Manhunt is an intriguing series. It dramatizes the story of Ted Kaczynski, aka the UNABOMBER. Those of us who grew up in the Nineties remember the story of bombs that arrived by mail and exploded in the hands of the recipients. It went on for years and years, the FBI’s most expensive manhunt. The new Netflix series, Manhunt, is a compelling crime story, but it’s far more. Before he was caught, Kaczynski was actually able to negotiate to have his manifesto printed in the Washington Post. At the time, the public dismissed the manifesto whose premise seemed ridiculous: The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. It was easy enough, back then, to reject Kaczynski as mentally insane, but this Netflix series raises the provocative question: was Ted Kaczynski right?
A bit of trivia: Which nation invented the Internet? Which nation’s tax dollars helped build the infrastructure of the Internet? Which nation’s consumers gets the worst deal (i.e. they pay some of the highest prices for Internet connection while at the same time getting fairly mediocre service)? Yes, oh yes, the answer is one and the same for all questions: The United States of America. Like so many things, the Internet was a publicly funded enterprise paid for with our tax dollars, then it was essentially given to a few corporations so that they could monetize it. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts last year made $33 million. #thankscapitalism But things don’t have to be this way. There are real alternatives, and we have a unique opportunity, now, to change course.
This just in, from a recent Guardian article: The inventor of the world wide web always maintained his creation was a reflection of humanity – the good, the bad and the ugly. But Berners-Lee’s vision for an “open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries” has been challenged by increasingly powerful digital gatekeepers whose algorithms can be weaponised by master manipulators. “I’m still an optimist, but an optimist standing at the top of the hill with a nasty storm blowing in my face, hanging on to a fence,” said the British computer scientist.
Question: What’s stopping us from just taking over Facebook? We live in an era of rage, and rage is an appropriate response to the nearly unprecedented level of cultural and political corruption, but unless outrage has a productive direction to go in, it just ends up with…well, with Trump & Co. What we need is creativity, imagining new possibilities for society, beyond the sound-bytes and clichés that both conservatives and liberals have been fighting about for decades. So, here’s an idea: We take over Facebook
I’d been blogging like a fiend for about six weeks, then suddenly nothing, until this post. I didn’t realized how much my blogging depended on my smartphone until my smartphone began to die, a few weeks back. At first I thought it was the battery, because the power would drain fast and take a long time to charge. So, new battery. When that didn’t work I ended up getting a new phone, well, new for me. I picked up a refurbished version of the phone I have been using for a few years, the ole Samsung Note 3. The Samsung Note 3 was the phone that everyone started calling a “phablet” a few years back. (Is it a phone? Is it a tablet? It’s both!) Big phones are the norm now, but a few years back the Note 3 looked and felt like way too much, so people would send them back, and because there were so many models sent back, I picked up a refurbished model of the Note 3, for cheap. Now that …
So, the title is a tongue twister, for those who are into such things, people weird like me. We’ve all now extended ourselves via the virtual world of the Internet, it isn’t science fiction, it’s just our daily reality, a reality that is both virtual and real…and often times, our lives lie somewhere in between. Here’s the leading idea: Technology is an extension of the self. It ain’t all bad, I’m not saying that, not really. Speaking for myself, my brain remembers more shit, due to the fact that I have the Google Note app on my smartphone. I have access to a wider variety of news and current events info., because I can browse through the vast infinite space of information and ideas, aka the world wide web. I can retain and recall more of that information because I use the Evernote app to save web pages and notes as well as my own thoughts and writings. And I correspond quicker — instantly sending messages around the world! — and I correspond more often, via …
Forget the idea that Twitter and Facebook are bad for democracy. Bubbles can be beneficial, and help emerging movements unite against the elites I sometimes fear that I’m some sort of a “slacktivist.” At its worst, a slacktivist is someone who only exerts the most minimal efforts toward causes they deem worthy. A slacktivist may share a meme on Facebook or sign an online petition, then after burning .01 calories in about sixty some seconds of exertion, they hear a distinct and rewarding voice in the back of their heads, congratulating them: you’ve done your part. [pat on the back]