The subtitle of this podcast really is: How to Stop Worrying and Love the Surveillance State.
As we mentioned in last week’s show, Adam purchased an Alexa Echo, which has been making the news lately for randomly laughing at it’s users. Amazon claims they’ve addressed the problem and fixed it. But this story raises some troubling questions about the sinister nature of these new technologies. How much control do we want to cede to these behemoth tech companies for convenience?
Are we headed for a Hal 9000 future?
Yes, we can all laugh back at these insidious and, so far, primitive devices we’re inviting into our homes, but at what point does all of this become not funny at all. As Neil Postman predicted, we’re Amusing Ourselves to Death.
And speaking of behemoth tech companies, by now most people realize the power Google, Facebook, and Twitter are having over our online lives. These juggernauts have so far monopolized much of the online space which, of course, was by design. Very powerful and moneyed interests saw the danger a truly free and open internet represented, so they helped a few tech start-ups in the early days corral everyone into these so-called, Internet Ghettos.
Now that they’ve essentially cornered the market, they feel emboldened to try and censor, and/or outright eliminate, voices THEY DON’T LIKE. And all in the name of combating so-called Hate Speech and Fake News. Factor in all the negative psychological affects these new technologies inflict, the admitted implementation of “keyboard warriors” to sow discord, spread disinformation and propaganda, bots to amplify those messages, algorithms to suppress information, and you have the perfect recipe for Weaponizing Social Media:
But before we all get too depressed, there is a solution: decentralized platforms using the blockchain and peer-to-peer networks. It’s not a perfect solution, and it probably won’t stop special interest groups, NGOs, corporations, the government, and military from trying to manipulate us, but it certainly will reduce it, and/or make it much more difficult. The key is for freethinkers of all stripes to break their current online habits and embrace these newer start-ups.
Easy right? Well, take heart, as it’s already happening. Or hell, just go back to reading print newspapers instead. Yeah, like that’s gonna happen.
Oh, and apparently, they found Amelia Earhart’s bones.
And now for the rest of your links:
ALTERNATIVES TO GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, etc.