This week, in the tute, the class discussed and answered some questions. The questions and answers were something like this…
(Q) How might the internet be controlling our minds?
(A) In the reading Mind Control and the internet, Halpern (2011) writes how an internet search engine, such as Google, remembers a person’s internet search history. By doing this, it accommodates the person with what it “thinks” that person wants to read. An example from the reading is if a person were to search for proof about climate change. Because of the search engine’s memory, the results of the search will be different for an environmental activist, than it would be for an oil company executive (Halpern 2011 p.3).
I would say that this is not mind control perse, people have the choice to agree with what they read or not and to keep researching.
(Q)Does Google’s personalization of our internet interaction assist us or is it exploitation.
(A) In my opinion, I say that Google has good intentions and that the personalisation can be very helpful and time-saving. Also, I think that now people are aware that this happens, they can adapt to it by thinking about different words to enter into a search engine. Furthermore, it can teach us to not be “one-sided” about our opinion, and vary our research so that the search engines can’t memorise what your personality and opinions are.
(Q) Are neural implants the way of the future? As implied on page one of the reading.
(A) I think that neural implants in the form of a hearing aid and as a way to help the disabled or sick, is the future. But, I highly doubt that people would willingly agree to put a phone or internet like device into their brain. When asked, a lot of the class agreed that it would be a bad and dangerous thing to do. Because, of the fear of possible brain hacking (never thought I would ever need to say “Brain Hacking”) :I
Halpern, S 2011, ‘Mind Control & the Internet’, New York Review of Books, viewed 3 August 2012.
Sue Halpern’s article contains a lot of information about how far technology has come. She also gives a very good insight as to how far it will go. I found it very interesting how she mentioned Google’s search engine memory.