Internet: The Future of the Toaster

5240007904_873f38cbb4

As I was browsing the web, I stumbled upon this post from Wired Magazine. It is an interesting piece that delves into what the future of technology will be: connected directly into the internet. It will bring forth new “smart” devices, much like how modern technology have turned phones into miniature computers. However, when did the human race develop a need for devices, like the toaster, to be connected to the internet?

It also sheds light on another topic: privacy. If these objects are connected to the internet, who is protecting that data? What security measures are being set into place that will prevent this data from being stolen by either nefarious groups like Anonymous or the even corporations that make our society function. It is a real scary thought if you realize that right now your phone can be tracked, calls recorded, texts intercepted, and other personal information viewed by an outside source that you do not not know is watching. I am not a conspiracy theorist or anything but articles like this, which reveal that the government is also collecting information and breaching this privacy nearly blows my mind. For most Americans, we believe privacy is basic right that should not be violated, but even as free as our nation is privacy is still one of the biggest issues we face.

In a perfect world, an individual could go onto the internet and be completely honest. They could store all their information onto their favorite websites, purchase goods on their favorite online stores, and never once have to thinkabout the possibility of “what happens if my information is taken?” I bet you have even witnessed it too. Logging into Facebook and you see one of those spam posts from a friend that you know obviously didn’t post or you’ve been tag with forty other people on a picture of a pairs shoes or something.

facebook_spam_amung_us_03

It happens everyday and it used to be as simple as having a strong password but that is not the case anymore. Gizmodo released this brief article on 12/31/13 that shows some of the security holes that the average individual overlooks. As much as we would love for the internet and technology to be private, in this day and age it is impossible. So, when your deciding to buy that ultra-fresh wifi enabled auto-toasting toaster just be aware that somewhere someone could be tracking that information and using it.

Is technology making the next generation more productive or less?

Although the skit by Jake and Amir is meant for comedic relief, it speaks a truth that is being played out more and more among young adults. Readings is become obsolete or at least reading novels and books is. Reading is done if at all because it is required and not for leisure or a greater understanding of the world or appreciation for fine writing. There doesn’t seem to be a need to read when a summary of the book can be found online or watching the movie is easier. Amir says that the kindle isn’t a distraction from whatever he is doing on the laptop. It appears that people are beginning to think of reading as the distraction rather than technology being a distraction.

Bill Gates, the inventor of Microsoft, did an interview recently with Stephan Colbert. Bill Gates is no longer working on technology, but instead focuses more on major issues like population growth and diseases all over the world. He discussed the role of technology and human passion in successfully reducing diseases such as polio. Passion is most important according to Bill Gates, but technology helps people work in smarter way and in a more efficient manner. Technology allows for greater organization, communication, and distribution of information. Data helps us detect problems, errors, and areas that need more work.

Technology is being utilized more and more in the workplace because it has the potential to increase productivity. So it makes sense that schools have decided in order to get kids ready for the real world they need to add smart boards to every classroom and hand out ipads to every students. This is supposed to help them succeed when they graduate right? But what about the fact that student can’t even concentrate on their homework or reading anymore because of the constant stimulation due to technology? Everything is fast paced and everyone multitasking. They share, comment, and like on facebook while tweeting and watching youtube videos perhaps with the tv on in the background. With all that going, who wants to slow down to learn something that’s difficult to grasp or read a book or actually workout a calculus problem. School work is tedious and kids get bored so they distract themselves with something more interesting… like anything on the internet.

Surely, technology is going to play a huge role in most people’s lives when they go out and start working. But what if kids don’t make it college or cant get good jobs because they did poorly in school due to the same technology that is one day supposed to ensure success in their future careers? Or what if by allowing technology to infiltrate every aspect of a child’s life, they are losing other vital skills that are also just as important for finding a job? No employer is going to be impressed by a worker who spends most of the workday on facebook instead of focusing on the job they are being paid to do. It’s nice to think that people will focus on their jobs because they have a passion for what they are doing, but in reality, lots adults work to make money and survive..not because they love what they do.

While introducing kids to technology, maybe we should also be teaching self-control, patience, limiting technological stimulation, and increasing their attention span without the use of drugs like Adderall? Is that something that can be taught? If so, how? How about creating a education system that works on developing the interests, thinking critically, being creative, connecting ideas, discussing solutions to real world problems in addition to memorizing information and doing well on standardized tests? Why not engage a student’s mind, talent, and skills? Technology alone isn’t going to generate interest in a subject matter, but great educators and the right environment with the proper use of technology can create interest as well as help student acquiring, processing and utilizing information learned while in school.

