Sølvpapirshatte er uklædelige

– hvorfor skulle der ellers være så få kvinder, der bruger dem?

Socktroll conspiracy theorist

(og nej, det her indlæg handler hverken om kunst eller kultur)

Jeg går selv stolt med min hat, samtidig med at jeg dagligt undrer mig over, at så forsvindende få kvinder interesserer sig for et eller flere aspekter af det overvågningssamfund, vi, i stormtempo og med skyklapper på, er ved at bevæge os ind i.

På Twitter og Facebook følger jeg en gruppe mænd, der holder mig opdateret om udviklingen inden for overvågning og kontrol. Både den som det offentlige i større og mindre grad udsætter os for, og den som vores kommercielle omverden bruger til at aflure vores vaner. Når jeg skriver mænd, er det ikke et tilfælde. For de er ALLEsammen mænd! Det er som om, kvinder i endnu højere grad end mænd lukker øjnene for de problemer, overvågningssamfundet fører med sig for os alle.

Til kvindernes forsvar skal det dog siges, at de har deres manglende interesse tilfælles med størstedelen af Danmarks befolkning m/k og næsten alle medier.

Edward Snowden, og William Binney før ham, afslørede, at det amerikanske NSA spionerer mod alt og alle, langt ud over de beføjelser de har ifølge amerikansk lovgivning. Og at de spionerer mod deres allierede, fx ved at aflytte Angela Merkels mobiltelefon.

Til det siger de fleste, jeg kender, bare, at så længe de ikke gør noget galt, så er de ligeglade, og det kan Angela og de andre politikere da også bare være. Men har du tænkt over, hvad sådanne informationer også kan bruges til? De kan fx bruges til at skaffe sig fordele ved klimaforhandlinger. Hvis man ved, hvem der taler med hvem bagom, så kan man også påvirke forhandlingerne i den retning, man selv måtte ønske.

Mht til den overvågning, som er mere eller mindre lovlig, så er folk endnu mere ligeglade. Det er jo bare metadata, siger de. Men ved du egentlig, hvor meget man kan afsløre med metadata?

  • Hvor er du. Gps i din telefon, IP-adresser fra dine devices.
  • Hvem e-mailer/SMS’er/skyper du med? Hvornår? Hvor er du, mens du gør det?
  • Hvor handler du? Hvornår?
  • Hvilke organisationer støtter du økonomisk?
  • Etc. etc. etc.

Nu siger du så, at det må staten da godt vide, for du gør jo ikke noget ulovligt. Sandt nok. Men der er måske nogen, der ikke bryder sig om dine aktiviteter? Fx storebror USA? Hvis jeg får nej til min næste visa-ansøgning til USA, får jeg ingen forklaring. Jeg kan så selv gætte, om mit telefonnummer tidligere har tilhørt en person, mistænkt for terrorisme (eller en der deler navn med sådan en…). Eller om NSA finder det mistænkeligt, at jeg yder økonomisk støtte til den danske aktivist/skribent Peter Kofod, der som den eneste dansker har interviewet Edward Snowden?

Et pessimistisk kig ud i fremtiden: Du ved, hvilke skridt Dansk Folkeparti ville indføre, hvis de havde magt, som de har agt. Fx i stil med Ham med Håret, at registrere muslimer. At være muslim er en tro, dvs. ikke noget, der står i passet eller på sygesikringskortet eller som kan udledes af ens navn eller oprindelsesland. Hvordan vil en DF-regering så finde ud af, hvem der er muslimer? Overvågning, selvfølgelig. Og så er det jo praktisk, at al vores færden allerede har været overvåget og registreret i årevis! Derfra er der ikke langt til også at interessere sig for andre befolkningsgrupper, som evt. vil modarbejde en DF-regering. Og så er dine mange bidrag til Dansk Flygtningehjælp og dine Facebook-delinger af anti-DF-artikler pludselig ikke så “uskyldige” længere. Og hvad med dine 500 Facebook-venner? Ved du egentlig, hvad de sådan går og laver?

Den anden side af den mønt er journalisters og borgeres adgang til informationer om, hvad vores folkevalgte og myndighederne går og laver. Sidste år blev der som bekendt vedtaget en ny offentlighedslov. Navnet er misvisende, for den gør det en del sværere at få indsigt i, hvad vores folkevalgte går og laver. Sådan en lov kunne jo sagtens strammes yderligere… Derudover arbejder myndighederne i mange lande på at ulovliggøre kryptering eller at tillade myndighederne at bryde kryptering systematisk, uden dommerkendelse.

Når der holdes festtaler, udpeges whistleblowere til helte, der hjælper os med at beskytte demokratiet mod myndigheder, der bliver grebet af magtbrynde. Men når det kommer til stykket, bliver de fyret fra jobbet og udstødt af familie og samfund. Når de altså ikke må leve i eksil eller bliver sat i fængsel i 35 år.

Så helt ærligt, jeg synes faktisk, at vi har god grund til en vis bekymring. Jeg krypterer endnu ikke mine mails, og jeg har stadig min Facebook-konto. Men derfor kan jeg jo godt være opmærksom på udviklingen og sørge for at støtte folk, der også er. Fx politikere, der ikke stemte for offentlighedsloven.

Har du været ude i køkkenet efter rullen med sølvfolie? Hvis ikke, er det min påstand, at du er for blåøjet til denne verden.

(Jeg har slet ikke beskæftiget mig med den kommercielle overvågning og registrering i dette indlæg – måske en anden dag! Indtil da kan du lytte her.)

