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These books will help you pass safely into the digital age

It may happen that you get a little bored of social media, especially as the matter has begun to affect your work and your recall of your lessons, so you decide to deactivate Facebook and Twitter, for example, and you think that you got rid of the digital world, but you are unfortunately wrong, because the digital world is not just social media. It is also surveillance cameras in the shops, your simple banking transactions, your smart TV or your refrigerator or your car that connects to the Internet, the Google Maps service and the delivery service from Uber, it’s everything in your life.

The contemporary world is extremely continuous, and developing yourself, your work and your knowledge is not possible without being part of this network, the solution is not to disconnect from this world, perhaps you may be ignorant of its tools and their effect on you only, in this report, we present to you a set of simplified nominations for you to take. Your first step in digital security.

Well, let’s leave the long introductions aside and start with Susan Greenfield, a neuroscientist from the University of Oxford, in her book “Changing the Mind … How Do Digital Technologies Leave Their Marks on Our Brains?”, Published in Arabic in February 2017. In this book, you will learn about A different degree of addiction, not as pathological as happens in the case of heroin, but it is also not normal. These successive streams of elements of contentment and joy in our brains, waiting to “like” or “share” or “comment” on your last photo, are definitely a response An act worth pondering and understanding.

In the book, which is characterized by an extremely fluid style, and a translation that is identical in its accuracy and simplicity, Greenfield makes us aware of what we face within the realms of social media, how our identities arise and persist, and why we feel what we feel inside this world and not outside it? Why do people bully the most on social media? This knowledge, represented by the results of a large amount of studies with a set of interesting insights, may help you to build a better relationship with the digital world, not withdrawn but interacting with caution and enough to benefit as much as possible from all its advantages.

Two other books that can help deepen your knowledge of the psychological effects of life on social media and its impact on digital life, the first is “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age”, and the second is “Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less.” From Each Other, “both by the same author Sherry Turkley, a professor of social studies of science and technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which focuses on one of the harms of digital life related to relationships with others, due to social media, there is a” general lack of human empathy, “says Turkley. What we need right now is for us to pay attention to talking to others, which may restore human sympathy to acceptable levels. The two books have not yet been translated into Arabic.

In their book “Google File” released in Arabic translation in July 2017, Thorsen Freekeh and Ulrich Novak teach us that one of the biggest tricks in history is that you are deluded that you are a normal citizen and you have nothing to hide when you are online, so there is no problem in sharing your data with anyone. Who would want it, but to what extent can our data be used to control us? Smartphones collect how much data about us that can predict our thinking mechanisms and our many forms of behavior.

The moment we decide to go into the digital world, we are stripping our privacy outside, and Google is waiting for us inside, it is everywhere on the face of the earth, determining the course of economic operations exactly as you determine the price of the phone that you want to buy through information leaked from your social media accounts that accurately explains How bad you want it, which helps the seller determine its price! This book isn’t just about how giants like Google can control you, it’s about our problems in understanding the importance of data that we pay no attention to.

Let’s now move to a slightly different level, you may think that it is far from you, but day after day it contributes to simple operations such as determining the movies you like, determining the price of the shoes you want to buy, and also determining whether you are suitable or not for a specific job, and what salary would be appropriate You Donna from others? We will talk about algorithms, for a moment that you think are mathematical values ​​and neutral math equations that can never be harmful to you, on the contrary, they will help you improve your life, and this may actually be true, but not in all cases.

Cathy O’Neill, an American author, mathematician, and journalist, in her book Weapons of Math Destruction says that sentences such as “Algorithms are neutral,” “Algorithms are truthful,” “Algorithms are accurate,” and “Algorithms are scientific” are far from being. In fact, if our ignorance of what the world of self-learning algorithms is, may cause us unimaginable harm, especially if you are from a community group that is greatly exposed to pressure because of the nature of its gender, race, or mental state, here the bias appears in its strongest form.

Two other books that delve into this issue in a very simple way, and help you understand the relationship between the nature of algorithms and bias, are Automating Inequality – How does technology classify and penalize the poor? (Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor) by Virginia Yubanx, “Persecution Algorithms: How Search Engines Promote Racism?” (Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism) by Safia Noble.

Currently, a large team of experts in big data domains is working on several attempts to develop mechanisms for building algorithms to avoid bias and tendency to automate poverty and inequality between people, this is indeed possible with an appropriate amount of time and effort spent on it, or at least with an initial awareness of the existence of problems from this. Type. But the biggest crisis remains that we – humans – have not yet been able to get rid of our racism or prejudice against others, so how will algorithms do that ?!

As for Luciano Floridi, a prominent professor of information philosophy and ethics from Oxford University, he leaves the special aside and starts to the public. In his book “The Fourth Revolution: How Does the Information Cover Reshape Human Reality?”, Which was translated into Arabic in September 2017, he defines what we live in It is the era of hyperhistory, which is a term that refers, not to a period in which we use our ability to use information technology to support our progress, but to a period in which information technology has become part of our formation, so that everything falls to the ground if we stop using it, and here we are talking about social prosperity Personal well-being, prosperity and continued growth, as it seems, information now has the role and importance of energy in the economy.

In this book, which of course is creamy compared to its predecessors, but it is undoubtedly worth putting some effort into it, we learn about two mistakes we usually make, the first about our relationship with the huge amount of data surrounding us, we are simply like a small wooden boat floating on the surface of a huge ocean Among the data, whose analysis and study can control everything from politics to economics, and the second is our perception that the information space is something that goes out of it and enters into it, or that what happens on the Internet stays on the Internet, but we live in an age in which the “real is the information” .

Another Floridian book available for free in the Arab world is “Information … a very short introduction”, in which it gives a simple introduction to the concept of information, in about a hundred pages only, and examines the impact of this central idea on all aspects of our daily life, from mathematics and genetics to Its social meaning and value, and the ethical implications for property, privacy and access to information. You can find the book here from the Hindawi Foundation.

As you can see, it seems that our first problem with the digital world is a misunderstanding of its nature. We would not have imagined that it affects that much in our brains, or that our privacy is such an important thing, or that the algorithms that we think are neutral might be biased, or that it is The foundation is an entity that permeates us, not a state that we can get out of and return to in the morning.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, then, are not simple games, not an emergency, or something that can be eliminated or avoided, but it is a reality that must be dealt with, reduce the damage as much as possible and benefit from the advantages to the maximum extent, then your new view will be after getting acquainted with that information, and there are advantages There are many for communication that can help in our education, raise the level of our knowledge, and stimulate our experiences to scales that we could not imagine, this is the new world, it is no longer a luxury, but we have to find a safe way to adapt to it.

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