Like often happens, humanity met the internet in the shape of a horseshoe. Those who first used it were the top good fellows in universities and military and the top bad guys in criminal rings. It went down to the point the most of us started using it in the nineties and at some point well into this century it reached the bottom where crocks and idiots got into it.
If one word is traveling the world today, it is fake-news. A wrap-word that can take many meanings. A word that can express rebellion, doom, frustration, confusion, hopelessness, protest, disagreement.
Discussions will soon lead us to the word truth. And to the premise that there is not such thing as truth or fact, that all is relative to the observer. Further looking for a place where to settle a standpoint in a world that all of a sudden has no ground, we will try to set foot with scientists: they know the truth and facts after all! But then again, history proves they don’t always.
Soon we reach a point where by lack of foothold we cannot help but start to give into those transgressive words about the lack of truth and facts. And here is the point when we fall down the rabbit hole of our days. Here is were populists want to have us: lost, and vulnerable to an attack straight into the deepest convictions of our culture and society.
We fail to identify and comprehend what truth and facts are. And through this breach in our integrity, our hopes and ingenuity get lost. We stop being humans to become fearful crippled creatures under the lash of an overlord. Shadows of what we were born to, of what we can reach.
We fail to see that we are all navigating the world in search of more knowledge. That scientists, do not hold THE truth or THE facts but design models and hypothesis based on limited facts. Models and hypothesis that may later on, in light of new facts, be proven too simple to reflect reality. We fail to see that the world is complex and interrelated. And that we know yet too little to arrogantly demand A TRUTH. We need to return to our natural inborn curiosity and keep trying to understand reality.
We have become intoxicated by the vapors of science and technology, to believe that there is a response already available for all things. That politicians or states know it but hide it from us, and that Google and YouTube can tell us the truth. The liberating truth. And through this act of rebellion, we join the lines of brainless wraths, dancing mindlessly at the tune of the craziest (opportunist) of the time.
Back in the nineties, unchecked by most, Google and Amazon started to be. At the turn of the century, Facebook and Twitter became the place to hang out for a new generation of people. Those were among the first companies who took the potential of internet and rethought the way we researched information, shop, kept in contact with each other and shared news. And this, on its own, became a breakthrough of innovation that changed the way we lived.
Yet a huge social change was about to occur, that no one would have imagined. Despised by most, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007. Shortly after, Samsung followed suit with Google’s Android OS. A paradigm change happened that expanded like a wildfire over the US and Europe and fueled those very same Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter who moved over their platforms to this new category of personal computers. And the world changed, for ever.
At a point, those internet companies became advertising moguls, the day after they became a political issue. An issue of such size that neither the young and talented Silicon Valley nor the political class in the capitals could even imagine how to tackle. The former because of lack of political knowledge and expertise, the later because of lack of understanding what those platforms were and meant.
Here we are, we people, navigating a world that suddenly blew up in size and complexity. Even if our political class is catching up, we are now living times of wilderness. Millions of people are devoting hours every day working for internet platforms without knowing it. By tagging pictures in Instagram, giving up our business network to LinkedIn, or giving out our most inner thoughts to Google search or our most private conversations to Facebook. We have given so much private information to Google and Facebook that they stopped being interested on harvesting any more of it.
Millions of people are confused with the late affluence of news outlets and lost their judgement about what to read, what is right and what is questionable. And dark agents are operating in social media targeting people one by one to change their perception of the reality.
but I want to share this with you.
I apologize to the author for my blunt attempt to translate his perfect choice of words.
Wörter besitzen Macht. Durch die Wortwahl werden Bilder erzeugt, die Gefühle und Gedanken auslösen. Und schon entstehen Haltungen und Meinungen, mal zufällig und unbedacht, mal gezielt und absichtlich.
Source: DW Deutsche Welle
Words are mighty. By choosing them, we induce impressions in people’s minds that lead to feelings and thoughts. Incidentally opinions and attitudes will follow due. And they words came out of a chance event or were otherwise darted with intent.
This year that ought not be, has been, and will at last come to an end. It is high time to impress these words in our minds and be critical and inquisitive with what we read, or hear. For it is everybody’s duty to search the truth and act accordingly to our principles.
After journalists from the SZ-Zeitung published their research on the manner and methods that facebook use to remove content, A swift reaction from the German Minister of Justice urging social media companies to expedite the deletion of content that violates the German constitution and rights was reported today. Even pointing to possible penalties if those companies lag behind their offending content.
Such swiftness, if only but for this encouraging exception today, is not the strongest trait of governments and public institutions. And we would be naive unloading that burden on them.
Social media is a very fluid and agile world, and therefore extremly difficult to tackle and regulate. The social problems that social media is creating need to be solved with methods and resources inherent to social media if they have to be tackled effectively. Yet the sheer amount of content that social media companies garner can not possibly be regulated by those companies. The effort is far too huge. There is an intrinsic and bold asymmetry between the infrastructure and the user base.
A different approach is required. We, all of us, have to join our efforts and help our institutions and governments keep social media within the legal framework of our constitutions and laws if we want it to happen any time in the future.
The blockchain technology could be brought to be the backbone of a global reputation and refutation system. Much alike the scientific community does but using the trust-less character of the blockchain hence without the gateway of having to be an accredited scientist to have your say. Starting by attributing each person a base reputation index based on education level and let it develop further by using a reputation-currency.
Not too far in the future an inrush of retirees will take leave from their workplaces and will join the lines of the well deserved retiree status thus creating a significant drain in the public reserves of every developed country.
Those left to keep the wheels of industry spinning are less, earn less and spend less than the affluent baby boomer generation. Incidentally contributing less to the public chests. Moreover, the next generation that is now joining the workforce is, and will be, yet less affluent.
Is then society and economy in the developed first word fated to stress and a slowdown? Possibly. Maybe not though. Here comes ingenuity at play.
We, the afterwave, have blossomed in the age of computers, and into the age of social media. If shadowed by the previous lot yet sprouts of new thinking are breaking through and reaching now maturity. We can possibly grow over this bleak scenario with our new tools and skill sets.
We have an oncoming huge supply of experienced, wealthy and healthy women and men that if not in general proficient in the intricacies of computers and Internet, they use them at a more or less effective degree. And many would rather sporadically undertake activities of social and economical significance than spend the whole day chasing a golf trolley. And we have the means to help them choose over a variety of ways to spend their time in a way that has an impact to our society and economy.
Some like cooking and would cook for her/his younger single and busy neighbor. Some like building furniture or restoring it and would enjoy giving the wardrobe of the neighbor a new life. We have often neither the time nor the money to keep up with all our needs and would gladly take an offered hand at an affordable cost. And eat healthy, use our furniture longer and with pride, discover how our children’s imagination is spurred with lovely cut and painted cubes and that they can show their appreciation to the makers of their toys a flight of stairs above or two houses up the street.
The list has no end, and we have the ingenuity and potential to make it happen. The sooner the better.