Tag Archives: Featured

Books vs Internet: Why I choose a book instead of a blog

So I now have the habit of looking for the things I need on the web. Whether I need a recipe or a tutorial, the Internet is my friend and helps me well to find what I need. However, recently I wanted to get some more information about the painter René Magritte whose paintings really attracted my attention but strangely the Internet didn’t help as I hoped.

Background Story

Le fils de l’homme, Magritte

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A relic from the past that makes you gasp and marvel at the present

Evolution of the role of software engineer

Guess !

Quiz question : do you know what that is ?

If you were not a software geek during the 70’s, you probably have no idea. As a tip though, you should know that this represents in fact a one line machine instruction. So, have you guessed? No idea? Well, in that case, I’m very happy to introduce you to the punched card ! Ok, as a highly cultured reader you probably knew, but in my case I had no idea until I discovered it during my blogging coma. It’s a big discovery ! When you know what I discovered you’ll gasp and marvel.

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The Internet voting or the anti-democratic catastrophe

Yes this is my first 2012 post, I have a lot of catch up to do, not that I have been out of stories to tell but I just didn’t have the time to tell them right. I hope I’ll be able in another post to give an update on what I have been up to. But for now let’s throw this story out there before all the rest of my pile of untold stories, because this one is fresh and goldmine.

Intro

I’ve just finished a skype call with my mom. I have been helping her to vote online for the French legislative elections, for approximately two hours. I was helping her from France while she was in Madagascar, I was her personal hotline. She didn’t explicitly asked for help, but when we finished talking about life stuff she asked me how she could change her javascript version. It’s a red flag by itself when your mom asks you this kind of questions. Then when she elaborated, she explained that she was trying to vote online for the French legislative elections, and she couldn’t because her javascript version was wrong according to the voting website. Apparently the voting website detected her browser settings and made her install something to change the javascript version. Normally she had to install their software and then restart the browser and it should work. But she didn’t know how to install that software. So there she was, her javascript version was wrong, how could she replace it ?!  I don’t know much about Windows debugging and stuff, but javascript ?! THAT I know!

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Please format me

Facebook is building a library of people

I’ve read about the new Facebook Timeline feature today. It’s a feature that lets you see your data organized in a timeline in your profile. It looks like this:

Facebook new Timeline feature

Like anything they do, it left a bitter taste on my mind. I already understood why people use this, but I still get rather sad thinking that humanity is willingly formatting itself into that stuff.

The web is a recording device

The web is a recording device, it means that whatever you put there, it’s going to be recorded and be a trail of you. Right now, thanks to the diversity of the sharing platforms available online (unfortunately still not diverse enough), you can have several trails, you can move your trails from there to there, you can delete your entire trail, you can decide of what is left of you online. With tools as popular as Facebook, that just offer you the interface, people tend to forget the innate freedom they have to broadcast from their own “antenna”, and they start formatting themselves into that single possibility of the Facebook profile, because it’s easy. They leave to Facebook the power to format, present and keep their data in a way that they can remember their life, but not in a way they chose to remember it. The format is fixed, inflexible, not customizable, you can just get stuck there without you even noticing. After allowing to list unborn children as family members, it’s clearer and clearer where Facebook is taking its crowd.

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Show me the numbers !!!!

The use of numbers to describe online representations of people: the difference between a database of things and a database of "people"

This article is about the forced display of numbers to describe online representations of people, it studies the cases of Twitter and Facebook. What is the difference between an online database of things, like an online shop, and an online database of “people”, like a social network? What’s wrong with numbers? The answer could seem common sense, but this reflection was intentionally developed in detail for the technical minds. Continue reading

I recently noticed that now when someone adds you as a friend on Facebook, this line appears under the name :

I find this line very inappropriate. Why is it there? Am I supposed to judge this person from those numbers? And make my decision of confirming or refusing based on these numbers? WHY ? Maybe for people who use Facebook to add strangers it’s useful to know if the account is real or not, but if really the goal is to “connect people” why tag them with numbers like this?

You know, it feels like when you see a product, you immediately look for the price tag. This line feels like the price tag. It’s like your scores. A measure of your influence and even worthiness. What use could this have other than to make people judge each other by numbers? Is it to encourage people to post more, have more friends etc? I wonder how the meeting to decide this went …

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Digital narcissism: We are digital mammals

Do you google yourself?

I saw a documentary untitled “I am the Media” directed by Richard Rassat that discusses the question of digital narcissism. It shows how the Internet has become a way for us to exhibit ourselves more and be more narcissistic. The documentary begins with the question “Do you google yourself?” and in fact this is the question asked to all the people interviewed and almost all of them answer yes.

Narcissus

Narcissus (by Caravage)

As mentioned in the documentary, people used to like looking at themselves in the mirror, now they like “googling” themselves. The documentary showed many examples of self exhibition (some of them were really extreme) such as personal web tvs that broadcast someone’s life in a live video blog, compulsive bloggers and famous youtubbers. I have to say, I don’t use much social media and I mainly use the Internet to share information but I feel ill at ease to share things about my person, indeed I am one of those reserved dinosaurs. But since there is so much enthusiasm spreading online to get the most followers, subscribers, friends through any way possible, it seems that the Internet has invented a new sport : the self marketing. This new hobby of the modern homo sapiens itched my curiosity and obliged me to study the question of digital narcissism.

Why do people share all their life openly online? Why do they reveal what they ate at lunch?

I am curious, is it really only about self mirroring through the Internet? Even me, I had to open a blog about my interest for technology. Is it narcissistic to share my point of view? Is digital narcissism a bad thing and did technology encourage it? Or is it society that is becoming more narcissistic? What is the role of the Internet in the expansion of narcissism?

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