I Got Mailed

A day earlier, we discussed how the internet world had the dilemma of what to consider as norms and what to prohibit to preserve the openness in the internet. This reminded me of my grade seven teachers. Back in 2010, when Facebook was charmingly getting to everyone, two girls from my class created Facebook accounts despite receiving compassionate advice from our teachers against such a move. Of course, they were punished “according” for availing their personal information. They were deemed indiscipline and rebellious.

The fun side, I receive a Friend Request from one of those teachers a few days ago. He also followed me on Instagram, and when I didn’t respond, he texted me on messenger. I was honestly amused by the irony. Here was an adult who tried by all means and ways to protect young people from what he considered evil, now following to the same sword. This makes me reconnect with the members of the Message Group who could not stick to particular standards of electronic mails.

The GINGER command was never a good hack. Keeping the internet open was necessary for its growth. The only way to win the trust of other users and gainfully tap information from them is by engaging fully with them. Providing an avenue to encourage privacy would have been a fall back from achieving what everyone had been resourcing for. I guess the command made the other users believe that someone is hiding something. Thus, they strived to reach the hidden. This encouraged hacking, invasion of privacy, hence the birth of hackers we know today.

I am surprised that the Message Group could not agree on standards for mail handling software, instead they coined cyberbullying through “flaming”. The open criticism on social media and public spaces today may have persisted from 1970’s. As time goes by, I doubt we will achieve uniformity in the digital and technical world. I have a HUAWEI phone, a good one, but I can’t facetime with my friends on Apple platform. This is the mess we are in.

Oh wow, it’s amazing how we are enjoying the fruits of other people actions. We get e-mailed at alarming rates never imagined by the inventors. They and people like Steve Jobs may not be here to enjoy the performance of computers as extensions and supplements of human potential. I wonder for how long we will enjoy e-mailing or getting e-mailed before it being replaced by something intriguing and mind blowing.

 

1 Comment »

  1. Mike Smith

    September 17, 2017 @ 3:00 pm

    1

    I’m glad to see that you’re connecting the history we’re reading with your own history and connecting it to questions about the future. That’s where we are heading!

    Your story about your seventh grade teachers poignantly illustrates the nature of changing norms. If you ever connect with this teacher, you might ask how his/her attitudes have changed over time and why.

    In the disagreement over standards, there is certainly a tension between making everything work for what we can see in today’s needs and the innovations that others in our community can see coming to address the potential of tomorrow. The internet has been a generative platform because it encouraged innovation at the expense of global standards. On the other hand, some disagreements had nothing to do with the present versus the future. Sometimes it was just passionate disagreement between minimal designs and full-featured designs, or one set of features as more desirable (in some people’s views) than another set. And when you couldn’t compromise, it was possible to build each approach and let the market decide. Too bad that doesn’t always work; sometimes we need compromise.

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