The common myth that “the only way you can exert control (over algorithms employed by websites on the Internet) is limiting it and controlling how much you interact with it” limits people’s awareness that they need to acquire more literacy skills

The only way you can exert control is limiting it and controlling how much you interact with it

Bari Weiss (“Walkins Welcome” Podcast episode #132 [13:08 – 13:18] )
Sat down with the incomparable Bari Weiss and had a wide-ranging conversation about how we lie to ourselves, self-censoring, faux outrage, antisemitism, and why she believes that the fight of our lifetimes is the fight against illiberalism.

The context of Ms. Weiss’ statement is a discussion (actually an interview with Bridget Phetasy) involving 2 alternatives:

  1. Living in a civilized world with a smartphone connection to the Internet

vs.

  1. Living on a deserted island with virtually no technology whatsoever

In this context, Ms. Weiss follows a common fallacy — that the only ability an individual has is to “unplug”, to be either “on” or “off”.

You might think I am stalking Ms. Weiss, because I have already mentioned another one of her statements several yeas ago (see this “Fun Love status update“) … but actually I almost feel as though Ms. Weiss is stalking me, since she repeatedly appears as a guest on some of the media channels I pay attention to. Maybe I should reconsider which media channels I choose?

This is, indeed, my response to Ms Weiss (this time): We are not limited to choosing between online and offline. We are free to choose many things — including:

  1. The software we use;
  2. The websites we visit;
  3. Our own views;
  4. Our own expressions;
  5. Our own actions, interactions, activities, wants, desires and much, much more…

Of course the basis of such freedoms in the context of a civilized society is some level of socialization, and in the particular context which Ms Weiss and Ms. Phetasy discuss quite vociferously, I would strongly advise them to brush up some on their own literacy skills in order to better understand the term “appropriate technology” in the context of the 21st Century.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s