Keep On Writing

For years I have been torn by the question why have I not succeed? I read all day long, I thought all day long, but still I got to nowhere.
Till today this epiphany moment finally descends on me that people can only judge you by the things perceptively valuable to them, which means first you should have done something, secondly the things you did should have far exceeding their expectation but not explicably transcend their mode of thinking.

Hopefully I got sufficient time left for me to grab the trophy that should ascribe to me long time ago.

Keep Writing….

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Virus—A Suspicious Parcel

Virus--A Suspicious Parcel

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Spam: Resistance of Identification

1. Original: Spam: Resistance of Identification

2.Spam version: Part 1.  Part 2. Part.3

The  post-industrial principle is to convey maximum valid information at minimal attention-span. I made a spam version which embodies this bizarre notion. By comparing the two versions, listeners can find to what extend the information is distorted in this era.

1. Original:Intriguingly, we human seldom gain freedom without compromising some other forms of freedom. “The communication protocols are algorithms for translating the liberal into the conservative.”  This time, the leeway for expressing one’s uniqueness is sacrificed for the economy of communication. One is expected to be always effective and efficient, thus the issue of identity only matters when it is a not redundant concern for money making. Everyone is subject to the post-industrial principle of maximum valid information at minimal attention-span. The utilitarian doctrine once again defaced human as it had done to the workers at the assembling line. More than ever, one is categorized, either as a registered or a new comer. No other roles are assigned to people, for those are not productive.

Spam Version:

Human gain freedom compromise some other forms. “The protocols are algorithms”   the leeway for expressing uniqueness is sacrificed for the economy. One is expected to be efficient and effective, thus the issue matters when it is a concern. Everyone is subject to principle. The doctrine defaced human. One is categorized, either as a registered or a comer. Roles are assigned to people.

2. Original: For the same reason, we don’t like spam. It is the sort of e-mail resistant to be fit into any definition. It is not a trash, caused it has been used or of use. It is not a junk, cause it has no potential for a future usage. In a word, there is no means of making it useful in any conceivable way. Yes, to this kind of message which only babbles nonsense, few one can tolerate. But isn’t it a weird question to consider: for what reason the unwanted mails are so rampant on internet if many times the beneficiary cannot be pinned down at all.\

Spam Version:

we like spam. It is the sort resistant to be fit into definition. It is not a trash It is not a junk, there is means of. Yes, to this kind, one can tolerate. But is it a question: the mails are so rampant

3. Original: However, if we don’t take the meaning and usage of information for granted, then it’s possible that spam is never a problem of internet. The algorithm, or the code underlying the web can be something more flexible and tolerant than we supposed. Therefore, our too rigid notion of on-line identity failed to cater to the complex functions of computer and internet. The machine produced information does not necessarily fill into the patterns of interpersonal communication. The conflicts between conception and reality gave rise to the “problem ” of spam. As many “scribblings” are viewed as arts, hopefully someday the value of spam can also be created as being seen from new perspective.

Spam Version:

It’s possible. The algorithm or the code can be something. notion caters to the functions. The machine produced information does fill into the patterns. The conflicts gave rise to the “problem”. Someday the value of spam can also be created.

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Virus —-A Suspicious Parcel

Virus

What is a virus? It is a question.

People ingenious in computer science are often seduced by the dark Angels to do something evil. By being demonized by the mass media as hackers, they also gain unexpected influences over others. Anyhow, the media and the hackers are nothing but the puppets in the hands of big boss behind the scene.  Even the whole industry of anti-virus, can still incorporate the elements of evil, including censorship, privacy  leaking and unauthorized data transmission. So, what is a virus? Can the anti-virus in some terms a virus as well?

 

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On Anomalies

 

Keywords: evil, spam, capitalism, over-organized.

Abstract: Human tends to categorizes the ones of no productive values as redundant, the annoying ones  as the abnormal. But the theory of evolution has proved the sources of  development are the mutants. Thus, a new perspective should lend to the anomalies.

It is interesting to hear google’s informal motto “Don’t be evil”, which, seems to me,implicitly suggests the potential evilness that a web-based company can do. It is unusual if considering that a public corporation’s morality is not “be good”, but something negatively expressed as “not be evil”. Given this aphorism’s wide acceptance, I guess most of us have bought the assumption that the cyber world inherently tilted to decadence.

But why should we think so? Because of the annoying virus, censorship and other anomalies?

