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This is what I call – A run up the flag pole post – see who salutes.

Sorry it’s also another rather long-winded post.

We can’t go anywhere, do anything without our Gadgets.

In my last post I said that Inequality was at the heart of most of our troubles in the world.

But is the Internet (which is without the qualities of Love and Tolerance) also contributing by having an effect on Society/Community and spreading discontent by highlighting these Inequalities? I would say (All technologies have their downsides) Yes.

To Say that humankind is now almost entirely connected, albeit with great levels of inequality in bandwidth, efficiency, and price, is not quite yet a reality.

There are about fifteen billion devices presently connected and there will be around forty billion devices connected by 2020.

There are about 16 million subscribers of wireless devices in the world.

In 2013 it was close to 7 billion (in a planet of 7.7 billion human beings). In 2014, nearly 75% (2.1 billion) of all internet users in the world (2.8 billion) live in the top 20 countries, sending around 114 billion e mails each day of which 68.8% are spam.

Ninety eight percent of all information existing in the planet is digitized and most of it is accessible on the Internet and other computer networks.

Think about what happens when we connect all of those unconnected devices.

We will all turn into Me-centered society.

Does anyone care other than those that have being effected that another Social relationships is being reconstructed on the basis of individual interests, values, and projects, and not on the values that are shared through out the World.

Today, social networking sites are the preferred platforms for all kinds of activities, both business and personal, and sociability has dramatically increased — but it is a different kind of sociability that conveys the best and the worse in humankind.

Technology is already a second skin for young people. 

While highlight the gaps between the Haves and Haves Nots. The Internet is on one hand desensitizing us as individuals.

It is doing this by disintermediating government and corporate control of communication.

Horizontal communication networks are creating a new landscape of social and political change. The consequences of which are not understood and will not be for some considerable time to come.

More than 50 billion ‘things’ are projected to be connected to the Internet by 2020, which, combined with advanced big data analytics, will constitute a giant, intelligent network that will change the way we govern, trade, and interact.

Technology is a material culture and the Internet is the technology of freedom that allows us to do what we wish with this material culture.

To date we are overwhelmed by it, out of sheer ignorance of its effects. It is like a Bulgarian riddle – Here I am, there I am, and yet they cannot catch me.

At the moment we are unable to access its effects and implications, so there will always be a gap between social change and its understanding. To the full understanding of the world in which we live is becoming an impossibility due to consent distraction.

So let us address some effects before virtual life becomes more social than the physical life, but it is less a virtual reality than a real virtuality.  If you get what I mean.

Community is formed through individuals’ quests for like-minded people in a process that combines online interaction with offline interaction, cyberspace, and the local space. Our social environment, how we enjoy ourselves, how we buy, what we study, how we travel,… Everything we do has changed thanks to the Internet and a host of spin-off technologies. From the alphabet to clocks and printing, every major new technology has profoundly altered the way in which humans think.

Take for instance Facebook users: They visit the site daily, and they connect on multiple dimensions, but only on the dimensions they choose.

Unquestionably this change has also reached the business world. How will the business of the future function? Big data is undoubtedly one of the key ingredients for a successful transformation that has already begun. Networks are global and know no boundaries,  but the network society is a global network society with no rules.

Many public issues and social voices are pushed to the margins of society by market values and commercial communication, making it difficult to get the attention of those living in the “walled gardens” of consumerism.

For example:

In work (entrepreneurship), in the media (the active audience), in the Internet (the creative user), in the market (the informed and proactive consumer), in education (students as informed critical thinkers, making possible the new frontier of e-learning and m-learning pedagogy), in health (the patient-centered health management system) in e-government (the informed, participatory citizen), in social movements (cultural change from the grassroots, as in feminism or environmentalism), and in politics (the independent-minded citizen able to participate in self-generated political networks).

If the dominant cultural trend in our society is the search for autonomy, and if the Internet powers this search, then we are moving toward a society of assertive individuals and perhaps cultural freedom.

Yet, the global network society is our society, and the understanding of its logic on the basis of the interaction between culture, organization, and technology, in the formation and development of social and technological networks is key to what society is going to be in the future.  For example the Intense use of the Internet increases the risk of isolation, alienation, and withdrawal from society.

Already from this Internet-based culture of autonomy here is emerging a new kind of sociability, networked sociability, and a new kind of sociopolitical practice, networked social movements and networked democracy.

Did it lend a hand in the creation of Jihad John and ISIS.

