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Humanist Archives: Nov. 3, 2018, 7:49 a.m. Humanist 32.156 - Zuckerberg's monster

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 156.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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    [1]    From: savoye@eapoe.org
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.153: Zuckerberg's monster (37)

    [2]    From: Henry Schaffer 
           Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.153: Zuckerberg's monster (22)

        Date: 2018-11-02 09:24:45+00:00
        From: savoye@eapoe.org
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.153: Zuckerberg's monster

On the fairly rare occasions when I think about Facebook at all, it
usually brings to mind Science Fiction scenarios where everyone other
than our hero(es) has fallen prey to some addictive technology (or
influencing alien life form that takes over their minds). Mostly, I try
to remain in blissful ignorance of its supposed virtues. (On the other
hand, I remember that the story, in regard to our hero(es), does not
always end well.)

On a similar note, when someone is impressed by the body of work or one
of our more distant ancestors, I often remark that it was amazing what
we were able to accomplish before there was television.

Jeffrey A. Savoye

On 11/2/2018 4:01 AM, Humanist wrote:
>                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 153.
>              Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                         www.dhhumanist.org
>                  Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org
>          Date: 2018-11-01 10:29:15+00:00
>          From: Dave Postles 
>          Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.151: Zuckerberg's monster
> Interesting. Ppl may object that what I am about to offer is too
> political, but here goes. We - esp. UK HE - had the opportunity to devise
> an alternative to the Facebook oligopoly. UK HE declined and its IT ppl
> elected to take the line of least resistance (as with persisting with
> Microsoft and, in some cases, Blackboard). Surely HE could have produced
> its own system - or even have adopted Diaspora. But no, UK HE continues to
> pay the corporate shilling and, for the most part, ignore OpenSource.
> Rant over.
> DP

        Date: 2018-11-02 13:50:10+00:00
        From: Henry Schaffer 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.153: Zuckerberg's monster

Au contraire David, you aren't too political, you are touching on a
fascinating humanistic aspect of the IT community which people often
ignore. We geeks (that is not a term of disparagement, I'm proud to be
included in that community) often project an aura of objectivity, and so,
of course, our choice of IT products (both hardware and software) must have
resulted from careful evaluation without human frailty.

Alas, geeks and the whole IT ppl are humans with all of the same faults,
including playing favorites and laziness leading to taking the easy way
out. Of course the IT vendors fully understand this and play along to their
own benefit - doing things to produce fans rather than cold hearted
evaluators who only want to benefit their own campus or organization.

Perhaps this phenomenon should be studied as a DH topic?

I'll spare you case histories, as this is already too long, but will add a
link to my Open Source resource page

--henry schaffer

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