“We…identify them as a major downside (or setback) to a communication revolution that promised to be a noiseless and friction-free Road Ahead. In this context, and against the prescribed and often idealized goals of the visionaries of digital capitalism, they appear to us as anomalies.”—The Spam Book, P3

However, seeing life from another perspective, can always relief our syndromes of depressions caused by perfectionism. John Johnson proposed the ideal of Artificial Evolution, modeling the emergence of digital organisms on biological evolving process. Rather than the flaws of computer system, the viruses like programs are the agents of “genome” exchanges. Their robustness and prevalence correlates with the speed of new species and mutations that arise.

But this model fails to address several problems, one of which is to what extend the digital evolution analogous to the biological model, since the introduction of the variable of Internet significantly complicates the environment. The seemingly unlimited resources of genome segments points to both directions—superb “good” and “evil” softwares can spring up. But the ever changing policies and norms can either suppress or boost the growth. A simulation run in a closed, no biased system can’t illustrate a social event which is largely driven by whimsical men and women. Indeed, there is no more abnormal organism than our human self.

Anyhow, the history tells us that the society composed of the capricious men also has particular trends, even though less predictable than the entities in nature. In the networking age, the new medium of mobile devices certainly is taking the place of radio,TV, and even PC. Can the mobile terminations the” anomalous: device ? Here taking the Ipad as an example,  seeing whether it a positive extension of current tech or a vicious mutant wreck damages on daily life.

Its ad claims the new one is “thinner, lighter and better.” As it’s said the bulky body of reasoning and calculation is no more needed; rather, the glaring visual performance is highly appreciated. The keyboard submerged as the virtual one, the ability of writing (typing) is no longer a basic requirement. Surely, some features are better. It is much faster in processing multiple tasks, thus more enjoyments in digital world. Two cameras installed, promising the most convenient interactivity in any place, at any time. Metaphorically, this is culture voracious for instant sensual fulfillment. Can it be called abnormal?
But what is normal? It’s observed by a writer in 1930s that for the modern people their knowledge of love first came from movie. And the most convivial moment of family is often the night of dad playing tennis with kids on a playstation. In fact millions of children spend their summer vocations with TV and Nintendo. This is indeed an i-generation as the series of apple products embodied—the isolated young men aspiring for the tactile experiences between persons.

And the popularity of plush toys and cartoons also illustrate the same point: that the younger generation is indulged in being immature. The capitalism needs highly trained professionals and blissful consumers, but not necessarily rational thinkers. To keep its working stuff docile, consumers compliant is a reasonable logic of capitalism. Thus the taste of childishness, the pursuit of sensation is generally tolerated or even encouraged as a new niche of marketing. No substantial efforts are made to eliminate the problems of child-rearing; no reflections are given on the subject of interpersonal relationships. We human optimistically believed the alienation caused by technology can be overcome by some “more advanced” technologies.

Baudrillard argued that the anomaly is “not the result of society’s inability to integrate its marginal phenomena; on the contrary, it stems from an overcapacity for integration and standardization. When this happens, societies which seem all-powerful are destabilized from within, with serious consequences, for the more efforts the system makes to organize itself in order to get rid of its anomalies, the further it will take its logic of over-organization, and the more it will nourish the outgrowth of those anomalies .”

Thus, rather than disturbing forces that derail the ordinary life, the anomalies are alarming signals issued by a healthy immune system that foreboding a real devastation to the culture. Which is more annoying, a spam email of Dadaism or thousands of really serious emails written around the clock?

Which is more obnoxious, some sordid porns or a bunch of people too fearful to reach out for a mate?

Or which more debased, the virus created by hackers to “show talents”, or the perfect system “inadvertently” inapplicable to open-source software?

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How to stop it?

“If we don’t do something about this,” says Jonathan Zittrain of the insecure web, “I see the end of much of the generative aspect of the technologies that we now take for granted.”  It’s sarcastic to read this quotation  while the ad of ipad is flashing on the same page. What worried Zittrain is now a fad sweeping the globe.

The generative designs of PC and internet have paved way for today’s boom of cyberspace, but paradoxically, the world oscillates to the favor of Internet-centric products. Why?

Months ago, I was hearing a podcast from my PC, the guess speaker of which touched on the question. He proposed that to device a non-PC product hooked up to internet is a great innovation by Apple. This company has foreseen a gap that few people can and desire to code themselves, but all need a easily mobile terminal to access internet.

I looked up for the data of PC sales in 2011. The tablet trend, ushered in by Ipad has indeed eaten into the market of PC, but during the whole year there is still a  two-digit growth for the PC globally. My observation is that most buyers of ipad are already owners of PC. It is quite possible that rather than an alternative to PC, the ipad is still a complementary product to that huge market.

