The Age of Connectivity

The Long Clap

This weeks song is called “The Long Clap”.  I watched Dumpolina’s address to Congress and was completely floored by his attempt to steer the focus away from all of his other problems by diverting attention to  the widow of a serviceman who got killed because of his lack of vision, leadership and control.  The speech itself made gratuitous statements about condemning hate and violence which makes no sense because any leader would know and understand that behaviour such as his would result in such outcomes.  Anyhow.  I hope you like the song.  Brian was sick this week, so you will have to put up with my very basic bass playing. With out further delay…

A Place Called ‘Other’

Last night we wanted to shoot a little video on my wife’s phone, but the phone, which didn’t have any photos or video on it, told us that there was no more memory.  Upon further investigation it was discovered that the phone’s memory was full of 5.1 GB of something called “Other”.  Apparently unknown third parties are allowed to harvest and store information about you and your connected activity on YOUR phone for future use so that they can monitor your every thought, keystroke and movement so that they can sell you shit you don’t need.  This data gets stored in the ubiquitous category of “Other” and eats up your memory over time if you don’t know about it, or how to delete it.  I didn’t and it destroyed our one fun evening this week.  So much for technology improving our lives!

There is no easy way to remove this data and you can’t open the data and look at it either.  To clear the memory, it is a four fold process and can take a substantial amount of time.  First you have to back up the phone.  It is not clear if doing this also backs up the data, or some reduced form of it that will relaunch later, contained in the “Other” category.  Once you have backed up the phone you then need to “Reset” the phone which means erasing it completely and reinstalling the iOS.  Once you have done this you need to “Restore” the phone from the backup.

Here’s the great part.  When restoring the phone from the backup you will be prompted to enter a password, but there was no password.  One had never been created.  The phone had a PIN code, but that didn’t work.  The phone was asking for a password that wasn’t created and didn’t exist.  When backing up an iPhone, the software in iTunes  does not ask you to create a password.  Apparently you are expected, without any guidance, to select the  “encrypted” option when creating the backup so that you CAN create one.  Once again, there is no prompt or info that points this out.  It is a trial and error kind of thing, like most digital crap out there.  The age of “connectivity” is well upon us and while one would like to think that this connectivity relates, in a positive way, to humans connecting to each other, it does not.  It actually means connectivity to a network and networks that seem to be there to isolate us as much as possible and capitalize on our time by creating frustrating connectivity paradigms that we will inevitably spend money on more apps and services trying to correct.

I go on about his a lot.  But enough about my point of view.  This next video pretty much says it all and I will be pasting it every where I go as I prepare to distance myself, and my child, from  the dysfunctional reality of the digital paradigm and the people who allow it’s superficiality to wash over their lives.

Going Off Grid

Sure I will continue to use the internet, but increasingly on my terms.  I no longer use FB to do recreational things.  I read articles but only from sites that I know aren’t loading massive numbers of cookies into my system. I will begin to develop a more stealth like approach which will probably involve pro VPN and really just turning the stuff off or leaving it at home when I travel.  Customs can’t check my phone if I don’t have one. Facebook and Twitter aren’t returning the increase in audience and the “sales” of my products that I was hoping for with out shovelling large quantities of cash at them, so I might turn them off too.  Maybe it’s time to change direction, return to analogue, go rural.

I got hundreds of tapes and DVD’s I collected over the years I could watch in my isolation.   I’ll pay to go see a new movie, just to stay up to date and get out of the sanctuary I may find for myself and my family one day. But the truth is that I have become bored of sitting around watching, even if it is only for an hour or two a day.  I’d rather be doing.  I’ve always considered myself a trendsetter. Maybe being a luddite with a hammer is the next trend.

Simple truth.  You can’t be tracked by GPS if you are not carrying one.  I never wear a watch but I always know what time it is.  Does anybody actually need Twitter, except for Twitler?

Speaking of  Twitter, here is a video about Twitter’s new “rules”.  Trigger warning for those who don’t like bad language, personally, I think he’s hilarious.

The Destruction of Real Time Connectivity

The last four years we have been living in Vancouver have been an expansive exercise in connectivity, both real time and virtual. Of all the cities I have lived in around the world, this city proves to be the most challenging when trying to make social connections in the local community.  At least for an active guy my age.

Never before have I encountered such resistance to collective gatherings in public spaces that aren’t controlled by some authority or other. In addition, increasing the volume of friends in the social network real time is like fumbling with the tumbler of a combination lock.

**As a matter of note I am dictating to my phone and spellcheck decided to re-spell the word ‘tumbler’ with the product name “Tumblr” which is not a word but a website. That is not what I was referring to. The word is ‘tumbler’, defined as the mechanism that drives a combination lock.  I find it disconcerting that a corporate social communications tool seems to believe it’s okay to replace proper words with corporate logos and identifiers.  Algorithm specialists will argue that people today use the brand-name Tumblr more often than the word tumbler and so it comes up as a matter of convenience for people ho are using those things AND LOVE IT. I get that.  But I do not want my articles to be peppered with misspellings and misuse of language through spellcheck because of some corporate agenda.  I know I will lose this fight, because we live in The Dumb Ages and there is a huge backlash against intelligence, knowledge and facts, but at least I am aware of the fight.

And there in lies the definition of the problem at hand. Our lexicon is being changed by the Internet and the corporations that dominate it.  We are being forced to use new vernacular in an attempt to re-define what it is to be social and connected in your activity.  While a very few benefit from it, I see alot of social carnage.  Two moms that I know have decided to stop using digital media and have reverted to using the telephone with the curly cable on it.

It is positively Orwellian.  Oh wait. I’ve said that before and it’s all over the internet too.  So people know.

But I want to know who is deciding what the new words will be? Someone has to write the algorithm that makes the decision. Will we eventually use the term “double plus good?” To describe a reduction as a perceived increase. To make the increase a negative and to make the decrease a positive.

We all want to be positive and it follows that if you defy or question the negative you are being, well, negative.  Or….never mind.

If decreasing things is good then we become self deleting and are thankful for the opportunity to be that way.  That seems wrong to me.

In this “Age of Connectivity” I yearn for the interpersonal contact I used to have.  Recently I had a rare chance to sit with some other parents and just talk about all the stuff coming out of America and how we are a all concerned about in what manner it will impact our children.  We all felt better afterwards for being able to get it off our chests.  We discovered that we all have the same concerns.

It is most interesting to note that this meeting happened at the home of one of the people who had decided to give up their mobile phone.  We still find each other when ever we need to.  Connectivity in real time is out there if you want it. Having a phone in your hand all the time is not actually necessary at all. Unless, of course, your are using it to read my blog, watch my videos and order custom songs from me.

Then it is imperative to have one.

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