For at blive klogere på emnet, vil jeg anbefale at følge Peter Kofod på Twitter og på Facebook, holde øje med hans hjemmeside og evt. bidrage til hans Patreon, så han får mere tid til sin undersøgende journalistik. Han er endvidere fast skribent på online-mediet Den Frie, der i det hele taget er godt at følge, fx på Facebook eller Twitter. Jesper Lund, formand for IT-politisk forening skriver også på Den Frie. Du kan også lytte (og podcaste) programmet Aflyttet på Radio 24/7 og følge værten @anderskjaerulf på Twitter. DR P1s Harddisken har også ind imellem indslag om overvågning, ligesom DR2s So Ein Ding også holder et vågent øje. Blandt de traditionelle medier er der her i Danmark stort set kun Information, der interesserer sig for emnet. Internationalt er the Guardian nok den bedste avis at følge, Fx på Facebook.

Like hunting

knækcancer

Denne side, med næsten 160.000 likes er fake. Den er på overfladen harmløs, fordi selvom der ikke gives 50 øre per klik til Kræftens Bekæmpelse, så er de links, hvor man kan støtte Knæk Cancer kampagnen ægte nok ligesom de SMS-numre, der angives, tilhører kampagnen.

Siden er angiveligt startet den 22/10 (dvs. i går) – men det kan vel ikke passe med så mange likes? Og hvorfor starter man sådan en side? Jeg har søgt højt og lavt på fænomenet like hunting, men finder ikke svar, der tilfredsstiller mig. Der findes et fænomen, der hedder like-jacking, men det virker ikke, som om det er det, der er tilfældet her. Og normal like hunting går jo ud på at skaffe en masse likes til sit firma eller kampagne, som man så drømmer om at kapitalisere på en eller anden måde. Men det er jo ikke tilfældet her.

Læs her, hvad Kræftens Bekæmpelse selv siger om siden.

Mange har indrapporteret den til Facebook, men den er altså ikke taget ned endnu.

Følgende spørgsmål melder sig:

  1. Hvordan kan siden være startet 22/10 2013 og have 159.000 likes?
  2. Hvad er pointen med at samle likes på sådan en side her?
  3. Kan man, efter at have høstet likes på denne måde, gå ind og ændre siden, så man pludselig har adgang til alle disse Facebookbrugere med et andet budskab?

Hvis nogen kan hjælpe med svar, så skriv endelig. Jeg vil publicere det her og reklamere for det på Facebook og Twitter.

Tak til Tobias Egmose for at pege på siden.

Tilføjet 23/10 kl. 15:50: Der er kommet en form for forklaring på nedenstående i form af en kommentar. Se herunder.

Vanvittig video hitter på Facebook

eller – det påstår BT i hvert fald i denne artikel.

Jeg var til Wikipedia-dag for nylig, hvor jeg i et oplæg udbredte mig om fup og svindel på nettet og bl.a. viste den video, jeg også har omtalt her på bloggen. En af deltagerne fortalte om videoen, der hentydes til i overskriften, og spurgte om jeg vidste, om den var ægte. Det gjorde jeg ikke, for jeg havde ikke hørt om den. Men angiveligt har den været vist på både DR og TV2.

Jeg lovede at gå hjem og grave. Det har jeg imidlertid ikke fået meget ud af – dvs. jeg ved stadig ikke, om videoen er ægte. Den ser endog meget overbevisende ud, men alligevel er der nogle ting ved den, der pirrer min mistro.

  • Den findes KUN på BT. BT siger, at den “hitter” på Facebook, men jeg har ikke kunnet søge mig frem til den, og ingen af mine sønner eller andre, jeg har spurgt, har set den i deres Facebook-strøm. Dermed ikke sagt, at den ikke er der – det er bare mærkeligt, at den ikke dukker op i mine ret omfattende søgninger.
  • Den er ikke på YouTube og ikke på Vimeo. Mao den skulle være lagt direkte ud på Facebook. Det forekommer som mærkværdig adfærd for unge af Jackass-generationen (man får over 2 millioner hits, hvis man søger på Jackass på Youtube).
  • Hvis videoen er lavet med greenscreen (Chroma Key) teknologi, giver ovenstående nogenlunde mening. Det gør det ikke, hvis den er ægte.

Har du oplysninger, der kan føre til en opklaring af dette “mysterium”, så skriv endelig en kommentar eller ping mig på Twitter. Det gælder også, hvis du selv er stødt på noget, der har vakt din undren.

NB: Læs lige hele BTs artikel om videoen, inden du farer i tasterne.

Digital dannelse

Nu har jeg plapret om digital dannelse i årevis – ja, min underoverskrift på min hjemmeside er “Netiquette” – et andet ord for det samme. Og nu pludselig er alle medier fyldt med det. På høje tid!

Mens jeg ærgrer mig over, at jeg ikke har forstået at brande mig selv godt nok til at være en af de “eksperter”, medierne spørger om disse ting, så glæder jeg mig over, at det endelig er noget, folk faktisk taler om og forholder sig til.

Digital Dannelse er al den viden, man har behov for, for at begå sig tillidsfuldt og sikkert på nettet. Fx forståelse af, hvad NemID er, hvorfor det er klogt at downloade sikkerhedsopdateringer, hvad en browser og en app er for noget, hvad de forskellige sociale medier står for, hvordan man sørger for sikre passwords, hvad det betyder at have sine data i skyen, at man er varen, ikke kunden, på de fleste sociale medier, hvad firmaerne bruger (eller kan bruge) ens data til, hvad “intellectual property” er for noget, etc. etc.

Forbløffende mange mennesker mener, at den slags behøver de slet ikke vide, “det er kun for sådan nogle computerinteresserede nogen”. Men de ta’r fejl, gør de. Det her skal læres i skolen og burde være mere vigtigt på jobcentrene end alle de tåbelige Hvordan Man Skriver et CV-kurser.

En lidt snævrere fortolkning er, hvordan man opfører sig på nettet.

