From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

June 2020
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On-line Platforms. Subtle repositories of metadata
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:53 am

As a twist on topics the blog shares, I wish to bring up
an intriguing book that I recommend you read–   ’Zucked-

Waking up to the Facebook Catastrophe’ by Roger MaNamee,
Penguin NY 2018.
Unwittingly, many of us may be the fodder of metadata for
high tech internet operating organizations and platforms.
Then, we further participate and are entranced to follow
what the AI directed algorithms prescribe.
McNamee writes that the internet technology world follows
predictable patterns.  He points out technology has two rules
of thumb– Moore’s law about integrated circuit packing
density and Metcalfe’s rule about the increasing value of
any network being proportional to the square of the number
of nodes (or members). 
These result in a philosophy:
-make things appear to be free, effort-less and friction-less 
to make networks and connections engage more often and
build on habits that evolve into addictions
-promote a libertarian philosophy that prioritizes individuality
over the common good.  Individuals feel good about ambition
and greed.  Disruption, being first and winning becomes an
effective strategy.
The author highlights the role of the vision, value system
and connections a group of leaders, he calls the “Paypal
Mafia” have succcessfully promoted.  [Named are P. Thiel,
E. Musk, R. Hoffman, M. Levchin and J. Stoppleman]
McNamee shared the finding that president
described where FB and Google feeds no longer are subject
neutral but are biased to deliver likeable content and headlines
to engage emotions.  [Ed Pariser]

A real stand out the book offers is a segment on B J.. Fogg
and Persuasion Technology that Silicon Valley firms employ
to compete, grow and prosper.  the result is that the software
designer creates the illusion of user (you and I) control, when
it is the system (and AI) that guides every action.  FB and Google
now include behavioral prediction engines that anticipate our
thoughts and emotions and offer high quality targeting for advertisers. 

2 Responses to “On-line Platforms. Subtle repositories of metadata”

  1. site admin Says:
    Article by Karisa Bell in Mashable Adds:

     Now, McNamee says Zuckerberg’s supposed commitment to
    encryption and privacy is much more self-interested than he has
    let on. “I’m a big believer in end-to-end encryption, but I think
    we all need to understand that encrypting your messages, and
    encrypting your posts addresses about one 1 percent of the
    problem,” he said. “It has a convenient byproduct, which makes
    me think there must be something bad coming, maybe it’s the FTC
    … maybe it’s something else. But they’re doing something that
    they would do anyway. If you end-to-end encrypt, your
    moderation problem goes away. So from Facebook’s point of
    view, what they’re trying to do is get credit for something like
    it’s noble but doesn’t address the problem.” The biggest problem,
    according to McNamee, is that Facebook’s business model
    relies on tracking an enormous amount of data about what its
    users do when they aren’t even on Facebook. At the end of he
    day, the thing that really worries me, and this so-called manifesto
    doesn’t touch that, is that the value, and the problems, really are
    associated with metadata and data collecting outside of Facebook,
    neither of which are covered by this manifesto. Zuck made very
    clear… that they’re not getting out of the tracking business. My
    problem with Facebook is not whether it’s end-to end-encrypted…
    it’s what are they doing with the tracking, what are they doing to
    invade my private spaces. I don’t want then buying my credit
    card history, I do not want them doing business with health and
    wellness apps, I do not want them buying my location data from
    my cellular carrier, I do not want them tracking me all around the
    web. McNamee also expressed support for Elizabeth Warren’s plan
    to break up big tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple.
    His appearance at SXSW comes just one day after Warren took the
    stage in Austin to discuss her plan for dismantling large tech
    companies she says are making it more difficult for smaller companies
    to innovate. The Facebook investor, who noted that he still holds
    stock in the company, did have some positive words for the social
    network. He said if Zuckerberg follows though on his promise to
    not have data centers in authoritarian countries it would be a
    “righteous” move, and that he doesn’t think Zuckerberg or
    Sandberg should step away from Facebook. “I don’t think this is
    about the people, and I believe that this is about the business model.
    Mark and Sheryl at Facebook have the moral authority to change
    the business model. They can do 100 times as much good by
    reforming their companies than they could possibly do with a
  2. site admin Says:  

    Consider how algorithms on Facebook ( FB ), Google ( GOOG), and Amazon
    shape our choices about what we read, see, or buy. While we may ultimately
    have the final say, the reality is that nearly all possible options were excluded
    due to personalization algorithms, notes Kartik Hosanagar, a technology and
    digital business professor at the Wharton School of the University of
    Pennsylvania. “In this brave new world, many of our choices are in fact
    predestined, and all the seemingly small effects that algorithms have on our
    decisions add up to a transformative impact on our lives,” Hosanagar writes
    in his new book, A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms
    Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control.

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