Whether it did or not the Web constitute the technological infrastructure of the global network society, yet it continues to feed the fears and the fantasies of those who are still in charge of a society that they barely understand.

The digital gadgets on which we now depend, have already begun rewiring our brains. We are offloading thinking to technology, using our phones as our extended minds.

Smartphones users Worldwide will surpass 2 billion in 2016 i.e. ¼ of the Global population and will be 3 billion by 2018. 

From a society that valued the creation of a unique storehouse of ideas in each individual, man is moving to a socially constructed mind that values speed and group approval over originality and creativity.

Some evolutionary biologists claim that the scholarly mind is a historical anomaly: that humans, like other primates, are designed to scan rapidly for danger and opportunity. If so, the net delivers this shallow, scattered mindset with a vengeance. Hyperlinks and over stimulation mean the brain must give most of its attention to short-term decisions.

The digital technology is already damaging the long-term memory consolidation that is the basis for true intelligence. 

In particular clicking, skipping, skimming—and especially on working and deep memory.                           Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Something is always lost, and something gained.

Here are a few unanswered Questions.

  • How will privacy issues impact upon the uptake of the Internet of Things in democratic institutions?
  • What is the role of Government in an age of Smart Cities and algorithmic regulation?
  • How can civil society institutions ensure that the Internet of Things is harnessed for the public good?
  • How can technologies be designed to create deeper civic engagement?
  • What are the global implications on foreign policy of connecting the unconnected?
  • How can the Internet of Things impact developing countries?
  • What is the potential impact of the Internet of Things on transnational crime?
  • Cyber crime and Cyber security.
  • How will the Internet of Things affect critical national infrastructure?
  • Hyper connected Diplomacy.
  • Encryption and Integrity.

And then you have Humor.

To what extent does the Internet function as a mediator of ‘old’ or traditional humorous forms and topics (e.g. jokes), and to what extent does it facilitate‘new’ humorous forms and topics (e.g. digitally manipulated photographs) in cyber-humor.

Since visual language can move across cultures more easily than verbal language ask yourself if the Internet has become a major actor in the production and distribution of humor.

Internet use empowers people by increasing their feelings of security, personal freedom, and influence, all feelings that have a positive effect on happiness and personal well-being.

Humor appears in many kinds of Websites, spanning personal/amateur blogs that provide funny and lighthearted commentary on events to commercial or professional Websites which often link to mass media such as newspapers (e.g. http://www.theonion.com) and television (e.g.www.comedycentral.com).

How do the new forms and topics of online humor relate to fundamental characteristics of the Internet, specifically interactivity, multimedia and global reach?

The joke might indeed be dead as an oral form since visual language can move across cultures more easily than verbal language. Jokes have been transformed to a popular Internet-based written form-home video’ and ‘media slapstick’ humor.

Why are the types of ‘home video’ and ‘media slapstick’ so popular on You Tube.

Is it because they are personal pieces that seem to reflect the bottom-up nature of the Internet as a space in which everyone, and not only professional comedians, can create humorous content. This kind of humor is not culture specific – a man who slips on a banana peel will probably be regarded as funny in many parts of the globe, by members of various age and gender groups.

How does comedy undermine or reinforce our attitudes towards race, gender, religion, class and ethnicity?

Does what makes us laugh reveal our deep social norms and taboos?

In viral Internet-based commercials, humor is an integral, almost obligatory component but violence as a means of humor in advertising is on the rise.

Viral advertisements,’  Top ten things men know about women’ or ‘Twenty excuses to miss a day of work.

Not only are the vast majority of texts in English, but they also reflect the values and priorities of Western, capitalist and youth-oriented cultures.  However, the definitions of interactivity, as well as the methods for their ope rationalization, remain in dispute.

Culture jamming argue that culture, politics, and social values have been bent by saturated commercial environments, from corporate logos on sports facilities, to television content designed solely to deliver targeted audiences to producers and sponsors. The Internet is wide open to this form of brain washing.

When it comes to humor has the Web has been corporatized?   Interactivity is perceived as an important key to understanding the social implications of the Internet.

That everything is worth making fun of, nothing should be taken seriously, not even a guy getting punched in the face until he bleeds or Hitler reacting to an incident.

Last but not least we come to the Question of Porn.

The Internet is saturated with porn that is debasing us all.

Should there be a safety door into a segregated area of the internet into which all pornographic content should be placed. Viewable only by those how supply online personal details, such as age, positive Id. It would be a step in the right direction. Not Censorship but sensible Stewardship.

If you are not already Gadgetry I would be interested to hear you views.