#1195 – Dick Bernard: Hacking my Facebook, and the Tweet Dilemma, and a special guest.

A few days ago I got several e-mails reporting that my Facebook account had been hacked. There is something humiliating about such a violation of boundaries, but it happens. I changed my password (a story in itself), but decided not to close down and start over. I know, now, how to shut it down if need be.
We live in a world with plenty of evil actors, and not all of them are dictators in countries which we find hard finding on a map. They live among us, in our own towns, and in this increase to the wild west, they can be shameless, indeed become folk heroes to some. In a sense, we’re experiencing a pandemic disease, crossing borders with impunity, silent, invisible, until they elect to expose themselves.
Disease pandemics kill people; technology pandemics perhaps ultimately will be even more destructive in our thoroughly wired society. Most communications right now is on those little iPhone or similar screens. We are a computer driven society. If the network went down, we as a collective society wouldn’t have a clue what to do. Losing the technology grid would be as bad or worse than losing the electrical grid, where whole states go black.
I’m not telling state secrets: nefarious types probably have the technological ability to shut us all down, and we will be clueless as to how to get back on-line.
Learn how to handwrite again, and prepare for a day when even the postal service is disabled and we’re back to communicating as we did 100 years or more ago. Real envelopes, pencils and paper, real stamps, dealing with communication as if the recipient won’t see what you wrote for a couple of weeks, if ever.
Then there’s Twitter.
We both have the (I guess) antique “flip phones” which we thought were high-tech when we got them.
Nowadays I get occasional tweets – they come in with a distinctive “ring” – and I’ve figured out how to read them, but if they direct me to a link, I can’t go there; nor can I reply.
For me, at least, they’re simply a useless annoyance. Maybe a better tweet than “today is Dick’s birthday” might be “call your mother!”
The even more crucial issue is privacy. There is none. Get over it. It’s every bit as public as these few words on a public screen. A good friend of mine, 90, was incredulous that her young professional relative in another country, had a complimentary message for his ladyfriend, who sent a half-naked Facebook post. She couldn’t believe it.
Well, here we are.
COMMENT:
From Bruce: My facebook account has been hacked many times. I also see that many of my friends are hacked several times, too. The first time I saw a fake friend request “friendship”, I accommodated. Now that I’m familiar with it I just let it be. I guess being active is an inoculation against that sort of hacking.
POSTNOTES:
1. Comedy Centrals Trevor Noah did a long interview with President Obama on December 12. Here’s the link. You’ll have to watch a few commercials and its in three segments, but it is inspiring if you respect the President.
2. If you need recharging of inspiration, check out Paul Rogat Loeb’s books. They can inspire you. Here’s how to access.
3. Note to Minnesota readers re Monday Dec. 19, from Madeline: “Considering the extreme cold Sunday, I’m planning to attend this one on Monday–be warmer inside at this one too:
“Join us as we support Representative John Lesch at 11 am on Monday, December 19, in State Office Building Room 181 for a press conference announcing a National Popular Vote bill for Minnesota. This is right next to Leif Erikson park, and directly across the street from the Minnesota Senate Building where the 12 noon Electoral College vote will take place.”
Many thanks if you think you can join us!

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