I’m quite comfortable with the fact that I am getting a ‘bit long in the tooth’ and I’m also quite comfortable with technology and the Internet. Over the past two years since I have commenced study at university, I have suddenly become an internet identity. No more lurking in the shadows for me! I have progressed from having one Facebook account to owning Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+accounts, just to mention a few. There are older people however (whom I know) who would not go near a computer, and whatever you do, don’t mention the Fb word! People generally become less trusting as they get older and I suppose this is partly due to the length of time they have been on this planet.
I was reading an essay by Bruce Schneier which discusses new regimes of trust within our rapidly advancing technologically driven society. Think about the people you trust; your family (well maybe!), your close circle of friends, your bank manager (mmmm have to think about that one). Generally the people who have your trust are those you have known over a period of time or those who have been in a position of trust within society such as doctors and others who are deemed to be trustworthy by the society in which they exist. Things have changed and as Schneier posits in his essay “We’re shifting from evolved social systems to deliberately created socio-technical systems”. There is nothing in this argument that you could disagree with. We all know how communications systems have developed at a lightning speed, along with technology and we are all struggling to keep up. I’m sure most people know about Facebook and its inherent dangers. Schneier finishes by stating “There will exist new regimes of trust in the information age. They simply must evolve, or society will suffer unpredictably”.
What makes things even more alarming is this.If the bad guys ( multi-national corporations, politicians, satan etc) work out how to convert the Internet to the dark side before the good guys come up with the brilliant plan to save the world… well, you know the rest. I sent the link for Schneier essay to my son who is 16 and heavily into computers (I call this gaming) with a message asking him to read and reply to me with opinion. So far no response!
What worries me the most is the category of society of which I am sure most of us have been a part of, that says “Oh yeah, I read that… very interesting, but what’s it got to do with me?