Program or be Programmed

This guy speaks the absolute truth. Programming is for everyone, unless you are lazy and want, or don’t mind becoming the ‘programmed’. I believe it is, and will become more of an important life skill in the future. It’s amazing how digital technology is second nature to current – especially younger generations and how oblivious they are to the structure and creation of software and computer systems.

Just because a software program, operating system or social networking site may appear ‘user-friendly’ (I’m referring to Apple software right now – maybe slightly controversial coming from a graphic design student? But if you know me personally I am pretty much pro-Microsoft/PC) it does not always mean that that is literally the case. As Douglas Rushkoff mentions in the video, as people become more reliant on simpler digital mediums, and less aware of how they actually work, their activities and usage of the technology are easier to control by programmers, even (most likely) on request of commercial companies and the government. As techonology is taking over our lives more and more this is definitely a worrying issue.

On a slightly different note, one of the new sort of networking sites, with an astounding popularity that baffles me is foursquare. This site records your location 24/7 and posts it online for everyone to see. Now, straight away this reminds of the ankle tags that police track criminals with. Why give this information out freely? Is there any actual benefit for the user (sorry, I mean, ‘used’)? The same is appearing to be happening on Facebook and Twitter, with people not even thinking twice before signing up to these things (which is of course the goal of the data collectors/sellers).

Scary stuff.

Rushkoff wrote an interesting article also recently for the Huffington Post. Take a look here.

Further reading:

http://lifeincorporated.net/
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/

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