Posts tagged “control”

Stories behind the themes: Personal Exposure


 

We recently shared some of the themes emerging from our secondary research for the Omni project. In lieu of a bibliographic deluge, over the next few days we are offering up a sprinkling of the articles, art, commentaries, presentations and other miscellany that contributed to the pool from which our themes were drawn. You will likely find (as we have) that many of these items are illustrative of more than one theme.

First up is the theme of¬†personal exposure and how technology is impacting our identities and behavior. Our participation involves a sacrifice of personal autonomy and control as various technologies require us to respond, reply, reveal, disclose, like, comment, protect, sign-in, sign up, secure, backup, manage, mitigate, translate and aggregate. We are making new choices about old behaviors and developing new rituals to replace outdated interfaces. The boundaries are blurring between private and public, at the same time we have more options than ever before for qualifying and segregating all of the different “I”s that we wish to be, depending on the context.¬† Within this theme we are seeing the topics of identity, trust, consumption, production, control, privacy, regulation, and the facts and myths that capture (and perpetuate) it all.

Tiger Moms and Digital Media [psychologytoday.com] – A psychotherapist who specializes in Internet and video game addiction offers 9 guidelines for raising children who have “a healthy relationship to digital media.” This starts to point at issues of control and autonomy within families and raises questions about the role of the parent (and technology) in childhood development.

For reasons I cannot explain, I saw the approaching flood, when internet addiction was only a trickle. Now, that flood is upon us. Statistics tell us that between 6 and 13% of the general population meets criteria for Internet Addiction. In the college age population, that number stands between 13 and 19%! That’s a lot of young adults who are addicted to digital technology. In S. Korea and China, the problem is growing so rapidly that those governments have declared Internet Addiction to be their #1 public health threat. Think about it.

Internet Privacy: Is it overrated? [fortune.com] – A book review of “How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live” by Jeff Jarvis that dives into the challenges of defining the messy term ‘privacy’ and the even messier obstacles associated with information sharing, regulation, and ‘publicness’. Starting to unpack the tangled web of identity and privacy, including expectations of control that accompany acts of exposure.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has tried to recast the desire for privacy as a desire for control over our digital identities. He argues that people want to share information, but we want to determine who gets to see and use it. Jarvis says this definition is too tidy. Privacy is much messier. We live in relationship with other people, after all. How do we even define what qualifies as our own information? If I share information that implicates you, who gets to control that? …. His book is not so much a rallying cry for tweeting your breakfast choices and blogging your company financials as it is a field guide for how to navigate this new technology with optimism rather than fear.

Where an Internet Joke Is Not Just a Joke [nytimes.com] – In light of increasing numbers of detained internet artists and government critics in China, a discussion of censorship and egao (“mischeivous mockery”) that is employed by many to subvert the internet patrols. Example of governmental control and how it is responded to (i.e. averted) through subversive collective channels. Challenges assumptions of exposure as a privilege rather than a right and describes some consequences for individual identity in that scuffle.

No government in the world pours more resources into patrolling the Web than China’s, tracking down unwanted content and supposed miscreants among the online population of 500 million with an army of more than 50,000 censors and vast networks of advanced filtering software. Yet despite these restrictions – or precisely because of them – the Internet is flourishing as the wittiest space in China. “Censorship warps us in many ways, but it is also the mother of creativity,” says Hu Yong, an Internet expert and associate professor at Peking University. “It forces people to invent indirect ways to get their meaning across, and humor works as a natural form of encryption.”

Russian ATM can detect when users are lying [springwise.com] – Depictions of technology can create distorted views of the future and the present; the notion is that this technology exists but it’s in the lab and it may never make it to the market in a reliable consumable form. The mere suggestion of its potential existence raises a number of questions about current practices involving consumer data. How does disclosure of possible futures impact individual understandings of who we are and how our information is managed, regulated and protected from fraudulent misappropriation?

Though the new ATM design is still in the prototype stages, Sberbank plans to install such machines in malls and bank branches around the country, the NYT reports. Financial institutions elsewhere in the world: time to think about introducing something similar?

My Emergency Contact Information [mcsweeneys.net] – Delicious little piece on how to contact someone in the event of an emergency. It’s fantatsically and unnecessarily complex with hints on how to guess neighbor’s wifi passwords. Unravels the many ways we have learned to be protected,¬†(dis)connected and affected (by easily consumable disasters around the globe).

First, if possible, try me on my cell phone. You should all have the number. I’d really prefer an emergency text message instead of a phone call, especially if the incidenct occurs before 8:00 p.m. on a weekday. Also, I don’t have a data plan, so please do not text images, regardless of the scale of devastation. Instead, Tweet or post pictures to your Flickr or Instagram photostreams and I will download or view them later, when I pass through a hotspot. Don’t forget to geo-tag them so I can determine your location.

