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posted by Dopefish on Saturday February 15 2014, @04:25AM   Printer-friendly
from the the-nsa-is-watching-you dept.

sgleysti writes: "In an article titled, "Is the Internet good or bad? Yes.", Zeynep Tufekci explores the true powers of internet surveillance for corporations and governments, using the Gezi Park protests in Turkey as a foil. He explains how the well-known scenarios of 1984 and the Panopticon fail to imagine a powerful and salient use of Big Data in modern democratic societies: the ability to persuade individuals through personally-tailored messages that no-one else hears. He considers how this is far more subtle and compelling than traditional mass media and explores the irony that the internet which has enabled grass-roots protests worldwide also grants powerful entities a new means of influencing large segments of the population."

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  • (Score: 1) by sgleysti on Sunday February 16 2014, @06:20PM

    by sgleysti (56) on Sunday February 16 2014, @06:20PM (#320)

    I really appreciate the life of the mind. I'm currently in grad school doing research, and it's a blast.

    But I have always hated class. In thinking about what is wrong with it, there are a couple of important things that come to mind:

    1. It is not self-directed. You are not learning something because you care about it or like it, you are learning about it because some curriculum committee forces the teachers to teach it.

    2. The reward structure does not encourage going above and beyond, and there is no support for doing so. You can't get more than 100%, no matter how hard you try or how much you do, and you are only rewarded for doing the assigned work or studying to the test. You can only lose points for failing to learn what the curriculum dictates.

    3. Learning is abstracted from relevant experience. If I have a project, like my research, I am motivated to learn whatever I have to learn in order to make it work, and I have a context and an application for this learning. It is often hard to tell what I can accomplish with something that I learn in class, and even when the topic is practically useful, often the application is not something that I care about.

    Compounding #3 is the fact that, in high school at least, there are not other options. You're stuck; you have to go and attend the classes. Even undergrad is becoming this way to some extent, although there are a lot more choices, which helps.

    Lest this seem too negative, I love my research. I just got some great results out of it, I've learned a new field to be able to even do it in the first place, and I'm going to submit to a journal once I write it up. It's exciting to advance the state of humanity's knowledge. But, if it wasn't for my parents pushing me to do it, I would have quit school long ago, because I still hate it.

    You probably are just observing the wrong people in the wrong context.

  • (Score: 1) by Covalent on Sunday February 16 2014, @10:17PM

    by Covalent (43) on Sunday February 16 2014, @10:17PM (#373) Journal

    You have an excellent point. Part of what makes my career so challenging is that students are forced to be there. Students who want to learn are easy to teach...those who do not want to learn are practically impossible to teach.

    On the other hand, though, what do you do with so many people who have no interest in learning anything at all? I have solutions for learning disabilities, struggles with particular subjects, you name it. But I have yet to find the cure for apathy.

    You can't rationally argue somebody out of a position they didn't rationally get into.