Is our smartphone addiction damaging our children? | Rowan Davies | Opinion | The Guardian

Research has found a link between ‘technoference’ and poor child behaviour. The need for light relief is very human, but perhaps we can find a happier balance

Fuente: Is our smartphone addiction damaging our children? | Rowan Davies | Opinion | The Guardian


Sexual harassment in virtual reality feels all too real – ‘it’s creepy beyond creepy’ | Technology | The Guardian

Sexual harassment has been a feature of online and gaming communities from the earliest days of the internet. Until now, the abuse has been largely limited to verbal and visual messages, but as virtual reality technology becomes more immersive, the line between our real bodies and our digital bodies begins to blur.

Fuente: Sexual harassment in virtual reality feels all too real – ‘it’s creepy beyond creepy’ | Technology | The Guardian


Does it matter if Google is rewiring our minds? Ask Plato | Steven Poole | Opinion | The Guardian

Does anyone know anything any more? The ease with which one can look up facts on a phone at any time is one of the wonders of the modern age. But are we becoming too reliant on it? A new study indicates, at least, that there might be a snowball effect to such reliance. The more we depend on Google for information recall, it suggests, the more we will do so in the future.

Fuente: Does it matter if Google is rewiring our minds? Ask Plato | Steven Poole | Opinion | The Guardian


Porn as sex education: a cultural influence we can no longer ignore | Maree Crabbe | Opinion | The Guardian

Not only does pornography commonly portray a particularly concentrated and toxic version of gender inequality, it suggests that it is sexy

Fuente: Porn as sex education: a cultural influence we can no longer ignore | Maree Crabbe | Opinion | The Guardian


Getting off offline: when porn gets in the way of a real-world relationship | Culture | The Guardian

Many believe that porn is addictive, and that the endless stream of on-demand internet erotica makes real-life sexual experiences not stimulating enough

Fuente: Getting off offline: when porn gets in the way of a real-world relationship | Culture | The Guardian


La novela de 1910 que predijo la era de Internet – El Mostrador

El mundo futurístico retratado por el escritor británico Edward Morgan Forster en su cuento de ciencia ficción “La máquina se detiene” (1909) resulta inquietantemente familiar.Las personas se comunican entre sí a través de pantallas, las interacciones cara a cara se han convertido en algo extraño, y el conocimiento y las ideas se comparten a través un sistema que vincula cada hogar.

Fuente: La novela de 1910 que predijo la era de Internet – El Mostrador


Chelsea Manning wins free speech award: ‘It’s easy to feel invisible’ – video | US news | The Guardian

Chelsea Manning, currently in a maximum security prison in Kansas, is awarded the Blueprint for Free Speech prize

Fuente: Chelsea Manning wins free speech award: ‘It’s easy to feel invisible’ – video | US news | The Guardian


What our digital social networks say about us — FT.com

They turn up weekly in my inbox, gnawing away at my soul. The kind words, the smiling faces, the ego-stroking invitations to connect, all of which I guiltily ignore. The thing is, I buy into the idea of Dunbar’s number — that our primate brains limit us to meaningful social contact with no more than about 150 people — and I am already exceeding 200 on LinkedIn.

Fuente: What our digital social networks say about us — FT.com


Mis nueve meses en régimen de aislamiento fueron una tortura “sin contacto”

En 2010, el ejército estadounidense detuvo a una de sus analistas de inteligencia por filtrar documentos clasificados sobre las guerras de Irak y Afganistán a Wikileaks; hoy cumple una condena de 35 años de prisión. “Me llevaron a un solitario agujero negro de confinamiento. Dos semanas después empecé a pensar en suicidarme”, recuerda.

Fuente: Mis nueve meses en régimen de aislamiento fueron una tortura “sin contacto”


Gaming: don’t think it’s all bad for kids. It can be a step to a creative future | Technology | The Guardian

Gaming: don’t think it’s all bad for kids. It can be a step to a creative future | Technology | The Guardian.

The journey from playing to designing and making games can be a short one, and brings rich educational rewards for children

Project Spark
An image from Project Spark, a program that can be used to design and make games.

Despite their ubiquity, despite the vast sales and the increasing calls for the medium to be recognised as an artform, video games – that most obviously visual of media – still have an image problem. And it is more than superficial, it goes to the heart of the home, where concerned parents worry about the deleterious effect on their sons and daughters. However, while the evils of gaming rhetoric may make the most noise, parents who have fears may be intrigued to know that it is not the only story in town.

Children themselves are now refuting the stereotype that gaming is a mindless, pointless hobby, as the flexibility of the medium allows them to grow from player to creator. And the game-makers agree: “Games as a medium always involve creativity on the player’s part,” says Benjamin Donoghue, creative director at Blackstaff Games. “Creativity is about exploring what you can do within a defined set of rules.” Blackstaff is currently working on DogBiscuit: The Quest for Crayons, a drawing game for mobile devices in which the player designs parts of the game world.


