Wednesday, 30 November 2022

The Internet an Incentive or an Extinction event?

Not being an avid reader of the Guardian Newspaper, nevertheless I do read its articles on the web from time to time. One took my immediate interest. It reported something about Technology written by Edward Helmore about Jaron Lanier. Jaron is an American computer scientist known for coining the term ‘Virtual Reality’. The article reporting about using Social Media and its effects. Jaron warns about the dangers of a world over-reliant on the Internet. Something I have alluded to many times as well. Being at the mercy of these top people who run them, although not naming them. We know their names anyway. But to be clear he must have meant the likes of Messrs Musk, Gates, and Zuckerberg. Perhaps we should include this failed politician Clegg amongs them. He is Global Affairs President (Meta). It might be a great name for what is basically a fall-guy position I think. Something he is well used to. Well, Jaron continued by saying ‘ We’re putting that fundamental quality of humaneness through a process with an inherent incentive for corruption and degradation’. Precisely right and I can attest to that. To the word degradation I must add ‘Vindictiveness’. For a few years I was Chair of Governors of a local school. During that time I met all of the staff and tried to foster a good and well working relationship between the governors and hard-working staff. One of these hard-working people was a lady who worked in the canteen preparing school meals. Very pleasant to talk to and seemingly well thought of by all, including the Headteacher.

She retired, had a great party and a few prezzies and plenty of liquid refreshments enjoyed by all. A week or so later I was alerted by another employee to look a a certain Facebook page. To my astonishment and the Headteacher, the vitriolic talk by the recently retired well-thought of employee about the school and her co-employees was something else, in particular the Head who came out as something who had grown horns on his head and changed his skin colour to red. Here we have exactly what Jaron was talking about. Whatever, but he also talks or rather, indicates that use of these media empires is a possible extinction event. I suppose that means – a failure of human relations. Indeed, as shown above, a breakdown. It also seems to have been a failure by such persons who let rip,to let others know of any grievances. I know it is a small example in one way but it also occurs on a national scale. Failures of not communicating, of assumptions - all is well when it obviously it is not, as later found out. When checking the phones of our two school kids I quickly note the absolute rubbish and vitriolic messages they receive. WhatsApp I monitor on their behalf and the software shows up those words deemed offensive. Let me assure you they receive loads. I am told , it is common place! So thanks Jared, an interesting article indeed.Let's hope the world's politicians know the score, somehow though I worry...

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