Tag Archives | Cyberculture

The Web Revolution That’s Changing How the World Gets High

[disinfo ed.'s note: excerpted from DRUGS UNLIMITED: The Web Revolution That’s Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power. Copyright © 2013 by the author and reprinted by permission of Thomas Dunne Books.]

It is mainly the young who are suffering the consequences of society’s inability to update our drug laws effectively for the modern age. Almost one third of young people are searching for ways of getting legally high, according to the latest survey commissioned by the Angelus Foundation, a campaign group founded in 2009 by Maryon Stewart, whose twenty-one-year-old daughter Hester, a gifted medical student and keen athlete, died after taking GBL in 2009. (Gamma-butyrolactone, a paint stripper and industrial cleaner, can be used as an intoxicant and is poplar on the club scene. It is active at 1 ml, and causes euphoria and disinhibition, but overdoses, where users fall into a coma-like state, are commonplace since it is so potent.… Read the rest

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Creep Theory

technocreep[disinfo ed.'s note: the following is a chapter excerpt from Technocreep: The Surrender of Privacy and the Capitalization of Intimacy by Thomas P. Keenan]

Things were both brutal and creepy in the Paleolithic era as our ancestors struggled to survive. Homo erectus, Homo habilis, and Homo neanderthalensis all had the technologies appropriate to their time: stone tools, clothing, and most especially fire. Recent plant ash and charred bone evidence from the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa show that, even a million years ago, early hominids harnessed the power of fire on a routine basis.

We can only imagine how bizarre the astounding transformation of matter by fire would have appeared to these people. They would have been as unsettled by this mystery as we are when we walk by a billboard and it displays something we just mentioned in a tweet. They figured it out, and so will we, but not without some burned fingers.… Read the rest

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Reset The Net

It’s Reset The Net day:

The problem
The NSA is exploiting weak links in Internet security to spy on the entire world, twisting the Internet we love into something it was never meant to be: a panopticon.

The solution
We can’t stop targeted attacks, but we *can* stop mass surveillance, by building proven security into the everyday Internet.

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Facebook About to Lose 80% of Users

Facebook LikeFacebook users abandoning the ubiquitous sharing site in droves sounds unlikely but a serious academic study suggests it’s going to happen, reports TIME:

Facebook’s growth will eventually come to a quick end, much like an infectious disease that spreads rapidly and suddenly dies, say Princeton researchers who are using diseases to model the life cycles of social media.

Disease models can be used to understand the mass adoption and subsequent flight from online social networks, researchers at Princeton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering say in a study released Jan. 17. The study has not been peer-reviewed. Updating traditional models on disease spread to assume that “recovery” requires contact with a nondiseased member — i.e., a nonuser of Facebook (“recovered” member of the population) — researchers predicted that Facebook would see a rapid decline, causing the site to lose 80% of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.

Basically, Facebook users will lose interest in Facebook over time as their peers lose interest..

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World Post: The Website for the One Percent

Nicolas Berggruen. Photo: Angélica Martínez (CC)

Nicolas Berggruen. Photo: Angélica Martínez (CC)

Although World Post is being touted as the website that billionaires will patronize, I have a feeling that unless it’s made as exclusive (as in keeping the 99% out) as powerbroker meetings like the World Economic Forum in Davos where it will officially launch, then it may not actually be intended for the so-called one percent. From The Guardian:

The 1% are about to get their own publication. The digital media titan Arianna Huffington and the billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen on Wednesday announced the launch of World Post, a comment and news website that looks set to become a platform for some of the most powerful people on the planet.

Inevitably, the World Post will be launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this month. Many of its contributors including former British prime minister Tony Blair, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Google’s Eric Schmidt are regulars at the annual jamboree for the world’s most connected people.

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An Atlas Of The Worlds Of Cyberspace

Maps of the physical world are obsolete. The vintage web page Atlas of Cyberspaces offers a strange and wonderful collection of nineties-era renderings of digital geographies – including physical infrastructure, virtual gaming realms, website and surfing structures, flows of communication, and more:

This is an atlas of maps and graphic representations of the geographies of the new electronic territories of the Internet, the World-Wide Web and other emerging Cyberspaces.

These maps of Cyberspaces – cybermaps – help us visualise and comprehend the new digital landscapes beyond our computer screen, in the wires of the global communications networks and vast online information resources.

Some of the maps you will see in the Atlas of Cyberspaces will appear familiar, using the cartographic conventions of real-world maps, however, many of the maps are much more abstract representations of electronic spaces, using new metrics and grids.

cyber

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The Rise of Microporn

Vine_apps_logoOK Vine users, now we know your dirty secret, courtesy of New York Magazine:

David is a 21-year-old guy from London who listens to Kendrick Lamar, obsessively watches the British TV drama Top Boy, and tweets about grades and drugs. Whenever he feels like it, he pulls down his pants, points his phone toward his crotch, and tapes himself masturbating for six seconds. He publishes the results on Vine, a microvideo app dedicated to the quick and easy sharing of Internet catnip: pets acting cute, skateboarders falling down, and — inevitably — porn.

In the first eleven days after David joined Vine, he racked up 47 explicit videos, 50 followers who liked what they saw, and — he says — three women who wanted to meet up with him in real life. Unlike a professional porn star, David never needed to show up on set, ejaculate on cue, or show his face.

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Is Internet English Debasing The Language? Not IMHO

Logo "LOL"WTF? Tell us yr thoughts in the comments. Steven Poole defends the corruption of the Queen’s English for the Guardian:

The internet might be a historic boon for kitten-fanciers and steaming-eared trolls, but it’s not all good news. Online writing, you see, is destroying the purity of English as we know it and threatening to dumb us all down into a herd of screen-jabbing illiterates. Or so runs one regular technophobic complaint, the latest version of which has been offered by Robert McCrum. He is worried about what he describes as “the abuse and impoverishment of English online (notably, in blogs and emails)” and what he perceives as “the overall crassness of English prose in the age of global communications”. The remedy, as so often for such linguo-pessimists, is George Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language“, about whose loopy prescriptions I have previously recorded my own reservations.

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Workers Spend 60 to 80 Percent Of Work Time ‘Cyberloafing’

FEMA - 32323 - FEMA photographer Mark Wolfe working at a computer in Findlay, OH JFO“They” are on to you, disinfonauts … via Newswise:

Businesses must deal with weary-eyed office workers who are sitting behind computer screens and watching cat videos, shopping online and updating their Facebook statuses.

A Kansas State University researcher studied cyberloafing — wasting time at work on the Internet — and the effects of Internet use policies and punishment on reducing cyberloafing.

Joseph Ugrin, assistant professor of accounting at Kansas State University, and John Pearson, associate professor of management at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, found that company policies are not enough to stop workers from wasting time at work and that sanctions with policies must be consistently enforced for policies to be effective.

The study will be published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Cyberloafing results in lost productivity and could put companies in legal trouble when workers conduct illegal activity or unacceptable behavior like viewing pornography on work computers.

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