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Originally posted by Lasheic
reply to post by operation mindcrime
For example, my sister is allergic to penicillin - yet she has been sent to the ER three times in the last ten years because obtaining her full and complete records was apparently too much a hassle, or there wasn't enough time. ERM will work to absolve that issue.
Now... you want a real subject to rail against? Try looking up the dangers inherent in Gene Patenting and copyright laws... which surprisingly has gotten very little attention over the past few decades, despite the fact that it can be potentially used to violate the rights you have over YOUR OWN BODY.
That is exactly the kind of reasoning they come up with to usher in yet an other new system
"well. we don't care giving up a little of our freedom in order for this system to do it's work, it will solve this huge problem we have"
We have been contributing to build a huge database of personal information by volunteering personal data when we make payment at shops, deposit money in a bank, or use public services (for driving licenses or tax payment). Even e-mail messages sent from computers and mobile phones remain saved on the network permanently unless every effort is made to "delete" them.
In this view, it was the emergence of the network which automated our data entry efforts. Furthermore, the Age of Ubiquitous Computing, which has been promoted currently, can be considered as striving to make computers deployed everywhere around us automatically collect, digitalise and save our personal information in Cyber space.
Privacy problems we have seen today are quite simply rooted in this characteristic of Cyber space. This is why we need to have a viewpoint to understand the different principles of the real world and Cyber space, and then try to resolve several problems caused by digital technologies.
Cyber space imposes challenges on "individuality"
One of the advantages of digital information is being able to search and collect necessary keywords from an enormous amount of text data. You can consider that the keywords retrieved this way are separated from their original context and then reconstructed anew. This "separation and reconstruction" is the paramount characteristic of digital information.
Let's take an example with books. We usually read a book sequentially by following the plot and the author's thoughts in the way the author intended. On the contrary with digital text, we can go beyond by clicking words among sentences and moving to related pages about the person, events and other relevant information (hyperlink feature), thus we can randomly read various texts according to our interests. (This undoubtedly enhances the flexibility of reading, however, some people may end up just being busy gathering knowledge and unable to absorb and contemplate the things. It depends on how to use the new tools, and more importantly, the quality of individuals.)
This relationship between words and text is exactly the same as the relationship between individuals and organisations. Individuals gained freedom from the regional and organisational shackles that have bound them in the real world and now are tested on their abilities in Cyber space.
For example, mobile phones enabled individuals to communicate with each other without any spatial constraints like boundaries of home, schools and companies. Yet at the same time, a sense of belonging to traditional communities became weaker and weaker. Of course mobile phones can be used to foster communication among families, but it is because you intend to do so. The most important thing is that people are inevitably challenged at an "individual" level. One might say that Cyber space exposes "individuals" to situations where they are challenged and tested.
Those "individuals" thrust out bare and alone are in danger of being taunted, manipulated or controlled by Cyber space. Even so, they also have a good chance of taking advantage of Cyber space to establish their own autonomous networks. This is again left to the discretion of individuals.
One thing is clear. Society will now center around autonomous individuals, and not on large organizations and corporations as in the past. But because human beings cannot live in complete isolation, new organizations and networks will develop that will link and support these free, independent individuals. These new, non-hierarchical structures will be both global and local, and will in the main tend to be small-scaled. Existing institutions will not suddenly disappear from the face of the earth, but will gradually transform themselves to meet the new needs of the age. The relationships they maintain with individuals will be much looser and less-constraining than before. Thus we will see the emergence of a world where people move among many-layered networks and structures, all of which straddle both Cyberspace and Realspace. Just as water molecules are released into the air when transformed into steam, people will be freed from the shackles of existing organizations and drift freely into society. They will be able to break through the walls that enclose families, schools, corporations, even nations and ethnic groups, in order to mingle freely with all the peoples of the world. Yet at the same time, there is a powerlessness in this drifting freedom that can give rise to confusion, searing loneliness, even instability. It is for this reason that I wish to continue exploring all the possible paths that individuals, as well as societies, can build in this dawning new age.