- freely available
Information 2019, 10(10), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10100304
- Technologies are merely extensions of ourselves—McLuhan  (261)
- All media are extensions of some human faculty—psychic or physical—McLuhan and Fiore 
- Digital industrialism turns human data into the new commodity—Rushkoff  (44)
- This is Google’s model of giving away everything in return for looking at their ads and sharing all our data—Rushkoff (ibid., 37)
The tools and utensils used during the greater part of man’s history were, in the main, extensions of his own organism; they did not seem to have—what is more important they did not seem to have—an independent existence. But though they were an intimate part of the worker, they reacted upon his capacities, sharpening his eyes, refining his skill, teaching him to respect the nature of the material with which he was dealing. The tool brought man into closer harmony with his environment, not merely because it enabled him to re-shape it, but because it made him recognize the limits of his capacities. In dream, he was all powerful: in reality he had to recognize the weight of stone and cut stones no bigger than he could transport.
This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium—that is, of any extension of ourselves—result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology….Physiologically, man in the normal use of technology (or his variously extended body) is perpetually modified by it and in turn finds ever new ways of modifying his technology. Man becomes, as it were, the sex organs of the machine world, as the bee of the plant world, enabling it to fecundate and to evolve ever new forms. The machine world reciprocates man’s love by expediting his wishes and desires, namely, in providing him with wealth  (23; 55–56; bolding is mine; the page references in the text are for the McGraw Hill paperback second edition. Readers should be aware that the pagination in other editions is different. To aid the reader in calibrating note that Chapter 1 The Medium is the Message begins on page 7 in the edition I have referenced).
A computer as a research and communication instrument could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization, retrieve individual encyclopedic function and flip into a private line to speedily tailored data of a saleable kind. (295–96)
- Digital new media enhance interactivity, access to information, and two-way communication.
- They obsolesce mass media, such as television and newspapers.
- They retrieve community.
- And pushed far enough, they flip or reverse into hyperreality or the loss of contact with nature and our bodies.
Projects such as IBM’s Watson or Google’s Machine Learning lab are not augmenting human intelligence so much as creating systems that think for themselves. With every keystroke and mouse click we make; their algorithms learn more about us while simultaneously becoming more complex than we—or anyone — can comprehend. They are getting smarter while we humans are getting relatively, or perhaps absolutely, dumber. Our machines slowly learn how to manipulate us. It’s a field now called captology: the study of how computers and interfaces can influence human behavior.
All media work us over completely. They are so persuasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered. The medium is the massage.
Electronic man wears his brain outside his skull and his nervous system on top of his skin. He is like an exposed spider squatting in a thrumming web. But he is not flesh and blood; he is an item in a data bank, ephemeral, easily forgotten, and resentful of that fact - McLuhan and Powers. (94)
After we ran a number of experiments, and after these studies were replicated elsewhere, the results were undeniable. Computers could indeed be designed to influence people, to change their thoughts and behaviors…. Today, we are surrounded by persuasive technologies. Everywhere that digital media touches our lives, more and more there is an element of persuasion; a design created by humans and implemented in code to influence what we think, and more and more, what we do….Today, we are surrounded by persuasive technologies. Everywhere that digital media touches our lives, more and more there is an element of persuasion; a design created by humans and implemented in code to influence what we think, and more and more, what we do. We are surrounded. Persuasive technology is in our living rooms, in our cars. When we communicate with our loved ones online, through Facebook, persuasion is there. When we withdraw money from the bank at the ATM, an element of persuasion may be there. When we purchase a gift online for a birthday, once again, we are being exposed to persuasion. In fact, we carry a persuasive platform, the mobile phone, with us most everywhere we go.
Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don’t really have any rights left. Leasing our eyes and ears and nerves to commercial interests is like handing over the common speech to a private corporation, or like giving the earth’s atmosphere to a company as a monopoly.
2. More Reversals with Digital Media
3. The Digital Monopoly of Knowledge
Conflicts of Interest
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