Privacy….What Privacy?!

Uncle Sam must be out of his mind! He reads my emails, listens to my phone conversations and now he wants to record my Twitter post????

The government regulates almost every aspect of our lives in one way or another. Isn’t that enough? Twitter is a place where people vent, share useless information about everything and nothing, and what they are doing at the moment. Twitter for the most part is public and almost anyone can view a person’s tweet unless its private, which don’t happen often. Just cause one is willing to share a tweet like ” I am watching Zack and Cody !”  with the twitter world that does not mean they want a historian from the year 3000 reading it ! What happens on Twitter in 2011 stay on Twitter in 2011!

Technology keeps on developing and changing. This (forever being renewed) technology is providing evidence for future historians about our way of life during this present time in ways that we couldn’t even begin to imagine ten years ago. Its cool for current historians to find unique meaningful messages on walls of caves or tombs and other artifacts from centuries ago. Too bad for future historians it will be less cool because instead they will find an archive full of twitter messages stating what a person had for breakfast and “failed tomato sandwiches”. Thats not exactly the way I want the future to learn about the present.


Mind Your Business Uncle Sam !


Historians are going to read our tweets? Seriously?

With the advent of a new technology as powerful and influential as the internet, many aspects of our lives will certainly change. In fact, many aspects of our social lives and daily routines have already changed by the rise of social network like Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace. As always, the government will take action in accordance to our new social behaviors. Out of the many possible changes that they might take, archiving Tweets in the library of congress was definitely beyond many people’s imagination.

Okay, we have many questions with regard to this act. What is the benefit of filing Tweets? What is the downside? And is it cost-efficient to store a constant growing data base for indefinitely long? Well, as a result of this act, a massive amount of data and opinions from our common citizens will become available to historians and statisticians. Historians will then be able generate opinions and reach conclusions from a huge number of primary sources. This archive of daily comments of our common citizens is definitely powerful, geographically widespread, diverse, and enormous. Since twitters do record all sorts of events, our future historians will have no trouble in obtaining information on the public’s reaction to any events and any changes, whether they’re political, social, or economical.

Unfortunately, we might have huge issues if the historians use such system. This huge archive will share some of the same problems as the article on Wikileak had mentioned. The first problem would be: can the archive represent the general opinion? Realistically speaking, we probably do not have an optimistic answer for this question. Reading tweets that are focused on a certain issue is equivalent to extracting a specific population of people out of the whole. Without a doubt, not all Americans tweet, and not all twitters are prone to tweet about certain topics because many will choose to stay silent. Moreover, even for those who have tweeted, they would had probably wrote about 1 sentence of random thought on the topic; they would probably not bother to write an essay to completely express their thoughts on the issue. Due to all the reasons above, taking account of the tweets on the internet would be equivalent to recording the one random thought of the people who tweet and decide to tweet. Under such conditions, our archive of tweets would provide questionable contents and inaccurate reflection of our society. Many people’s voice would not be heard, and for those that are heard, their opinions have a high chance of being incomplete, inaccurate, and thus insignificant.

As such, allowing future historians to write their papers based on this archive might not be a great thing for the sake of recording and educating the next generation. This change in history-recording may not be going to the right direction. And let’s not forget about the costs. Is it beneficial to keep an enormous and constantly growing database of selective and incomplete opinions? Well, there could be other uses for such database. If America were a totalitarian state, this archive could become a handy tool to blacklist the citizens with anti-government views.


Hidden History

Technology is one of the biggest factors that lead to progress. It exists everywhere, and humans cannot really live without it. We rely too much on our technology, which may become an issue later. But it really helps every aspect of life. In history, technology serves as a driver that pushes our civilizations to move forward from ancient time to modern time. And it makes those historians can easily record history and as well as analyzing it. We have history being recorded on papers, wall, chinaware, weapon and many other ways of recording history. The historical evidences are varied in time because of the technology in different time periods. In the present time, the information is mostly stored digitally, which it becomes more accessible than before. Computer and internet become so popular that we can easily access to whatever to we are looking for. In the article “Archiving Tweets,” Lauren argued that do we really need to store those public tweets. My answer to that question is that storing those tweets is wasting our resources. I don’t really think that historians in the future would look at those tweets. It may be interesting to read other people’s posts, but you cannot get history out of it.

For the article “WikiLeaks and the Historical Community,” I am in favor of having WikiLeaks because it reveals the hidden history. It might not be all accurate information but it opens up people’s eyes to see the hidden part of history. Most of the time, the history is written by winners, and the ugly parts always occur under the table. I think the technology in the future would help those historians to find out more hidden history.