SuttaCentral

Facebook is bad and you should stop using it


#21

That’s a really good way of putting it. FB has it down to a science and has demonstrated a worrisome degree of cynicism about how they exploit those dopamine squirts.


#23

It is the gradual training.
The first step is to keep away from unwholesome activities.
Listening to Dhamma or Dhamma discussion is the first step.
Unfortunately, many people stuck in the first step and never moved to the second.
Perhaps I am one of them.


#24

Well, you will never be the president of America.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#25

These things are really horrifying. The only thing worse is a “smart” watch.

I would encourage people to never, ever get one of these things, and if you’re a guest in the home of someone who has one, insist that they switch it off. If someone is alright with everything they do and say being recorded and uploaded to corporations and security organizations, bought and sold on the market, fed into “big data” advertising analytics, and all the rest, then they have every right to do that—for themselves. But they don’t have the right to do it for you.

You know those annoying emails where someone’s account is hacked and they send you a message saying “please help, I’m stranded at an airport!”? Not long now, they’ll be doing that with your voice. Capture enough stream of your voice on Alexa, run it through TensorFlow or whatever, and create an artificial voice that imitates you. Then call your bank, school, congressman, or whatever you want. Not long after that, they’ll have artificially generated fake video of you, too, they can use to fake video calls with your kids. Or create realistic video of you in compromising situations.

In the second quarter of 2017, Facebook made $3.9 billion profit off of $9.3 billion revenue. Every single cent of that was created owing to the freely given labor of volunteers, who spent countless millions of hours supplying them with data, which they hawk off to the ad companies. Why are we agreeing to give these companies even more of ourselves?


#26

Those things remind me a little too much of telescreens from Orwell’s 1984.


#27

For illustration, this is research from last year:

“[…] we are able to manipulate youtube videos in realtime”.


#28

Privacy is a thing of the past.
We might as well walk naked!


#29

I agree that too much dhamma debate online might have a bad effect on meditation


#30

Yea, glad you understand and willing to talk about these things, Bhante. I’m a little bit hesitant to discuss them with most people as they’ll probably just think I’m a loon (probably right to some degree, lol).

The problem is that these new devices aren’t more capable than the devices that are already ubiquitous, nearly everyone has a smartphone not more than a few feet from themselves at all times (“featuring” 2 cameras, 3 microphones, always-on gps, fingerprint scanners), most modern TV’s have built-in microphones. Richard Stallman (who in some ways predicted the current state of technology) goes to the rather crazy extreme of not carrying any kind of phone, calling them tracking devices for exactly this reason. He also makes the point that even if you care about your own freedom/privacy everyone around you is unwittingly betraying that privacy.

Even if you don’t use Facebook, there is a “tagging” feature which encourages people to associate your face to an identity. Anthropologists used to make social graphs to map out relations, now with FB the social graph is so sophisticated it’s almost unimaginable. Without any other information, just from a contacts/friends list it’s probably easy to identify an individual just based on an individual being the only bridge/link between discrete groups. People sometimes call Stallman a communist, mistaking freedom for free, but what he is talking about in terms of mass surveillance is realy “Stalin’s Dream”. “Informatica potenta est”, this kind of panopticism is so powerful and ripe for abuse that it could wield power over governments (the software @tsilva mentioned being a prime example).

Anyway, this stuff is very dark. Technology can still be used for good purposes, check this out:


#31

Agree.
Sutta Central is a good example.

I have my doubt about whether this will work.
It seems like a advertising stunt.


#32

@SCMatt
thanks for posting this video, very inspiring


#33

Isn’t that what some people say about guns? That it is not guns who kill people, but rather the people behind the guns, which is true, but guns makes it easier. I’m not saying facebook is comparable to guns, but it might make it easier to cause addictive behavior and the other negative consequences that comes with it.


#34

Agree but Knife can be used for good or bad.
Can we use the guns for good?
As a far as I understand there is no difference between FB and SC or DW.


#35

The difference is in how they’re engineered. Facebook is deliberately engineered (with some who-knows-how-many-millions-of-dollars R&D budget) to get people addicted because more people using their site means more money from advertisements. DW and SC don’t have an R&D budget and they aren’t making a profit…AFAIK, I use a blocker so I wouldn’t know. :blush:


#36

The FB is not the culprit but the internet.
I heard almost 90% of the internet is support the porn industry.
The internet has become the disruptor for a lot of small business.
I do not think we can reverse the Samsara.
It will invent something new all the time.
I remember people have similar discussions when the TV first introduced.
FB is also the same as Myspace subject to decay and death.
It appears cracks are already starting to happen.


#37

Oh, I forgot to mention Intel’s Management Engine.

is an autonomous subsystem that has been incorporated in virtually all of Intel’s processor chipsets since 2008.[3][4][1] The subsystem primarily consists of proprietary firmware running on a separate microprocessor that performs tasks during boot-up, while the computer is running, and while it is asleep.[5] As long as the chipset or SoC is connected to current (via battery or power supply), it continues to run even when the system is turned off.
-Wikipedia - Intel Management Engine

It has it’s own cpu inside every Intel cpu since '08, runs even when powered down or sleeping/hibernating, has access to the network stack, memory, and even has it’s own webserver - all this inside the cpu - gives a whole new meaning to “Intel Inside”. To give some perspective as to how deep these tendrils go, the userspace exists at Ring 3, the kernel (a very deep part of an operating system exists at Ring 0), the Management Engine exists at Ring -3. It doesn’t really matter what precautions you take at the kernel or user-level, all modern intel machines are owned from the inside. It’s basically a persistent rootkit/backdoor that persists as long as you have a cpu (there are some defenses like Libreboot but these are basically geek gymnastics that bar an ordinary user from having any chance at more free firmware).

Back when Linux Torvalds was creating the linux kernel, Andrew Tanenbaum (a computer scientist) tried to convince him to use a microkernel architecture instead of the monolithic one linux uses. Tanenbaum went on to create a unix-like OS called MINIX featuring a microkernel. Intel ME runs MINIX, which arguably makes it the most popular os in the world.

I hesitate to post this as it might not be very useful, but I think the public should be more knowledgeable about what’s going on with their computers.


#38

Thanks for the info. Guess I’m going with AMD for my next desktop build or laptop purchase. J/K I’m sure AMD has something similar…

Like Sarath said, privacy is a thing of the past.

It’s gone, already. We just don’t know it yet.


#39

I don’t subscribe to Farcebook and similar “social media” platforms, I view them as inherently anti-social and weirdly exhibitionist.

I seem to spend half my time avoiding collisions with mindless "I"Phone zombies. Soon people will have a neural lace implanted in their brain, then Skynet will take over and it will be a Borgian nightmare!:yum:

Larry Luddite.


#40

Yes, it’s puzzling. I tried it briefly once and I just couldn’t see the point of it.


#41

Buddha Dhamma to be investigated and debated.

Whereupon Rattapāṇi said to the Brahmin, ‘Certainly, Venerable Sir, this couple of new cloths of yours can be dyed, and can also be pounded and smoothed.’

In the same way, Venerable Sir, the doctrine of that exalted, fully enlightened Blessed One can delight the wise only, but not the foolish. It can he applied and investigated.”>