Tag Archives: Humans and Technology

It’s Worth a Moment of Your Time…

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 7.44.47 PMIn my short lived ventures around the internet, I found this little gem which provides a positive insight into the use of social networking and technology. A breath of fresh air in a world who is so afraid of that which is new, different, or puts us in a state of vulnerability.

Treatment of Life and Death in Videogames


I read this interesting article called Loss of Death: Suicide in Videogames. It was fascinating because it brings up the question of how we treat death in video games. The author (Ryan Kuo) poses the question:

The vignette raises questions about the way that games treat life and death — questions that still haven’t been answered. Does a surfeit of lives cheapen our notion of life, rendering it as easily dispensable as coins or bullets? Or is the cycle of life, death, and resurrection a rich platform for contemplation?

Kind of a big question isn’t it? What does the perception of having multiple lives in games have on the human psyche? Furthermore, what would happen if we took that vital piece of integrated gameplay out of gaming altogether?

Personally I think the removal of multiple lives from gaming would cause a kind of outcry in the gaming universe at first. I think perhaps a few gamers would enjoy the challenge of trying to survive without dying through the whole game…but they would be a minority in the gaming world. Such games, I feel, wouldn’t survive (pun intended).

Humans want to be allowed to make mistakes. They want to be redeemed of those mistakes. I think that is a great appeal for gamers. Gaming offers the do-over we don’t get in real life. That is why I game personally. Then again, I cannot really allow my feelings on the matter to be the standard for the gaming world.

Leave your thoughts below.

Turning The World….


I read a quote on Ello the other day that one of the writers I follow posted. I’m not sure if it was one of her own or from another source, but I found myself wondering about it a great deal.

“Many people, especially in technology say their productivity is changing the world, and this is irrefutable. But no one seems to know what they’re changing it into.”

Many commenters posted their thoughts, and much of it was about technology it’s self. I couldn’t understand that. Technology it’s self doesn’t have fully functioning rational consciousness…yet. So why is so much being said about technology when there are minds behind it? I decided to put my two cents in and commented:

This is precisely the point I had been trying to make in my computer ethics blog in college, and why I personally believe in the “design for good” movement. I think the use of technology and how to cause change in the world stems from the individual user and their choice, not necessarily the creator of said technology. Though I think the creator is the one who gets the ball rolling, it is the users who manipulate the technology’s usefulness and influence one another. Though, that is more or less dependent on the situation. Without context I get the implication that the quote speaks more on the unpredictability of the technology user to change the world and not necessarily the technology it’s self.

I think when it comes to technology we are too willing to blame situations on the device. Too often I hear parents ridicule their children about phone and computer use, but in the context of the technology. “I should get rid of that damn computer…” Kind of commentary is often times too common, but what it does is dissociates the user from the responsibility. It is not the computers fault that the individual spends so much time on it. It is the choice of the user to spend time on it, and in this particular case, it was someone’s failure to set appropriate boundaries for such use. Weather it be the parent or the child is another story entirely.

To take away the computer is far too extreme. It is useful. It is necessary as well. Technology use causes the world to turn. Most of our educational and work environments require the use of a computer for nearly everything now. Perhaps another case of people’s failure to set boundaries? Feel free to put your thoughts on that in comments below.

I must put a disclaimer as well. There are some technologies that are changing the world for very specific reasons. The above commentary I made speaks more on programs, games, social networks, internet use, apps etc. More socially oriented technology. There are technologies that are made for specific uses, like medical technology, where the goal is to change the medical field for whatever reason, and usually with a passionate cause and predicted out come. In those situations, the use of technology is entirely dependent on the proper functionality if the technology as well as the user, and the outcome is usually predictable because it is being made for a specific goal. That may seem obvious to mention, but I would rather mention it since occasionally, the technology has other outcomes as well that develop into another kind of technology altogether. Much of our popularly used tech was developed from military tech made public once it was found to have a variety of uses.

What are your thoughts on technology development and the quote above? I would love to hear perspectives.


Yes, it was trending. The #replacemovietitlewithebola was becoming an epidemic (pun intended). Twitter blew up with comments from both sides, and I watched in amazement and awe as both sides Tweeted. I refrained from the posts (Though I thought How to Lose Ebola in Ten Days, How to Tame Your Ebola, and He’s Just Not That Into Ebola, were all pretty good). I was finding myself in a moral dilemma. Was I a bad person?

First off, I personally have issue with people who shame others over this kind of thing. If you have issue with these kinds of distasteful jokes, you should make an occupation of trolling social media combatting such behavior at all times. So before you go defending the horrific injustice of #replacemovietitlewithebola on Twitter, check your ethics first, and spend the rest of your life commenting on ALL the distasteful trends on Twitter. But, if you’re just one of those people who doesn’t like the #replacemovietitlewithebola trend? I see your disdain for the Ebola jokes, and rebuttal with the fat joke, the diabetes joke, and the Helen Keller joke.