We need an internet that leaves space in our heads to enjoy creative peace | Technology | The Guardian

We need an internet that leaves space in our heads to enjoy creative peace | Technology | The Guardian.

Jemima Kiss spent long days in the hills, meditating and rediscovering the simplest of pleasures.

 Jemima Kiss spent long days in the hills, meditating and rediscovering the simplest of pleasures. Photograph: Bernard Jaubert/incamerastock/Corbis

I was sitting on my own in the room I had for the week, looking out over a steep Spanish hillside of almond blossom and holm oak and olive trees. It was sunny but cold, and I sat at the table with a large cup of tea and a blanket over my legs. Beside me lay a broken internet router. It was very, very quiet. No TV, no music, no radio, no children. Not even a book. Dogs barking in a distant house, echoing down the valley. The house dog, Pablo, padding around outside. A faint rustle of the wind in the carob tree branches overhead. And a hum, like the hum of a refrigerator, which I do believe was the hum of my own mind.

This is luxury calm. At the end of my tether a month ago, I felt the internet had stolen my creativity. I came here out of necessity, for exactly this moment, to reset my restless, relentless, internet-saturated mind. I thought I might struggle when faced with so few choices, with so little input – but it was bliss, like slipping into an old pair of slippers. I opened my sketchbook. I started to draw. I wrote a letter to someone who’ll never receive it. I had an idea for a novel. I had an idea for an essay on artists and their muses. I made plans, reprioritised. I started to think again. The days in those hills started with long, chilly, muddy walks with dogs, scrambling off road, up hillsides and through olive groves. Goat bells tinkled in the distance. The dogs ran off and ran back again, but I was walking at my own pace. No discussion about the route, and I knew the way instinctively. My route, my pace.


La edad del pavo, en digital – El Huffington Post

La edad del pavo, en digital – El Huffington Post.


La generación menor de 15 años es la primera que inicia la adolescencia con móvil propio

Los padres, desorientados ante la poderosa atracción de sus niños por las redes sociales

Sara, Sauditu, Hugo, Isa y Kacper muestran sus móviles. / SANTI BURGOS

Sara, de 13 años, está de morros con sus padres. Se siente víctima de una injusticia. A pesar de sus buenas notas, han decidido confiscarle el móvil a las 11 de la noche, después de pillarla whatsappeando en la cama de madrugada. Al principio, protestó, clamó, chantajeó. Ahora, es ella la que le tira muy digna el teléfono a su madre, autora de este reportaje, antes de anunciar, cual rea rumbo al patíbulo, que se va a la cama. Sara era, dice su madre, “un bebé adorable”. Una niña risueña, cariñosa y siempre dispuesta a todo. Hasta que, súbitamente, mutó en la chica “contestona, indolente y alérgica a las efusiones” que describen hoy sus progenitores. Una adolescente de libro.

Sara está en plena eclosión hormonal. “Tengo un pavazo que no me tengo”, admite, entre ofendida y orgullosa. Nada que no pasara en su día su hermana Irene, hoy casi una adulta oficial a sus 17 años y medio. La diferencia es que, mientras Irene cruzó la delicada frontera entre niñez y adolescencia acompañada del ordenador situado en el salón de la casa, Sara lo está haciedo con el mundo, su mundo, incrustado las 24 horas en la palma de su mano en la pantalla de su teléfono móvil.

Irene, siendo nativa digital, ha tenido que migrar del PC al móvil. Sara, es nativa movildigital pura. La edad del pavo siempre fue difícil, pero el nuevo pavo digital tiene desorientados a muchos progenitores que, como los de Sara, compraron el móvil a sus niñospara tenerlos más controlados, y han terminado con sus hijos localizados, sí, pero abducidos por una pantalla en la que no saben muy bien qué hacen ni con quién.


El filósofo de moda explica por qué Eros agoniza y el pensamiento llega a su final – Noticias de Alma, Corazón, Vida

El filósofo de moda explica por qué Eros agoniza y el pensamiento llega a su final – Noticias de Alma, Corazón, Vida.

Uno de los ensayos que mejor acogida está teniendo en España es La agonía del Eros (Herder editorial), la obra del filósofo de la Universidad de las Artes de Berlín Byung-Chul Han. En ella, el pensador alemán de origen coreano parte de las teorías sobre la forma en que seleccionamos hoy a nuestras parejas descritas por la socióloga Eva Illouz para señalar cómo el amor está amenazado por algo más que la libertad sin fin y las enormes posibilidades de elección.