Man skulle jo synes, at det var nemt. For digital dannelse er i bund og grund blot en forlængelse af den dannelse, vi forventes at have ude i virkeligheden. En forståelse af spillereglerne. Almindelig høflighed, ville min mormor nok have kaldt det. Alligevel er det tydeligt for enhver, der er bruger af digitale medier, at ordentlighed mange steder er en mangelvare. Altså, en hel masse mennesker tror, at ordentlighed kun er nødvendigt “i virkeligheden”. Men altså, folks, her kommer noget Oplysning til Borgerne om Samfundet:

  • Internettet er en ligeså virkelig virkelighed som ude på gaden, hvor du jo heller ikke smider affald. Vel?
  • Mellemfolkelige færdselsregler gælder alle steder, også dér hvor man er anonym.
  • Regn med at ALT er offentligt. Eller lige pludselig bliver det.
  • Du tror måske at du kan trolle frit med dit ‘Per Hansen’ alter ego og din Hotmail adresse. Men en dag kommer du til at afsløre dig selv eller nogen gør det for dig, og så kan vi andre følge sporet tilbage og se din ondskabsfulde trolling. Så bliver det nok – fuldt fortjent – mindre sjovt at gå på arbejde og til familiemiddag.
  • Hvis nogen angriber dig personligt på Facebook eller Twitter eller et andet medie, hvor du selv bestemmer, hvem der kan komme i kontakt med dig, så blokér vedkommende. Livet er for kort til at stå på mål for den slags.
  • Inden du kaster dig ud i debatten et nyt sted, så tjek lige tonen på stedet ud først. Læg blødt ud og tal ordentligt til folk, så kommer du ikke galt afsted.
  • Hvis du har en blog, så moderér kommentarerne. Skriv, at du gør det. Hvis du så bliver  beskyldt for at knægte ytringsfriheden, må du blot spørge, om det virkelig er ytringsfrihed at strø om sig med skældsord og personangreb. Har du de nødvendige tekniske færdigheder, så kan du gemme de grænseoverskridende indlæg og overstrege alt det grimme og så publicere resultatet. På den måde bliver substansen i kritikken tilbage. Ofte viser det sig, at der ikke er nogen substans.
  • Når du er uenig med nogen, så giv da endelig udtryk for det. Men tænk også på det lys, du sætter dig selv i, hvis du ikke har argumenter, men kun skældsord.
  • Det er ærgerligt, at så mange ellers interessante debatter i avisernes kommentarfelter bliver ødelagt af agressive og ubehagelige kommentarer, der gør det til en Golgatha-vandring at nå frem til de gode og konstruktive kommentarer. Mange brugere opgiver på halvvejen, inklusive mig selv. Aviserne ville gøre sig selv en stor tjeneste ved at modere langt tættere – glimrende studenterjob!
  • Hvis du har en anonym mailadresse og alias, som du bruger til at spy galde ud over folk, du er uenig med, så overvej, hvad du egentlig får ud af det? Måske skulle du læse en bog i stedet for? Eller få en hund?

Man bliver et vimrehoved af for meget Internet

Det er i hvert fald den evige og evindeligt gentagne påstand, jeg hører igen og igen. Mest fra dem, der ikke har smartphone og kun bruger computeren af nød og på arbejde. For det ved de jo rigtig meget om.

Dem, der egentlig kan tale med om det, må være dem, der har levet det intense online-liv, og som så – i en kortere eller længere periode – har opgivet det.

En australsk kvinde har skrevet en bog om familiens oplevelser, da hun trak stikket på sig selv og tre teenagere. De fandt hinanden igen som familie. Men for at det skal give mening, skal man jo have “tabt” hinanden først? Det synes jeg faktisk ikke, vi har derhjemme. Vi taler meget sammen – både henover vores gadgets og uden dem.

For mit eget vedkommende kan jeg godt fra tid til anden synes, at jeg er for knyttet til min telefon og kigger på den for tit. Så lægger jeg den til side en hel eller halv dag og griber en bog eller en kageopskrift. Når David (det er min mand, der det meste af tiden arbejder i udlandet) er hjemme, kan der gå lang tid, hvor jeg slet ikke tænker på min telefon. Og hvis jeg griber den, vil det ofte være for at checke noget, jeg tidligere ville have slået op i en bog. Ved ikke, om jeg synes, man er et vimrehoved, fordi man bruger telefonen til at checke afgangstider for toget eller Søren Kierkegaards fødselsdag? Desuden er Facetime (Apple-versionen af Skype) redningen for en familie, der er adskilt meget af tiden. Det er begrænset, hvor meget man kan “vise far” med en almindelig telefon.

Nyeste skud på stammen af folk, der har levet afkoblet i en længere periode, er en ung amerikansk mand. Han beskriver sine oplevelser i Internet-magasinet The Verge. Det er interessant, hvordan hans offline tilværelse svinger i intensitet – i det ene øjeblik oplever han et intenst nærvær, som han tilskriver det afkoblede liv, det næste føler han sig ensom og forladt og kan slet ikke få øje på noget nærvær.

Min konklusion er (igen): Alt Med Måde. Nogle gange skal telefonen bare “glemmes” ude i entréen, andre gange skal den med ved middagsbordet, fordi man lige er midt i en spændende diskussion på Twitter om et aktuelt emne. Nogle gange skal vi sidde hele aftenen og nørde med præsentationer og fotos og andet geekeri uden at tænde for TV’et. Så kan nethaderne påstå til de bliver blålilla i hovedet, at det er mindre fokuseret og mindre nærværende, end hvis man sad og satte papirfotos i album. Den køber jeg bare overhovedet ikke. Der er også aftener, hvor vi spiller Scrabble på iPad’en med bogstaverne på vores telefoner. Nogen vil så påstå, at det er mindre autentisk end at spille det på en papplade med træbrikker. Andre gange kører både TV, telefon og computer (multiple screens – det forskes der i). Og hvad så?