People are all upset about the #replacmovietitlewithebola and yet another trend #fatshamingweek is happening right now on Twitter and is more threatening towards an obvious epidemic. Obesity has claimed the lives of 18% of Americans each year and has been found to be one of the more consistent and harder to deal with epidemics in a nation full of fast food and big demands. The cure doesn’t come from a lab. How can you cure a disease that stems from a combination of DNA and the root of human will?

Also, look up how many Diabetic Memes there are online. I even gave you a link for the sake of ease. The most famous one being the Diabeetus Meme, featuring actor Wilford Brimley as Liberty Medical’s spokesperson. But while everyone is having a good laugh over those, Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the nation. Being a type one diabetic myself, these jokes do hit close to home…and some are meant to be hurtful. But, I am not offended by ignorance as often as some think I ought to be. Why should I expect a teenager in a McDonalds laughing about how it “smells like diabetes in here” to know about my disease when she does not have to live with it? What use is that information to her? Why should I cram it down her throat? People joke about things they don’t understand…sometimes because it is merely uncomfortable to not understand.

So these illnesses are not causing mass hysteria. I get that. Maybe they should be. But they are much more common and much more deadly than Ebola has been, and are much more enduring problems, which is even worse. I think just sitting in a food court at a local mall would probably give you a good view of the many people in that area that are willingly hurting themselves just from eating the food they are…either being diabetic or obese. Sure, these diseases kill over a longer term and Ebola is much faster and more intense, but what we must consider is the public view of such issues. They are issues, yes, but what is worse? Someone who dies knowing they are killing themselves willingly-ish or someone who dies by an illness that has mutated to kill and there is no cure? What is our priority? Who we can treat and save…or those who we can’t save?

We may fear what we do not know, but should we fear what we assume we know?

If those aren’t enough, Helen Keller was Deaf and Blind, and eventually learned how TO FREAKING SPEAK having nearly never hearing another human voice in her life! She became a world renown lecturer and political activist. What did you do with your life again? Post something on Twitter? Cool story bro. Tell it again.

Humans use humor as a coping skill to deal with things that are difficult. It actually has played a greater role in helping sustain people through difficult times…even in Nazi Germany Concentration Camps:

In Night, a memoir written by Elie Wiesel about his time in Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps, the author discussed humor in the concentration camps and the macabre forms it took:

In Treblinka, where a day’s food was some stale bread and a cup of rotting soup, one prisoner cautions a fellow inmate against gluttony. “Hey Moshe, don’t overeat. Think of us who will have to carry you.”

The fact that humor persisted in and out of concentration camps during the Nazi era despite potentially harsh repercussions demonstrates the vital role it plays in human resilience and survival.

So we aren’t at war, or held captive, but we are scared. Scared enough that we find a need to cope with something that seems close to home and dangerous. Thankfully, humor and laughter in general,have many physical benefits that can help prevent you from getting sick…which may not save you from Ebola, but can certainly help you build your immune system from more common killers like the flu and other severe infections that have claimed more lives in their time of existence.

Seriously though, can we really be angry that people are being open about a mutual fear and concern? Yes, it may come out as distasteful humor, but the idea of sickness and death is a bit awkward. It will result in a little awkward expression. Immature? Maybe. Helpful to the human psyche? Yes. I find that when approaching touchy subjects, I would much rather approach it through humor, because it is either a choice of humor, or the devastating and difficult truth.

I find it important to remind others that human behavior isn’t meant to be perfect. It is meant to adapt for survival, and those adaptations may or may not be effective. So if making light of things we are afraid of makes us have less hysterical fear and more healthy caution…then why are we being so harsh?

Forgive this post being more subjective than objective, but this seems like an issue of perspective and opinion. Feel free to leave your thoughts below.

Online Shaming

Read a fascinating article about women who shame men online as revenge for harassment. It’s a common problem now, in the age of technology. People often harass each other (because that’s what it is we need not beat around the bush), in online environments. Though people do not often pay attention to what is or is not considered illegal, is online shaming really a good method of altering behavior? Or does it encourage that behavior in a world where the motto is “no publicity is bad publicity?”

An exerpt from The article (which can be read here):

Thirty years ago, a woman in Ramadei’s situation would have no way of determining the identity of a customer like Lederman beyond flipping through the phone book. But today, as We Are Social reports, 40 percent of the world’s population is active on the Internet, with those users operating over 2 billion active social media accounts.

