i think, therefore i instagram. cyberpunk novelist j.g. ballard, predicted social media in i-D 27 years ago [i-d.vice.com]
2014 may not resemble the sinister visions conjured by the dystopian literature of the mid to late 20th century, but that’s not to say none of its dark futurism has come true. Society may not have become as brutal and amoral as Burgess conceived, or as tyrannically governed as the picture Orwell painted, but our ever-growing obsession with documenting and curating every aspect of our lives online was something predicted on the very pages of i-D by esteemed and controversial cyberpunk author J. G. Ballard in The Fear Issue, No. 53, November 1987.
Psychologist and Noble Prize winner Professor Daniel Kahneman has made the claim that we, the ‘Instagram generation’ now “experience the present as an anticipated memory.” How many of us now construct situations purely for the purposes of exhibiting it to others, writing ourselves favourable scenes purely for the sake of the audience? Furthermore, as a result are we losing sight of how to enjoy ourselves in the moment, more concerned with a desire to give a good show?
When approaching this retail franchise scenario from a technology implementation standpoint, the enterprise social networking tools may need to be modified or customized to ensure managers use the systems effectively. In concept, all social business software applications are similar enough. However, the lack of capability to respond to Operational Objectives is where Yammer and similar off-the-shelf products fails to address the requirements in large organizations. Matching a social networking tool to an Operational Objective and ensuring it becomes useful and sticky often requires ongoing configuration and customization throughout the adoption process.
Think that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their ilk are out of control, and you would like to regain some of the privacy you once enjoyed? Help may be at hand in the form of “antisocial networking” – a clutch of new apps and websites designed to hide you from the seemingly irresistible march of technological intrusion.
Proudly billing itself as “the antisocial network”, Cloak works by turning social media against itself, mining real-time geographical location data from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare accounts to warn you if your “friends” are nearby.
Until recently, I kept all my secrets to myself.Sometimes I want to share my thoughts online, but find them too personal for Twitter, and not necessarily appropriate for Facebook. I want to share these thoughts anonymously, either because they’re raw emotions, or because I find them embarrassing for some reason, even if theyre funny and true.
But then theres Secret, the anonymous social networking app. Its notes and rumors have led technology reporters like me on wild goose chases, trying to confirm bits of gossip, from the true “Nike is shutting down their wearables division” to the false “Evernote is getting acquired”, sparking heated debates among entrepreneurs and investors.
Secret is a bit like a high school bathroom stall, where anonymous comments are etched with the tips of sharp pens, but carry questionable legitimacy.
When Secret launched in January, early adopters were mainly the tech elite, journalists, startup founders and Facebook or Google employees seeking an outlet for gossip, snark and the occasional lie. My Secret feed—formed by posts from friends in my phone book, posts they had liked, or posts near me—was an endless stream of garbage about funding rounds, sexual conquests, or outright character assassinations and even gossip about some of my good friends. But then something happened.
Out in the Open: An Open Source Website That Gives Voters a Platform to Influence Politicians [wired.com]
This is the decade of the protest. The Arab Spring. The Occupy Movement. And now the student demonstrations in Taiwan.
Argentine political scientist Pia Mancini says we’re caught in a “crisis of representation.” Most of these protests have popped up in countries that are at least nominally democratic, but so many people are still unhappy with their elected leaders. The problem, Mancini says, is that elected officials have drifted so far from the people they represent, that it’s too hard for the average person to be heard.
“If you want to participate in the political system as it is, it’s really costly,” she says. “You need to study politics in university, and become a party member and work your way up. But not every citizen can devote their lives to politics.”
Changing The Economic Paradigm Through Developing Community Enterprises In Rural Areas [eurasiareview.com]
There is an incidence of neglect and poverty throughout rural societies around the world. While urbanization is quickly taking place across the Earth, rural societies are very quickly slipping behind. This is not just a ‘developing country’ affliction, the rural regions within many developed countries have declined economically, where potential opportunities are sparse.
One of the greatest problems of today’s rural societies is finding culturally sustainable activities that provide both material and social well-being for the individuals and families within them. In the developing world, this occurs because of the erosion of traditional skills, and lack of access to the logistical supply chains that can propel rural products to international market places. Due to various reasons, there is a general loss of access to sustainable opportunities within many rural regions around the world.
Rural communities require a new paradigm to achieve their aspirations .Too often, government agencies try to develop these communities within the ‘occidental development paradigm’ which destroys traditional skills, cultural integrity, and the social fabric of local communities.
Since the word “teenager” was coined 70 years ago, adults have defined adolescents by one extreme or another. They are rebels without causes or activist leaders, mindless consumers or cultural kingpins, digital natives or naïfs. Enter Danah Boyd, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research and a research assistant professor at New York University. In life, Boyd retains the spirit of a youthful rebel, with her pierced tongue and name spelled in anti-Establishment lowercase. And perhaps in part thanks to its author’s identification with youth, “It’s Complicated” avoids many of the typical either-or clichés about adolescence. Boyd’s new book is layered and smart.
When Kaitlin Jennrich first walked into her communications seminar last fall, she had no idea that the professor already knew of her affinity for pink cars and Olive Garden breadsticks—and that she planned to share that knowledge with the class. It hadn’t taken much sleuthing on the professor’s part to uncover those inane nuggets. The 18-year-old freshman at Northwestern University had herself lobbed them into the public sphere, via Twitter.
Her reaction, she recalls, was, “Oh, no.”
“I realized the kind of image I was putting out there wasn’t the kind of image I wanted potential employers or professors to see,” says Ms. Jennrich, whose professional aspirations include sports public relations.
RECENTLY, I came across a great find in a Vermont antiques store: an old black-and-white photograph of a female pilot on a mountaintop, her aviator glasses pushed up on her forehead, revealing a satisfied, wind-burned face, the wings of her plane just visible behind her. But the best part of the discovery was the slow realization that she was holding the camera herself. It was, for lack of a better word, a “selfie.”
For all their virtual accomplishments, gamers aren\’t feted for their real-world usefulness. But that perception might be about to change, thanks to a new wave of games that let players with little or no scientific knowledge tackle some of science\’s biggest problems. And gamers are already proving their worth.
In 2011, people playing Foldit, an online puzzle game about protein folding, resolved the structure of an enzyme that causes an Aids-like disease in monkeys. Researchers had been working on the problem for 13 years. The gamers solved it in three weeks.
A year later, people playing an astronomy game called Planet Hunters found a curious planet with four stars in its system, and to date, they\’ve discovered 40 planets that could potentially support life, all of which had been previously missed by professional astronomers.
On paper, gamers and scientists make a bizarre union. But in reality, their two worlds aren\’t leagues apart: both involve solving problems within a given set of rules.
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