Techmology ain’t your friend. We need more vigilance over what our lovely new tech toys are doing to us.
There must be better ways to design the tools we need and use. Perhaps the Center for Humane Technology has some ideas.
Silicon Valley is reckoning with having had a bad philosophical operating system. People in tech will say, “You told me, when I asked you what you wanted, that you wanted to go to the gym. That’s what you said. But then I handed you a box of doughnuts and you went for the doughnuts, so that must be what you really wanted.” The Facebook folks, that’s literally what they think. We offer people this other stuff, but then they always go for the outrage, or the autoplaying video, and that must be people’s most true preference.
I think the [traffic] metrics have created this whole illusion that what people are doing is what people want, when it’s really just what works in the moment, in that situation.
It’s time to rework our ideas about technology. Consumers should demand better security built in up front, governments should hold companies accountable for the problems their technologies create.
If we don’t fundamentally change how we build and secure tech our problems will get much worse.
Modern computing security is like a flimsy house that needs to be fundamentally rebuilt. In recent years, we have suffered small collapses here and there, and made superficial fixes in response. There has been no real accountability for the companies at fault, even when the failures were a foreseeable result of underinvestment in security or substandard practices rather than an outdated trade-off of performance for security.
There are better ways to make systems more secure. For example, you can build more isolation and separation into our systems, moving security functions to properly audited hardware and away from software (which is always more vulnerable). Things cannot be hacked if they cannot be reached. This may mean that we have to sacrifice some speed for security.
As things stand, we suffer through hack after hack, security failure after security failure. If commercial airplanes fell out of the sky regularly, we wouldn’t just shrug. We would invest in understanding flight dynamics, hold companies accountable that did not use established safety procedures, and dissect and learn from new incidents that caught us by surprise.
And indeed, with airplanes, we did all that. There is no reason we cannot do the same for safety and security of our digital systems.
The Looming Digital Meltdown https://nyti.ms/2Ef8fkf
This would be a fun survey to look at every 5-10 years or so. I’m curious what folks thought about the idea of cellphones in 1980. Clearly there is a lot of trepidation about certain technological changes, but perhaps that is as much about the change as it is about the technology.
I’d bet it all that when we get driverless cars sorted out people will jump on the bandwagon with no fear and a fervor rivaled only by smartphones.
Surveys like this can’t really grasp people’s feelings about complex integrations of technology into life. If you told a person in 1980 that the government would be able to tell where he or she is 24/7 that person would freak. Thirty years later we willingly gave them that power through smartphones.
The idea of robots caring for the elderly or the sick seems repugnant, but that’s when you think of old people farms run entirely by robots. What about robots taking care of the least pleasant, most mindless and repetitive tasks amidst human care givers? Picture a robot that could lift a person out of bed, get them dressed and into their wheel chair all while a human care giver is looking on. What about a robotic ass wiper? Who wouldn’t rather hold onto their dignity and let a machine take care of the unpleasant parts.
Most Americans say they believe the law is inadequate in protecting their privacy online.
How is it that the System, Big Business, Big Data, and the Cult of Special Interests can subvert the will of the people so easily? Why do we not have a digital bill of rights for our data? Seems most Americans want laws to protect our data.
The e-mail or social media accounts of one in five have been broken into.
If 1 in 5 houses or businesses had been broken into we’d certainly agree something needs to be done.
most American consumers take great efforts to mask their identities online
Of course they do. Where we shop and what we buy is nobody’s business but our own. We need some rules to anonymize the commercial data gathered about us.
Apparently, most Americans do have something to hide – at least from complete strangers trying to profit from knowing what they do online.
NYTimes: Americans Go to Great Lengths to Mask Web Travels, Survey Finds
Most people are terrible drivers. Why would we expect them not to be? There are no means to learn the right way to drive. No experts to share their knowledge. Taking an exam for a license doesn’t teach good driving skills. It just ensures that for one fleeting moment in a 17 year old’s life they passed yet another test. Driving classes teach you how to pass the test, not how to drive. Parents? How does a shitty adult driver who doesn’t know how to drive teach a kid? Enter Honda’s solution. Let apps guide us to better driving habits. People love smartphone apps. We live for beeping, buzzing, brightly colored rewards. Done right, smart driving apps with simple audio visual clues to improve habits and rewards and badges that accumulate over time could get phones out of drivers’ hands and onto dashes where they become a learning tool we all benefit from. Who wouldn’t want to be the mayor of I 95 from mile marker 37-48? http://www.techhive.com/article/2031595/honda-tests-an-app-designed-to-reduce-traffic-congestion.html
This story is a great example of whats wrong with business by legislation. The right amount of lobbying not only generates profits, but it can essentially create an industry out of thin air. Regardless of the the need or real value of that industry.
The digital health records industry is an example of businesses using lobbying efforts to fuck citizens and drive up healthcare costs without adding any value to the system.
big digital records companies … have reaped enormous rewards because of the legislation they pushed for. “Nothing that these companies did in my eyes was spectacular,” said John Gomez, the former head of technology at Allscripts. “They grew as a result of government incentives.”
Its important to note that the real problem here is not digital health records, its the harm that lobbying does to our system of government.
Better watch out. Raytheon built an app for US spy agencies that can build a profile of a person based on the person’s social media presence and activity. http://news.yahoo.com/raytheons-google-spies-tracks-social-media-sharing-fast-152328271.html