Antes, argumenta Illouz, estábamos ligados a nuestro entorno, de forma que el número de partenaires que podíamos conocer era limitado; hoy existen muchísimas más posibilidades de elección gracias a internet y eso, entre otros factores, nos ha hecho mucho más utilitaristas. Para Han, el problema va mucho más allá, ya que vivimos en una sociedad narcisista, donde la libido se invierte en la propia subjetividad y el mundo se presenta sólo como una proyección de sí mismo. Esa “erosión del otro” es la que mata al Eros, porque el narcisista no puede encontrar nada fuera que sea distinto de sí, y por lo tanto no hay nada que pueda amar.

La mejor prueba de esa erosión del otro está en el porno, que es la antípoda del Eros porque aniquila la sexualidad misma. Bajo este aspecto, dice Han, es incluso más eficaz que la moral: lo obsceno en el porno no es el exceso de sexo, sino que allí no hay sexo. La sexualidad hoy, no está amenazada por aquella razón pura que, adversa al placer, evita el sexo por ser algo sucio sino por la pornografía.


Wisdom2.0: it came for our heartbeats, now Google wants our souls | Technology | theguardian.com

Wisdom2.0: it came for our heartbeats, now Google wants our souls | Technology | theguardian.com.

Tech companies are embracing mindfulness to help staff deal with stress – and help seize back control from the gadgets that have taken over our lives

Intel Engineers Meditating
Intel engineers meditating. Photograph: Intel Free Press/flickr

Dublin’s Google headquarters bears all the hallmarks of the modern tech workplace: an industrial chic aesthetic, endless free snacks, designer furniture in primary colours that looks like it’s been hijacked from a children’s playground, and, this week, the advanced forces of what may or may not be the Next Big Thing: not a new mobile phone, or a really super fancy watch, but something even more radically cutting-edge: “wisdom”.

Because for three days this week, in an auditorium at the heart of the city’s hi-tech cluster, an unholy alliance of Googlers, Buddhist monks, techies, HR directors, MPs and recovering CEOs bandied around words like “compassion”, “empathy”, “communion” and “consciousness”.

This was Wisdom2.0, a Californian conference that grew out of the west coast’s twin obsessions of technology and self-actualisation, and that came to Europe for the first time this week.

It has already held events in Google’s Mountain View office and at Facebook and since its inception six years ago, it’s been enthusiastically taken up by the tech industry. More than 2,000 people attended Wisdom2.0’s main event in San Francisco this year, and it’s attracted high-profile supporters like Arianna Huffington and Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, and now it’s looking to take the message to a global audience.


Memoria digital, a gusto del consumidor – 28.08.2014 – lanacion.com  

Memoria digital, a gusto del consumidor – 28.08.2014 – lanacion.com  .

Por   | Para LA NACION

Esas palabras de Friedrich Nietzsche resuenan en los reclamos que hoy se alzan contra los motores de búsqueda como Google o Yahoo y reivindican el “derecho al olvido” en Internet. Es decir, el derecho a que se borren de la Web datos personales que, más allá de que hayan sido ciertos, en la actualidad perjudican de algún modo al demandante.

Amparados en la insólita decisión de la Unión Europea, que en mayo de este año resolvió que Google debe atender las peticiones de los usuarios cuando soliciten el borrado de contenidos que los afectan negativamente, han proliferado los procesos judiciales que buscan limitar la información disponible.

Ese reconocimiento tan reciente del “derecho al olvido” remueve algunos cimientos de nuestra tradición filosófica y hace surgir la duda: ¿estaría consumándose, por fin, en pleno siglo XXI, aquel feliz desprendimiento de las garras de la memoria, defendido por el filósofo alemán en 1873? Quizás sí, aunque no exactamente. Porque lo que entendemos por memoria y olvido, incluso por “ser alguien” y la relación que eso implica con los propios recuerdos, todo eso suele cambiar con los vaivenes de la historia. Y tal vez se haya reconfigurado de modos inesperados en los últimos tiempos.


Violence, video games and fun – a beginners' guide for parents | Technology | theguardian.com

Violence, video games and fun – a beginners’ guide for parents | Technology | theguardian.com.

The Guardian Games’ session at Camp Bestival this weekend explained some of the benefits and ground rules of video games for mystified parents

Camp Bestival performers
Not Keith Stuart and Jemima Kiss talking to Camp Bestival parents about video games Photograph: Caitlin Mogridge/Redferns via Getty Images

A festival is not a natural place to think about video games. At Camp Bestival this weekend, the sun was out, the crowds were swarming between stages; there were circus acts, acoustic sets, storytelling sessions for children. Everybody was enjoying being outside, surrounded by friends, music and the Dorset countryside – there were very few screens, apart from at the Skylanders Trap Team promotional area which drew excited kids and wary parents, mumbling to each other that they’d wanted to escape that kind of thing …

But for an hour on Sunday, in front of a surprisingly large audience at the Guardian’s tent, I talked about video games on stage with Jemima Kiss. What we wanted to do was place games in a cultural context to show how they’ve evolved, what they have to offer and why the newspaper covers them. We wanted to show that games have a place at this table.

