You are not a gadget | INFJ Forum

You are not a gadget

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Simonmagus, Mar 2, 2010.

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  1. Simonmagus

    Simonmagus Newbie

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    Ok, here's my first newbie thread.

    Has anybody read "You are not a gadget" by Jaron Lanier? If so, what do you think?

    He suggests that Web 2.0 interfaces such as FBook, Myspace, and forums such as this, are structured a way that diminishes our humanity. He suggests that the web:
    -- Reduces individuality and authenticity by encouraging us to describe ourelves in simplistic "profiles".
    -- Reduces interpersonal accountability and encourages poor behaviour (i.e. trolling) by allowing anonymous pseudonyms and fake online identities. The worst consequence for poor behaviour is to be banned/blocked from a site, and it is very easy for the troll to create another fake identity immediately. This in turn creates a culture whch tolerates abusive behaviour.
    -- The "freedom" of the web encourages tolerance of things which really shouldn't be tolerated (eg. fascist ideologies, child pornography) (actually he doesn't say this in the boook, this is my view)
    -- Promotes trivial interactions by having interfaces which encourage the user to type a few words and click, without having to think too much. The potential speed of interaction discourages deep thought and reflection.
    Debases the concept of friendship by encouraging people to collect huge lists of "friends" (e.g. on Fbook) who they have no meaningful connection with at all.
    -- Promotes trash by levelling the playing field between trash and things with real value

    What prompts me to write this?
    1) A recent thing in Australia where a 13 year old murder victim's Fbook memorial page was defaced by pornographic and abusive postings
    2) Wondering if the people in this forum behave differently: do the people create the culture or does the medium create the culture?
     
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  2. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    I wouldn't say the internet is some evil device destroying our humanity and culture. However, if we don't moderate and control ourselve and our use of the internet then bad things can happen. Mainly things like lacking friends and aquontances, Abusive use of the internet(trolling) and generaly advocating immoral and inappropriate material.
     
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  3. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Excellent topic. Yes, I've always felt this is not normal. Especially things like "friends", "love"-button etc. People do not become friends and do not send love to each other, by hitting buttons. Take for example the robot industry in Japan. These people don't need robots as friends, and robots as lovers. They need people. But all the people are so busy building robots, that they grow more and more alienated. Their expectations of the human race are also distorted, and they won't accept themselves, and others, for what we are, normally. It's not even sad, and not even outraging, but rather... silly. *shrug*

    It's usually not either-or, but some combination. This place has better tools than other places, but also the people are more humane.

    A forum is not a good reference for such a study, it takes too little part of man's life. In general, the culture certainly creates most of what the human is. But to evaluate it properly, it really takes to analyze all possible senses and interfaces, which influence the brain, from birth.
     
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  4. The Jester

    If I remember it right, it was a raid by /b/.

    You could say that culture is created by people, and that the internet is just a way of expressing that culture.
     
  5. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    I think there is probably something to what the author says, but I don't think it will stop this particular culture from expanding. People like new stuff and they like new gadgets, but in the end it is all pretty shallow and of limited worth (assuming there probably is some worth in it). We like being more connected, but we really do not understand connection or the things that really are of value to connect to...so we accept the rather anemic, shallow substitutes most close at hand. Culture (or marketers of culture) will never get it completely right...I'm afraid it is still up to individuals to keep their own act together.
     
  6. OP
    Simonmagus

    Simonmagus Newbie

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    Yes, I didn't know that but I'm not surprised to hear it, that's just thie kind of thing that /b/ would do. I guess there always will be 14 year old boys doing stupid things, always have been. If they weren't doing "raids" online they would be pursuing wholesome outdoor pursuits like, um, shoplifting or vandalism.
     
  7. acd

    acd jezi baba

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    People create the culture... any culture.. with whatever they have.
     
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  8. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
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  9. IndigoSensor

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    Exactly. Without it, we have nothing to relate to, talk to, or do with others as a soceity. Culture changes with the newest generation, and their own set of values. To them, this is acceptable, and workable. It might not be intrinsicly right, but overall it usually isn't harmful. This one, I do not see as terribly harmful. Albeit, I am bais, as I am at the tail end of the net generation.
     
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  10. NaeturVindur

    NaeturVindur Cuddlemaster
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    I would actually say quite the opposite. The internet, particularly places like forums, are wonderful places for identity play. They give places for people to be someone entirely new without social repercussions. People are typically composed of many many ways to identify, and all of the identities don't always agree. With the internet, we are alloed to explore all these various dimensions of themselves. This is unique because in normal real life, if we suddenly start acting out a new identity we would confuse people, who would be put off by our change. If everyone were constantly experimenting there could be no reliability on anyone, so a solid ident is useful for societal cohesion, but with mediums like the internet, we would just have to suppress all of our other idents. Yes, the anonymity can create trolls, but these trolls troll on the internet so they don't have to in real life. I know plenty of /b/tards IRL, who are freer in their expression than most, but really don't troll IRL. [/stream of consciousness]
     
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  11. Carolynabj

    Carolynabj Regular Poster

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  12. Carolynabj

    Carolynabj Regular Poster

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    I agree with much of what you said but I think one of the biggest pitfalls of the Internet is its ability to allow people to be anonymous and impersonal. So people feel free to say in text what they would never say in person, face-to-face. Maybe the Internet just supports cowardness?
     
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