Læs ovennævnte artikel (hele artiklen, du har jo din koncentrationsevne i behold, ikke sandt?) – den er god at blive klog af. For selvfølgelig er der gevinster ved at gå offline fra tid til anden. Men samfundet kører altså videre – online – imens.

Like et billede og modtag 75.000 kr.

Hurra. Det var der 36.000 personer der gjorde. Mon de allesammen var børn? Nok ikke, ja faktisk gætter jeg på, at en stor del af dem er voksne. Det er simpelthen til at tude over! Der er sgu da ikke nogen, der forærer 75.000 kr. væk for et like, de her mennesker må da have hovedet under armen?

Og de kan i hvert fald ikke lære deres børn, hvordan man gebærder sig på Facebook og på nettet i det hele taget. Efterhånden er jeg tilbøjelig til at være enig i, at Netiquette skal på skoleskemaet. Det foreslog Medierådet for Børn og Unge allerede i 2010 – og intet er tilsyneladende sket. Bliver det mon en del af den nye heldagsskole?

Indtil da kan I jo tilkalde mig. Jeg fortæller gerne både lærere, forældre og større elever, hvordan tingene fungerer på nettet, hvordan man holder øje med snyd og bedrag, hvordan man garderer sig (så godt som muligt) mod mobning og chikane. Jeg fortæller også, hvad der skal til for at få held med sine google-søgninger.

grammarmatters

 

Og hvad med et gå-hjem-møde på arbejdspladsen, hvor jeg underholder om snyd og bedrag på nettet? Jeg lover, det skal nok blive sjovt.

 

Like if you Hate

I går læste jeg denne blogpost fra New York Times om en sørgelig, sørgelig hændelse for en lille dreng på Facebook. Hvis du ikke orker at læse artiklen fra NYT, er essensen dette:

Yngre dreng, lad os kalde ham Peter, ser en fredag morgen på Facebook, at 57 personer har “liket” en anden, ældre, drengs status, hvori der står:

“Like” denne post, hvis du også hader Peter.

Den lader vi lige stå et øjeblik.

Jeg har mødt fornærmede attituder, når jeg har nævnt over for forældre, at deres børn foretager sig “upassende” ting på Facebook. Det skyldes formentlig, at de ikke mener, at ovenstående nogensinde kunne ske for deres lille uskyldige guldklump. Med “upassende” mener jeg i øvrigt en bred vifte af ting, som at videresende spam, sprede løgnehistorier og skrive nedsættende om andre, navngivne, børn.

Det er jo prisværdigt, at Facebook ikke, som YouTube, har en “dislike” knap, men ovenstående eksempel viser jo, at det slet ikke er nok til at undgå chikanerier. De mange hadesider på Facebook med hundredevis, nogle gange tusindevis af “likes” peger på det samme.

Nå men, den beskrevne hændelse fandt jo sted i USA, så den slags sker velsagtens ikke her. Men det tror jeg bestemt, det gør. Især fordi både danske forældre og skoler udviser en helt utrolig laissez-faire holdning i forhold til deres børn og Facebook/Internettet. Der er naturligvis også dem, der helt forbyder det, men det synes jeg også er en dårlig idé. Hvis du skulle have lyst til at læse en filosofisk udredning om, hvor falsk påstanden om “et bedre liv uden Internettet” er, så læs her. Det er et long-read af de bedre og stærkt tankevækkende!

Jeg vil derfor gentage mit mantra om, at man ikke bare skal være ven med sine børn på Facebook, men også have deres password og jævnligt sætte sig sammen med dem og scrolle ned igennem deres feed og tale om det, man ser.

Glædeligt er det, at den nye vejledning fra Medierådet for Børn og Unge siger netop det. Læs den nu, ing, hvis du stadig mener, at du ikke behøver engagere dig i dine børns liv på nettet!

 

REKLAME: Jeg kommer gerne til dine børns skole og holde et foredrag i stil med dette for forældrene.

Virus advarsler og skræmmehistorier

I går fik min søn en advarsel mod en SMS-virus fra to af sine kammerater. Der stod sådan her:

Hej… Advar alle du kender imod at svare på en sms fra 20(…) og 51(…) det kan koste dig 2500 kr. Det er lige sagt i P3 (Send videre).

Denne “advarsel” har jeg sporet tilbage til 2006, måske er den endnu ældre. Den er opfundet af nogle ondskabsfulde mennesker, som et mobningsredskab over for folk de ikke bryder sig om. Telefonnumrene er skiftet ud nogle gange i løbet af SMS’ens levetid. Heldigvis kom min søn til mig, inden han sendte den nogen steder hen, men hans to kammerater er enten ikke gået til deres forældre, eller forældrene har glemt at tænke sig om og er hoppet på limpinden. Prøv engang at tænke over, hvor mange der er hoppet på den limpind, når den har cirkuleret siden 2006 (mindst)?

Jeg vil gerne slå fast, at det stadig er sandt, at man ikke skal tro på alt, hvad man hører (eller læser). Det er dog blevet meget nemmere for den enkelte borger at checke, om den slags rundsendte beskeder har noget på sig. Det nemmeste er at smide hele teksten ind i Google. Prøv fx at gøre det med ovenstående. Et af de nedslående resultater er fra denne landbrugsskoles hjemmeside, hvor redaktøren har indsat teksten som en advarsel til skolens elever og dermed sanktioneret dette ondsindede vrøvl.

Får man advarsler/sygdomshistorier/politiske opråb etc., der er rundsendt via mail uden datering og troværdig kildegengivelse og uden egentlig afsender, er der god grund til at tro, at der er ugler i mosen.

Læg mærke til

  • hvem er den oprindelige afsender? Fremgår det?
  • er der en form for datering?
  • er det helbredsråd, som du aldrig før har hørt om?
  • hænger mailen en bestemt befolkningsgruppe ud med tal og “statistik”?
  • er teksten på engelsk eller på ubehjælpsomt dansk?
  • hvis det er en virusadvarsel, kommer den så fra din bank, din internetudbyder, en troværdig nyhedskilde eller en IT-prof, du stoler på?

