Previously I have spoken about the Network Society Padigam and something I mentioned within that is the way we as a society developed from the telegraph. A core aspect I mentioned was the way we have now developed in the future to be more demanding of attention, the “need a response right now” type, branching from this constant online connectivity.
Now, I don’t want to restate myself, however in this next module we looked at other concepts like The Internet of Things, and Meme Warfare. You might be thinking how do any of these things connect or even link back to this connectivity issue?
Well, some background.
THE INTERNET OF THINGS –
Communication derived from the Telegraph, and thus so did the Internet. The Internet was never as large as it is currently, and it is always growing and changing. With that growing possibilities and challenges. The Internet of Things (IoT), as defined by “where devices (things) are connected to the Internet and each other. These things comprise a multitude of heterogeneous devices ranging from consumer devices, such as mobile phones and wearables, to industrial sensors and actuators.”
This is very much a current aspect of society, as mentioned with the different waves of the Internet, and that is why this is relevant.
MEME WARFARE –
Information warfare, propaganda, has existed for as long as communication. There has always been a need or reason to enforce a different meaning, one that might not be mostly accurate, when communication has been there. Now, when applying this to how much attention is desired, scares and important in relation to now – the future – and The Internet of Things, the mass of information warfare has certainly grown.
“Memes are a ubiquitous part of the internet, particularly social media. Internet memes spread virally, being shared and distributed across the internet rapidly and widely…more than just funny internet pictures – they are behaviours, concepts, norms and ideas…They are closely linked to the moral forces, exerting influence on them the same way that other pressures do.”
Memes carry power, and because of this they hold influence over us. Anyone can make a meme, anyone can go viral on the internet, and with any kind of information. This twitter thread here, goes over the way Tumblr misread information all the time and raised a generation of it.
The Internet of Things has, in a broad idea of it, taken over the world. We have seen the internet, its forms of communication like memes, develop over years to get where we are presently. However, with the speed of which all of these things are growing we can only expect it to do so more.
So, what is or what will be the future of the internet?
This constant, needy connectivity we have as a society is something out of Dystopia, constantly watched and turned on. Some prime examples of IoT are automated cars, wearable health monitors such as Fitbits, Apple watches, smart home systems like connected lighting, alarms, and even all your connected devices. Most people these days own more than one device, iPads, laptops, smart tvs which are even more connected to everything. All of these share data, are basically one, just extension of the larger system.
In theory all of this is going to continue expanding. This might not be a bad thing, I’m not opposing it, but there is this question of is The Internet of Things making us as a society more valuable?
Ideas of Hacktivism, Meme Warfare propaganda all link back to this question. With the rise of online connectivity, the rise of Hacking, Cyberwar and botnets.
“Botnets are the workhorses of the Internet. They’re connected computers performing a number of repetitive tasks to keep websites going.” Botnets are a cluster of networks with malware and hackers are able to gain control through them. This is where we have the term botnet attacks. “Cyber criminals are then able to use these botnets to unleash a string of attacks, Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attacks are the most common of these…used for credential leaks, data thefts and unauthorized access.” An example of an attack is email spamming and network blockages.
We as a society are prescribed to view and engage with Memes and Internet culture, which has already aided in being vulnerable online. The advancement of communication has always held information warfare as a variable, and with the immense growth of IoT we can expect to see more of it. This growth has also created a way for one’s home to be included as a device, which makes the question on the future of the Internet, and how much more vulnerable things will get from here in relation to things like Hacktivism, and Cyberwar. I mentioned before how Dystopian this can be perceived, which only makes the question of how will the Internet continue to grow from here?
The thing is we can’t really say how it will continue to change, aspects like money/investments don’t have to be tangible physicality with the rise of Cryptocurrency which is still largely considered new. We can’t say if it will create more vulnerability, for communication has always allowed for the spread and creation of propaganda to exist, nor can we say that it wont with these very online types of attacks.
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Rowett, G. (2018). The strategic need to understand online memes and modern information warfare theory. [online] IEEE Xplore. Available at: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8622051?casa_token=o88jHhTcZF8AAAAA:0s_OHjnuuaDLCXpjBw4fKZRJDpHVgvD5gzUzrRjbjdDg84fUixC0RCoFeP5dqaH97fG4td0M
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