Thoughts on the eve of the Fourth of July.
The recent revelation that Facebook (FB), and its educational cohorts, experimented with the on-line experience of FB users raises a whole lot of issues. Here is one WSJ take: Few limits.
What are the issues? Some mention “big brother” and such, out of fiction. I would claim that we are having a recurrence of the events that lead to the Magna Charta (799 years ago). However, the context is quite different, yet the same. Then, we had Barons who were interested in their welfare (which, by the way, was dependent upon countless serfs who lived lives of drudgery and worse) trying to rein in a King (who was their cousin, for the most part).
Now, we have humans who are trying to use a resource that was provided, originally, by the U.S. government, in a reasonable manner and who by doing such subject themselves to the machinations of immature males (for the most part), to the malfeasance of those who are misusing their abilities, and more.
How did this state of affairs come about? Is (was) it inevitable? We can (will) go into that.
But, the notions that were encapsulated in the Magna Charta are age-old (that is, thought about long before 1215). The promise of the internet goes right along with this dream. That is one reason to attempt to do it right. As well, we need maturity on both sides of the fence: providers and users. Such would advance the human race, as a whole.
We have 100 years or so of computational experience to draw upon. Too, this ought to be the opportunity to adjust the theoretic framework, as needed. The tasks involved will not be easy. There can be fun, though.