So should we be alarmed by the blow-outs of the ipad/ game consoles? Right now there is no need. But what about future? It is annoying that the codes cannot be modified by anyone but their vendors and their approved partners. As Zittrain mentioned, the proprietary mode of  business can only bring forth continuous inventions, which should be replaced by some truely ingenious ones that terminates the sterile situation. Thus the problem is can we avoid or reduce the loss in innovation before the internet is surely steered back to the generative direction? In the near future, it is predictable that more firms will start this sort of partially enclosed business, and more skillful individuals will be bribed by the system.

Zittrain calls everyone harboring good will towards generative Net goes in action. It is a so feeble voice, and I doubt could enough population be hearing the appeal. Even squeezed by recession, many people are obsessed by this problem, “to buy or not to buy (ipad 2), it is a question.”

“Our children ought to be encouraged to accept the participatory invitation of the Net and that which has recursively emerged at its upper layers from its open technologies below. ” But they have already identified themselves more as consumers of Blizzard, itunes store than contributors of codes.

It is a good idea to distribute PCs to children, but what if the cyber world present is collections of walled gardens? “There are roles for traditional state soverigns, pan-state organizations, and formal multistakeholder regime to play. They can help reinforce the conditions necessary for generative blossoming, and they can also step in–with all the confusion and difficulty that notoriously attends regulation of a generative space.”

But can we legislate to prevent  people from buying i-something? The good news is, according to The Economists, Android, Google’s smart-phone platform, which is less closed than Apple’s, is growing rapidly and gained more subscribers in America than the iPhone in the first half of this year. Intel and Nokia, the world’s biggest chipmaker and the biggest manufacturer of telephone handsets, are pushing an even more open platform called MeeGo.

If the Net is destined to be divided into islands of internets, I hope there are some larger ones.

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Balance of Freedom

It is interesting to read a book on issues of cyberspace beginning with the collapse of Soviet Union. Obviously, Lessig finds it is an analogy to the ongoing revolution of internet: in both cases, few people know the essence of freedom, let alone how to secure it.  Freedom is not the vacuum of control, quite to the opposite, it’s a precarious state of check and balance from the perspective of the lawyer of constitution.

To the case of the East Europe it is found that the wealth of people has be wolfed down by corrupt officials and oligarchs of industry. The main cause is the absence of proper supervision.  To his worry, again, the law cannot  keep power from tilting towards private interests in the case of internet, no just because of the naivety of liberalism, but more to do with ignorance about the overriding effect of code.

I still remember Kim Knight’s complaints, “I am not against paying for the music  downloaded, but that it can only be listened, say, on my ipod is really irritating.” I met similar conundrum as well, which is more absurd I think. My former computer had two operating systems, and it happened that to update contents in one system I have to erase the contents on my ipod downloaded in the another system before Apple allowed one to authorize three computers.  But even so, it is still absurd to authorize the same pc twice.

The outlook for internet is not all bad, but he is right in arguing more sophisticate control brought about by tech on copyright will do no good to public in general. The audience and readers will not benefit in the first place.  To have a better protection on copyright will mean to subject oneself to the umbrella of firms. To most people they are more likely to be exploited than gaining.

Lessig writes “code is law.” And his worry is that one day the freedom of cyberspace may be greatly impaired by the technical barriers. I share his concern, and there are signs which support his argument. But I am wondering if this a temporary oscillation to tech monopoly or a long term outlook for the entire cyberspace.

The presupposition of Lessig’s predict is that the technology will create a “perfect control”, which renders the distinction between different usages meaningless.  No longer the concept “fair use” is referred to circumvent copyright, only the holders of copyright decide how you access to particular contents.

I don’t believe law is as feeble as Lessig suggests, even in face of the code. It is still possible to pass the law that restricts the firm’s design that impede users’  normal use. Special arrangements can still  be made for the purpose of research and study.

But to what extend this sort of “perfect  control” will spread? If the law is impotent to curb the expansiveness of code, can there be other elements restricting the overgrowth of copyright?

There is another business mode of user free, advertiser pay. Or in a highly competing market, if there are cheap or free substitutes, the overall price can remain reasonable.  Both of the situations can be easily observed in cyberspace, which have become an entrenched notion of internet. It is extremely difficult to reverse the trend of “sharing” and “free” in many internet service for individual, as history has proved.

What is more important, is that if to break away from the tech bonds is beneficial to most people, then the strong demand will make piracy a  most profitable industry as selling drug.  Some countries provides alternatives to drug given there is no hope of eradicating drugs at home. And there is no hope of eliminating piracy if the authorized ones are beyond affordable prices. Even the threshold of piracy is elevated to new levels with the advance of tech, the pirates are certainly going to meet the challenges if  it is lucrative.  To avoid unnecessary criminalization, self-conscious compromises are often made by government.

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