Tag Archives: facebook

Technology and Privacy Woes

Two weeks ago I deleted my Facebook account.  For two reasons, really.

One, I realized that Facebook made me shallow. It made me okay with not actually communicating. Photos of an old friend’s life served as a convenient substitute for making an effort to pick up the phone. There’s something subtly disgusting and ugly about the whole thing that eventually turned me off enough to close my account.

Secondly, there’s the privacy issues. Everywhere – every application storing some less-than-meaningful aspect of my social interactions with other human beings all eventually adding up to what is my life. All stored on some mega-data-center in Nevada. My data, my identity. Stored, manipulated, washed, dried, mixed, contorted, scanned, compacted, mined, and eventually archived – for purposes that can only be malicious – even if its down the road.

My Andriod smart-phone will not even allow me to permanently delete the Facebook application from my phone. It just stares at me constantly begging me to re-install it. To reinsert myself into the matrix. All in the name of a phony connection that ironically disconnects you.

Then today I started to install the linked-in application on my phone. For fun I decided to read the terms. These are a copy/paste from the terms (bold added by me):

This app has access to these permissions:

- Your accounts
- find accounts on the device
- create accounts and set passwords
- add or remove accounts
- Network communication
- receive data from Internet
- full network access
- view network connections
- Your personal information
- read calendar events plus confidential information
- Phone calls
- read phone status and identity
- Storage
- modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
- Your social information
- write call log
- read your contacts
- modify your contacts
- read call log
- System tools
- test access to protected storage
- send sticky broadcast
- Affects Battery
- control vibration
- prevent device from sleeping
- Sync Settings
- read sync statistics
- toggle sync on and off
- read sync settings

 

(To read these terms yourself go to the Android app website and click “install”. The terms will appear in a new window.)

These terms are no different than that of Facebook or almost any other application. We are one click away from giving away our privacy completely. I certainly wouldn’t agree to these terms to anyone in person, but we are all too willing to provide corporations these details for a mediocre “Free” application. Kind of crazy.

media

People are no longer Free Thinkers

It never fails to amaze me how easily people are fooled by propaganda. Especially if said propaganda aligns with the beliefs an individual already holds. I find case after case of this on Facebook. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t find Facebook terribly scientific nor do I care for it much; however, I do find it a useful tool to check the pulse of people’s thinking. Especially people whose views are being shaped by popular media sources.

A prime example was today when I logged in and found literally a dozen of my connections sharing an article supposedly written by Bill Cosby. (You can read the entire article here.) The article goes on to critisize social programs, “spread the wealth” ideaology, lazy people, and even Muslims. I immediately knew this couldn’t by something legitimately accredited to Bill Cosby – especially publicly.

I did a quick Google search and quickly found dozens of sites (including Bill Cosby’s personal website) saying the article was a fake. So why was everyone else so easily fooled, so apt to propagate the lie, and too lazy to fact check? Was it because it so easily confirmed their own beliefs?

This is a pattern. People immediately accept whatever falls in their lap as complete truth. People are no longer free thinkers – rather they are sheep-sponges who obediently fall in line, absorb, and spread any information provided to them in which they find convenient.

A respected pop-culture icon and black leader, like Bill Cosby, spouting popular conservative ideals was just too delicious to pass up – thus it spreads like wildfire on social networks. A few items of hate speech, sprinkled in with a few lines of truth, and suddenly the entire message is accepted at once. The lies and hate are absorbed in the blood stream as inconspicuously as they landed on everyone’s homepage.

My biggest fear is that my peers have forgotten how to think for themselves, how to distinguish a lie from the truth. They are now good slaves propagating whatever they hear or see on whatever screen is in front of them. That is dangerous.

Surveillance: How the average Citizen is giving away their power

I’ve often wondered if the type of surveillance the American people are subjected to (and somehow remain ignorant to or just blissfully ignore) will effect politics of the future. Think about it.

Most average people use Twitter, Facebook, and are probably writing on blogs. Their information has been mined, stored, sorted, and archived. They are trapped. We same people will be running for political office and may attempt to become leaders of free society.

What will the impact of the self-documentation and self-incrimination of our entire life result? The embarrassing pictures, the Facebook rants when you were 17, your changing political philosophy, etc. Think about it – even if you carefully monitor your own social network computers can automatically detect your face in photos friends upload.

Will an average citizen be able to run for and win public office or will this type of information surveillance lead to a self-eliminating elitist favored political system.

Elites in Political Office

This is an idea that concerns me. If in the near future the average American has forfeited enough personal information on the internet and via surveillance to incriminate themselves to the point of non-electablility will the “average Joe” eliminate themselves from the election pool?

What this my leave is elitist candidates who have been carefully groomed from birth to act as our political leaders. Chosen by the elites to act in their interest and elected by the people simply because a normal person has too much baggage floating around on the internet. Kind of an interesting thought.

The Loonies are coming out!

I’m a conservative guy when it comes to finances, but if you are going to give financial advice (which you probably aren’t going to follow yourself) make it good. This is bad advice.

Taxes

When did freedom of speech become so unpopular?

People should never do anything but fight for freedom of speech. Even dumb speech, hate speech, and bad speech. The good thing about free speech is that there is always someone there to call you out on your stupidity (with their free speech) – unless you are the Government or the media…

I should have pressed enter – Facebook and the Electoral Process

I hate to be a cynic, but it annoys me to no end that people on Facebook and elsewhere think that the President is elected based on popular vote. I live in Georgia – the Republican party will receive all of our electoral votes regardless of who is on the ballot.

Comments like: “Go out and vote, every vote counts!” and “We can’t let Obama get reelected!” made by people who clearly think there individual vote (in Georgia) will matter on a national scale are laughable.

I’m not downing the electoral process, we are a Republic and I accept that, but how are people this ignorant?

I should have pressed enter:

Also, I think Georgia should switch to a weighted electoral system – we should end the “winner take all” methodology. Why should 40% (or more) of a state be screwed over because the predominate political party controls the status-quo? Maybe that’s a post for another time.

I would also like to point out that well written articles about the electoral process are not easily searchable in Google – interesting.

Facebook: On Foodstamps

I wish I had to try harder to find these conversations.

Facebook: On God

Facebook “friend” on the topic of God.