The history of games

Sometimes people are surprised by just how long these things have been around – since 1958, in fact – so we started there. The sports sim Tennis for Two was programmed on an ancient analog computer by William Higinbotham at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. It ran on an oscilloscope screen.

From here, our talk took in landmark titles in the history of games as an industry; from Pong through to Candy Crush Saga. There was Space Invaders, which popularised the shoot-em-up genre and introduced reactive sound, the looping four-note background music speeding up as the alien invaders neared your ship. We considered Pac-Man, one of the first marketable game protagonists, which introduced the idea of merchandising to the sector.

We talked about Tetris and its perfection of “tidying up” as a game mechanic, and Street Fighter 2, and the way an error in the game’s character animation had the unexpected benefit of revolutionising the fighting game genre. Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, also figured, the former for kickstarting the open-world action adventure, the latter for, well, becoming the biggest entertainment franchise in the world.

Games and violence

Aware that there were lots of parents in the audience, we wanted to talk about violence. A myth I still encounter from non-players is that most games are about shooting and graphically depicted death. Actually, although shooting obviously remains a vital game mechanic, 75% of games released during 2013 were suitable for children under 16, and less than 10% were rated 18. However, we were keen to emphasise that 18 means 18; it’s not a casual suggestion, titles with this rating are absolutely unsuitable for children. Games aren’t a bogeyman but parents have a role in ensuring that children are protected from graphic violence. That’s a message people don’t often want to hear.

As for the long-term link between game and real-world violence – after 30 years of interrogation, none has been scientifically established. Research into the matter is often limited (and, arguably, flawed) in its methodology and focus; short term spikes in aggression can be given undue prominence, while meaningful studies are often misrepresented by tabloid newspapers looking for something easy to blame the latest gun tragedy on. It is impossible to apportion specific blame when violence happens – myriad socio-cultural influences are involved.


How does Facebook decide what to show in my news feed? | Technology | theguardian.com

How does Facebook decide what to show in my news feed? | Technology | theguardian.com.

Controversial emotion study is a reminder that the social network’s filters are constantly at work in the background

Facebook study breached ethical guidelines – researchers

How does Facebook filter my news feed?

 

 

The average Facebook user sees 300 updates a day out of a possible 1,500.
The average Facebook user sees 300 updates a day out of a possible 1,500. Photograph: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS

 

Facebook is secretly filtering my news feed? I’m outraged!

Not so secretly, actually. There is controversy this week over the social network’s research project manipulating nearly 700,000 users’ news feeds to understand whether it could affect their emotions.

But Facebook has been much more open about its general practice of filtering the status updates and page posts that you see in your feed when logging on from your various devices. In fact, it argues that these filters are essential.

Essential? Why can’t Facebook just show me an unfiltered feed?

Because, it argues, the results would be overwhelming. “Every time someone visits news feed there are on average 1,500 potential stories from friends, people they follow and pages for them to see, and most people don’t have enough time to see them all,” wrote Facebook engineer Lars Backstrom in a blog post in August 2013.

“With so many stories, there is a good chance people would miss something they wanted to see if we displayed a continuous, unranked stream of information.”

Bear in mind that this is just an average. In another blog post, by Facebook advertising executive Brian Boland in June 2014, he explained that for more intensive users, the risk of story overload is greater.


Facebook experimentó con 689.000 usuarios sin su consentimiento | Tecnología | EL PAÍS

Facebook experimentó con 689.000 usuarios sin su consentimiento | Tecnología | EL PAÍS.

 

Un usuario consulta una página de Facebbok. / reuters

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Una semana de experimento y millones de comentarios, en su mayoría negativos, han sido las consecuencias de un estudio llevado a cabo por varios ingenieros de Facebook. La mayor red social del mundo tomó 689.000 perfiles, sin aviso o consentimiento, para analizar su comportamiento alterando el algoritmo que selecciona las noticias que se ven de los amigos. Un grupo veía noticias positivas, el otro, negativas.

La indignación ha surgido al conocerse la publicación del estudio en la web de la Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Estados Unidos. Para la prueba se tomaron, exclusivamente, perfiles que escriben en inglés. El rechazo a comentar o interaccionar con los contenidos de tinte negativo, demasiado emotivos o cercanos a la tristeza, era mucho más alto. En ocasiones hasta un 90% de lo habitual. El estudio concluye que sí, que el ánimo de los comentarios de los contactos de Facebook invita a seguir en la deriva negativa o positiva, según el grupo que les tocase, al cabo de una semana.

Nos importa el impacto emocional de Facebook en las personas que lo usan

Adam Kramer, coautor del estudio

Este tipo de experimentos basados en interacción son muy comunes en ciertas webs y, sobre todo, en comercio electrónico, pero sin tener el cuenta el tinte del contenido. Se denomina A/B testing a mostrar una presentación (ya sea la distribución de la página o el estilo de los iconos) diferente bajo una misma web para poder estudiar si se emplea más tiempo en la misma, se hace más clic… pero nunca usando el tono del contenido como un componente más.

