Do you remember Alvin Toffler with his Future Shock? He argued that society is undergoing an enormous structural change, a revolution from an industrial society to a “super-industrial society”. This change overwhelms people, he believed, the accelerated rate of technological and social change leaving people disconnected and suffering from “shattering stress and disorientation”— future shocked. Toffler stated that the majority of social problems are symptoms of future shock. In his discussion of the components of such shock he popularized the term “information overload.” For 1970, it was considered revolutionary.
Dear Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt (and actual Executive Chairman), the same with the guy who told Wall Street Journal: “Every young person one day will be entitled automatically to change his or her name on reaching adulthood in order to disown youthful hijinks stored on their friends’ social media sites”, retracting it short after that : “It was a joke, it just wasn’t very good”.
He also has some other notable pearls, he has a Messianic complex, like Bono:
“We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about. ”
“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place”. – This is justifying all of your data augmentation by government or law and order enforcement organisms.
“Just remember when you post something, our computers remember forever”.
“You can trust us with your data”.
“I ACTUALLY think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions, they want Google to tell them what they should be doing next”.
“We are willing to get it one way or another, with or without deal”.
“We Want People To Be More Logged Into Google”. “We” Google, or there’s other “we”?
The guy is too obvious.
What follows are seven ideas from his book The New Digital Age, co-written or co-authoring with Google Ideas chief Jared Cohen, ideas that he allowed WSJ again, to share with his readers and me, of course.
Anonymity: “Some governments will consider it too risky to have thousands of anonymous, untraceable and unverified citizens — hidden people; they’ll want to know who is associated with each online account, and will require verification at a state level, in order to exert control over the virtual world.”
Search engines: “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”
The Next EU?: “States like Belarus, Eritrea, Zimbabwe and North Korea — authoritarian, with strong personality cults and a pariah status elsewhere in the world — would have little to lose by joining an autocratic cyber union, where censorship and monitoring strategies and technologies could be shared.”
Tech companies: “Thick skin will be a necessity for technology companies in the coming years of the digital age, because they will find themselves beset by public concerns over privacy, security and user protections…They’ll also have to hire more lawyers. Litigation will always outpace genuine legal reform, as any of the technology giants fighting perpetual legal battles over intellectual property, patents, privacy and other issues would attest.”
Electronic conflict: “It’s fair to say we’re already living in an age of state-led cyber war, even if most of us aren’t aware of it.”
Journalism: “The effect of having so many new actors involved, connected through a range of online platforms into the great, diffuse media system, is that major media outlets will report less and validate more…. In fact, the elite will probably rely more on established news organizations simply because of the massive swell of low-grade reporting and information in the system.”
Twitter: “Twitter can no more produce analysis than a monkey can type out a work of Shakespeare.”
In 1993, Peter Steiner famously wrote in the New Yorker that, “on the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” What a change from that. Now Google+ profile will be your internet identity card. Apart from Facebook or Twitter where a dog can have it’s own account, on Google+ one has to be a person to sport an account. Schmidt’s thought on “verified authors” is very annoying. An empty bubble like Friedman will rank forever higher than any other valuable author, just because his blurbs appears on The New York Times. Awful. Down here is the obnoxious rockstar billionaire Bono, sharing his cleverness and lack of humor on TED talks. If you can keep yourselves from throwing out, have a look.
I haven’t finished my thoughts on the matter, so please consider this post as a first part. To be continued…
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