Do we want technology to keep giving more people a voice, or will traditional gatekeepers control what ideas can be expressed? That is the question, I encounter with at the beginning of a post, not any post. It is a question to start a dialog among Facebook users. Who stated the question? Its founder Mark Zuckerberg. It is his personal challenge of the year, a dialog with a set of questions.
He takes every year a personal challenge, I have followed many of this challenges with diverse outcomes for myself. The challenge of reading books, I did not follow because I had so many things read already in books. I am an avid reader, but I do nowadays readings in magazines, all magazines, specially e-magazines. So instead of reading books I tried to put in shape my list of readings. It was as accurate as I remember, and as my library showed me. It was the heaviest item of the rest of our stuff combined when we moved to a different house.
When he announced he was going to run, I was already running a lot but I shared my status all year in Facebook. At 5:30 in the morning I started my 30 min. running at the gym. This routine was 5 days a week, I didn’t count the weekends. I never count the miles. But, I was pretty consistent.
When it was time for developing an AI gizmo, I was studying Arduino and Raspberry Pi, my “hang on projects” where not what I expected. Although, my experiments were a lot of fun, they were not well done. The ideas are still fantastic, I will return to them some other time.
When it was time to travel, Mark Zuckerberg went to all states in US. I only went to 2 countries and a few places in the US different from my hometown.
Then, things started to be complicated. The personal challenges were a priority but, for a CEO. Facebook CEO needed to be closer to the company, and for two years now the personal challenges are totally directed to Togetherness.
In my case, my personal the challenge for winter, will be to give to you the most ample explanations about how to do things in some apps in Social Media.
Returning to the first question of the challenge; Do we want technology to keep giving more people a voice, or will traditional gatekeepers control what ideas can be expressed? Well, my answer to that question goes with how do I define the presence of people in the internet. If it is not in Facebook, people will be sharing ideas, and using the internet to have a voice. Traditional gatekeepers will be trying to keep the gates in control. The thing is, that the internet is a whole universe, people will explore it unless everybody agree that it must be locked. Meaning all humanity, which is not feasible. Even in countries with heavy gate controls there have been humans that know there is something different from what happens in their geographical area.
Should we decentralize authority through encryption or other means to put more power in people’s hands? That is another question. A tough one because includes governments control, private companies control, and the private citizens. The power of communication has gotten speed, lots of it. Simultaneity has occurred more times that we could image just some decades ago. Communication by itself can mobilize groups of people faster than any other power. That mobilization goes sometimes for humanitarian help with great effectiveness. Also for provoking and challenging the status quo in regimes of all kind, giving in its path loses, all kind of them; material loses, human loses and credibility loses among the worst.
There are populations that receive that immense power of communication and react according to their assumptions in a frantic manner if it is bad news. Things that are not according to their set of beliefs make people discard them, judge them as not credible, put people in uncomfortable positions, or in one of the worst cases, go for the messenger. Exercising logic, I’m talking Math Logic, crossing references, checking facts, and sources is the only defense a citizen has for good or bad news. It is time for a new kind of knowledge and training.
In the end Technology is made by humans for starters, and depending of the framework of the event is how society will react. For example: There are sitcoms, that are seeing today, as not such wonderful pieces of art, as they were seen some decades ago. Monuments that now, are pieces of shame for others. But, that has happened in history many times. Defacing buildings, destruction of relics or burning books have been sad parts of mankind.
Communication is a war tool today, and it needs to be treated in a Global framework, with global agreements and respect among all nations.
There are other super interesting questions to answer. I, we, have a whole year! That will be so much fun. I’ll tell you later about other answers.