Week 2 & 3: History of Communication to Mind Control

Egan (2016) gave a history of computing from ancient times in Week 2. The history of communication reveals the existence of the Kish tablet originating from the ancient Sumerian city of Kish containing inscriptions considered by some to be the oldest forms of writing known to mankind (Nguyen, 2016). Similarly, Williams McGaughey (2011) marks the Sumerians as the first inventors of writing. Unlike Nguyen (2016) who only discusses communication until the 20th century, McGaughey (2011) covers the history of communication until the Apple iPad launch in 2008. This was a great backdrop to my own pondering of communication and what it has become today.

Today, I have been using the iPhone since it was launched in 2008. My community’s behavior, more specifically my family and friends’ use of Apple devices has established my loyalty to them too. The ease of iPhone free messaging to other Apple users and the interconnectedness of all devices has reinforced my desire to use it over other offerings.

I do worry about privacy issues as I am aware Google and Apple are tech giants who are in the business of information collection and analysis. However, the trust Google and Apple have instilled allows myself and others to share personal details easily through their applications and services. Halpern (2011) describes Google as “an algorithm, in essence, an editor, pulling up what it deems important, based on someone else’s understanding of what is important.” That is very far from what I believe an innocent search engine does. Google seemed like an intelligent tool that was created to serve humans. However as Halpern (2011) suggests, searches personalized and we are served Google believes is best for us. The idea of mind control and use of data to target advertisements towards consumers is very real when this knowledge is obtained. It no longer seems far fetched that humans may well be cyborgs soon and a thought may create an action one day; that’s if it hasn’t occurred already. I looked into some recent inventions and the handy Cicret Bracelet seems to be very useful. Again, it seems like I would be the consumer that will turn into a cyborg!

Reference List:

Egan, Elizabeth 2016, ‘Week 2 Lecture Brief History of Computing’, Griffith University, Brisbane, Semester 2, 2016.

Nguyen, Tuan, 2016, The Early History of Communication, online, Inventors.about.com, Available at: http://inventors.about.com/od/timelines/fl/The-Early-History-of-Communication.htm [Accessed 14 Aug. 2016]

McGaughey, Williams 2011, Some Dates in the History of Communication Technologies, online, Worldhistorysite.com, Available at: http://worldhistorysite.com/culttech.html [Accessed 16 Aug. 2016]

Halpern, Sue, 2011, Mind Control & the Internet, online, The New York Review of Books. Available at: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2011/06/23/mind-control-and-internet/ [Accessed 18 Aug. 2016]