En un primer momento Facebook se limitó a decir que los posts, actualizaciones de estado, se podían consultar de manera habitual, sin matizar que la selección de una u otra opción (noticia positiva o negativa) con un fin experimental era dónde residía la ruptura de confianza con sus suscriptores. A última hora del domingo, a través del perfil de Adam Kramer, coautor del estudio y analista de datos dentro de la firma, se daba una explicación algo más concreta: “Nos importa el impacto emocional de Facebook en las personas que lo usan, por eso hemos hecho el estudio. Sentíamos que era importante investigar si ver contenido positivo de los amigos les hacía seguir dentro o si, el hecho de que lo que se contaba era negativo, les invitaba a no visitar Facebook. No queríamos enfadar a nadie”.

No queríamos enfadar a nadie

Adam Kramer, coautor del estudio

En la explicación asegura que solo afectó al 0,04% de los usuarios, uno por cada 2.500 perfiles, durante una semana a comienzos de 2012. La red social ha contestado al diario británico The Guardian que su intención era mejorar el servicio para mostrar contenido más relevante y que crease una mayor cercanía con la audiencia.

En lo que no parecen reparar dentro de la web de Mark Zuckerberg es que el malestar se crea en el momento en que se rompe lo establecido, un algoritmo similar para todos, y se experimenta con las sensaciones de sus usuarios. Tampoco matiza que el conocimiento adquirido a partir de este experimento se pueda aplicar a la publicidad contratada en su interior.

En todo caso, queda la sensación de que gracias a la publicación del estudio se ha conocido este experimento, pero cualquiera podría ser objeto de muchos otros por parte de los analistas de datos de Facebook sin necesidad de avisar. Según sus términos de uso, de manera explícita, al tener un perfil se da permiso a acceder para “operaciones internas, resolución de problemas, análisis de datos, experimentos, investigación y mejoras en el servicio”.


Loneliness is not a bug with a technological solution | Ros Coward | Comment is free | theguardian.com

Loneliness is not a bug with a technological solution | Ros Coward | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

Helping elderly people to use the internet is a good idea. But let’s not mistake broadband connections for social ones

 

 

Loneliness

‘Anyone who has spent time with elderly people knows the real issues are much more complex.’ Photograph: Paul Doyle/Alamy

 

In the UK, four out of 10 over-65s do not have internet access. At a time when so much of our lives is conducted online – the payment of bills, access to information – that should be a real source of concern about potential social exclusion.

But does this mean that by widening internet access, elderly people will feel more socially connected? Or, even, more radically, as a new report suggests, could this be a solution for loneliness in old age?

The centre-right Policy Exchange thinktank makes such claims as part of its forthcoming technology manifesto. It recommends £875m should be spent on training the 6.2 million mainly elderly people who are without basic digital skills.

The report claims these skills would provide older people with a way to stay connected to friends and family, and could therefore ease the isolation of those who live alone, while saving many millions for the NHS and in state-subsidised care home places.

Loneliness among the elderly is certainly a massive problem. Recent research by Age UK has shown that one in three older people are plagued by loneliness, and that this has dire effects on their health.

On first sight, claims about the potential benefit of digital connection for the elderly appear to be backed up by research. The International Longevity Centre recently found that 7.5 million adults have never used the internet – most of them elderly, disabled or poor. Of those who had not been online, 63% often felt lonely, compared with just 38% of those who did use the internet.


Shh, don't tell: secret-sharing apps are all the rage, but they're also full of lies | Emma Brockes | Comment is free | theguardian.com

Shh, don’t tell: secret-sharing apps are all the rage, but they’re also full of lies | Emma Brockes | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

Whisper and Secret feed our Facebook impulses to share all. Their anonymity grants license to fakery. As if that wasn’t a big enough problem online already

 

 

whisper finger
In the few months since the launch of Secret and apps like it, the bogusness of the postings has underlined the pursuit of anonymous fame Photograph: Alamy

 

There are two types of secrets. There are the ones you keep to protect your self-interest – I’m using company time to look for a new job, say, or I’m cheating on my spouse. And there are the sentimental secrets, which you keep because they break a social taboo – as in, I love one of my children more than the other, or I don’t give a toss about recycling.

To these staples of evasion we may now add a third category: the fake secret, given life this year, albeit accidentally, by apps like Secret and Whisper, which encourage users to amuse themselves and each other by sharing cute, shocking or whistle-blowing confidences, under the shield of anonymity and in even hotterpursuit of shares, likes and comments than on Facebook.

For example, from Secret: I sometimes drop acid during chemistry class. My secret: I’m the teacher.

And: I like to eat illegal black market horse meat.

