Tag Archives: tech news

Women: the Target of Gamers?

Tech NewsJaron Lanier is the father of Virtual Reality, and one of the most respected technology writers in the world. He has appeared in multiple publications, including the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Nature, Wired, Discover, and Forbes. Time magazine chose him as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world. Winner of multiple awards and honorary doctorates, he is a computer scientist, musician, and author of “Who Owns the Future?” and “You Are Not a Gadget.” His new book is a biographical reflection on AI, social media, and our connection to VR and the internet of things. “Dawn of the New Everything” is a must-read or must-hear treatise on the loss of humanity in today’s depressed, obsessed culture of online iPhone substitution for life. He says that Gamer Gate elected Trump, and the hatred for women in the gaming community is not total, but nearly so. Anyone perceived as “feminist” is a target. Fake news was created by the “alt-Right” within gaming, where guns solve all problems. (First person shooter games comprise most games. In some you can kill cops, civilians, and women on the street.) The promise of AI is being sidelined in favor of those who use it to spy and manipulate audiences for profit, often without their awareness. He says that creating an “ethical” algorithm is not possible at this point, since programs are about numbers, not feelings. So it is important for people to stop talking about the Terminator, and work to create partnerships with technology to work for good, with transparency. Get out of the bubble they want you inside in order to better sell you products and beliefs, and look around with real human eyes at real problems requiring human creativity to solve.  



Are You Being Brandwashed?


Unlike the Flat Earthers, who believe the number one threat to society is NASA lying to people, I believe the real threat is giant corporations who have created our fake news culture as a diversion while they spy on us. Latest case in point is the book THE AISLES HAVE EYES. Author Joseph Turow is a professor at the Annenberg School of Communication, and his subtitle is “How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power.” Your “power” is becoming illusory. Listen to the audiobook HIT MAKERS by Derek Thompson, subtitled “The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction,” (due out Feb. 7.) We are being distracted while our personal data is being mined and sold to third parties under our noses, often within seconds of downloading a “free” app or turning on a “smart” phone. Who is smart? Not the consumer, for sure. Those posting fake news to distract us (or viral cat videos: same thing) are being used by politicians and corporations to manipulate our thoughts and actions. (And how we vote.) If there’s a conspiracy out there, it’s from people like Alex Jones of InfoWars talking about things that don’t matter. Or ESPN. Dan Patrick has a popular radio show that is also on cable TV, with toys for good old big boys surrounding him. Nothing wrong with that, you say? Well, for anyone watching him, or Alex, or the Flat Earthers, or a thousand TV shows, when is there time to read books? Most don’t, anymore. That’s the point made in Hit Makers. Hits are those things that get the most clicks. How do they do this? By advance publicity from influencers and celebs, by market saturation, by slight of hand and tailored ads. Like football, it is a sport with the biggest prize of all: eyeballs. If they can keep your attention focused on what they want, they can control you. It’s as simple (and complex) as that. What chance does quality content have, in this environment? The same odds as a plow horse running in the Kentucky Derby. It may be a smart horse, but that doesn’t matter at all, in direct rebuttal of the saying, “If you’re smart why ain’t you rich?” Likewise, the best things can get ignored. This extends from songs to products. As Bill Gates told Steve Jobs in the film The Pirates of Silicon Valley, “You have the best stuff, but it doesn’t matter.” (At that point Gates had control of the market with an inferior product: Windows was a ripoff, one operating system stacked on top of another, and prone to bugs and viruses. MacOS is still superior, but not as ubiquitous. Jobs ripped off Xerox and improved on it, eventually going viral with iMac, iPod, and iPhone.) The moral of the story? Buyer beware. You’re basically on your own, especially if you don’t read books. Because the major media won’t tell you this. They are in on the gravy train. Watch NBC or CBS or ABC evening news programs, and what happens every time? They start off with a relatively long report on soundbites and viral videos, then move to shorter and shorter items, the drug commercials building momentum until by the end they are saying, “When we come back” within ten seconds of coming back! Then you see another series of Big Pharma ads for diseases we wouldn’t have if we weren’t on our devices or watching the NFL so much while munching on advertised junk food.



Drone on STEROIDS!


Self driving cars? How about a self driving drone helicopter? This is a nightmare drone, too. Imagine another drone hits one of the propellers…you could drop like a stone. No time to get out and deploy a chute. Unless they plan an escape hatch below. Then you have to watch for the spinning out-of-control blades. This is definitely a vehicle for extroverts and action junkies. Or Darwin Award winners.


Speaking of Darwin Awards, heavy soda drinkers qualify too. Bang or whimper?