How we Store Information

My Recent Posts

I read in The NY Times an article about a kid taking notes on his smart-phone and how the people at the meeting he was in thought he was texting. He explained what he was doing and they were all impressed that a smartphone could be used to take notes. I ask, why not just record the meeting and take notes later?


More and more I'm noticing that people are recording conversations. They don't ask and what they plan to do with this material is open to conjecture, but I've become much more wary about what I say to people. Isn't it illegal to record people without their consent? Or is it just that it can't be used as evidence in a court of law? What does off the record mean in this day and age?


We are being overwhelmed with information and it is the reason why someone can say with a straight face that there is something called alternative facts, like alternative history. How can anyone listen to someone who doesn't know what the word fact means and take them seriously? And no one even asked.


I'm noticing that fewer and fewer people are storing information in their brains. What they store in their brains are opinions, and jokes, and one-liners, or pick-up lines, things that don't requirement any long-winded explanation, like Trump's tweets. I would really like to know what information really does stick in Donald Trump's brain. It must be a series of phrases that begin with great and end with horrible.


What Trump and all of us should be aware of is that the cloud can hold all of this fluff that we create and make it a permanent archive of our mindlessness. And there's nothing we can do about it. Nothing we can do to stop people from downloading it, cutting it apart, reformulating it, creating out of your mouth whatever they want you to say. These are not alternative facts. These are alternative scripts, which is what they're supposed to be. We are not supposed to be creatures living our lives anymore. We are supposed to be creatures living a life and then having that life recorded for our audience to witness, and then having that record restructured to make it appear more whatever. What is a moment if it is only to be used later to make another moment?     


