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Sep. 3rd, 2014 @ 03:25 pm Electric Sheep

This is a public post, and it's just to vent some things that are really bothering me, lately.

For my friends here - this is just to see whether anyone even remotely shares my concerns - no need to either read or respond.

I'm 55 years old and like everyone who's been around for several decades, I've seen some changes in the world. It's stereotypical, and the basis of many jokes, for older people to feel more and more disconnected from the 'modern world', and to question what seems perfectly acceptable to younger people, but often that's to do with technology, or counterculture, or fashion. I'm not one of those people. I love technology - it 's fundemental to my job in film and TV visual effects - I run my own company, and I apply everything I learn so I can stay connected with trends, and hopefully remain successful. I spent four years at art college - I'm open minded, creative, liberal and non-judgemental about individual taste and choice. People have a right to express themselves, and hold their own opinions.

So I'm not a luddite. And I don't live in the past.

But I'm finding it very hard to believe how much freedom and privacy is being given up by millions of people, in exchange for what seems like such an obvious carrot on a stick. I see technology being used as an enticement to enter a world of instant connectivity and global information exchange. On the one hand that's amazingly empowering - immediate access to data, to creative content, to friends and family, and to the answers to any question. But on the other hand it's inherently amazingly dangerous. But to see the danger you have to stop and ask yourself some questions. And I really don't think the majority of people have any interest in asking those kinds of questions. It's all too cool and exciting for there to be a catch. They don't seem to think anyone has a reason to take advantage of them.

This seems to be the natural assumption of people, collectively. That there is some kind of system in operation to protect them from being exploited. Is it the government? The police? The law? Consumer groups? Or is it just the notion that large corporations would never abuse  the consumers of their products?

The big problem with any of these ideas, is that we don't actually purchase data on the internet, and we generallty don't pay for the services that store our information on corporate servers. So we have no protection under the law. In fact, the opposite is true - we give up legal protection by signing extensive contracts for free services like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and the majority of email and social networking systems they offer. And we seem to simply accept the idea that our personal data, our contact lists, our time-logged location and our messages are used for nothing more than 'advertising'. We actually trust that these corporations that just went out of their way to remove our legal protection, are acting in our best interests.

Publicly traded corporations act in the best interests of their investors. Without exception. It's the reason that the investment banking system works, and ethics do not enter into the equation. Whatever assets (including our 'data') can be used to make a profit, will be used to make a profit. MUST be used to make a profit, or the company folds.

I can't put an exact date on when we all started handing over our personal information to (often foreign) corporations with such extraordinary trust. It's been a long process of enticement. The carrot has been there for at least two decades, but we've been walking further and further along the plank, each year.

It would be a pretty simple matter to destroy someone's life, simply by manipulation of personal data on corporate servers. But that's not very profitable. If you can't think of any way that we could all be systematically defrauded, or manipulated, over time - then you don't share my love of technology or my creative mind.

Whether I could or would do something like that depends on whether

1. I'm a corporate executive with that kind of clout

2. I put my personal financial success ahead of ethical considerations.

Now tell me that those kind of people don't exist, in this world that we're happily feeding information to?

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Sep. 2nd, 2013 @ 01:53 pm Assistance, please...
OK, LJ has gone through a couple of changes since I've been away, but...why would I want my own posts to appear on my friends page??
Not only that but it seems to keep rearranging posts out of date order?

I tried to get around that by creating a friends group, excluding myself from it, and then filtering the friends page to only show that group. It worked. Until I logged out. Now it's showing my posts again.

Any ideas how I fix this?
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Aug. 31st, 2013 @ 02:26 pm I'm Back...
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
I'm returning to LJ for two reasons.

Firstly I miss my friends. I miss sharing with them, having their trust, and knowing how they are. Facebook is such a poor place to keep up.

And secondly I'm moving on. After years of telling the same old story of unhappy marriage, and denying myself any real joy, my circumstances are finally changing in a very good way.

So I'll be happy to share that with my friends when I find them again.
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