This chapter should be short, but people told me, that I forgot this and that, so it got longer and longer. Fact is that the internet became so important that the quality of this medium has to be re-defined. It became the air we breath. So let me tell you a fairy tale:
Once upon a time there was the air clean and fresh. From time to time the smell of a nice barbeque enriched your nose. Then a business idea came up to guide you by good smell and good taste to nice places of interest. After years of prosperity things turned. Now the good taste and smell is gone, as a law was set up that what smells good and what smells bad does no longer matter, important is only to tell what stuff is blown into the air. Now the air is polluted. Everyone can blow everything into the air to get your breath. The land is called YOU MUST AGREE.
I say: “No one shall be forced to agree to Terms of Services that the person does not understand.”
It is so simple. Even Senator Kennedy does not understand them:
In case you watched the full hearing, you saw that most politicians don’t understand computing “as it is.” Senator Maria Cantwell might be an exemption.
If you want to understand the complexity of it you can find it in a 1,000 different places. I don’t need to add right now all the thoughts I have in mind. I write about the changes in our society in rezmagazine every month, with a focus on Digital Art.
I studied Informatics, Political Science (German: Politikwissenschaften), Communication Science (Press & Media). My memoirs you find at Amazon as The Gods of Informatics.
I say: “No one shall be forced to agree to any tracking. Hide my mind shall be the default.”
I am one of the pioneers in network-computing and so using the internet. This said I blunty tell you that the ways the internet usage is heading to is disgusting and the EU Dataprocetion law makes it, seen on a second level, even worse. Now you can’t even blame a service provider to spy on you as YOU MUST AGREE on what they do.
You say, “But that is good that we are now asked to agree.” Really? What if I tell you that you might get a pizza delivered when you are about to watch Snow Crash at your home TV, assuming you still have a TV screen in your living room? Soon I tell you that this example is real. The pizza delivery looks as a funny one. I will stick on it. For the not so funny scenarios make your own thoughts.
What happened so you get a pizza?
You entered in a webbrowser, let me assume you are in Germany, “www.tvmovie.de,” one of the leading websites for the TV programm. TVMOVIE shows nicely the times and the channels. Of course it has some ADs on it, why not, that’s fine. The years are gone where you looked into the printed newspaper for the TV program, right? I am sure you take the internet for this. In fact there is no alternative left if you dont want to call your grandma. “It’s not rocket science, to do so, ” you say to select the time and the movie you are interested in to get more about before, maybe the rating of it, then you relax on the sofa … and take a beer, just let me assume you drink beer.
Now it comes again, in different words, so even your grandma will understand: YOU MUST AGREE, [you did it] or you don’t know what will be aired for you at the sofa to watch. TVMOVIE has the Terms of Service, the You Must Agree button, as the EU law requires … Information comes only after your agreed on whatever they like you to agree to.
I tell you to what you agreed in total just by scrolling in the TV program … and I stick to my example. You agreed that the Amazon shop partner “Make Pizza Great Again” starts a drone, sets course to your home, sends you a text message, an SMS, on your mobile ahead, “Your pizza by Make Pizza Great Again is here FOR FREE, just for a click to agree.” Remember you have selected the movie Snow Crash via HBO, a partner of facebook, where the deliverator is a pizza guy, so you get what you are supposed to watch: A PIZZA DELIVERY.
This picture shows, condensed in a screenshot, the ways of your data is protected by TVMOVIE. The name of the protector feels like BBIWY. Read the full TOS of TVMOVIE here ….
… and you might find out after hours of checking the links in the document that now Cambridge Analytica is everywhere. YOU MUST AGREE – or you don´t get any longer even the most simple information out of the internet. You say, “I can use TOR or Hide my Ass or other tunnel services.” No ways. Many websites will not work if you dial in via your local cable or internet provider and they cross check the IP. They will send a pop-up message: “It looks like you use a Proxy or an IP changer, please log in via your local Point-Of-Presence …” To solve this you need to reroute your in- and outband traffic, via Russia, just to give you a working example. Every bad guy does this, why the good guys have to learn from them? That’s not the free internet politicians promised us!
Read the Sand Bible and you will understand the future. There I look back and forward in time. I have to be fair, the focus there is in the Arts, not in questions of the law.
A historic analogy
If you would like a picture to share with friends, who also don’t understand what they are really agreeing to when browsing websites or using the services then look back in history.
If you were a farmer, a craftsman, a fisherman, or a soldier some 100 years ago, then you would have gone to the priest as soon as you got a letter or when you had to write something … no matter what it was, simply because you could not read or write. It was the norm because it was the job of the priest or magistrates of the court. If a person was told to sign, maybe by using three “xxx,” but the letter contained something different than what the priest said, then it was a bad kingdom, a bad land, a bad country. Today you sign and as a matter of fact and you don’t understand a word of what you signing. You make the click, the three xxx, and you think this click has no relevance. Or does it?
You might say, “I can’t change the world. It is as it is. Without the internet, I will no longer exist. I don’t want to join the Amish people.” But why then, “You must agree?” Why not bluntly say to you, “You are f*cked, no need to agree?” Or more politely, “This informs you, we have your data.”
We scan you. We control you. We know more about you than anyone, even yourself. Of course, I agreed all this when creating this website or else you could read what I write. So “Medium” knows now that I am the author of Not Sand, Not Sound.
Is there an alternative? Yes, there is. When the information is just placed on a texture, on a picture, like on a piece of paper it is static. In a second step, when you click on a button outside the texture to get more information, that’s when you give your data. I call it the new opt-in. If everyone has to have a plain “text-only” page it would be no issue. In times of high bandwidth, it means a texture, a jpeg to use the web-term. A no-frills PDF might also work, one that you can download.
A scanned business card is the most simple form. You display your contact information. Maybe the user takes then the hook for a classic phone call or visits your office, as you will see in The Big Goodbye …
In The Big Goodbye  you find a business card of DIXON HILL, the famous private investigator. To watch the episode is a must when you decide – for example, to travel in a virtual world, using the HYPERGRID network. That’s the new holodeck. You are not in Startrek? You might have heard of Avatars. But that’s not the place to go deeper in this subject. Not to be misunderstood. I create full worlds where Avatars live inside. I am, to stay in the metaphor, a priest. I know what runs inside.
Here I use wordpress. It is a fine tool. There is nothing wrong with paging there and with the Ads … you must live, because I don’t want to pay for a premium account. Free or Premium the WordPress server wants the cookies, whether I do or not.
I DON’T WANT A COOKIE! But this is another story. It is historically connected to Watergate and to find a back-link to good air.
I want to leave it to you to go deeper if you want.
Here is your bonus, the Business Card of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in The Big Goodbye – original and remastered.
You don’t need more than this in order to find DIXON HILL: JUST A TEXTURE.
“I come in peace,” Senator Kennedy said to Mark Zuckerberg.
After all this hard stuff you deserve a cookie. All it needs to click right now at “Close and accept.”