Udover at smide teksten ind i Google og se, hvad der dukker frem, er der også specialiserede hjemmesider, man kan “spørge”. Er teksten på dansk, skal den måske lige en tur gennem Google Translate til engelsk, inden du tester den, men prøv endelig at Google den på dansk først. Rigtig mange af de “advarsler”, der florerer, er gamle som Metusalem.

Der er en side, der hedder Hoax-slayer – man skal ikke lade sig narre af sidens amatøragtige layout – det er ikke udseendet, der ligger ophavsmanden på sinde. Der fandt jeg oprindelsen til en e-mail, rundtsendt af min svigerfar (fra England). Han havde selv fået den fra sin svigerinde og de havde begge sendt den til alle på deres mailing-liste. Med den fart har denne ondsindede misinformation nok ramt samtlige postkasser hos hvide pensionister i England.

Der står bl.a. sådan her:

Her kan du læse Hoax-Slayers redegørelse for, hvor e-mailen kommer fra (Australien, 2004) og hvem der gladeligt puster til ilden (BNP (British National Party) og ligesindede). Det er sørgeligt, at der overhovedet er nogen, der falder for, at flygtninge skulle modtage 4 1/2 gang så meget i offentlige ydelser, som en britisk pensionist, men hvis det er det nemmeste at tro på?

For nogle år siden fik jeg et link til en Powerpoint, der angiveligt forklarede, hvad man skulle gøre, hvis man fik et hjerteanfald, mens man var alene – fx. i bilen. Mailen var videresendt af en veluddannet bekendt. Vejledningen gik ud på, at man skulle hoste… Ja ja, du griner, men denne Powerpoint har cirkuleret på nettet siden 1999! Alle læger, der hører om den eller ser den, tager sig til hovedet, og man ser for sig, hvordan en person alene hjemme oplever smerter i armen og hjertet og giver  sig til at hoste i stedet for at ringe efter en ambulance! Læs her på Snopes.com – et andet godt sted at checke sludder og vrøvl – om denne e-mail-scam.

Mit budskab er, at det godt kan være, du ikke selv falder for historier som “hvis du “liker” den her side, får du 20$ af Microsoft”, men har du husket at tale med dine børn om den slags, der florerer som SMS, på Facebook, på mail, men skam også stadig som almindelige vandrehistorier fra mund til øre?

I dag er det let at sætte sig sammen med barnet og spore oprindelsen til den slags historier og få sig et godt grin eller sammen undre sig over, hvad det er for nogle ubehagelige typer, der opfinder den slags. Og dit barn vil have lært en lektie for livet.

Stealing sons’o’bitches

I saw this tweet earlier today and was reminded of how often I get that feeling.

One thing is that some people have the time, the energy and the wherewithal to transform a tweetet link into a blogpost or FB-status update at the time when I tweet it into my timeline. Good for them and sad for me that I didn’t sit down and do it right there and then. Another thing all together is when people don’t acknowledging their sources.

When I read something directly on a website, I’ll tweet the link with a comment or my own angle on the story. If the link comes from Twitter, I’ll tweet it as an RT or with a via-reference. Generally, and I believe that people who know Twitter well will agree with me, you know whether something interesting has been tweetet *from a stream near you* earlier that day or not. A few times a month I *know* that I was first with something – if not the link, then the angle. And then I get REALLY annoyed when other tweeps pass it on as their own in tweets, blogposts, newsletters, etc. Why can’t they just mention, in passing, where they saw it first?

Am I being over-sensitive, I wonder?

Identity

I could have a profile with this avatar. Would be correct signal about age and gender, but all else would be open!

The other day I was reminded of something that happened in the very, very early days of social media, long before it was called social media. I think that it’s relevant to today’s discussions about our “true identity” – online or off line or both.

Many many years ago I worked for Nordisk Film/Egmont (one of the largest entertainment groups in Scandinavia) and was part of the earliest experiments with web there. Egmont offered a portal or a community or something, I forget, think it was called EON. There, you could have a profile and chat with others on that same community.  Obviously, back then, there were only a few people on there and the majority were my colleagues from Nordisk Film and Egmont. I was never accepted by the large group of journalists working for Nordisk Film’s various television programmes. Except for the fact that I am not a journalist, I never quite understood why.

To try and understand it better, I decided to start a second profile on EON, this time not as me. But I was careful to write exactly the same kind of messages, with the same “privacy level”  and the same kind of civility that I’ve always wanted to be an exponent of.

The interesting thing was that while most of my colleagues more or less ignored me as me, they were absolutely intrigued by the other me. Although there was NO difference in the content of my posts. And, mind you, there were a lot of other anonymous users, I was not the only one. It was the norm then, to be anonymous.

I, as me, was an uneducated person who, for reasons unknown to most, had landed the attractive job as press officer for Nordisk Film. In my late thirties, a single mother, no journalistic experience but with a history from the music business they didn’t know of and weren’t interested in, anyway. So, in reality, that was what they saw when they saw my posts. Not the actual content.

However, the other me must have been rather witty and intriguing, because I received lots of attention and inquiries and was chatted up by both sexes in numerous ways. It was most disturbing and discouraging and I closed down the profile.

On Twitter I see echoes of this in some instances, e.g. people at the top of the social hierarchy (e.g. with prestigious jobs) who receive a lot of undue attention on Twitter despite their boring and uninspiring updates. In others, the opposite, where I’m extremely pleased to see e.g. heavily overweight people transcend this social handicap and gain lots of followers and have lively interactions based on the content of their tweets alone. Even though their Twitter-friends are aware of their physical appearance.

