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Posts Tagged ‘2018

It has often been said that technology is just a tool. It is not.

We shape our tools and then our tools shape us. -- Marshall McLuhan

I do not have argument with “tool”; I take issue with “just”. Tools are not always neutral because they are designed with intent and function. These are part of the affordances of any technology.

What the layperson might not understand is that while some affordances are designed for and expected, others are negotiated or emergent.


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So when Google released its video on Searches in 2018, it chose to focus on the good and not the bad. This does not mean that it and its users did not do any evil.

We live in an era when we seem to have the unprecedented ability to generate and spread both misinformation and disinformation. Our technologies may have enhanced and enabled these, but we are responsible.

A gun may be designed to fire a projectile, but it is a person who choses a target, takes aim, and fires. Or not.

Likewise, Google Search extends our reach for information far beyond our fingertips and borders. But we can choose to reinforce our walls or burst our bubbles. Which we choose to do also depends on Google’s algorithms.

Google Search is a tool, but not just. The demean the description with “just” is to assumes that our searches are pure queries. They are not. We should not ignore that searches can be biased by algorithms and our mindsets.

At twilight and outside Hotel Estherea.

Happy new year? Only if you make it so.

I would like to wish you a happy new year, but that is just a conventional, habitual, or polite thing to do this time of year. I still do as social norms dictate.

But wishful thinking does not translate to intended outcomes. Only we can make the year nett happy by doing things positive.

So I do not wish you a happy 2018. I urge you to make it so.

This WatchMojo video highlighted ten things we did not have ten years ago that are essential now.


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Well, not quite. Some of the items mentioned in the video have been around for more than ten years, e.g., Facebook. Some people do not consider all the items things are what “we can’t live without now”, e.g., Twitter.

However, their Number One item, the smartphone, is worthy of its placing. Apple marked its tenth year in this market with the iPhone X, and while there were other smartphones before, the iPhone was a watershed moment.


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The iPhone was accompanied by a larger ecosystem, the App store, and iCloud. The hardware spawned other industries like case, cable, and accessory makers. Innovation bred innovation.

Despite all this change in technology, people remain constant. Yes, the way we walk and talk with our phones has changed, but many of us remain stubborn at our core. Many websites we create are not mobile-first and the attitudes behind changing online resources and practices lag far behind the technology.

Quick videos highlight the glitz and glamour; everyday practices reveal the dust and inertia. I wager that most adults will feel that ten years is not long ago. I also wager that many of the same adults have the same mindsets today that they had ten years ago.

Reflect on that as we head into 2018. What can you change now so that you make a difference by 2028?


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