As well as: I’m a famous celebrity and …

Yeah, but you’re not, though, are you? And you probably don’t eat horse meat, which is in any case legal in the US. And if you “drop acid” in your chemistry class, it’s probably the chemistry class of your mind, after binging on one too many hours of Breaking Bad.

On April Fools’ Day this week, as one cast an even more jaded eye than usual over the contents of the internet, it was these mobile indulgences built for attracting attention at all costs, that appeared to be comprised almost entirely of makey-uppy contributions by strangers chasing the thrill of approval.

We have come to expect fakery from every public forum, starting with the guests on TV chat shows, and ending with hoaxes on Twitter. But in the few months since the launch of Secret and apps like it, the bogusness of the postings has underlined that weird phenomenon, the pursuit of anonymous fame: a like is a like is a like. And it doesn’t much matter what you say to acquire it.


Si estás aquí hablando conmigo, ¿por qué estás chateando con otra persona? ("Alone Together" por @STurkle) | Manzana Mecánica

Si estás aquí hablando conmigo, ¿por qué estás chateando con otra persona? (“Alone Together” por @STurkle) | Manzana Mecánica.

Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other” es un libro sobre cómo la tecnología está cambiando las relaciones entre las personas. Su autora, la socióloga y psicoanalista Sherry Turkle, ha dedicado varias décadas a estudiar los efectos sociales y psicológicos de los computadores, las redes, los robots, y últimamente, los medios sociales.

Tomé el libro buscando una respuesta a algo que escuché hace varios años: “si me pongo a mirar Twitter mientras conversamos, es que lo que me estás contando no es suficientemente interesante.” Es fácil decir que esa persona está siendo descortés, pero me quedé pensando que el problema es más grave que una falta de cortesía. Me quedé buscando, sin mucho éxito, algún argumento racional más profundo que la violación de una convención social.


La vida social de los adolescentes en línea: reseña del libro #itscomplicated de @zephoria (danah boyd) | Manzana Mecánica

La vida social de los adolescentes en línea: reseña del libro #itscomplicated de @zephoria (danah boyd) | Manzana Mecánica.

danah boyd (ella lo escribe siempre en minúsculas) es una influyente investigadora que documenta en “It’s Complicated” el resultado de una década de trabajo. Su libro aborda una serie de aspectos de la relación entre adolescentes e Internet, incluyendo la identidad que construyen en línea, su percepción y prácticas respecto a la privacidad, su exposición a riesgos incluyendo el acoso en línea, su posible “adicción” a la tecnología, entre otros temas.

En gran medida, su libro es una respuesta a una serie de pánicos morales sobre el uso de Internet por parte de los adolescentes. ¿es Internet una forma de “escapar” de su propia identidad y realidad? ¿Actúan de forma temeraria exponiéndose ingenuamente a lascivos predadores sexuales? ¿Fomentan las redes sociales el acoso escolar? ¿Es Internet una “droga” de la cuál es necesario proteger a los niños?

La investigación de danah se basa en el mismo punto de partida de Joshua Meyrowitz en No Sense of Place (1986): las comunicaciones electrónicas constituyen un lugar. Los adolescentes son empujados a establecer sus relaciones en este lugar porque su acceso a otros lugares donde socializar, al menos en EEUU y en el mundo desarrollado, está muy restringido en comparación con generaciones anteriores:

Muchos adolescentes estadounidenses tienen una libertad geográfica limitada, menos tiempo libre, y más reglas. En muchas comunidades a lo largo de Estados Unidos, la era de poder andar libremente después de la escuela siempre y cuando volvieras a casa antes del anochecer se acabó haca mucho tiempo. La mayoría de los adolescentes están detenidos en casa hasta que son suficientemente mayores como para manejar por sí solos.


How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations – The Intercept

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations – The Intercept.

By 
Featured photo - How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy ReputationsA page from a GCHQ top secret document prepared by its secretive JTRIG unit

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”

By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.

Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums. Here is one illustrative list of tactics from the latest GCHQ document we’re publishing today:

Other tactics aimed at individuals are listed here, under the revealing title “discredit a target”:

 


Psicólogo advierte que sólo se podrá descansar en vacaciones si se dejan de lado las redes sociales – BioBioChile

Psicólogo advierte que sólo se podrá descansar en vacaciones si se dejan de lado las redes sociales – BioBioChile.

Publicado por Alejandra Jara | La Información es de Agencia UPIJuliaf | sxc.hu

Juliaf | sxc.hu

Para poder descansar efectivamente durante las vacaciones no basta sólo con dejar de ir a la oficina. También implica desconectarse con todo lo relacionado con el trabajo, lo que incluye el correo electrónico y las redes sociales. Así lo explicó el psicólogo de la Universidad Santo Tomás, John Molina Cancino, quien agregó que este periodo es fundamental para tener ánimo el año siguiente.

