Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘blind spot

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 224

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page of backlog opinions and events is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

The Industrial Revolution gave priority to hiring children for reasons entirely at odd with current laws. Children rights to safe and healthy environment was anathema in the political circles. Families would even encourage their children to go to work early on and supplement the resources instead of wasting precious time in school.

Commercial Whale Fishing went on for centuries before the idea that whales and fish can be depleted if marine life is not managed scientifically.

Every culture is endowed with facilities to spotting the blind spot domains in other cultures. If a civilization denies the right to its people to listen carefully and seriously study the trends in other cultures, then it is almost impossible to overcome the built-in blind spots in a particular culture.

Modern quick, efficient and global mass communication facilities should generate mass contacts with other cultures. Do you think that this enhanced communication will greatly facilitate the uncovering of blind spots in many cultures?

The first Lebanese campaign during the civil war, followed by marches in England, was under the banner “Silence means consent. Shout: NO TO CIVIL WAR, NO TO SECTARIANISM”.  The second campaign said “Lebanon must have a War Free Zone…”

The key tactic in fomenting a civil war is to ease the youth into “shameful” activities, unaware of the gravity in participating in these activities, and cow the youth into silence, during the war, and years after the war has ended. Many die, feeling pretty reluctant into divulging how they participated in the slaughter-hood and crimes against humanity.
The “Bagman” Jeffrey Feltman, former US ambassador to Lebanon and soon to be transferred to the UN as assistant to foreign affairs policies position , visits frequently Lebanon. The same is true to the other bagman Sutherland. The visits precede by a few days the “US warns its citizens not to travel to Lebanon”. Feltman programs the destabilization of a country he was supposed to protect and insure its stability.
Feltman accompanies the visits of Zionist US Senators and Congressmen, like Joseph Lieberman who pay visits to North Lebanon in order to establish a Free Zone for the Syrian armed insurgents to start a civil war in Syria from a safe zone in Lebanon…
For today, Lebanon needs urgently to prosecute the last phase of the unfinished civil war: Lebanon wants a Victor in order to establish a modern State. After 65 years of a pseudo independence and pseudo State, and the impossibility of regular and gradual reforms for our political/social system, there will be a definite victor, this time around.

Wa keef momken tfouz bi intikhabaat iza 3aadayt al mafatee7 al intikhabiyat? Naass ktaar ma bi 7ebbo yefakro. Bi yontro karar zalmeh tani, ye karrer 3annon

Mal 3amal? Ra2eess Communists Al Ghareeb ektashaf enno Hezbollah taa2efi: ma baddo yet7alaf lel inkhiraat fi kame3 al fassaad, mounakassat bil taradi, e7tikaar al dawaa2 wa al jasha3 al moutanaami?

“Ta7assoss?”. kelmeh atlakaha Al Sayyed fi 2akher khitab. Ta3ni: “ma feesh 3enna 7assassiyat le hal mawdou3?”. wa kiyadaat Hezbollah bada2at este3maalha, min Ra3d wa jorr

Tim Berners-Lee: I invented the web. Here are three things we need to change to save it

Today marks 28 years since I submitted my original proposal for the worldwide web.

I imagined the web as an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities, and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries.

In many ways, the web has lived up to this vision, though it has been a recurring battle to keep it open. But over the past 12 months, I’ve become increasingly worried about three new trends, which I believe we must tackle in order for the web to fulfill its true potential as a tool that serves all of humanity.

1) We’ve lost control of our personal data

The current business model for many websites offers free content in exchange for personal data.

Many of us agree to this – albeit often by accepting long and confusing terms and conditions documents – but fundamentally we do not mind some information being collected in exchange for free services.

But, we’re missing a trick. As our data is then held in proprietary silos, out of sight to us, we lose out on the benefits we could realise if we had direct control over this data and chose when and with whom to share it.

What’s more, we often do not have any way of feeding back to companies what data we’d rather not share – especially with third parties – the T&Cs are all or nothing.

This widespread data collection by companies also has other impacts.

Through collaboration with – or coercion of – companies, governments are also increasingly watching our every move online and passing extreme laws that trample on our rights to privacy.

In repressive regimes, it’s easy to see the harm that can be caused – bloggers can be arrested or killed, and political opponents can be monitored. But even in countries where we believe governments have citizens’ best interests at heart, watching everyone all the time is simply going too far.

It creates a chilling effect on free speech and stops the web from being used as a space to explore important topics, such as sensitive health issues, sexuality or religion.

2) It’s too easy for misinformation to spread on the web

Today, most people find news and information on the web through just a handful of social media sites and search engines. These sites make more money when we click on the links they show us.

And they choose what to show us based on algorithms that learn from our personal data that they are constantly harvesting.

The net result is that these sites show us content they think we’ll click on – meaning that misinformation, or fake news, which is surprising, shocking, or designed to appeal to our biases, can spread like wildfire. And through the use of data science and armies of bots, those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation for financial or political gain.

3) Political advertising online needs transparency and understanding

Political advertising online has rapidly become a sophisticated industry.

The fact that most people get their information from just a few platforms and the increasing sophistication of algorithms drawing upon rich pools of personal data mean that political campaigns are now building individual adverts targeted directly at users.

One source suggests that in the 2016 US election, as many as 50,000 variations of adverts were being served every single day on Facebook, a near-impossible situation to monitor.

And there are suggestions that some political adverts – in the US and around the world – are being used in unethical ways – to point voters to fake news sites, for instance, or to keep others away from the polls.

Targeted advertising allows a campaign to say completely different, possibly conflicting things to different groups. Is that democratic?

Pinterest
Sir Tim Berners-Lee: how the web went from idea to reality

These are complex problems, and the solutions will not be simple. But a few broad paths to progress are already clear. We must work together with web companies to strike a balance that puts a fair level of data control back in the hands of people, including the development of new technology such as personal “data pods” if needed and exploring alternative revenue models such as subscriptions and micropayments.

We must fight against government overreach in surveillance laws, including through the courts if necessary.

We must push back against misinformation by encouraging gatekeepers such as Google and Facebook to continue their efforts to combat the problem, while avoiding the creation of any central bodies to decide what is “true” or not.

We need more algorithmic transparency to understand how important decisions that affect our lives are being made, and perhaps a set of common principles to be followed.

We urgently need to close the “internet blind spot” in the regulation of political campaigning.

Our team at the Web Foundation will be working on many of these issues as part of our new five-year strategy – researching the problems in more detail, coming up with proactive policy solutions and bringing together coalitions to drive progress towards a web that gives equal power and opportunity to all.

I may have invented the web, but all of you have helped to create what it is today. All the blogs, posts, tweets, photos, videos, applications, web pages and more represent the contributions of millions of you around the world building our online community.

All kinds of people have helped, from politicians fighting to keep the web open, standards organisations like W3C enhancing the power, accessibility and security of the technology, and people who have protested in the streets.

In the past year, we have seen Nigerians stand up to a social media bill that would have hampered free expression online, popular outcry and protests at regional internet shutdowns in Cameroon and great public support for net neutrality in both India and the European Union.

It has taken all of us to build the web we have, and now it is up to all of us to build the web we want – for everyone.

The Web Foundation is at the forefront of the fight to advance and protect the web for everyone. We believe doing so is essential to reverse growing inequality and empower citizens. You can follow our work by signing up to our newsletter, and find a local digital rights organisation to support here on this list. Additions to the list are welcome and may be sent to contact@webfoundation.org


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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