Franklin Foer's book, World without Mind, is a view on the negative impact brought about by embracing internet firms such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon. In his book he points out some of the adverse effects caused by these firms. Foer states that these firms "have eroded the integrity of institutions, media, publishing, that supply the intellectual material that provokes thought and guides democracy." In this essay, I wish to review franklin Foer's work; which gives a summary of his main points and also give a personal view on the same.
Foer's first view is on the sudden urge of Internet Company to subdue human conscience. Foer indicates that they wish to "to mold humanity into their desired image of it". This comes with control of one's privacy and ability to contemplate on issues. The convenience of internet access availed by Google that avails information at any moment denies one the chance to have a personal outlook. Foer further argues that Google's plan is to have data and Intel on beings at hand so that they can build on artificial intelligence. This means that Google will soon have information on every being and can easily influence your life, tell your whereabouts which ends up controlling your decision making.
Foer further shows how the internet technology companies have impacted in his life. More to this, he is involved in the industry. He was hired by one of the founders, Chris Hughes as an editor for Facebook. Later on Foer is suspended from work as the company wished to advance to being a "technology company". He later goes ahead to work for the New Republic. Foer's time at the New Republic is a life changing one. He faces great resistance against corporations that are against literature writers opting for upcoming online writers. Literature writers face challenges since their work was hardly earning them anything.
Internet technology companies make communication easier. Decisions are made collectively which is evident as polls are run on social media for mass decision. Foer proves this to be a threat since in certain occasions where there arises the need for individual decision making. Many will find this difficult to adapt to with the upcoming social forums that enabled one to share life experiences allowing others point of view to apply in one's life. Foer's idea is outclassed at the moment, with major advancements being made towards encouraging collective inference.
The large growth of internet companies poses a great deal of questions. One of the questions in Foer's mind is the end result of this major growth. A company such as Amazon that initially sold literature content now is a jack of all trades. It has expanded trading in all forms of goods. This raises the question whether it is economically viable. Infant industries will seize to exist giving in to the large growth of monopolistic companies. There also will be little to no competition among companies. Amazon being an online trading company affects local trading companies that cannot keep with the large competitor.
Foer continues to say that cultures such as going out shopping on malls and supermarkets will soon fade out. People will no longer be required to go out shopping as they can get access to most of their goods online. There is a need to keep such cultures alive as the shopping centers provide meeting places for people to come together and interact. People get to socialize with friends creating stronger bonds among people. The exercise of going out shopping is also important for one's health.
Foer is disturbed by the fact that human beings are no longer using technology to improve their man power but instead are using it as a source of intellect. Foer says "These companies have technologies that are intellectual technologies. [They come] between us and reality." Machines create a virtual world of illusions that basically takes us away from reality. Franklin is critical on the need of maintaining our cultural heritage. Besides the advancements in technology we need to hold on certain lifestyles that identify us with humanity. Franklin says that being human empowers us to have control over our future and not "just passively accepting whatever comes next" (Foer 23).
Foer is also startled by the fact that this mega technology companies cause an imbalance in the wage rates. They have chunks of money are able give higher wages to their employs who remain tied up to this companies. They are able to offer incentives to their employees who live exorbitant life's compared to other employees. This brings about disparity between the two leaving a huge economic gap. The overall effect on other employees is a subdued feeling and not finally able to afford lifestyles of their prior.
Franklin Foer ideologies cannot go without notice. In support of his ideology, Franklin view on the influence of internet companies on people's decision making proves to be true. Nowadays, people act and behave corresponding to latest trends trending on social forums. Facebook being one of major social forums is well known for its great advertisement on latest fashions and setting latest trends. People fail to embrace their own personality and behave according to self-will. They tend to be irrational acting out of set trends. The collective thinking issue raises some concern. Franklin tends to think that collective thinking is toxic as people easily mislead each other into behaving in ways leaving out their rational thoughts.
The need for a common source of knowledge where people can easily tap information with just the touch of a button makes life much easier. Google is well known for its enormous data and information on almost everything. "The new mega rich of Silicon Valley, first at Google and now Facebook, are masters at harnessing the data of the Web"(Steve 1). The ease of access to information has numerous advantages to the world. Learning institutions reap most of these benefits with students easily accessing materials online needed for research and learning purposes. "Advances in digital sensors, communications, computation, and storage have created huge collections of data, capturing information of value to business, science, government, and society" (Randal 8).
What is fascinating though is that Google tends to have answers to almost everything. This raises a great deal of concern. What can access to such information lead to? If the information landed on the wrong hands, it could lead to global hazards. The large access to information by internet companies such as Google and Facebook on matters such as bank account information and ones' locations is also questionable. To what limits should this technology companies have access to one's information? I take Foer's side on this in that there is need to set boundaries to the amount of information that technology companies should have access to.
Despite the adverse effects posed by Foer on the economy by technology companies, most of the effects are to the positive. Foer argues that technology companies affect capitalism and competition among companies. Companies such as Amazon have however made it easier to access goods that are rather cheap. It is has made it easy to get goods that may not be in the local market.
Technology companies furthermore have opened up doors for many by offering enormous job opportunities. Despite Foer's argument that this tends to bring about predilection among big technology by their employees getting more incentives than other workers do, the fact that they have offered people a chance to work outdoes this. The large accesses to information provided by the big tech companies can be exploited to predict the rate of job lose offering a chance for prior preparation (Steve 1).
Big tech companies are in many ways going to be of great help than threat to the majority. These companies have revolutionized trading making the interaction between consumer and seller much easier. This in my view is a plus for the internet technology firms. All that is required is for us to deal with the disadvantages brought about by the big technology firms so as to reap the many benefits that come by.
"World without Mind by Franklin Foer | Penguinrandomhouse.Com". Penguinrandomhouse.Com, 2018, https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/533937/world-without-mind-by-franklin-foer/9781101981115/. Accessed 1 May 2018.
Foer, Franklin. World without Mind. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2018.Gordo, Blanca. ""Big Data" In The Information Age". City & Community, vol 16, no. 1, 2017, pp. 16-19. Wiley, doi:10.1111/cico.12219.
Steve Lohr." The Age of Big Data". Big Data's Impact in the World, no. 11, 2012, pp. 1-5.
Randal E. Randy H. Berkeley Edward D. Big-Data Computing: Creating revolutionary breakthroughs in commerce, science, and society. Compiled from Katz University of California Version 8: December 22,
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