…As the saying goes, the only solution Facebook has to problems raised by Facebook is more Facebook. No matter Zuckerberg’s promises, if we go looking for privacy from a technology website designed to extract and exploit our personal information, we are not going to find it.
In a society made up completely of strangers and perpetually stirring itself, problems of communication, recognition, identification, and, above all, trust and confidence become particularly acute… It may be difficult and confusing trying to work out who, or what, your neighbor, or contiguous st…
Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” suggested that the technology to endlessly replicate images had compromised the aura of art, the unique presence of an original piece. These spaces offer a canny, if cynical, response: The guests supply the aura. That logic has so permeated the culture that these “experiences” need to offer little to activate th…
Ultimately, whether it’s the NSA or Facebook, the logic of the system dictates that at some point these entities — government and corporate — will know us better than we know ourselves. Only then will some form of a perfect society be achieved. The question now, as in 2013, is whether we believe such a goal is achievable. And whether the tradeoffs — like last week’s monumental data breach — are worth enduring as we wait for that vision to become reality.
But there’s no turning back. Each of us is now a split person — one human, one digital. As we become more and more reliant on the devices in our pockets or on our wrists, we — not to mention the companies and governments that rely on our accumulated data to determine our identity — may become less and less certain of which version of us is really us.
Whether or not that could be possible, it’s time to see things for what they are. Whether the platform is Facebook or Twitter or YouTube, the gargantuan task of keeping misinformation from spreading is not going to be solved ad hoc. The problem will never be solved so long as engagement continues as the driving force behind social platforms. Forget regulating; what’s perhaps more urgently required is dismantling.
… a general feeling of unease and, more importantly, deepen the electorate’s sense of powerlessness. The cornerstone of democracy is that it is within our control. The knowledge that there is an entire political campaign, or war, being waged out of sight, invisibly online, is deeply unsettling to that bedrock belief.