Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Big Brother is your best friend

I'll spare the business and technical details. Just try to think of this: 10 years down the line, you'll get most of information you need from Wikipedia (if u think it is not creditable - think again.) , you'll be using your web account (gmail/facebook or something futuristic) for everything: you'll be "an account" - order food, clothes, transfer money , watch TV (digital broadcast is here - yay!) fall in love - you name it, and you'll be doing that all day, everyday - with your mobile. Eventually, we'll all have blackberries. (or my geek phone HTC S740).
The bottom line is, your life will change because ur expectations will change, because you'll have much more information about people and things. You will DEMAND more information. i.e. you'll know ur friends whereabouts at all times, there hobbies, there friends, and they will expect to know u equally. We will all be Lindsay Lohans and George Bush (check this :, so, you'll want to reconsider how u perceive people and privacy.

Resistance .... is futile! (not really, but I always wanted to say this).

There is a digital footprint to all of this, and well, they can find you - what you do on the web will be you - and if you're worried about credit cards online, u have only your own stupidity to worry about, and how dodgy is your browsing. "They" is not the government - its the Googles, Microsofts, IBMs , YouTubes , Facebooks, etc... that basically keep a log of everything and anything you do on the web. Sure, this sounds like a blatant invasion of privacy, but well, we have to live with it, and there is nothing we can do about it. Of course, there are laws that protect us and disallow this information to be used against or without your consent, but that' really kind of a hollow protection, because once the information is out there, it's out there. If you said that your girlfriend was fat while chatting to your friend on msn or something, and she happens to stumble on your conversation history - you are history. What I am trying to say, that you can deny saying that, and you can also claim that she had no right to see your logs, but well, she did, and you can't take that back. But that's all bullocks, in my open source loving opinion.

A small story. During the Cold War, the United States had mini high frequency microphones all across the coast of Cyberia, that were supposed to record tons of shit that was going on in the former Soviet Union.
Fair enough, although, these microphones, were completely useless. Why? Becuase there was really no one to process all that data. The bottom line is, that most of the web is actually text, and well, since machines can't think (Alan Turing prove that machines can't ever think for themselves , using something called the Turing Test), and because machines can't think, well, even with all the sophisticated indexing and mining techniques, it still boils down to some kind of text search, and, the complexity of having smart searches, within these "data agents" becomes gastronomical with the exponential increase in data, and those logs, while may be very useful, are really mainly useful for those generating them.

i.e. If I wanted to know what I was talking about with my best friend a month ago, it may take me like a couple of minutes or so, to go back to that date and skim through the log to figure out what we were talking about. But, if I want to go through a log , so these logs are basically just the details to a more global picture, to which only those who create that picture, can use it.

Bottom line is, that all this data we generate, we should not fear the fact that now everything we do is being watched, and that Big Brother is watching us. I believe in a different thing. I believe in evolution, and again, I keep mentioning the word "critical mass", and once all these "logs" gain enough critical mass to become a fact of life, then, we will just evolve to seeing the value in having all our information on record. We will no longer try to hide our information, but rather, embrace it. In a sense, we will WANT to keep a log on all the details of our life, because, at the end of the day , we are the information we generate, and well, if we can look back at our lives, in ever more details, then, we can develop a better understanding of ourselves, our behaviors, actions and feelings.

So, if you're worried that if you are reading this blog, google is keeping a timestamp on the time and day you visited this site, well, great! One day, when I am rich and famous, you can actually go back in time and see exactly when ......

"I told you so."

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