Monday, March 11, 2013

"To save everything, click here"

This is the title of a book by a very interesting technology writer called Evgeny Morozov, who has followed up his first book, The Net Delusion, with this one.  He warns against our increasing abdication for the responsibility for our lives to networks such as Google.  I am off to buy his books, but, for a condensed read, look up his article in yesterday’s Observer New Review (10 March 2013), and the lead article on him entitled “Time to question our love affair with new tech”.

I love one answer he gives in his interview to the question “How do you manage your own net use?”

“I’ve become very strategic about my use of technology as life is short and I want to use it wisely. I have bought myself a type of laptop from which it was very easy to remove the Wi-Fi card – so when I go to a coffee shop or the library I have no way to get online.  However, at home I have cable connection.  So I bought a safe with a timed combination lock. It is basically the most useful artefact in my life. I lock my phone and my router cable in my safe so I’m completely free from any interruption and I can spend the entire day, weekend or week reading and writing.”….“To circumvent my safe I have to open a panel with a screwdriver, so I have to hide all my screwdrivers in the safe as well.

Despite years of owning a laptop, I haven’t yet worked out how to use Wi-Fi properly outside my home,  so I am able to go off to one of my favourite coffee shops to read and write without any kind of computer aid, but I do think the idea of locking off my home computer securely at certain times is a very sound idea.  At the moment, I switch it off early in the evening, thinking in that way that I can control its power over me, but then find myself compelled to turn it on again a little later “just in case”.  Maybe I need to lock my cable connection away in a safe, as he does!  

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