Blown to Bits Essay Example
Blown to Bits Essay Example

Blown to Bits Essay Example

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  • Pages: 3 (579 words)
  • Published: August 14, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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The rapid advancements in technology have significantly impacted privacy standards, telecommunications, and criminal law. Every day, we encounter unforeseen consequences of data flow that were not possible just a few years ago. The world underwent a sudden change due to the explosion of the internet where almost everything is now stored in a computer somewhere, including court records, grocery purchases, family photos, wireless programs, etc. All this information is being converted into "bits" and stored on home computer disks and in data centers of large corporations and government agencies. These disks have such a large storage capacity that there is no need to pick and choose what gets remembered. With so much disk storage being produced every year, it can be used to record information about every human being on earth every minute or two. On


ce information is on a computer, it can be copied and circulated globally in an instant, including things intended for everyone to see or things that were not meant to be copied at all. Due to instant transfers, some data leaks, such as credit card records that are supposed to remain secure but end up in the hands of identity thieves.Sometimes we disclose information in exchange for compensation. For example, a company may offer free international phone calls if the user is willing to view advertisements related to the products discussed on their computers. The book presents seven "koans" or principles concerning the impact of digital technology on humanity. The first koan states that although digital devices display images, text, sound, and video, they are all made up of individual units called "spots". These spots also travel through the airwave

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of phones as we communicate. The second koan explains that every copy made by a computer is perfect, unlike handwritten books which often contain errors. Even though computers may fail, the likelihood of spot errors is minimal once communication takes place. The third koan discusses the exponential growth of data storage from now until five years' time. Ironically, this information explosion has resulted in the loss of offline data and outdated software, assuming them to be non-existent. Finally, the fourth koan describes how a computer's speed is determined by the number of basic operations it can perform in one second. At the beginning of 1940, the fastest computers could execute only five operations per second.The speediest computer can presently perform a trillion computations. Koan 5 stresses the importance of recognizing small changes and taking action promptly as exponential growth can progress from unnoticeable to significant quickly. Koan 6 highlights the fact that data is stored indefinitely unless subject to removal policies. The internet consists of numerous interconnected computers, and once information is online, it is irreversible. For example, identity theft victims regularly endure the consequences of false information remaining on records indefinitely. Koan 7 draws attention to the impression that distance is irrelevant in cyberspace due to the lightning-fast exchange of massive quantities of data, bringing the world closer. The book emphasizes two core ethics: first, information technology is neutral, capable of both positive and negative outcomes; second, new technology brings both risks and opportunities as societal change is inevitable with any technology, similar to how nuclear reactions generate both energy and destructive weaponry.The encoding technology that enables secure email communication with no risk of

interception also allows terrorists to conduct attacks without detection. Balancing the ethical and moral consequences of technology with economic growth requires regulating its usage without stifling creativity or censorship.

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