[clug] The end of the personal computer age is nigh ! psychological manipulation

Bryan Kilgallin bryan at netspeed.com.au
Sat Feb 14 14:23:22 MST 2015


I want to address some misconceptions.

> While "Big Brother" is always worthwhile keeping an eye on, it is actually "Big Corporation" and their new found toy "Data Mining" that really concerns me.

I employ filters therefore.

> Other concerns are about Identity theft, unsolicited identity usage, and psychological manipulation.

The last of these is the domain of advertising and propaganda. I 
occasionally correspond with a former colleague who had grown up in 
central Europe. And his Russian news on the Ukraine conflict--is utterly 
different from the Yank view pumped by our news media!

> I recently read that certain search engines alter the order of search responses to put first the ideas or views of those controlling the search engines.

Similarly I have political connections interested in South America. And 
so issues I have read emanating from such media sources--again differed 
markedly in emphasis from the Yank-pumped popular press!

>  From people's responses it has been interesting to read about what people use the Internet for, that is "how people use the Internet".

Yes, I also picked up on the different ideas here. I once changed my 
avatar on a Yank social network site. To a local poster proclaiming 
"America get your filthy blood-stained hands off Iraq!". And I was 
begged to change it to something else.

> I wonder what kind of information people put up on the Internet.

What I post on my Web site is somewhat current, and very personal! In 
fact, it's more personal than many people can cope with.

Though what I put on a Yank social networking site is more limited.

> Someone said they put photos up on a web site.

Here it is; currently you can see my gardening efforts and TV antenna!

> This is not something that I do.

When I am at someone's office, I can point out things in my life. For 
example, at my community centre's art department, I showed an 
administrator my latest drawing. You can see such at the following URL. 
I don't have to haul around an art portfolio.

> I might send a photo to someone via email.

I think carefully about what I send to whom. As individuals have bees in 
their bonnets and pet peeves!

> I realise that email is not secure, so this is not a completely private action, but still more limiting than posting on an open web site.

Newspapers are published for the world to see. So is my Web site.

My personality is "open to experience". You can read about that on the 
following page. Mostly people don't want to know such stuff; they'd 
rather it didn't exist!

> 1) People (especially the under 30's, but also those above 30) are quite happy to give Facebook, Google, and other international companies their details about their hobbies, holidays, lifestyles, photos, finances, etc.

I read sites' privacy statements. So I don't upload pictures any more to 
a Yank networking site. Not since it required swearing legal gift of 
copyright ownership!

> _Makes for great marketing material for
> multinationals._

But I rarely make an exception for photos of anti-American slogans. 
Which I reckon they wouldn't dare re-publish to crow about their brand!

> 2) Those who still use the Internet, but do so selectively.

I block ads and evercookies.

> 3) Those who restrict their use of the Internet and sharing of their personal identity to the greatest detail as they are able.

I know a totally computer-illiterate old woman! She doesn't attempt 
anything more revealing than a phone call.

> I would place myself in the second group, as I do discuss IT matters on a few forums like this one, and I do use Skype.

The latter is something that I don't do. I get the creeps at the idea of 
someone else unbeknownst to me, processing their stuff on my machine!

> But then I do not use Cloud storage (other that for work) and do not share photos, videos for files other than transferring by USB memory sticks.

I only used the last when taking my document to a print shop to make a 
pretty copy of a letter to post to an older cousin overseas.

> I liken this to going outside of my own home.

This is where I take the greatest exception. Or I have a particular 
psychological input, concerning fear/anxiety/paranoia!

> Whenever we leave the relativity safety of own homes, we increase the risk of being mugged
> or of injury.

You are right in that road use is a trauma risk.

I once worked in community safety. So I read in a safety newsletter that 
one's own kitchen was the most dangerous place in the house! And infants 
drowned in backyard pools.

> Most of us are willing to take on this risk, and in various degrees we minimise the risk by controlling the hours and locations we go.

Again, from Territory government experience, I disagree with this common 
misconception! The old police propaganda of "stranger danger" is bunkum. 
I worked alongside community corrections officers--who told me that 
people were murdered mainly in domestic disputes. You are most likely to 
experience homicide in a home.

I was arranging a safety class in a south-side primary school. During a 
class-break, a boy ran into a store-room to fetch a ball. And got 
yelled-at by a teacher to clear out. Then the man turned to me and said: 
"You see that kid; his father killed his mother and spent time in jail!".

At a Belconnen primary school, I led the class on a bike-path excursion. 
In front of me a boy was pestering a girl twice his size. The teacher 
explained: "His mother molests him every night, and he loves it!".

The stats support these anecdotes. Kids are safer out on streets with 
strangers, than at home with their family! Where they get molested by 
family members and family friends.

> Some people I know go to places at hours that I would not.

I used to walk home from Civic to Hackett at night. The suburban streets 
were devoid of people. Who were indoors watching telly!

> Likewise most of us will use the Internet, but will also limit to some extent what we do with it.

The main harm that I experience is nerve-jangling. When I was without a 
home computer for six weeks--I slept better!

> The challenge coming is when all the digital functions that we want to perform can only be performed by relinquishing all our private data to commercial entities.

I have an internal locus of control.

> If people do not mind sharing this information, a) what limitations do you have on data that you share via the Internet and b) is there a point that you give up using computing devices if you cannot keep your data off line.

The limitations are procedural. Nowadays I seldom write academic papers. 
So there is a limit to what I publish.

> I noticed that no one has raised the issue that occasionally people loose access to their own on line account.

I have sometimes used public Internet facilities for that purpose.
Such as logging in to my ISP's Web mail service:
     * on board ship;
     * at a motel;
     * at an Internet cafe;
     * in a library; and
     * in a community workshop.
The reasons why I had otherwise limited access were:
     * bushfire knocked out electricity and communications;
     * I was travelling on holiday; and
     * my computer died irretrievably!

> It is surprising how much we hold dear that really is not necessary to survive life.

I used to travel the world with only a backpack. Possessions are limiting.

> Has anyone thought about the various financial and government institutions who are now using our email address to communicate with us.

That can be useful. I can e-mail information to an official. And thereby 
sort out a problem.

> I dread to think what clever people could do with just that account.

I used to get trouble with spam.

> And we are only just starting to "trust" the Internet with our identity.

I am trying to disconnect my lifestyle!

> Has been fun, please keep commenting and add items we have not discussed.

I recall a paranoid person obtaining control of a club's administration. 
She locked everything down. Preventing people from doing stuff. Get a life!

> I would also be interested in knowing how many people run Linux as their main PC OS, and how many run Linux as their only OS.

It's my only one.

> At this time I only run Linux as my server OS, not as my personal computer OS.

What's your excuse?

> I expect that this will change either when Debian Jessie is released or in 2020 when Windows 7 is no longer supported.

When Hell freezes over, I'll consider the evil empire!


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