Week 6 - Opacity and Transparency
Continuing on from last week’s topic of the #MeToo campaign, we began the class by talking about the topic of opacity and how we need more of it in the society that is becoming more and more transparent nowadays. This discussion was inspired by the reading we had the previous week which was titled, “Poetics of Relation,” by Édouard Glissant who in his text, wrote about the need of opacity for everyone.
With the presence of social media, most of our lives are out in the open for everyone to see. Even if we make an attempt to stay hidden, corporations have various means in which they are able to create a ‘social profile’ about us. We may not always notice it until there’s an uncanny moment of profiling when something strikes us as odd and makes us aware of it. For example, I’ve noticed countless times that my Facebook newsfeed changed based on the topics of the conversations I had with my friends through the Facebook messenger. This is worrying because it means that even our private conversations are monitored by people we may never meet. It is very intrusive and daunting but at the same time we could’ve agreed to this when ticking the terms and conditions that we have probably never even glanced at. As mentioned by Acuppa Tae, whenever a service is offered to us for ‘free’, it is likely that we are the products. The terms and conditions may reveal what we are agreeing to when ticking the box but no one has the time to read such a small and detailed document.
I stumbled upon a video on Facebook recently which was about how easily our information can be hacked without us even knowing. The commentator stated that this can happen, for example, when we go to watch movies online. More often that not, when we click into a movie a pop up window appears. This, as explained in the video, is one of the ways in which a hacker can gain access to your device. From then on, all your personal details such as credit card information is easily accessible to the hacker. A way in which one can deny them access is by constantly updating your device whenever a new software update is available. Yes, it is annoying to be constantly getting those software update notifications but it is best not to avoid them and update when prompted to do so.
Since I last wrote about the meeting with my group, the members of my team have changed. We have previously decided to compose a video of our research for the presentation but now that Jackle is gone from our group I wasn’t so sure if anyone else would be able to create a video. I messaged our group chat on Facebook to see what we were going to do now. We had to start from scratch once more but we still contemplated the idea of using a video for our project. We weren’t too sure about being able to do it ourselves but Lana decided to ask some of her friends if there was an easy way to do this. Once we get an answer we can make a definite choice about the medium of our presentation.