Personally, I don’t find it too difficult to draw the line between what can be uttered among colleagues at the office or at home with friends and what can be posted to Facebook and Twitter. While I may say in a circle of friends that so-and-so should get it together or something like that, I’d never post that anywhere in writing. Not because I can’t stand by my words but because you need to know the full context to fully understand it. And with hundreds of “friends” on Facebook and Twitter, it should be life rules for dummies that they are not all aware of that context (and that one’s for you, Ditte Okmann).

Please share your thoughts on this subject.

 

An Apple a day

As today is a very special day for all us Apple-geeks, I’ll use some of the horrible hours of waiting to present to you a bit of nerdy news. We’re talking everything from strictly business to strictly silly.

There’s always new stuff to enhance your work/pleasure time in front of the screen. @4nd3rs from Danish Radio’s brilliant tech-programme Harddisken recommends this extra security for G-mail. Given the latest scare with G-mail accounts that disappeared (not really, they are all restored by now), this might be a good idea. Another very practical thingummy is Amplify, an add-on for Firefox and Chrome, which will let you clip and save anything on the page you’re on for instant mailing, blogging, tweeting, FB’ing or whatever. Really smart!

Do you listen to audio books? I do, occasionally, when all the brilliant podcasts aren’t filling up my time. Audiobooks, however, are often quite expensive, so there’s a natural limit to how many you’ll listen to. Funzafunza, also from the above mentioned Harddisken, mentioned Librivox, a truly original concept where you can find public domain books read by “normal people”. I’ve downloaded Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, a book I’ve wanted to read for ages. Next plane-ride, I’ll listen to it. The reader of this particular novel, a woman, doesn’t have the most pleasing voice on the planet, but I’m sure I’ll get used to her as I listen along. And, there may be other books there, read by more pleasant-sounding people. Anyway, I think it’s a brilliant concept! Do you have a pleasant voice, do you like reading to others and do you love an old book, why not give it a chance and contribute? I will, as soon as I have half a day to spend…

The eternal discussion of whether social media and the web in general is distracting us from true immersion in work, reading, etc. and making us into flimsy flutterers goes on and on. I’m biased, so I’ll only link to people who agree with me. *smirks*. Here’s the honourable Jeff Jarvis on the subject. He links back to the weightiest of previous articles in American media. It was @Elnif who pointed to that one.

And then there’s that there Twitter. Here’s what I’ve read lately on that subject. This in the Guardian, helping the positively curious to make heads and tails of it. This is a funny but not untrue infographic about the process of getting into Twitter.

Lately, I’ve been adding my bit to posterity, in this case Danish Wikipedia. Working with Wikipedia is not easy, it’s not at all like blogging, but as I’m incredibly stubborn I just keep at it. Also, I get help from kind Wikipedians (and also some pointing with a very big stick from less kind Wikipedians). So this well researched article about why women don’t contribute more (13%) to Wikipedia really hit home.

Where would you like to work if you could choose? Fast Company has picked the 50 most innovative companies. Together with Fortune’s Top 100 over the best companies to work for, we have a good starting point. That said, I’m totally happy working for myself. I’m such a nice boss, really, even though the salary s*cks.

Finally, we need something about language (from @stensamler), books and books (from @bogtyven).

Oh, and more books. (Would have loved to have embedded this charming, artistic and funny video. But since, apparently, they use a tune that Sony owns the copyright to, it can only be watched directly on Youtube. Bah!)

A few days on the Interwebs

Across all the media I (try to) follow on the Interwebs, all kinds of news and information appear every minute, hour, day. I read lots and lots and lots but fear that much of it is forgotten again very quickly because I don’t “do” anything with it. Have been pondering this for a while and then thought that if I quickly save links or keywords on a dedicated page and then write a bit about it, the information might stick better. So that is what this is!

I read this post on Salon about Wikileaks and Assange. I’m not quite sure whether this is mere conspiracy theory or if there’s something to it. What do you think? I find it to be the most far out “coincidence” that it is Assange who’s accused of rape – of all the famous people who take, more or less, advantage of their notability. Salon, however, is not the first to suspect the Wallenberg family of wrong-doing. If you’ve read the Stieg Larsson trilogy or books by Jan Guillou you know what I mean. If you would like to read a complete update on the whole story of Wikileaks and Assange, go to Vanity Fair and read their interview with the enfant terrible.

Also at the serious end of the spectre, Sarah Palin has published a video to clear herself of the accusations against her for inciting hatred. I’m sure you already knew that, but have you actually seen the clip? And have you seen that map with shooting targets that she had on her website until moments after the Arizona shooting? The interesting thing about the video is the obvious discrepancy between the text, which (except the little “slip” with blood libel) is really quite good and her completely insincere expressions, which she clearly can’t control. And then the technical glitch; that you can see the teleprompter reflected in her glasses. *Amateurs*

I will get to news about gadgets and new ways to waste time on the Internet in a moment, but why don’t you bookmark this short article for reading when you’re in that “OMG, I’m mortal and I will eventually die”-mode. It’s a reflection over two famous atheists’ last stance before death and it’s both thought-provoking and quite life-affirming. The two atheists are hundreds of years apart – it’s David Hume and Christopher Hitchens.

I’d read about the Mikkelsen brothers before, but like with so much else, I’d forgotten about it. Then yesterday, I read about them again in Wired. Two brothers make good use of collaborative software to help refugees trace their families. It’s called Refugees United.

The lovely, but slightly awkward chef and animal welfare campaigner Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has started the campaign Hugh’s Fish Fight. I predict that he’s starting this at exactly the right moment in history and that this campaign will be quite successful. Sustainable fish is the new black. Please like the likable Hugh on Facebook – you can do it directly from the Fish Fight website. More importantly, however, is to walk the walk. Eat sustainable fish. Which, among other things, means that we must choose our sushi restaurants with care.