Según Molina, “una persona que durante largos períodos se dedican a realizar actividades que implican cierta rutina y responsabilidad se ven enfrentados, por lo general, a estados de estrés, el que se manifiesta a través de agotamiento tanto físico y mental, trastornos de sueño, irritabilidad, alteración en el apetito, entre otros”, explica el especialista.

“En casos más graves podría llevar consigo trastornos en el estado del ánimo, el que podríamos describir como un estado permanente de tristeza, melancolía, infelicidad o abatimiento. Esta situación, a la larga, resulta no sólo perjudicial para el bienestar del sujeto, sino que también se traduce en una baja en la calidad del trabajo mismo. Sumado a lo anterior, provoca baja en la concentración y todo lo que acarrea consigo en el rendimiento laboral”, apunta.


¿Cómo se trata la adicción a Internet? – El Mostrador

¿Cómo se trata la adicción a Internet? – El Mostrador.

Rejas en las ventanas, cuartos minúsculos que se encuentran en mal estado. Candados en las rejas que controlan el acceso al lugar. Días que empiezan a las 6:00, entrenamiento físico con disciplina –y vestimenta- militar. Electroencefalogramas, sesiones colectivas de terapia, una luz intermitente en la cara para despertar y, en ocasiones, medicación antidepresiva.

Es parte de la dinámica y las condiciones de uno de los más de 400 centros de rehabilitación para adolescentes que existen en China para tratar a quienes han sido diagnosticados como adictos a internet. Los chicos llegan a la institución con sus padres, quienes tienen la esperanza de que sus hijos se recuperen tras pasar tres o cuatro meses viviendo en el lugar.

Sin embargo, la adicción a la red, descrita por algunos como un desorden compulsivo-impulsivo que se caracteriza por el uso de un dispositivo electrónico conectado a internet, no es un problema exclusivo en China. El trastorno se ha identificado en distintas partes del mundo, pero el perfil de quienes lo sufren es similar en las distintas latitudes.

Los casos de jóvenes que son internados en centros de rehabilitación para controlar la dependencia a internet incluyen a quienes decidieron usar un pañal para no tener que hacer pausas e ir al baño, porque eso podría afectar su rendimiento en el juego. También hay chicos que han desarrollado coágulos en las piernas por pasar días enteros sentados frente a la computadora. No se separan del aparato y sus vidas transcurren alrededor del mismo.

“Los adolescentes tienen propensión a sufrir de esta condición porque están más acostumbrados a participar en juegos a través de internet y pasan más tiempo en la red”, le dicen a BBC Mundo Paul McLaren y Carole Willis, director médico y gerente de servicios terapéuticos, respectivamente, en el Hospital Hayes Grove de Priory, una organización de alcance nacional en el Reino Unido que se dedica al manejo de distintos tipos de adicciones y otros problemas de salud.


La nueva tendencia de agredirse anónimamente en internet – El Mostrador

La nueva tendencia de agredirse anónimamente en internet – El Mostrador.

Con frecuencia se cree que los insultos proferidos en redes sociales contra una persona son publicados por extraños. Pero se ha descubierto una práctica reciente en que la víctima también es la perpetradora. ¿De qué se trata?

bbc-nota-internet-agresiones

Una nueva tendencia en las redes tiene preocupados a padres y expertos: muchos jóvenes están publicando insultos contra sí mismos en internet aprovechando el anonimato del ciberespacio. Pero, ¿por qué lo hacen?

Informes recientes revelan que el trolling, una práctica que consiste en agredir con comentarios ofensivos a una persona en internet, es un fenómeno en aumento. Cuando las personas sufren abusos y amenazas en las redes sociales, se asume que provienen de un extraño, pero no siempre es el caso.

Según expertos en cultura informática y organizaciones no gubernamentales que se dedican al tema, el acoso cibernético infligido por la misma persona es parte de un problema que está empezando a surgir y que algunos llaman “hacerse daño digitalmente” (una traducción del inglés cyber self-harm o también self-trolling).

Las estadísticas de prevalencia son difíciles de obtener: hasta el momento sólo existe un estudio relevante al respecto. El Centro de Disminución de la Agresión de Massachusetts (MARC, por sus siglas en inglés) descubrió que de los 617 estudiantes que entrevistó, 9% había hecho alguna forma de self-trolling.


The Internet Ideology: Why We Are Allowed to Hate Silicon Valley – Debatten – FAZ

The Internet Ideology: Why We Are Allowed to Hate Silicon Valley – Debatten – FAZ

 ·  It knows how to talk about tools but is barely capable of talking about social, political, and economic systems that these tools enable and disable, amplify and pacify. Why the “digital debate” leads us astray.