Mind you this article is written from the bias of females who have a passionate investment into their cause, but hey bring up some interesting points. One suggestion they offer:

Perhaps we can’t shame men on the Internet, then, because many of them cannot feel shame, at least within the context of current social structures. Silvan Tomkins observed that shame is a feeling that emerges when enjoyment is interrupted: When we’re caught as children with our hands in the cookie jar, we feel shame because we still want the cookie even though we know we’re not supposed to have it.

If women are the cookies of the Internet, then, they’re cookies that men never feel like they can’t have. Even the tersest of responses on OKCupid is still giving an aggressive user exactly what he wants: interaction. Men’s enjoyment of women—of their bodies, their words, and even their distress—is often so thorough and so adaptable that posting their messages or threatening to call out their behavior online has little to no effect. In the absence of meaningful consequences for misogynistic behavior, many men can afford to be cavalier and carefree about their online personas.

I think everyone feels that way about their online personas. People think they can still hide behind the impression they give on their social media sites, so they become apathetic about the repercussions they could have. It’s as if the online world has stunted the maturity of some people, and has offered them some kind of emotional detachment from any virtual world gone real world consequences.

It is as if they have forgotten that we are dealing with real people, with real feelings, that can really call the cops. Not to mention the emotional effects this can have on both sides. To both parties. Is the male actually feeling shame? Is the female suffering repercussions from haters because of her choice? Is he? We can not know fully since we are not living the lives that these people are, but it is surely is having some kind of effect on their life. They are both humans with dignity after all.

What are your thoughts on online shaming? Have you done it before? Have you been a victim of it? Tell us your story.

The Newest in Social Networking

Scrolling through my social networks, I can’t help but notice all the ad space, feed interuptions, and clutter. In the modern age we really ought to be streamlining our information right? I mean, what kind of social space really needs advertisements when all I want to know is what’s up with my buds from college?

Now, I’m a big fan of Google+ for is clean and easy scan quality, as well as it’s ability to help me organize who sees what when I post it. I also am a fan of Twitter for that quick sound bite style of info and status sharing, because it’s effortless, and reduces the information to its most concise parts. But, when it comes to Facebook, I’m starting to feel like the issues I had with MySpace are rearing their ugly heads. There is too much. Too much clutter. Too much text. Too much visually happening. Too many people to keep track of posting too many things I don’t care about that I can’t really skim through. Too much to share. Too much to like. All in an unorganized blocky fashion. I desire that clean streamline design for better consumer scanning. I want effortless user interface, where it runs so smoothly that it is as easy the first time as it is years after I have used it.


Recently, I found out about another social media site called Ello. What intrigued me about Ello, is it’s manifesto to offer you a social space that is beautifully minimalist, while also giving you AD FREE SERVICE. You read that right. Ad free. Because they are not owned by advertisers. They don’t get profit from kickbacks. They don’t want to sell out. It’s kind of the hipster equivalent of social networking.

But will it work? That depends on the community it brings.

I’m interested to see where it goes.


No this isn’t a post about Big Brother or anything like that (sorry to disappoint). It’s either a larger or smaller scale issue than that depending on your perspective.

I often kept a quote book in college. Yeah I’m a nerd. But most conversations I took the quotes from were ones I was having with others, and they never went outside of the lines pages of my grungy personal journal…unless it happened in a yearbook meeting (yeah, I was also a yearbook nerd get over it). Now that I look back a those pages, I almost wish I had made them into a blog or something (more people would probably read that than a computer ethic blog). But then again, a few things have come across my iPad screen that have caused me to think again about those feelings.

There are a few Instagram sites that have come to my attention recently that offer bits of conversations overheard in public places as featured entertainment. A kind of quote book, but much more public. Now I follow the one that I am going to share with you from an article on Design Taxi I read and it is pretty funny. Human conversations are often odd to eavesdrop on. But I was contemplating the ethics of such behavior. Do you think it is ethical to post pieces of “out of context” conversations for entertainment? Even if the person isn’t aware you’re going to do it?

Think about it. Most of what you say, you think is pretty secure. People assume no one is paying attention to the things they say in public places because their agendas are their own, but if we look deeper into the matter, perhaps we are a little too quick to enjoy what seems to be entertainment, when in actuality it is a kind of invasion of privacy.

But then again, if NSA does it, why can’t we?

I consider it this way even…is this not only a privacy issue, but also an intellectual property issue. If the words are not your own, does the person saying them have intellectual property or do you for publishing them as “original works” against the terms of agreement on Instagram? Mind you, not everyone posts original work as they ought to, but that in and of its self is an issue of privacy. Or further, is this a form of online bullying? Perhaps the work isn’t considered harmful or wasn’t posted to be intentionally so, but some of the things posted are going to receive backlash of some kind or another right? The “curator” isn’t going to have complete control over what viewers comment or say, or even if they do, they may not be able to keep up with the volume of comments to regulate what is actually being said that could potentially be harmful.

Perhaps I’m over thinking this?



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