The Internet’s Own Boy
The case against Swartz made some see him as a defender of civil liberties and a liberator of information, while others saw him as a hacker and a pirate. While his acts helped unfold different scenarios on tax-funded research using MIT computers, some felt that he was liable for hacking. Swartz helped provide great data on funding meant academic and scientific research to the public. Swartz felt that his knowledge and skills would better be used in a platform where every American would benefit from knowing how their taxes were spent and whether it was just going into the hands of the rich without any meaningful public gain. However, the US Attorney filed 13 counts of felony charges with a potential of $1million in fines. To some, praising his actions would only encourage more hacks in the wake of an era of threats from cyber attacks.
Based on Swartz case, information should be meant for public good. Americans and other people across the world have a right to know how projects they fund or actions from their governments are addressed. Failure to do this leaves room for manipulation.
Catfish and Second Life
Bodiless profiles on the web are a reflection of what one’s imagination can result to. With the different cases in family dramas such as the one by Michael and Caroline, one can only ask whether the intimacy one has with those they imagine they share affection with in the web is real or not. As Boellstorff argues, “the information age has become what I will term the Age of Techne.” People now depend so much on technology that they trust their sexuality and intimate lives to computers and other technology gargets they have. Therefore, it is not possible to analyze online spaces without any value judgements. The fact that people become more addicted to the internet and develop anti-social behavior has been the major cause of online dating. Such issues then transcend to whether we can trust those we meet online and the profiles they try to build. As clearly illustrated in the Catfish, one cannot just assume that trust with someone we have not met can be long lasting.
- Klein, A. A. (2015). Consider the Catfish. The Newyorker. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/consider-the-catfish
- The Internet’s Own Boy (https://archive.org/details/TheInternetsOwnBoyTheStoryOfAaronSwartz)