Brief recommendation for Net Smart in Fast Company

Gina Neff
Author, Venture Labor

Net Smart: How to Thrive Online: “Howard Rheingold cuts through the chatter of how and what we should be doing online. I might not always agree with him, but his is an important voice in the debate about how we work and live online.”

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2 Comments » for Brief recommendation for Net Smart in Fast Company
  1. Kassi says:

    Hi,I’m Esther asthonished reinadg this. Yesterday I tried to get one-but never had a chance to reach the Paypal site. Can you help me? At that time I was in greece but there were no problems using the internet.73, Hans-Juergen

  2. Ahmed says:

    Disinfotainment is Rheingold’s word for the product rsiulteng from entertainment companies owning mass media, the capture of much of the Internet by large commercial interests that now move to enclose it, the trivialization of journalism by the entertainment companies that now own broadcasting networks and newspapers (197). He brings to light the tendency of traditional media to control the informational gates. And now the dinosaurs are trying to control the Internet as well. Allowing the big media corporations to own the Internet is much like asking for the bulk of the informational world to stay out of our knowledge base. It’s scary that cable company A or ISP B can just stop any news it sees as a threat to its business from getting into a home, even through a pull medium like the Internet.Rheingold quotes Lessig as saying that cable owners restrict Internet use in conflict with their own bottom lines (55). They keep competition out of their coaxial cables, out of the Internet they control, but how many customers understand this? And how are the high-speed ISPs blocking Web pages and servers they deem unfit? This sounds a bit unconstitutional, a bit like censoring what the masses can see, hear or read. But since it’s not the government censoring us, it’s OK, right?Oh, but the government is getting involved. The legal requirement to digitize all broadcasts by 2009 (which is one of many postponed deadlines) will allow anyone with access to the technology to monitor, and possibly control, everything we watch. Every telephone call, credit card transaction, mouse-click, email, automatic bridge toll collection, convenience market video camera, and hotel room electronic key collects and broadcasts personal information that is increasingly complied, compared, sorted and stored by an unknown and possibly unknowable assortment of state security agencies and people who want to sell something (185-186). So, not only do we give over our information for security, which is (almost) understandable, but also for sales. How can anyone legally collect, give or sell an individual’s information without that individual’s consent? Did we get rid of the right to privacy altogether? And how long before we are billed per bit watched, bite downloaded (sites with certain amounts of traffic pay more based on an already existing yet almost hidden tiered billing system), transaction swiped (Mr. Teriyaki Two in Mesquite recently added a ten percent fee to pay with credit card), etc., or before some parental do-gooder actually convinces the government to pass laws limiting the number of television usage hours each household is allowed per day? It seems a bit scary that the information going out is truth (at least, for the bulk of average consumers/users) while the information coming in is more and more becoming “disinfotainment.”

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