If Ronald Reagan was the first Teflon President, then Silicon Valley is the first Teflon Industry:  no matter how much dirt one throws at it, nothing seems to stick. While “Big Pharma,” “Big Food” and “Big Oil” are derogatory terms used to describe the greediness that reigns supreme in those industries, this is not the case with “Big Data.” This innocent term is never used to refer to the shared agendas of technology companies.  What shared agendas? Aren’t these guys simply improving the world, one line of code at a time?

Let’s re-inject politics and economics into this debate

Do people in Silicon Valley realize the mess that they are dragging us into? I doubt it. The “invisible barbed wire” remains invisible even to its builders. Whoever is building a tool to link MOOCs to biometric identification isn’t much concerned with what this means for our freedoms: “freedom” is not their department, they are just building cool tools for spreading knowledge!

This is where the “digital debate” leads us astray: it knows how to talk about tools but is barely capable of talking about social, political, and economic systems that these tools enable and disable, amplify and pacify.  When these systems are once again brought to the fore of our analysis, the “digital” aspect of such tool-talk becomes extremely boring, for it explains nothing. Deleuze warned of such tool-centrism back in 1990:

“One can of course see how each kind of society corresponds to a particular kind of machine – with simple mechanical machines corresponding to sovereign societies, thermodynamic machines to disciplinary societies, cybernetic machines and computers to control societies. But the machines don’t explain anything, you have to analyze the collective arrangements of which the machines are just one component.”

In the last two decades, our ability to make such connections between machines and “collective arrangements” has all but atrophied. This happened, I suspect, because we’ve presumed that these machines come from “cyberspace,” that they are of the “online” and “digital” world – in other words, that they were bestowed upon us by the gods of “the Internet.” And “the Internet,” as Silicon Valley keeps reminding us, is the future. So to oppose these machines was to oppose the future itself.

Well, this is all bunk: there’s no “cyberspace” and “the digital debate” is just a bunch of sophistries concocted by Silicon Valley that allow its executives to sleep well at night. (It pays well too!) Haven’t we had enough? Our first step should be to rob them of their banal but highly effective language. Our second step should be to rob them of their flawed history. Our third step should be to re-inject politics and economics into this debate. Let’s bury the “digital debate” for good – along with an oversupply of intellectual mediocrity it has produced in the meantime.


Popular Science kills comments – while YouTube tries to fix them | Technology | theguardian.com

Popular Science kills comments – while YouTube tries to fix them | Technology | theguardian.com.

Popular Science kills comments – while YouTube tries to fix them

Website says comments harm debate, while YouTube begins integration with Google+ to bring friends and ‘popular personalities’ to greater visibility – and hide random remarks

Argument

Are comments on articles a form of argument, or discourse, or do they damage scientific understanding?

Popular Science is closing comments on its articles. Citing “trolls and spambots”, the 141-year-old American magazine has decided that an open forum at the bottom of articles “can be bad for science”.

The decision was “not made lightly” said online content director Suzanne LaBarre – nor, appropriately, without some supporting scientific evidence. Citing research from a study by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Dominique Brossard, the magazine argues that exposure to bad comments can skew a reader’s opinion of the post itself.

“Simply including an ad hominem attack in a reader comment was enough to make study participants think the downside of the reported technology was greater than they’d previously thought,” Brossard wrote in the New York Times.

“If you carry out those results to their logical end,” says LaBarre, “commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded – you start to see why we feel compelled to hit the “off” switch.”

If Popular Science’s commenters were in proportion to that on most other large sites, they made up about 1% of those who read the piece. (The Guardian’s commenters are about 0.7% of readers on average, according to a statistic calculated by Martin Belam from public figures, with a very small number of commenters generating a large proportion – 20% in Belam’s calculation – of input.) There’s no data on how many people read comments on news sites, though


NSA and GCHQ: the flawed psychology of government mass surveillance | Chris Chambers | Science | theguardian.com

NSA and GCHQ: the flawed psychology of government mass surveillance | Chris Chambers | Science | theguardian.com.

Research shows that indiscriminate monitoring fosters distrust, conformity and mediocrity

 

John Hurt in a film adaptation of George Orwell's 1984

Big Brother: a government that engages in mass surveillance cannot claim to value innovation, critical thinking or originality. Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive

 

Recent disclosures about the scope of government surveillance are staggering. We now know that the UK’s Tempora program records huge volumes of private communications, including – as standard – our emails, social networking activity, internet histories, and telephone calls. Much of this data is then shared with the US National Security Agency, which operates its own (formerly) clandestine surveillance operation. Similar programs are believed to operate in Russia, China, India, and throughout several European countries.

While pundits have argued vigorously about the merits and drawbacks of such programs, the voice of science has remained relatively quiet. This is despite the fact that science, alone, can lay claim to a wealth of empirical evidence on the psychological effects of surveillance. Studying that evidence leads to a clear conclusion and a warning: indiscriminate intelligence-gathering presents a grave risk to our mental health, productivity, social cohesion, and ultimately our future.