[Air-L] With Friends Like Facebook ....

Ray Land ray.land at strath.ac.uk
Wed Jan 16 10:03:26 PST 2008

>>>Should we be thinking about pulling our profiles?

You raise a very salient issue here Charles and I certainly pondered that decision myself.  There is a delicate ethical issue too for formal programmes that are studying these social technologies and which therefore more or less oblige their students to participate in them. However a counter-argument would be that if you don't kow what's going inside such environments you won't be in an informed position to critique them.
Professor Ray Land
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From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org on behalf of Charles Ess
Sent: Wed 16/01/2008 15:33
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Subject: Re: [Air-L] With Friends Like Facebook ....

> If colleagues have not come across the highly critical perspective of Facebook
> by journalist Tom Hodgkinson in the Guardian newspaper (UK) earlier this week
> they may find it of interest.
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jan/14/facebook

What an interesting piece!  Raises all kinds of compelling ethical and
political questions ...

I'd also be interested in knowing similar background information on such
places as MySpace, Orkut, LinkedIn, etc.

And: it wouldn't surprise me (unfortunately) if 90+ % of the observations
regarding political ideology, etc., are true.  Still, it seems only to fair
to ask if the folk portrayed have anything to say from their side of the

However all that turns out - perhaps Niel Postman had it right in 1984: we
are in love with the technologies of our enslavement ...

Or, to be provocative, did the Matrix get it right: we're confined to a pod
of virtual existence, with (more or less) nowhere to go?

Should we be thinking about pulling our profiles?

grumpily (I truly wish I didn't have to _think_ about all of this! ...
- charles ess

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