Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Right now, nothing works.

No one answers their phone anymore if they don’t recognize the caller, because they know it’s a telemarketer, a robocall or a phishing scheme.

Email is overrun with identity-stealing scams and spammers.  Fear and sextortion. This is a real email going around:


This PayPal ‘security authority’ can’t seem to write in complete sentences.

Screen Shot 2019-10-01 at 6.24.04 PM

Commerce sites (including government ones, I got one from FEMA) are constantly releasing information on their latest data breech of users credit card/banking info.

You can’t sell anything on Craigslist without getting fake buyers and scammers contacting you.  It’s getting so bad, people are afraid to post on it, that it will go out of business.

Google (and a host of other sites) collects all our information and sells it to the highest bidder. Their ‘Don’t Be Evil” motto doesn’t apply where profits are involved.

Facebook is lame, kids have stopped using it, and it’ll tank when enough advertisers can’t reach young buyers.  When that happens, how many photos will be lost?

Jilted lovers are posting revenge sex videos and photographs, while hackers are exposing private photographs of celebrities and non-celebrities alike.

The system is broken.

Or worse. If it were new and presented to us in the condition it’s presently in, we would never accept it, never sign up.

Hi, want to join this new network of sites with misinformation mixed in with your news, (you can’t tell which is which), with scammers trying to steal your identity, hack your credit card, drain your bank account, extort money, and a phone that tracks your every move to sell your information to marketers?  You in? 

How much time are we wasting with all these technologies that work poorly and put us at risk? A lot!

I’m saying this so that I can have a record of it, published publicly.  For this idea, consider me a futurist.  The technology we have now will not last much longer in its present state.

I’ve had conversations several times this week with people to whom photography doesn’t mean much–pictures are not valuable–and they really are just obsessed with their phones and the generation of likes.

In ten years, we certainly won’t be walking into things and crashing our cars looking at these devices. We will look back and wonder what we were thinking.

It has to change to something reliable.  Something trustworthy.  Right now, nothing online can be trusted, it’s all un-curated.

That’s what’s coming.  Curation.  Web X. 

We need gatekeepers for the art gallery, otherwise anyone can hang anything–that’s Flickr and Instagram. And the gallery isn’t representing the best artists, but simply the most popular ones. Really, who cares? So you have the ability to generate likes and build a following? So you’re popular? Who is this populace, do they have any taste?  Does popularity mean you have anything to say? Why do you get so much wall space, just because you know how to lure an audience?

Nothing works like:

  • A film camera to take pictures–you can share them with who you see when you see them. And no one gets them who you don’t want to have them.
  • A typewriter to write a letter–it’s an all-in-one, writer and printer, no electricity needed, but just a bit of ribbon ink and a little finger strength.
  • A record to play 12 songs–I don’t want to navigate through every song recorded from the beginning of time.  I just want to listen to one Led Zeppelin album.

We’ve accepted the internet with all holes and back  doors for criminals to get in.  It’s insanity, and it’s going to go away.  It has to.  It’s not a working system.

What will replace it will be a curated web where only the validated can get in.

  • News sources that if they publish something with an error, they lose their place in the new web.  It will create new value for journalists and allow them to make a living doing their job writing accurate news, not merely being the first to report it.
  • Banks with foolproof encryption systems that requires in-person validation to be included. If you can’t guarantee security, you don’t belong in online banking.
  • Browsers that will allow no ads, unless the user opts in, and the advertisers pays them to view it.  They are already here, and it’s going to change the way we see ads, if we choose to opt in.
  • No data collection, no tracking, no selling of personal information. Zero. Google will go out of business, as that is their whole business.
  • Communication that excludes scammers, phishers, and spammers. Email has to be replaced by a platform that keeps these criminals out of my view.
  • Classified ad sites that block scammers and criminals.  If they can’t control their users, they can’t be in the new web.

Because it’s broken.

