Tag Archives: Facebook

I Feel Like a Number

Numbers - Dr. Odd

I read a couple of things recently that made me feel like a number. The shorter of the two was “The Master’s Tools” by Arielle Pardes, which appeared in Wired 28.18. (I’ve been reading Wired for years and just realized that they don’t use months to mark their issues.) The other is the book Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America by Christopher Wylie.

Both detail how the seemingly innocent trail of Internet data we leave behind can be used by politicians to aim targeted messages at the most receptive audiences.

In a nutshell, the political message to a white, Catholic gunowner who lives on a farm is most effective if it is crafted differently from the one for a black professional who lives in a city. Facebook is one of the prime sources for the data that allows politicians–and other businesses–to slice and dice people and tell them what they want to hear.

Even if the message is not blatantly misleading, there’s something wrong with the inability to tell every voter the same thing.

I avoid Facebook and many other social media platforms because I do not want all kinds of information collected about me and sold to people who want to sell me something. I don’t like being a target.

Back in 1978, Bob Seger wrote the song, “I Feel Like a Number.” I thought I understood it then. I really understand it now. [Link to lyrics and audio]

Thanks for the warning, Bob.

Facebook–Say What?

Among many others

Moderators for YouTube must now sign a document acknowledging that they might suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder by reviewing YouTube posts.

Excuse me?

When a website creates stress similar to a combat experience, it’s time to just stop and ask ourselves what the hell we’re doing. We expected Facebook, YouTube, and other social media sites to be an opportunity to share ideas. Now, at best, they share thousands of pictures people take of themselves or pictures of their latest meal. At worst–they post images so disturbing that they can cause PTSD. Something is wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong.

I have a better idea. Make it a policy that postings are hateful, disgusting, or otherwise inappropriate for polite society, the social media site will respect their First Amendment rights, so long as they include their (verified) name, address,cell phone number, photo, and e-mail.

Decent people have no use for a coward.

Social Media

I apologize for not responding to friend requests for Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I like sharing ideas, but the blog is a forum I can (somewhat, allegedly) control. If someone leaves a comment, I do not sell or share anyone’s information with anyone else.

Other social media platforms? Not so much.

So why do I not reply?

Okay. Let me explain. (I tried to do this as a knock-knock joke, but failed).

Q: “What’s the difference between a colonoscopy and Facebook?”

A: “Both involve more information than you would ever share, but your colonoscopy is protected by HIPAA privacy protection; Facebook will share anything with anybody,” n’est-ce pas?

A Dichotomy of Operating Systems

8

Windows 8.1 is loading on several computers around the house as I write this. The rest have already been returned to good old reliable Windows 7.

Although I haven’t had the chance to try Windows 8.1, I’ve been reading the reviews and came to the following conclusion. It’s more a preliminary conclusion, but you know what I mean.

Android, Apple iOS, etc. are aimed at tablet users (I know –duh- but bear with me). When using a tablet or smartphone the tendency is to surf, cruise, web, tweet, take pictures, etc. It’s fun stuff. It’s quick and dirty. LOL

On the other hand, I don’t want to swipe, drag, or arrange applications on my computer. I want to enter data as a blog or other written document, analyze data in a spreadsheet or do detailed Photoshopping to a photograph. For me, this involves a keyboard and a mouse.

Windows 8.0 tried to straddle both markets, which is like trying to design a garbage truck that can go 0 – 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, get 60 miles per gallon, comfortably seat 7 as well as being an incredible chick magnet.

Things can be made: Fast. Cheap. Effective. – Pick two.

Now, just for full disclosure – I use a Kindle Fire as a reader and sometimes as a browser, etc. I’ve got an android smart phone so I’m not anti-touchscreen. It’s just that when writing IMHO I need a keyboard.

Can Windows 8.1 satisfy 2 sets of users?

Is this the end of Microsoft dominating the market?

Will this separate the old fuddy duddies from the Facebook generation?

Stay tuned!