern computer technology, I'd have to say...

"Things were better 15 years ago."

Life was simpler in 1990. Happier. Not as overwhelming as it is today; I feel like I'm living in a bad sci-fi movie half the time, and I grew up with microprocessors. Yeah, they were Z-80's and it took a couple of 'em to hum a Defender machine along at a decent framerate, but still. LOL- my age is coming out with this post. What I am saying though is that like... misleading information and spying and malware and trolls and endless passwords and trojan horses and everything else- we are paying a big price for all of the good things that computers can do. We are relying upon them for every act in life-I just saw a commercial recently for a toothbrush that contains a computer.

Enough already.

Back in the day, I wrote all of my college papers on an Apple ][c, with a tractor drive/dot matrix printer. They were just as good as what I am doing now, on a Pentium 4 Dell and inkjet color printer. I went to the library to do my research. I played mixtapes from friends on a cassette walkman. Worked on music the old fashioned way, with hands-on equipment, rather than "virtual synthesizers" on the PC. I wrote actual REAL letters, it wasn't called "snail mail" then either, just mail. You'd get them all the time, and send them all the time. That was something nice. Also, if I wanted to talk to someone, I'd just call them when I got home (no cellphones) or stop by. None of this STUFF... the day-to-day advances we all use now...existed. And you know what? People were happier. They would go out, do things, be with other people. They didn't have to worry about viruses or whether or not "big brother" was spying on their email, phone conversations or web visits.

Trolls were still lil' stinky things that lived under bridges.

I dunno. We have progress, but at what cost? I for one am getting tired of this digital age. There's just TOO MUCH of everything now. Go watch "Smokey and the Bandit," and revel in the simplicity of the late 1970's. CB Radios, Horsepower and stupid, slapstick humor. But it's honest. No CG here, no airbrushing of the stars, nothing. Just good o' fun. And that.. that aspect of fun and simplicity is what I feel the 21st century is destroying, more than anything else.

Turn off your computers, step into the night air and say hello to someone new. It's what I'm going to do, right now. I'll be at ENP. Maybe I'll see ya, like people used to- face to face.

Posted by MichaelSichok at November 27, 2005 08:58 PM

“Turn off your computers, step into the night air and say ‘hello’ to someone new.”

I love that quote! Human nature doesn’t change (in my opinion), but you would have loved the fifties. There is age discrimination, but I don’t care; age is just a number. People are living longer and can have an ACT II or III, which should be encouraging to everyone in this class. Anyway, as I was reading “We the Media,” thoughts of 'Big Brother' kept creeping into my mind─and that’s a creepy thought. It seems that the trade off for instant information and communication is lack of privacy and pseudo-relationships. Even with emoticons (a word I learned from Lou), there’s something sterile about email. A person’s handwriting says a lot about them. Touching a letter that someone has actually written is much more personal. Moreover, there will never be a substitution for a face-to-face, live conversation.

Posted by: NancyGregg at November 30, 2005 06:44 PM

Thanks for that Nancy..

I still have sooo many old letters that people wrote me, I know exactly what you mean, about the "handwriting."

BTW... I most likely would have enjoyed the '50s!


Posted by: Mike at December 1, 2005 12:50 AM

"It seems that the trade off for instant information and communication is lack of privacy and pseudo-relationships. "

BTW.. Amazing quote.


Posted by: Mike at December 1, 2005 12:50 AM

Thank you Mike. Thanks for letting everyone know the disadvantages of online news, or just online ideas. I do enjoy the internet, but I am skeptical of the privacy that is exposed. Life was easier and happier in the 1990's. Or even the 1950's. Pick up a newspaper, sit down, and read. The writers were trustworthy enough to which everyone believed them. They could have been corrupt, but they weren't. They were as honest and fair as they could be. Online News just seems to be wanting to get a piece of fame, anyway that they can.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at December 1, 2005 01:16 PM
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