Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Web Secret 568: Human contact is a luxury

In an important New York Times article "Human Contact Is Now a Luxury Good", author Nellie Bowles argues that while screens used to be for the elite, that is no longer the caase:
"The rich do not live like this. The rich have grown afraid of screens. They want their children to play with blocks, and tech-free private schools are booming. Humans are more expensive, and rich people are willing and able to pay for them. Conspicuous human interaction — living without a phone for a day, quitting social networks and not answering email — has become a status symbol.

All of this has led to a curious new reality: Human contact is becoming a luxury good.

As more screens appear in the lives of the poor, screens are disappearing from the lives of the rich. The richer you are, the more you spend to be offscreen."
Later, she notes:
"So as wealthy kids are growing up with less screen time, poor kids are growing up with more. How comfortable someone is with human engagement could become a new class marker."
Our elderly will be cared for by avatars and robots.

An article in Vox pointed out that already
"The rapid influx of advanced technology is changing the practice of medicine... Nowhere is this more apparent than a story where a physician told a fatally ill man in a Fremont, California, hospital that he was dying via video chat on a screen attached to a robot.

The patient...was sitting in his hospital room when a “telepresence robot” — or a mobile robot with a video screen that live-streams a physician in another location — rolled in and informed him that there was nothing that could be done to treat him. Quintana, who had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was with his granddaughter and a nurse when he was told his options for managing pain at the end of his life. The granddaughter, shocked at this bombshell dropped from a disembodied robot, filmed part of the encounter, which subsequently went viral online."
I don't know what else to say.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Web Secret 567: How to become web dead 2.0

Over 10 years ago, I wrote a blog post "How to Become Web Dead" - about erasing oneself from the Internet in case of overexposure.

in 2019, this has become many orders of magnitude more important and more difficult. I especially recommend clinicians think about locking down their social media against curious clients. Recently, the New York Time published an article "How a Bitcoin Evangelist Made Himself Vanish, in 15 (Not So Easy) Steps" with some up-to-date ideas on how to virtually disappear.

1. Create an LLC. People end up in databases when they fill out forms to buy property, register for credit cards or complete run-of-the-mill transactions. Create an LLC in a state that does not require the corporation to record the name of its owner.

2. Turn off all geolocation services on your smartphone

3. Create a V.P.N. for home internet use. In order to shield your internet address and your location, he turned his home internet router into a virtual private network, or V.P.N., that made all his internet traffic appear to come from different internet addresses in different places. I showed you how to do this in a previous post "Individual cybersecurity when traveling."

My additional suggestion:

4. Lock down all of your social media accounts. Better yet - consider deleting all your social media accounts and open new ones that you only share with your very closest family and friends.

5. Reread "How to Become Web Dead" - turns out most of that advice is still worthwhile.

Step lightly.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Web Secret 566: Unreasonable

I am known to jump up and down about the need for EAP companies and individuals to have sophisticated marketing and a one to two minute video.

I wish I could use an actual EAP as an example, but no one is doing what I am talking about - yet. What you get on most EAP services is a list of services - ditto in their videos.

What is an example, is a technology accelerator called the Unreasonable Group.

Let's look at their 2 minute video, entitled "We are Unreasonable"shall we?



Note that they don't actually explain how they do what they do - instead the video is aspirational - you, the client, and Unreasonable are working towards the same high level goal. They describe the big picture of what their company hopes to achieve for their clients. The video itself is composed of photo and very short video clips downloaded, most likely, from the Internet. Their text is superimposed over these images.

There are no actors, no special effects - it's about the message. Not expensive to produce.

This is how they describe themselves on their website (the emphasis is mine):

"At Unreasonable Group, we believe entrepreneurs building rapidly scalable businesses are our best bet for solving the most significant social and environmental challenges. Every day, our team strives to give entrepreneurs tackling these challenges an unfair advantage. We do this by connecting entrepreneurs with the networks of mentors, investors, businesses, policymakers and specialists they need to scale. Unreasonable’s economic model rests on identifying and securing new partnerships with multinational companies, foundations, and governments."

Note the provocative and unusual use of the word "unfair."

Makes you pay attention, right?