Possibly like a lot of people, I just loved following the recent “Did the DPRK‘s NDC really have the clout to hack Sony” story, with its multiple and rather harebrained developments, so much so that, because I’m kind, I’m sharing these words of doubtful wisdom, precisely over the Festive/<<…… >> (insert current politically correct seasonal name between the brackets – Jeez, just call it Christmas! – to help the turkey go down.
The fact that it follows on neatly to my last post won’t have escaped the more attentive of readers but the point is that the whole story has just created a situation, if not a precedence, that could well shape the face of Internet in 2015. Did the Koreans really do it or was it the Russians? Was it some socially well-perceived group of hackers or an angry insider anticipating redundancy? Does the FBI have egg on its face for too rapidly ascertaining the origin of the hack or could it be, as certain conspiracy theorists would have us believe, that the FBI were following some hidden agenda that would ultimately lead to the end of net neutrality and the instauration of an Internet structure similar to the one in the DPRK? A sort of return to the source where only a few privileged academic institutes, Hi-Tech conglomerates and government agencies could safely transfer yottabytes of data without it being cluttered up and slowed down by equivalent amounts of supernumerary social media chatter?
Talking of supernumerary, as is the habit at this time of the year, International Media is doing a retrospective and going back over 2014, voting its personality of the year here, lamenting the demise of a celebrity there, and generally taking stock of everything that happened, good and bad, during the year. Stories ranging from the slushy to the hoax and the horrible, the dystopian and the populist, whatever sells, and if it lacks depth it doesn’t matter, add some rehash and conjecture, after all I defy anyone to remember all the articles published anywhere in the world’s media in 2014, unless, unless you are one of the few who keep track and fortunately there are those who do.
At the end of the day I feel like paraphrasing one “Influencer” I read recently and say “STFU”, stop cramming social media and wasting bandwidth. As the Rolling Stones sang back in 1966: “Who wants yesterday’s papers, nobody in the world!” There’s no need to dig up stories of Jennifer Lawrence or Macaulay Culkin again and again, pretexting that its “Hot” and comes from inside sources. It just fills in spaces that would have been filled in by people with something to say and why, oh why does Twitter have to repost the same Tweets several times to the detriment of others I follow?
While I’m about it, some press organ wrote recently on Twitter about how nasty Internet had become in 2014. Oh really? Sure there a lot of malevolent elements out there waiting to pounce on the slightest slip, Freudian or otherwise, but there always has been, not just in 2014. So it seems to me that the Press is being rather expeditive in labeling Internet as the culprit. Referring to Internet as an individual acting on its own initiative is very convenient but all very expeditive! Internet may be a noun but isn’t the spiteful individual who trolls social media or the hacker who takes out Xbox/PSP online. Internet is the means to an end so saying Internet is nasty is a hasty way of pointing a finger at a problem a lot more complex than that, a problem that needs to be dealt with differently and expeditiously.
A final word on the Christmas Xbox/PSP hack. One person commented in one thread on Gizmodo via Twitter about how perhaps hacking Xbox/PSP online over Christmas wasn’t such a bad idea after all and how the kids shouldn’t complain because that way they’d get to spend some quality time with their families. That’s a double-edged, moot point and an opinion I would have been tempted to agree with had I not just previously read another thread on Twitter about parents with hangovers lamenting Christmas morning parental duties and discussing cures, ranging from two Paracetamol and several double espressos to carrying on drinking from the night before. Well, for having lived in a glass house, I’m not about to get sanctimonious but you have to admit two things here. 1) it’s a stupid thing to brag about and glorify on social media, you never know who’ll read about it and 2) then you wonder why your kids shut themselves away in their rooms?
I’ll leave you to finish digesting Christmas with this parting thought about using and abusing social media. Remember “Justine Sacco”, you never know what bored “malevolent element” is lurking in the shadows.