The Emergence of the Fascinating “ME”: The Facebook Epidemic of the Virtual Self

By perpetuating the popular fallacy that all individuals are equally intriguing, Facebook has established itself as the ideal social media platform for self glorification.  No longer are private sentiments, acts or events recognized as poignant moments of a personal life, but instead news worthy tidbits to be broadcasted incessantly in the interest of validation from an assembled audience.  Identity in the 21st century revolves around a propped up virtual display of self promotion in order to achieve the desired glossed image of constructed “cool”.  Emulating the nauseating status of celebrity, the self obsessed feel compelled to document every mundane errand ( “I’m going to Walmart to buy motor oil for my BMW”) and inane thought ( “I loovvve my Gucci sunglasses. See?” ) complete with product placement to stir the spectators into a breathless frenzy of admiration and convey the most essential point: ” Pay attention- I am so friggin spectacular”.

No longer do personal attributes need to be internally developed to merit a distinct character when it can be clicked into existence- because its all about the image right?  Who wants to be bothered with the arduous task of ‘being”, of embodying traits when you can posture instead?  Everyone strives for the perfect image, but no one strives for the perfect soul.  Materialism defines us,  aesthetics establish worth, self delusion substitutes for substance..

MEDIOCRITY IS DEIFIED

sheep_off_cliff

Child of the…Internet?

I feel as though I grew up as a child of the book.  My mom really emphasized the importance of reading for fun, which I picked up very naturally.  As I grew up my 4533753-little-child-girl-sitting-on-a-bed-and-looking-at-the-empty-page-of-the-booklove of reading also grew, even as the Internet became extremely popular. But I don’t think being a child of the book only means that you enjoy to read.  Originally when I heard child of the book I related to it, but now thinking about my teenage years I don’t think that Ican have that title.  Ithink our generation is more of a transitional period, where our earlier years we grew up with books, but as we’ve aged it has completely changed.  The idea of not using Google today to do projects is such a foreign idea to me, and I really can’t remember the last time I’ve used a book for a project, especially when it wasn’t required.  So while I know I am definitely addicted to technology and the Internet, I feel as though the upcoming generation is far worse. 

 

120521043619-clinton-steyer-internet-story-topI recently went on vacation with my 5and 7-year-old cousins, and I couldn’t believe how often they used technology.  On a 20-minute car ride they asked for their iPods before their seatbelts were even buckled.  When I told them we were going to talk for the duration of the car ride rather than play games, both of them immediately started throwing tantrums.  I couldn’t believe how much they relied on technology to keep themselves occupied.  And the interesting part of it wasn’t that I felt they were constantly were playing with their iPods, but how they were in social situations.  They needed constant attention and were almost incapable of entertaining themselves.  It really came across that being entertained was almost our duty, when I always felt when I was younger that it was my job to occupy myself. 

BrothersPlayingVideoGamesWhile playing in the pool they weren’t capable of doing anything on their own and got really bored very quickly.  These video games are constantly changing, making real life seem inadequate and boring.  This also can play into the over prescribed pills for Attention Deficit Disorder.  Maybe the problem isn’t the children’s ability to focus, but the fast paced games.  I’m really curious to see how growing up a child of the Internet will effect children in the future. 

Video Games as “Interactive Art”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2012/mar/15/journey-game-or-interactive-art

This is an article on the videogame Journey, created by a small company called “thatgamecompany.” I’ve never played it myself (I don’t have a PS3) but I have watched a playthrough of it. It is beautiful, relaxing, and very different from mainstream videogames. I’ve heard many people talk about how Journey has helped them in some way (some even say it has given them “epiphanies”). Personally, the game was too short for me (as most indie games are), but I do think it proves that even videogames can be a form of art, and is therefore important in the “evolution” of videogames as more than just a means of entertainment. Their other games, Flow and Flower, and games done by other companies such as Limbo, Datura, and SoundShapes have experimented with the idea of making a game as an art form. I thought of this game during our discussion on what art is, so I thought I’d post this article.

Is the Internet Good for Us?

The internet can be a wealth of knowledge. It proves us with the ease to assess to information and resources that were once only obtainable by cracking open a book. It has the ability to let you share photos, videos, comments and even create entire pages dedicated to yourself via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, ect.. The internet medium is not a dying technology, but one that is growing more so by the day. However, this does bring forth the question: is the internet good for us?

During the episode of How I Met Your Mother: History vs. Mystery, the affects of the internet and what it does to an individual are humorous portrayed through the show’s titles characters.