mark henry smith Added Apr 12, 2017 - 1:41pm
This world doesn't exactly trouble me, but it makes me wonder if we are creating an entire generation of sociopaths, kids who don't know what reality is and whether a real event is worth more than a staged event. The question arises, does it matter? Do you mind being blatantly manipulated, which these devices can do so easily? What about subtly manipulated? 
George N Romey Added Apr 12, 2017 - 1:49pm
Technology is making us stupid.  Remember when you had to get out a map and read it to understand how you would make it from Point A to Point B.  I've said it until I'm ready to vomit, the lack of critical thinking, logic and reasoning skills is killing the human race.  We all will be looking at an app when we look up and see the mushroom cloud or wonder why the ATMs no longer work.
And everyone has to be famous, even the people that are more boring than wood.  Have you ever looked at most of the articles on Medium and Niume?  At least there is a heartbeat going at WB.
Bill H. Added Apr 13, 2017 - 12:48pm
It would be illegal to record a meeting without the individual consent of every meeting attendee. Many companies will not allow this at all due to possible compromising of company information or "trade secrets".
Yes, all "technologies" are supposed to have been created to help humans accomplish tasks and supply information for humans to make better and more informed decisions. This was the goal when I was involved with working to discover and apply applications for the "new" personal computers that arose during the mid '70s. My area of involvement was researching the interfacing of analog sensors to the new digital world. As we did apply some decision making capabilities in our software, we were careful to not go as far as trying to make decisions that were best left to the human brain and not digital logic alone. Our goal was to provide needed and invaluable data that would be analyzed by humans.
The lines have been crossed in the name of profits being disguised as "convenience" and "technology". As we blindly allow computers to make more and more decisions for us, in the process these machines collect more and more information from us to store in the "cloud" to make even more decisions that we will not be involved in, but simply go along with. And of course, most if not all of this information will be available to any corporation or organization that seeks it.
mark henry smith Added Apr 13, 2017 - 12:54pm
George, I went on a couple of those sites and read a little and was just like you, why? We know what we have to do in this world. Paddy Chaevsky? said it in Network so many decades ago. Turn off the drivel and start to live as if you mean it. I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore. It's easy to say that, much harder to put into practice considering that "it" has become ubiquitous, this slow descent into the void of ostentation.
So I read Haluska and he says socialists are people who don't have two nickels to rub together and all sorts of things that are right out of stereotyping 101. He has no clue as to why people who are winning this game might want to try something different. Why all of the things he trumpets are the opposite sides of the things he ridicules, two sides of the same coin and all have to do with the blind desire for power.
Thanks for commenting. Keep up the good fight.   
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Apr 13, 2017 - 12:59pm
With recording in regards to telephone conversations, it varies from state to state on if both parties have to be informed recording is happening, or just one. Either way no consent is required, just an informed recorded person or persons. Bill covered the rest. I'll admit I use the memo app on my smartphone for certain temporary lists, but that's about it on my end. I prefer to use my brain and not keep copious records of my activities other than for work and my temple transcripts. 
Dino Manalis Added Apr 13, 2017 - 1:06pm
Materials you wish to remain private shouldn't be stored online, because they may not remain private forever!  The Internet is for sharing information!
mark henry smith Added Apr 13, 2017 - 1:33pm
Jen and Dino
Thanks. There is no private anymore. There's just public stuff that's been encrypted and is waiting to be hacked.
mark henry smith Added Apr 13, 2017 - 1:54pm
Bill, I missed your comment. That is so true, that all of this information is out there for the highest bidder and all of these companies are constructing alga rhythms? to track our behavior in this sphere and then sell us what they think we're leaning towards, taking a cut.
That these media companies want us to keep our devices on constantly, be habitually tied to an electronic string should come as no surprise to anyone. That they don't address the health and societal consequences of the behavior they promote should come as no surprise either. Have you noticed people are more distracted in real life? Appear less content in real life? It is a natural phenomenon that has been studied assiduously. The more comparisons we are presented with, the less satisfied we tend to become with our situations, and the more susceptible we become to investing in changing our situations. And ultimately, if this goes on for long enough, being constantly nagged about how pathetic our lot is and how we could do better, it is human nature to engage in change for the sake of change and nothing more.
I was extremely fortunate that I never had to learn how to accept being humiliated by the internet. I just turn it off without the slightest feeling of missing anything. For that I thank my older sister.      
George N Romey Added Apr 13, 2017 - 2:33pm
The best scams are the ones that seem 100% legit and feed on human emotions and desires.  Look at Bernie Madoff.  People that scream less government, free enterprise and the others that yell massive amounts of new regulations will solve problems are clueless.  The right regulation and amount of government can be super effective.  At the same token you can't easily legislate morality.  The CEOs of Wall Street knew they were creating ticking time bombs but the short term profits were just too could to pass up.  Those that sounded the alarms (and there were quite a few) were forced to resign or fired.  
Bill H. Added Apr 13, 2017 - 6:03pm
What we really need is politicians that will stand up and fight for our privacy. The problem is that the corporations who want to collect all of the information that they can on us virtually control the government who is supposed to protect us. There are also certain government entities who also want our information and simply get it from the corporations that do the spying and collection (Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and Apple to name a very few).
Patrick Writes Added Apr 14, 2017 - 3:28am
I agree with the author. In general, the idea that any phone call or private conversation by a famous person (or regular person) can or should be 'leaked' the public and put on the social media so the Internet mob can destroy the person's life, it's wrong. And it happens over and over. 
From memory, there was a video of a university student some months ago on bus traveling somewhere, clearly had a few drinks, and was saying some somewhat racist stuff about his university being a white only zone. And he got kicked out of the university (from memory). I new hundreds of people in university that said stupid stuff when drunk or high. Some of it was racist. But this is life. People say sometimes stupid things when they think they are among friends (and have had a few drinks). 
I don't know what gives some people the right to record someone and put it on the Internet to whip up the Internet mob. 
Peter Corey Added Apr 14, 2017 - 3:58am
>Paddy Chaevsky?
Paddy Chayefsky.
One of the greatest screenwriters in the history of motion pictures and television. He was also a successful playwright on Broadway despite being savaged by the New York critics for having also been a TV writer.
George N Romey Added Apr 14, 2017 - 9:53am
This entire Mark Zuckerberg idea that there is no longer privacy should be stopped with brute force.  People want to let it all hang out on social media pumping up their self importance in the world until one day it comes back to bite them.  This goes to this idea that everyone is entitled to and should get their 15 minutes of fame in the world. Look at sites like LI and FB its all about extracting your personal information which can be used against you.  Yet its sold as the means to make you a "superstar" and people fall for it.
In the late 1800s the US Supreme Court ruled that citizens had the right to be left alone.  Somehow we have traded our personal rights for the chance of fame.
Bill H. Added Apr 15, 2017 - 11:12pm
Many Big Data companies submit software, app, or internet site user agreements that are sometimes over 80 pages long (it's true!) and are worded in a way that only a lawyer would catch the wording and interpret it's real meaning. The average user would have no clue that he possibly just signed away his entire life history and possibly that of his wife and children's.
When one sees a phrase that ends with "this data will be used to enhance the user's experience" or "this data will only be disclosed to, or shared with our affiliates" is just another way of saying that we will sell the data that we collect about you to anyone who pays us.
Also remember that "The Cloud" is being constructed mainly to allow the instant sharing of your data with virtually any company instantly, and sold to you as a convenient way to store your data. Yeah, Rieeeeght!
mark henry smith Added Apr 20, 2017 - 11:51am
People are always commenting on the fact that I never leave my phone on, and some get angry. Don't they know that the cell phone is a way to track you? That's not why I leave it off. I'm not doing anything that warrants the attention of any authority figures, I don't think. I just don't enjoy being constantly harangued by a device.
But kids appear to love it. They carry around their phones the way children carry stuffed animals. They don't appear to understand the costs of being tied to that electronic string, or how they are being trained by it.
All of this is behavioral training whether you admit it or not. That's what all human societies do, train the members to conform to a set of beliefs and behave accordingly. The idea that cell phones and computers will give us more freedom is asinine, unless we treat them with due diligence.            
Jeff Michka Added Apr 26, 2017 - 6:17pm
Paddy Chaevsky? - Peter didn't add that one of Chaevsky's most rapier scripts was the on written for film, "Network," starring William Holden, Faye Dunaway and Albert Finney. Worth seeing, if you've not done so.  You can die by ratings.

Recent Articles by Writers mark henry smith follows.