Something I find a tad annoying about online behaviour these days is the ‘drive by comment’ on social media platforms. This is a remark triggered by a headline that flows by as a link. The commenter doesn’t click the link but merely posts a response based on the headline alone. I’ve been noticing it happening, … More Drive-by commentaries and social media
Something I’ve noticed online of late is the number of people who believe they are experts in fields in which they’re manifestly not qualified. The ones I’ve run into clearly believe themselves to ‘know more’ even than those qualified and professionally working in that territory. On my experience of them, such people don’t want to … More The problem with self-appointed online experts
I’ve been writing for a US magazine website for a few years now. The other day, one of my articles from it was stolen. I discovered the theft while on the train, idly scrolling the Facebook app on my phone. Somebody who runs a page focused on a suburb of my home town Napier – … More How I dealt with the theft of my intellectual property
I watched ‘The Social Dilemma’ a few days ago, the Netflix semi-dramatised documentary exposing the business model behind social media, and what it’s doing to world society. I wasn’t surprised; the social outcomes have been clear for a while. The ‘confirmation bubbles’ to which social media reduces people are a function of the way in … More The social media dilemma and its consequences
It’s 51 years this coming week since Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon. Just over half a century since the most stunning achievement in the history of the world. Think about it this way. Life has existed on Earth for around three billion years. For most of that time it was little more than single-celled … More Recapturing the dream – memories of Apollo and a wonderful future
There’s an old joke about the Moon landing hoax conspiracy. You know: “Sure it was a hoax, but they got Stanley Kubrick to direct and he insisted that they had to be on location.” I thought everybody knew that one. It’s an oldie but a goodie that suitably lampoons the lunatic fringe who imagine the … More When a joke about the moon hoax is taken too seriously
As the twenty-first century approaches its third decade I am deeply worried about the nature of how social media is served to us. It didn’t really exist twenty years ago when everybody was worried about the ‘millennium bug’ destroying everything. Today it’s engaged by a really significant chunk of every human alive on the planet, … More If it’s free, you’re the product – again
A few weeks ago there was a rather nasty and violent incident in Queenstown, one of New Zealand’s main tourist traps, involving two groups of passers-by on the street. Something happened, a brawl broke out, and at least two people were stabbed. Apparently it came out of absolutely nowhere. And this sort of thing seems … More Why do people fight each other over nothing?
Something I’ve noticed lately on social media has slightly puzzled me. It happens to me, and I’m sure it happens to others. I always post links to my blog on Facebook – it’s one of the tools available in WordPress, and why not? The link consists of the first words of the post along with … More Why do people react to headlines alone?
The privacy issues kicked up by the current Facebook data scandal – which reportedly saw $83 billion wiped off its stock value last week – are scary not so much for the specific relevations that triggered it, or for the particular issue itself; but because of the deeper issue underpinning it, one shared by all … More The Facebook data scandal is the thin end of a very scary wedge