As we move to  a pervasive, constantly connected state – and isn’t mobile just another word for everywhere – what does this mean for us as a whole? We’re already struggling for a work-life balance – and stresses are showing at the margins already. People are overwhelmed, unable to keep up and give up. These people are the new impoverished. Impoverished in the sense that they can’t control, manage and then articulate themselves in an information-rich environment. Will this mean a backlash? What will people do?

One thing might be that people create areas of their lives that are unavailable to networks – in essence a “safe room” or along the lines of a sensory deprivation tank. I can see this being something that futuristic home builders might already be working on; a bedroom where no wireless or cellphone network can access. Where else would you want this? Anywhere your privacy might be important. We’ve seen what happens when two people in a relationship at distance will do to show their love (lust), and then later embarrass the other in a revenge plot. Emotions can get in the way. I see the Japanese inventing private hotels, much like the love hotels they have now to service young couples who have no privacy at home.

As we see the Internet of things evolve, we’ll need these sorts of strategies to allow maybe our fridge, stove and phone to talk, but not our fridge and furnace. And this opens hackers to having a real effect on human lives – if we trust devices to tell us we’re out of milk – does that mean a hacker could get us to buy two dozen bags of milk because they spoof a message from the fridge? Brings a whole new meaning to “your fridge is running… you better go catch it”.

This post was inspired by:

Are Internet Addicts Isolated?

I was reading the article that the Guardian posted about excessive use of the Internet being a possible relation to increased depression, to which they posed the idea that maybe the people who use the Internet “excessively” are predisposed to an isolated life, where depression is a likely symptom.

I know I use the Internet excessively, more than most people, and I often wonder about the effects of this use, and the isolation I sometimes inflict on myself. I certainly wouldn’t consider myself bereft of any human contact, and certainly I’m not a melancholy sort of fellow…. still, the study abstract does not define what addiction is, nor what it means to be addicted or how much use construes addiction (and the three academic libraries I have access to don’t link to the journal it was published in).

Combine the information that 14% or so of excessive Internet users are also depressed, which begs the question, what’s the percentage of folks that are depressed in general? Do we have reason to be worried? This sort of infographic that recounts the State of the Internet 2009 adds a level of depth to those finding… well, maybe it does. Does that mean that approximately 13% of people aged 18-29 are depressed?

Today’s Horoscope

I’m not a big believer in chance or higher powers, even if I can’t explain something, someone out there probably can come up with a reasonable explanation. Much like conspiracy theories, sometimes people invent connections where there are none, to explain otherwise inexplicable things. My horoscope today is kind of interesting, uh, piece of advice? Maybe it’s a parable for the information age?

Libra (Sept. 23 — Oct. 23)

Information on its own is of limited use, and if we rely on it exclusively, we end up dithering over possibilities and ramifications. Instead, use your heart and intuition to make a big decision, and trust it.

CCK08 Final Piece

CCK08 – Ahhh, the culminating piece of learning. Here’s a synthesis of my connections in the moodle forum that raises a few questions on the nature of memory in a world where everything is recorded (such as the forum). I’ve found I’ve forgotten to remember what was discussed, much less with whom and why. Here’s a 3 minute Flash based presentation about that, created in Camtasia and recorded in my home studio on a Korg D888 multitrack recorder and a sublime Audio Technica AT2020 (really, a great mic at around $125).