User:ThomasW/Notes DigitalTailspin

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Seeman, Michael (2015) Digital Tailspin Ten Rules for the Internet After Snowden, Amsterdam, INC

Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. sett fire to his ship Figuratively speaking, we need to demolish all hope of returning to the Old Game. The New Game is clearly not paradise on earth, is not inherently better than the old, but it is exciting and full of opportunities. New worlds entail risks that differ from those dragons of old. By mentally detaching from our old world we can free our minds to those new opportunities and challenges, as well as risks, that await us in the New Game. page 13

We will know a lot more about the past – that is, about today – than we know about our past today. Then we look back even further:

Looking further back into the past, into the years 2009, 2008 or 2007, you will find the light cone of data fading. You will find yourself on the verge of a zone of darkness you no longer have access to. You may vaguely remember some of the data points beyond this light cone. But recalling the unlit past will seem increasingly tedious, because you know nothing for certain and can’t check the details in any of the archives. This means that we are already in the process of leaving this area of darkness now, in our current years. page 14

So here’s the bad news: neither state-aided, nor economic, nor private surveillance is going to be overturned in any way. The right to informational self-determination, hard won thirty years ago with so much verve and pathos, has been fundamentally damaged, and everyone is carrying on pretending nothing happened. page 18

privacy paradox’. The paradox lies in the observation that, in surveys and interviews, privacy is always mentioned as being extremely important to respondents, while at the same time this rarely prompts people to do the slightest thing about it. page 19

Apparently, we are not willing to pay a price for privacy. The costs of privacy are virtually zero. Although we keep insisting on how much we care about our data, ‘privacy is important!’, it obviously is little more than lip service – a mantra that is socially accepted, but devoid of content. page 19

Our digital lives have been monitored, not just occasionally or recently, but continuously for the past ten years. That means that if total surveillance were as much a risk to personal freedom and individuality as digital rights activists have been suggesting for a long time, no one in the Western hemisphere would be able to feel free or individualistic any more. In other words, the question of whether we can live with total surveillance has already been answered in a way that is by no means hypothetical, but decidedly empirical: yes, we can, and we have been doing so for more than ten years. page19

Eli Pariser. In his book The Filter Bubble he argues that our notion of reality is increasingly determined by algorithmically filtered content, and explains why he sees this as a threat. page26

e assumes that we will only follow people with whom we entertain similar worldviews. This selectivity threatens to lead to self-affirmative echo chambers, reinforcing individual standpoints instead of challenging them. page 26

Network effects are reminiscent of the gravitational forces in a black hole: the more they absorb, the stronger they become. The more people, data, apps, products, or developers connect to a platform, the greater its suction will be. Platforms and network effects are the elephant in the room in the New Game. page 38

When air travel became a mass market in the 1950s, IBM, together with the US Air Force, had already developed the so-called SAGE system. SAGE was a computerized anti-aircraft defense system that collected data from different radar stations and transmitted it to central locations. Remarkably, SAGE also seemed to have precisely the features that were interesting for booking procedures in civil aviation. So IBM, in cooperation with American Airlines, went on to develop SABRE (Semi-Automated Business Research Environment), a booking system that could transmit data on flight itineraries over long distances, and coordinate and perform seat reservations. page 51

But we mustn’t be so gullible as to imagine Facebook and Google as the incoming platform rulers of the world. They are merely early insignia of a new paradigm that is only just unfolding. The day we log on to their far more powerful successors, we will find that their current supposed power was a mere joke in comparison. page 57