The rest of this post is light weight stuff, but life must consist of both or we go mad:

This morning @tveskov posted this about Steve Jobs‘ leave of absence and the IPhone 5. It’s fairly tech-heavy, but the gist of it is that the financial markets are very worried that the Apple top management  can’t quite pull off the constant innovation without Jobs. Must admit that I don’t know enough about the personalities in the Apple top to have an opinion about that. One would think that, based on experience, Jobs would have taken great care and hired some visionary people, knowing what happened the last time he had to leave the company. The rest of the article is about expected features on the IPhone 5. Looks wildly interesting and like a huge leap forward. Which is much needed, because as it is now, the Android phones are rapidly overtaking the IPhone in many respects.

My dear husband has an IPad and I have tech-envy. But on the other hand am not quite sure that I have enough spare time to really enjoy it. Can I use it to read in bed? I feel that it’s slightly on the heavy side, as my bedroom is icy cold and you can’t really sit up in bed unless you’re wearing a sweater… On the other hand, this is the device I’d bring to the breakfast table (rather than my phone) to read the news, check the weather forecast, etc. And to the sofa in the evening to tweet and browse. Anyway, the next one is said to not have a home button. I’m fine with that, as long as it can skype, which is what I miss most on the current one. See a video demo of it here.

Another Apple news tidbit is that the (free) Twitter application for Mac is really, really good. And that it has a super cool extra function (only works in Safari and Chrome and only with the latest OS), which lets you tweet directly from a webpage. If this interests you, have a look here.

I don’t read women’s mags, I’m not much into fashion and generally uninterested in celebrities. But. (There’s always a but). I adore the reports from the big events in the movie biz with all the superstars in their fabulous dresses. Can’t tell you why, but after the Golden Globe thing the other day everybody scrambled to see Ricky Gervais’ faux pas, but I jumped to Vanity Fair to look at all the dresses. I think I agree with VF that Natalie Portman was loveliest of all – pregnant and rosy. Just saw her shine in The Black Swan, a dark dark film but Portman is fantastic – she actually does the dance scenes herself, a feat that is truly amazing. As much as I adore Julianne Moore I HATE her dress! Same goes for Mad Men star January Jones’ red show stopper. Bah. But I rather like Angelina Jolie’s understated green. Do you share my fascination or do you say BAH, who cares?

Picture from Foxsearchlight.com

Speaking of dresses, this one could save the planet. I want to see it at the next Golden Globe or Academy Awards!

Anders Høeg Nissen (@4nd3rs) of local Danish Harddisken fame brought this marvelous little thingummy to my attention. I have to say, with my lacking DIY-skills, this is something I absolutely MUST HAVE. As those of you who’ve visited me at home will know I’m very fond of what silicone can do for me. Outside my body, that is.

Am I a geek?

Some would say yes, others would say no. The yes-sayers are members of my family and some of my friends who find my rather intimate relationship with my laptop and my phone unnerving and unnatural. The no-sayers would be fellow bloggers and tweeters who routinely build own websites and say things about XHTML that I don’t understand…

When I saw Geek Girl Meet-Up (link in Danish) announced on Twitter I was attracted to it, but also very much in doubt as to whether I belong there or not. I still am, to be honest, although I am now officially a participant. I have been asked by a true geek (and this, in my book, is VERY positive), my friend Lisa (link in Danish), to describe what geeky stuff I can contribute with. Hm.

I just don’t think I’m geeky enough to contribute in a setting like that. At least not with traditionally geeky stuff. But there’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. And that is Danish/international companies’ use of English as corporate language.

I like it. I like it if we can emerge from our self-sufficient little island and become part of the world out there – being colleagues at work with people from all over the world and let ourselves be enriched. And English is the obvious choice in our part of the world, where the German, French and Spanish we learn at school are far from sufficient to get us through much more than ordering a meal at a restaurant.

As you all know, I love the English language in all its richness and complexity. I even make a living, more or less, from my love of this language. I love Danish too and would probably love every language I learned well enough. When I read a really beautiful sentence I go all soft and “aahhh”. Guess that’s pretty geeky in a way…

I don’t claim to speak or write it perfectly – don’t think I ever will. But I feel much better about this after my years in England, where I found that most English people don’t either…

What I’m trying to get to is this: Corporate-Speak is NOT English. The language non-English people speak amongst themselves is of course English. It’s just not, well, you know, English. (And it’s not American either). Each time you enter a big international company or go to a conference and listen to people speak, you hear a new, slightly different, version of Corporate-Speak. Then, when you start working with them on their texts, you get into the strangest discussions about language. Like, can we use “difficult” words when not everybody understands them? My claim is, yes, absolutely. You cannot and should not lower the level to some sort of 10.000-words lingo that everybody understands. That would be terrible. We would never do that if we wrote ads, articles, etc. in our own language!

The reverse is also a problem. A kind of imagined “over-familiarity” with the English language. We’ve discussed this on Twitter lately and all the English/American and bi-lingual totally agree. When Danes speak English, they adapt a tone that’s even more blunt than the “original” Danish. Read an article (in Danish) about that here. The f… word, which I could never write, is overused in Denmark, because Danes don’t grasp just how nasty a word it actually is. The fact that it can be heard on television a lot (although in the UK and US it’s usually beeped out) and that rap-artists believe it’s the most common word in the English language, does NOT make it acceptable in book titles, conference blurbs and adverts. It just doesn’t. Some people will think that I’m just an old hag who disapproves of swearing and “modernity”. But it is not so. I wish I was less prone to swearing, but I do swear more than I like to admit. I just don’t say the f… word, unless… There should be a wide gap between what you write in the public sphere and what you say when you stub your toe on the table-leg.

So, what I am is a language-geek. I don’t want to be a custodian, watching over a language spoken in bygone times, but I want us to maintain a rich and easily understandable language, be it Danish or English or any other. Easily understandable in the sense that sentences are complete, punctuated in such a way that they make sense when you read them, and in the sense that “difficult” words are used where they are necessary and not to show off.

