Rereading America #5

The Loneliness of the Interconnected
ReReading America 5
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1. I would say that every single day I’m challenged by ideas that “undermine and reconstruct” my understanding of the world. Merely by interacting with others coming from a place of empathy and understanding means putting aside your ego and personal beliefs to understand that there is truth in every view and belief besides our own. Whenever I have a conversation or listen to others online I do my best to understand their position which grows my understanding and reshapes my beliefs. Even if I find I don’t agree with what they say, I walk away with more understanding of others. The most recent time this happened was this morning, amidst the world pandemic and lockdown, I went online to find others hanging out with friends and socializing, it made me angry. Then I chose to see through the lense of compassion that these people are doing the best they can and their reaction to fear is to act as though nothing is wrong and come from a place of denial and rebellion. I then didn’t see these people as malicious but being challenged by fear just as I am. Most prefer “noise” to genuine information because it’s hard to see how your truth is not the universal truth when you carry a lot of pride and ego.
2. In Seife’s view, the internet fosters and develops “fringe beliefs” because any absolutely any theory or belief can be confirmed by a few mouse clicks where dozens of others share the same viewpoints which strengthens the idea and perpetuates its spread no matter how nonsensical and far off reality it is. The mere fact of feeling as though others support it is enough

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to create a solid foundation of truth despite evidence proving otherwise. Recently I encountered the theory that pigeons aren’t really birds and are in fact government deployed surveillance machines, then another theory that the coronavirus lock down is to keep people inside so that the government can change the batteries on the pigeons.I think people enjoy entertaining beliefs such as these because they don’t want to live in a programmed society where they believe everything told to them.
3. Seife sees the benefits of narrowcasting on the internet to be a concise and personalized experience where you don’t have to sift through endless articles to find what you want, which no one has time for. The costs Seife sees are that you’re only exposed to what correlates with your beliefs and you’re rarely challenged with outside beliefs. The internet can “radicalize” users because by being provided with unanimous support of their beliefs at every turn, they become almost like a monster with an inflated ego unwilling to see other views and opinions. My generation of millennials are the creation of “triggered” and “cancelled” culture, where anything that disputes their views “triggers” them and it’s bad and therefore “cancelled”. It’s a very toxic way to view the world and operate. No one is challenged and forced to process their triggers instead it’s just banished.
4. I agree that the internet is turning society into “solipsists, trapped in a world of our own creation” because of the way cancelled and triggered culture has boomed. It’s so easy to just put on blinders to views opposing our own and find unanimous support from others in what you do choose to believe. This poses a threat to democracy because our opinions are being subconsciously fed to us which is taking away our freedom of thought.
5. I think Seife’s purpose in writing this section was to spark the idea of thinking for oneself instead of following the masses. He chose to address the problem rather than to resolve it

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because the only true resolution will really be for people to question, wonder, and think for themselves which is what this piece does.
George Orwell…Meet Mark Zuckerberg
1. Andrews reveals that she’s in the legal world, traveling to Florida where she has friends via Southwest Airlines, has a sister who likes to read and has a birthday during her trip. She likes to fish and is looking for a job at a university as a professor and is in the process of writing a mystery book. She also likes urban cities. She takes medication which she fills at CVS and watched a movie last night. She went to Yale as an undergrad 4 years ago and was dressed as a belly dancer on halloween, she also maintains a professional image online. I would say entering her social security number is risky as well as credit card but flight details and gifts for family are relatively safe.
2. In Andrew’s view, data-mining companies collecting your information online is wrong because it’s an invasion of privacy and security. It matters that marketers and others can find your marriage history, gender of friends, favorite bars and restaurants, when you go to bed and work because they have a complete analysis of your private life, routine, and information that can be used to sell you things or impose opinions on you.
3. Andrews believes that weblining is undemocratic because people don’t have the opportunity to think and form opinions for themselves. If people have narrow windows of what they have access to based on what big companies want them to see then it limits opportunities and reinforces stereotypes. Weblining poses a bigger threat to democracy than traditional print and TV because every last resource you have access too is monitored and selected for you.
4. User 11574916 could alternatively be someone who escaped to new york from a sex trafficking ring, she was supposed to be an asian male order bride, she heard through the

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grapevine that her captuer who’s been chasing her got pulled over and in knowledge of his cocaine habit she hopes he will get a DUI and extradited which would keep her safe. User 336865 could be someone who is a child rights activist and searching to see how easy it would be for a pedofile to access illegal images so they could report the sites and how easy it would be for a pedofile to potentially access children online. User 59920 could alternatively be a woman who lives in Colorado whose cat just went missing and in the midst of her hysteria goes down a paranoia filled bout where she believes her cat was killed and she’s next and is coming up with plausible ways to her death. User 1515830 could alternatively be the counsler of someone who suffered incest and a rocky psychiatric history who came to them for help on how to tell others and get back on their feet. I believe public safety officials should have access to this information but to use discretion because google searches don’t always mean what they seem to face value. Precognitive Police
1. According to Karolisyn, current models of predictive policing are working in places such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles by ways such as criminal history of citizens in congruence with the areas they inhabit and create crime trends and maps for police to hone in on. Police can then arrest on “reasonable suspicion”.
2. The potential and current problems that Karolisyn sees within predictive policing methods are that these algorithms and measures have errors and the inputs can be stereotyped and biased which would be falsely incriminating people and measuring their good of heart. There isn’t much difference between predictive policing technologies and nontechnological racial profiling practices deemed unconstitutional becasue its a violation of the Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.
3. With our society and the given information I find it extremely plausible that DNA

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testing and brain scanning will be used to identify potential criminals in the future. According to Karolisyn these technologies are prone to error because there are contributing factors to every person and situation that influences that outcome, it’s not as simple as analytics. It’s stereotyping and discriminatory to preemptively punish someone based off of genetics and the makeup of the brain.
4. Karolisyn offers alternatives to predictive policing such as serious research on gun crime, and understanding the root of all violence. The author also suggests mental health for youth such as medication and psychotherapy. Issues that may arise from this approach are ineffectiveness, wasted funding, and too much time placed on the emphasis of something without and effective result.

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