I had never really put into consideration how much the internet has changed society considering I progressed through my teenage years at rise of social media, but I can say that this clip does portray how the internet has changed our behavior. I remember when I was younger and did not have access to phones that could connect to the internet. Those times were all about having fun with friends and getting into debates or being curious about facts and having to wait to look them up at a later point in time. Now if a debate breaks out we have to whip out our phones to look up the relevant information and by that times we honestly have lost all interest.

Our society has become to infused with the concept of being connected to the internet that it is commonplace to look up information about a new acquaintance, stalk their Facebook page or Google search their name to see if anything that would be undesirable pops up. We can know somebodies likes, interests, habits and preferences just by entering a name and hitting enter. Twenty to thirty years ago this kind of behavior would be considered obsessive and crazy but in today’s society is has become acceptable due to the fact that the information is public.

The problem arises because what we consider private is actually public. It was the topic of concern in the assignment article Welcome to the Blogosphere. We all share information online and do not truly consider who may or may not see it. Our future-selves may not see it coming but what could happen when they look back and us and realize that we posted something that has had a negative impact in their our life? I would certainly assume that they would be mad. Can you blame them though? We live in a world where we are constantly connected and that constant is affected our own behavior.

Before the internet people used to go outside and play. They used to spend more time with family, read the newspaper, go to concerts, form real memories and have real events occur right before their eyes. Now, it is just we sit in front of a SetWidth420-TheLatestPluginDeviceYourBrain120110214screen as synthetic light projects what ever we desire in front of our faces. It has replaced real human interaction with the addiction to constantly be up-to-date and informed, even when in the presence of real people. The previous post by Professor Bielecki posed the question if it was still possible to be a child of the book and at this point it seems unlikely. As newer generations are born they are taught that the internet is the easiest source of information and it will remain like that until something further advanced is invented. We have allowed ourselves into an Orwellian future of sorts, where privacy is a thing of the past and we either have to change that outcome or accept our future.

A Child of the Internet

The internet makes sense to me. I know how it works. I know how it moves. I know what it eats, breaths, and shits (excuse the rather nasty metaphor). At least in a general sense. I pretty much have spent my entire life connected to it in some way. Or when I was very young, I was being ‘set up’ to be connected to it all the time. So I’m always surprised when I come across someone who isn’t familiar with it at all. Sure, there are some people who don’t use it that much or they only use it for specific things that interest them, but when I find someone who has no idea how it operates  my first thought it “You’re missing out”.

Growing up in the “digital age” or the “Internet wave” (I put quotes around that last one, but I may be just making up a new phrase), I was never intimidated by it. And I feel that many people in society are. Maybe they aren’t actively intimidated, “Oh my GOD, what is this THING?!” sort of intimidation, but they certainly keep their distance, poke at it and then grimace, obtain massive headaches, or just give up and walk away altogether.

The internet has had astounding affects on different fronts. It has changed the publishing industry, communication, the music industry, etc. etc. etc. Pretty much anything you can think of, really. But what seems to me to be taking the longest is the education front that is being changed. Communication, music and publishing companies have figured out a way to adapt and change. They have gone through a sort of “apocalypse” (or back to paulmpb82’s post, Is It Still Possible to Be a Child of the Book?), and with a few of the smaller record companies, cell phone companies, and publishing companies down and out of the race, the movements as a whole have come out and have survived.

This is, of course, my own speculation, because I don’t have all the experience in the world, and there is so much more research to be done, but it seems to me that the education system is still at the start of their apocalypse. They are trying as hard as they can to fight for as long as they can in order to keep people from realizing that the system needs to change. It’s changed in small ways, only baby steps. But I have found that most of the teachers I have dealt with look at the internet and make that sort of grimace with their face. Don’t mention the internet, it’s full of silly videos of cats and babies. But I’m here to tell you that there is so much more that can be done with it. The possibilities are near endless. Even this article, or blog post, whatever you will, is lacking in exploring all those possibilities. It is built in a way that allows you to learn and be mentally stimulated in nearly any desirable way. Also, it’s nearly free in comparison to other avenues.

Don’t get me wrong. I did also grow up reading books and writing hand written letters and listening to cassettes (and shortly after, CDs). So I’ve straddled both worlds for a little. Seeing both, I don’t have any fear of the ‘old world’ will completely disappear. Sure, it may diminish, but it will always have it’s place because it gives an entirely different feel. It’s personal in ways that the internet isn’t. But then, of course, the internet can be very personal through blogs, and vlogs, and having your own personal web-space. It really has to do with not just appreciating the stuff of the web, but also contributing to it. And that’s what I’m here to do.