Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Links: “today’s Internet is a shanty town next to a festering garbage dump”

October 27, 2016

1. I don’t believe the robots are coming.

Because as soon as they got outside London they wouldn’t get a decent Wifi signal and would grid to a halt.

We are sold a shiny and/or scary vision of an automated future.  Martin Geddes (@martingeddes) explains why on current infrastructure it won’t happen:

“The Internet needs a security and performance upgrade”:

“The Internet’s security model is completely unsuitable for these connected devices. The default is that anyone can route to anyone, and that all routes are always active. This is completely backwards.”

2. “The Rise of Dating App Fatique” by Julie Beck (@juliebeck) is a fascinating study of how people have become disillusioned with the likes of Tinder.

I haven’t been dating for a long time, (in fact in those days we called it “going out”), but I thought that Julie’s analysis could apply more widely. Again we are promised a shiny world of efficiency. Often the reality is clunky and poor.

Is there a built in conflict of interest? App makers want you to carry on using their app, so its not in their interest for you to find what you want (whatever that is), because you would then stop using the app:

“So if there’s a fundamental problem with dating apps, one baked into their very nature, it is this: They facilitate our culture’s worst impulses for efficiency in the arena where we most need to resist those impulses.  Research has shown that people who you aren’t necessarily attracted to at first sight, can become attractive to you over time, as you get to know them better. Evaluating someone’s fitness as a partner within the span of a single date—or a single swipe—eliminates this possibility.”

3. Are Progressives Being Played By WikiLeaks And Julian Assange?” asks Katherine Cross.

Perhaps another sign of a current mood of increasing skepticism with the digital world.

At what point did Assange change from hero to villain?

“In the case of WikiLeaks, this includes especially egregious cases like leaking the name of a Saudi man arrested for being gay, or the names of rape victims in the Kingdom. In the wake of the failed Turkish coup, meanwhile, Assange also recklessly published troves of information on nearly every woman in the country, as well as potentially outing anti-government demonstrators and rank and file government party voters—hardly wise in the wake of a violent coup attempt. The leak was supposed to be Premier Recep Erdogan’s private emails, exposing more of his increasingly authoritarian government; instead, the dump contained nothing from Erdogan and reams of sensitive information on private Turkish citizens.”

(“You can judge a nation, and how successful it will be, based on how it treats its women and its girls.” @BarackObama )


The internet: not broken, just half built

January 19, 2015

The internet is not so much broken as unfinished.

If you’ve chosen to live in a house which is still being built, then you have to expect that the roof may not be on, the windows and doors are just holes in the wall and the plumbing and electrics may not all work properly, if at all.

Internet of things? Ask a policeman!

December 1, 2012

I enjoyed the Public Policy Exchange seminar I went to on Thursday.

It had an over ambitious title: “Revolutionising Public Sector Communications: Accelerating the Digitalisation of Public Services through Social Media.”

Jamie Bartlett from Demos was a very good chair (i.e. stopped me ranting too much).

The best speaker of the day was Andy Trotter, Chief Constable of the British Transport Police. His thoughts were sensible, pragmatic, imaginative and tolerant. You can find him on Twitter as Chief Constable BTP.

Chatham House rules prevent me saying too much more.

However one point we discussed was worth writing down.

Why is it that an incident in the street that would be forgotten about in a couple of minutes can create a moral panic on social media?

People like objects. They develop emotional attachments to them: a book, a record, a guitar, a favourite mug, an iPhone.

Digital media turns ephemeral incidents into what seem like real objects. A You Tube video on my phone somehow seems alive (it isn’t) and more real than reality. It’s also feels permanent, fixed, can be replayed again and again. This fixity perhaps heightens our sense that “something must be done”, indeed that we can do something. It triggers an over cooked emotional reaction which is often out of proportion to the incident itself. Maybe this is partly about the power of the visual, wrenched out of context and heighted in digital media. In reality you can see, hear, feel and even smell an incident. Often you feel and hear it without seeing it. Your body reacts differently, perhaps feels less under threat.

As devices become more apparently alive and magical as they become more and more hooked up to the internet, there’s a need to manage or control (self control) the tendency to over react.

Otherwise every chance comment that you would ignore in the street will become the basis for legal action in the digital world.

If you wouldn’t do anything if it happened on the street, why do something just because it happened on Twitter?