Twitter / alexlundry: ”Greatest paragraph in an academic paper ever?”

Here is a link to the paper. A depressing indication of the sorts of predictive research we can expect from data mining. If advertising aims to gently prod our insecurity already, imagine how much effective it will be when it can prove with “science” how stupid our tastes show us to be. “I don’t know why I am eating curly fries all of a sudden, but that shows how smart I am!”

This paragraph, from the paper’s conclusion, is possibly more risible:

There is a risk that the growing awareness of digital exposure may negatively affect people’s experience of digital technologies, decrease their trust in online services, or even completely deter them from using digital technology. It is our hope, however, that the trust and goodwill among parties interacting in the digital environment can be maintained by providing users with transparency and control over their information, leading to an individually controlled balance between the promises and perils of the Digital Age.

Yes, good luck with that “individually controlled” management of online risk. Even putting aside the comical idea of the internet as a space “of trust and goodwill among parties,” there is no reason to think that “individual control” will not exacerbate the trust issues, even while it encourages people to rely more thoroughly on technology to insulate them from social risk.


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