Humanity Over Tech

The news is full of the bad boys of the internet. Their lack of interest in ‘we the people’. Their apparent disregard for humanity. The need and importance for tech tech tech – no humanity needed.

But sometimes – just sometimes – the good news, the positive news, the uplifting news does get through.

Keith Block, vice chairman, president and COO of Salesforce, and his wife, Suzanne Kelley, VP of operations & PMO, global business units at Oracle Corporation, made the lead $15 million gift to establish the Block Center for Technology and Society at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy.

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The Second Innings Of The Internet

“Moral leadership means truly putting people first and making whatever sacrifices that entails,” said Seidman. “That means not always competing on shallow things and quantity — on how much time people spend on your platform — but on quality and depth. It means seeing and treating people not just as ‘users’ or ‘clicks,’ but as ‘citizens,’ who are worthy of being accurately informed to make their best choices. It means not just trying to shift people from one click to another, from one video to another, but instead trying to elevate them in ways that deepen our connections and enrich our conversations.”

Dov Seidman, CEO of LRN

via Thomas Friedman

… makes total sense to me. What we have today is the total domination of the online world by old school, old power, old values corporations – and people be damned. That is why we started People First – and interesting to see ourselves at the intersection of organizations and issues like The Indie Web and Internet Identity amongst others.

But if you think about issues like Ad Tracking, Profiling, Big Data, Walled Gardens, Data Warehouses, Self Sovereignty, Data Ownership, Net Neutrality, POSSE, longevity – you can complete the list as well as I can … the entire push and narrative today is to the benefit of the large corporation and the detriment of ‘we the people’.

By the way – if you want to see indie web in action – john.philpin.com is running on micro.blog – a nascent but emerging micro blog environment that is just part of this particular persons war chest of tools to take back the internet for people. More of this to come in future posts.

As I have said for many years – “I am my own system of record”.

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Digital Tech Is Transforming The Physical Shape Of Our Cities

“The digital revolution is changing how and where work happens. Employment is becoming more flexible and fluid, with digital technology enabling more people to work remotely and to collaborate in the cloud. This will impact city-centre offices, with landlords having to adjust to weaker demand and shorter leases. And as artificial intelligence bites – machines don’t care where they work – we’ll see the growth of cheaper regional back-offices, which is bad news for expensive cities.”

Read All About It.

The Downside Of Social Media

Titans of Social Media explain why they might have made a mistake.

There has been a lot of recent commentary on social media addiction, but this video summary was interesting, concise and in 15 minutes says it all.

To me what is interesting is that they all say that they could see it coming … and then did it anyway. What does that say about them. It certainly doesn’t say that they ‘put people first’. Continue reading

Equifax Breach of Trust

On September 07, 2017, Equifax—one of the “big three” credit reporting agencies—shared a quiet investor relations document with information about a security breach that began in May, 2017 and was not discovered until late July:

[Criminals accessed] names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. [They] also accessed credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers.

It took Equifax another 40 days to let people know outside the company.

The response from Equifax has been “corporately cautious” with little consideration for the effect on people. Continue reading

Artist Jorge Otero Escobar weaving Lomo (Backbone) in 2015

The Future of Work

Artist Jorge Otero Escobar weaving Lomo (Backbone) in 2015

I just read a blog post, The Future of Work – Redux by John Philpin. It provides a nice, short look at what might happen as computers, robots and artificial intelligence become increasingly present in the workplace—what will people do when “all the work is done by robots?” As a result, I will be using computer, robots and AI interchangeably for the rest of this post.

John expresses a view that the future includes people working with robots, not simply people being replaced by robots. I happen to agree with that. I’ve written several blog posts on artificial intelligence (AI) and my skepticism about the capabilities and pace of the introduction of AI systems. AI has enormous potential, but I don’t see AI making humans obsolete any time soon (actually, I don’t see AI making humans obsolete—period).

Computers, and by extension, robots and AI, possess one important capability: they can add and subtract really friggin’ fast. George Boole developed what we now call Boolean Logic and it created an approach that allows us, following in the footsteps of Charles Babbage, Augusta Ada King-Noel Countess Lovelace (nee Byron), Grace Hopper and Claude Shannon, to stick those additions and subtractions together in such a way as to resolve any computable task (à la Alan Turing).

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It Is Up To Us

If we don’t care—why should the government or corporations?

Working through the news this morning, my eyes caught three different articles that I felt were pertinent to People First.

 


David Byrne

A fascinating article—if a tad ‘self’-repetitive from the thoughtful David Byrne. The final line from his piece that examines the role of technology is contributing to and detracting from human interaction and engagement. No specific solutions, which is good, since the answers lie with ‘we the people’.

“We” do not exist as isolated individuals. We, as individuals, are inhabitants of networks; we are relationships. That is how we prosper and thrive.

Source: David Byrne for Technology Review
(August 15th, 2017)


Federal Unions Disbanded?

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