We have to make a photograph to save our family history, not just for note-taking.  Not just for sharing and swiping. People spend less than one second looking at photographs on Instagram and Flickr. That’s not even photography.

We need to be able to go to a concert without someone’s phone in our view.  Why’s it their job to film the performance for their friends?

We need to make the phones inoperable in a moving vehicle.

We need to shut them off at the end of the day, to have them become a simple telephone overnight.

We need to get away from these time-stealing devices and share a meal or a drink with a friend.

The culture is suffering with everyone withdrawing into themselves, their technology,and not participating in life with friends and family.  We are becoming depressed. We are acting out, becoming violent.  It’s fostering hateful speech, and creating division.

We need it to stop.  And it will.

Watch for Web X coming soon!

Digital convenience, is it really the best thing to have happened to our MUSIC, our PHOTOGRAPHS, our WORDS? Our MOVIES, our NEWS, our POLITICS?

Mp3s have significantly lowered the quality of music we listen to (and we’ve grown to accept it for its convenience), digital cameras makes thousands of images that disappear in old hard drives or lost phones, email birthday greetings replace actual greeting cards, and when was the last time you wrote or received a hand-written letter?

When was the last time we listened to a whole album, in the order it was created, without skipping songs, the way the artist placed them on the record, reading along with the lyrics, sharing the music with a friend?

Even movies on a big screen are being replaced by views on a phone or tablet.

I’m a proponent of listening to vinyl on a real stereo and good speakers, creating photographs with a film camera and printing and framing actual photographs, and writing real letters and cards. Because all of the former ways to listen to music, make photographs, and write still exist.

records camera
writing ipod     laptop-mobile

If digital has an effect of making us accept lower quality, I wonder if it has an effect of making our whole world matter less. Does it make things seem cheap, and worthless? Does it create apathy? So that convenience trumps quality? Cheap made-in-China junk is the choice over a quality build from an artisan. Third-world labor-made clothing is the norm. Quick and cheap, regardless of quality, is what we seem to want. (I even see it in the photography and video industry–quality is not what matters most.)

We’ll buy a new crappy patio set from Wal-Mart and it will look nice for a year, and fall apart by next year, so we’ll buy another one. That’s the model, instead of buying quality, we replace. We’re not rich, but we look like it this year, until it all falls apart.

Is that America? Is the dream just that? Not real, just appearances. In 1959, a Swiss photographer, Robert Frank, published a book called THE AMERICANS, and it depicted the Americans he photographed in his travels across the U.S. on a Guggenheim grant. People panned it when it came out–surely America wasn’t that ugly. The images in the book didn’t match the image people had for America. But they were us.

I went to the local gala event on Friday night and didn’t bring a phone, and it felt like a treat to be disconnected from it. Phones consume our every waking hour. Mine, too.

They interrupt the silence on a walk or hike, at movies and shows, and dinner conversations with friends. They’re in our way at events like concerts, weddings and fireworks shows by folks who feel the need to take something home, instead of experiencing it there. (Note: The bride and groom have a photographer there. Sit back and enjoy the event–be present!)

Are we missing the real thing because of the technology? When was the last time you were without your phone? What did that feel like?

Do you think this can continue, and are we better off with this electronic substitute for the things we used to be able to hold–records, photographs, letters?

Or does it cheapen things, even politics, so that we can end up with a game show host for a president?

While digital allows many conveniences and accesses, is it in some ways unhealthy for society? Does it allow for the instant spreading of misinformation, which can foster hatred or influence decisions, even important ones like in an election? Does instant news make us feel more unsafe, because we think the world is more dangerous with all the negative reports? Is it actually more unsafe? Or is the perception changed because of the onslaught of “news”?

Seems like something has to change. Not to say that nothing good has come from digital technology, but are there negatives as well? And please tell me we’re not going to still be crossing the street and almost getting hit because we’re looking down at our phones in 20 years.