 

 

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • LeechBlock – empower your browser to keep you from distractions – LeechBlock is a simple productivity tool: an extension for the Firefox web browser designed to block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day. (You know: the ones that rhyme with 'Blue Cube', 'Pie Face', 'Space Hook', 'Hash Pot', 'Sticky Media', and the like.) All you need to do is specify which sites to block and when to block them. You can specify up to six sets of sites to block, with different times and days for each set. You can block sites within fixed time periods (e.g., between 9am and 5pm), after a time limit (e.g., 10 minutes in every hour), or with a combination of time periods and time limit (e.g., 10 minutes in every hour between 9am and 5pm). With the 'lockdown' feature, you can block sites immediately for a specified duration. LeechBlock also keeps track of the total amount of time you have spent browsing the sites in each block set.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Gorilla Snot Cocktail Recipe – Measure the port into a brandy glass, the pour the Bailey's in. As the Bailey's enters the port it will solidify, forming a glob.
  • Gorilla Snot Musicians Gripping Resin – (thanks @trx0x) Gorilla Snot is a gripping aid. It has been developed by and for professionals who demand flexibility, functionality, and efficiency in the tools of their trade. A non-gooey, naturally refined tree rosin, Gorilla Snot reacts with your body's natural chemistry and heat output to retain a steady grip on picks drumsticks, bows, and any other hard to grip instruments.

    While playing, Gorilla Snot maintains an even consistency, but when you've finished, just separate your fingers for 20 or 30 seconds, and it dissolves completely! The gripping reaction is only effective when you activate it. It cannot stain instruments or clothing because it is entirely permeable to open air and dissipates completely.

  • Gorilla-Snot® Soil Stabilization & Dust Control from Soilworks® – Soilworks®, LLC is the innovator and manufacturer of Gorilla-Snot® soil stabilizer and dust control agent. It is the economy grade version of our Soiltac® soil stabilizer. Gorilla-Snot® is an eco-safe, biodegradable, liquid copolymer used to stabilize and solidify any soil or aggregate as well as erosion control and dust suppression.
  • Moco de Gorila – Snott Gorila Hair Styling Gel – Moco de Gorila® is a very strong hair gel made in mexico. It delivers strong lasting hold and it leaves absolutely no residues or flakes on your hair.
    Does Moco de Gorila Hair Gel have anything to do with real gorillas?
    No. Amusingly, this is a very frequently asked question. The only thing that comes from a Gorilla is its name.
    Can Moco de Gorila® be used by women?
    Yes. There is many women that use Moco de Gorila to keep their hair style all day long without leaving any residues.

    [I like the name, the brand, the rawness, the story, the cultural ping-ponging between white and Hispanic, the package design]

The multifaceted YouTube brand experience

Today YouTube launched a beta of a TV-friendly version of their site. Here’s some thoughts on YouTube, brands, interfaces, transformation, and authenticity.

Casio’s Exilim cameras feature a YouTube mode that supposedly eases the process of capturing and uploading videos to YouTube.

exilim

Note the prominence of the YouTube badge on the front of the camera. It’s bigger and brighter than the manufacturer of the name of the product line!

Euronews is sponsoring a YouTube channel, Questions for Europe and is broadcasting YouTube-like content.

questionsforeurope

Although this photograph of a TV screen is of poor quality, when watching the program it’s fairly easy to see that the picture quality is far beyond what’s available on YouTube and that that Euronews is simply taking traditional broadcast video and placing it in a YouTube-like interface. Although the progress bar is still useful in a non-interactive mode, the whole thing is a bit of a cheat: you can’t actually use any of those controls.

Finally, in Shibuya, Tokyo, YouTube sponsored some sort of performance/talent competition.

youtubeshibuya

They built a stage that resembled a YouTube window, with the interface simply as visual detail on the exterior. In this setup real life is framed as a stand-in for digital content (which itself is a proxy for real life content). The mind does boggle.

Pictures from Japan here and pictures from Amsterdam are here.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • 401(k) syndrome mentioned in NYT – I hadn't heard the term before but this is definitely something we saw in our recent study of people's financial attitudes and beahviors

    “I think we are seeing a little of the ‘401(k) syndrome,’ ” Mr. Steele said, referring to people who are ignoring recent financial statements because they know they will present bad news.

Forced Engagement

Like Adam Richardson, I’m fed up with “Indentured Advertude.” Shortly after his post appeared, I returned to my Orlando hotel room and found that housekeeping had left my TV remote like this:
blueman.jpg

In order to get to the controls, I have to remove it from the sleeve. Like other forcing functions I’ve written about it creates some mindfulness that drives a desired behavior; in this case it’s not in my interest at all. You must engage with this ad before you can perform another task. The service being advertised has no connection to watching TV or using the remote; it’s just there to get in your way.

How to flush?

whereflush.jpg

Another toilet picture, dedicated to Gene, who I influenced with my healthy interest in toilet interactions.

From my hotel room in Paris last month. How do you flush this one? Turns out that it’s the middle silver panel. Although there’s little visual indication, the panel is hinged behind just enough that it can be pushed along the bottom. There are almost-invisible letters on the bottom right corner. The left and right panels do nothing, by the way.

At first I thought that circle-in-a-square was some flush button, but it’s a deodorant puck.

Previously here and here.

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