"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Sunday 23 January 2022

You Are Your Data

If you think climate change is a difficult problem to solve, you might be surprised to discover there is another much more difficult - no let's be honest - impossible problem to solve and we are contributing to it right now. 

We all know that while we use our phone, pad, or computer, every click and search is used to target us in, for example, advertising. We might even know that our 'likes' and 'comments' are all used to make sure we see more of the same thing online. A word like "algorithm" sounds very mathematical and computerlike, yet the term "business model" is much more to the point, for nothing in this capitalistic world is free. What we do online is our payment for the provider's service, and this is like gold to a political party or a potential dictator. It would be unfair to give away much more. There is a video below and it is informative and well-presented.

Maybe you know a teenager who needs to watch this.  While I definitely learned some things, at my age, my searches and clicks don't matter to most companies, or politicians, or ... anyone. Cynic that I am, I honestly have no hope that we, as a society, can escape the traps that have already been sprung or will be sprung very soon. 

However, it is better to know the problem. That way you will know where to allocate the blame when ... No, I'm not going to spoil it. 

Addendum February 1, 2022

Is it necessary at this point to warn those who enjoy a lifestyle that they would like to keep somewhat private that to be forewarned is to be forearmed? Please read the comments and think hard about how you are using the internet friends. 

Take care of yourselves! 


  1. Also read mathematician Hannah Fry's "Hello World: How to Stay Human in the Age of the Machine" for a good overview of how and why data is collected and used.

    1. Thanks Susie! I'll see if my book store has a copy.

  2. I’ll also check it out.
    Most people know they are consumers, few realise they are also the commodity.

  3. The book is well worth getting. Thanks again Susie.

  4. As robotics and algorithms go hand in hand, another book that, although in some places is a little heavy going, maybe of interest is Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics. by Patrick Lin et al.
    In Amazon you can take a look at the chapter titles and see how far this ‘problem’ goes.

    1. Oh my, yes another deep dive into the "what might be coming soon" files. When we have a robot or several in our homes, what privacy issues will that create?
      I was just reading about the uses of Credit Sesame in mainland China to rank people as trustworthy, or not. An interesting glimpse into the future?

    2. In China it’s blatantly obvious what’s is going on there now, they have no need to hide it, and where it’s going to lead in future. Every nation will pack it and explain it differently but it will come. The seeds have been long sown and the signs are in full view but most people just fail to see or avert their gaze back to their mobile and continue to actively feed the system with their life line data.