Flink – something only Danes can be. But are they?

So much to write about, such lack of inspiration.

I could write about Denmark’s new status as instigator of a world-wide war against Islam. If it wasn’t so incredibly depressing that I can’t bring myself to do it. Read about it here if you have the necessary stamina.

I could be techno-nerdy and write about Google Instant, but I haven’t made my mind up yet if I really need more speed… I tend to agree with Charlie Brooker.

What I will tell you about is a most unpleasant episode the other morning at Rungsted station, an otherwise very civilised place. Son and I were lurking in front of the doors into the kiosk, wondering whether we had time to go in there or not. We weren’t in the most intelligent of spots… A woman came out and slammed the door into son. I said two things out loud. First, to son, that it wasn’t the most intelligent position he’d chosen, secondly, to woman, that even if he was a bit in the way of the door, she could still apologise for banging the door into his face. She bent down, so her face was right in front of son’s and screamed into his face: YOUR MOTHER SAYS I SHOULD APOLOGISE. I’M VEEERY SORRY. IS THAT OKAY? then standing up and staring at me angrily. Honestly, I felt so sorry for her, what a sad sad life she must have to scream like that at an innocent child. So I sent her a big smile and wished for her that she might have a better rest-of-the-day, as she clearly needed it. Then of course she started screaming at me. Everybody on the platform stared at her.

My son was rather shocked, he’d never witnessed behaviour like that before – good for him! Made me think of new Danish initiative called F…… Flink (link in Danish). It’s not translatable – even though the f-word is known by most people. I’ll try to explain rather than translate: The f-word is used very freely here – with the distance there always is to words in a foreign language. No matter how familiar this language is. Same with the word love, which most Danes can say without blushing. The similar Danish word – not as easily. Flink is a very Danish word, somewhat related to hygge, which I’ve discussed with many English-speakers. It means nice, but is much narrower. You can be a flink person, but you can’t have a flink meal or a flink journey. So when you’re flink, you’re being a nice, friendly, decent person.

What the F…… Flink initiative tries – I fear in vain – is to get the Danes to be a lot more flinke to each other. We are usually really flinke to tourists and other visitors who are not too brown-skinned, but we’re certainly not always very flinke to each other. Episodes like the above are not unusual.

I try to be flink to other people every day. In fact I’ve made a promise to myself to “do a good deed a day”. I do it only for me. I’m not altruistic or anything. But it creates such a nice (no, not flink) feeling inside when you see the surprised and pleased smile on somebody else’s face when you’ve let them out in traffic, offered them shelter under your umbrella or your valid train ticket or whatever. And I’m very, very puzzled why everybody else don’t do the same (I do, luckily, know a lot of really flinke people who do the same, but out and about I meet lots of people who definitely don’t). It’s such an easy shortcut to the smug feel-good warmth we all love.

I wish I had the personality to be a real do-gooder, one of those who make a tangible difference to people in real need. You know, sell my house and donate the proceeds to the poor and live in a tent. Or working for some charity in Africa. Or, or, or. But I don’t. I just donate a tiny bit of my huge surplus occasionally so that I can continue living my comfortable life and even feel good about it.

Although I don’t really believe it’s going to happen, I really wish the F…… Flink initiative all the best. And hereby encourage *all* my readers to go out there and be flink. Not just today, but for the rest of your life.

Mood regulation

The last few weeks have taken their toll on my usually sanguine disposition. Some private matters weigh heavily on my mind and are hard to stow away in the little worry-boxes I am usually quite successful with.  Worry-boxes are where worries go when they’ve been dealt with. The worries don’t necessarily need to be solved, but have been looked at and sized up. It’s my belief that if you try to not think of something that worries you, it grows out there in the periphery and sometimes takes on proportions that are not relative to the original source of worry. On the other hand, if you examine your worry, you’ll first find out if there really is something to worry about or if you’ve just had worry induced from somebody else. Then, if there is something, wonder whether there’s anything – pleasant or unpleasant – you can do to mend the problem. If that’s not the case – and often it isn’t with worries – then it’s time for the box. Although I’ve never been an alcoholic or any other kind of addict, I’m rather addicted to AA’s serenity prayer:

“God, Give us the grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,             Courage to change the things which should be changed, And the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.”

This prayer works just as well without the God in front.

Sometimes however, these boxes leak. The worry sneaks out and attacks my train of thought when I least expect it. And then they become a real threat to my general well-being. And when my well-being is under threat, so is my family’s. So I’ve devised some tricks that cheat me into smiling. Once you’re smiling, the worry seems to diminish immediately. For the Harry Potter readers out there, it works a bit like when you have to fend off one of the scary dementors – by thinking of a really lovely memory.

For smiling tricks the web is a bottomless trough. However, most of the videos and jokes that circulate will fail to make me smile on a glum day. They are usually too shallow. So I look to a few trusted Facebook friends, bloggers and Twitter contacts, who’ll always twist reality in a way that’ll make me chuckle. And I do this very deliberately.

The video here was found on India Knight’s blog Posterous. I’m not entirely sure why I find it so utterly charming, I just do…

Then there’s something like this. A person has actually sat down and programmed a plug-in to remove politically incorrect words and phrases from blogs. The web is full of these altruistic people who do stuff only to make other people happy/laugh. Obviously, I’m also impressed with the young man’s skill, but he could have shown that in numerous other ways. Thanks to David Hewson who posted it on Twitter.

I’ve been following GalaDarling on and off for years since before she left New Zealand and she’s a sure bet to  make me smile. Sometimes it’s one of her hilarious beauty tips, at other times it’s her sincere effort to spread joy. Browse her site a bit. You’ll have to be a very grumpy old (wo)man not to find her utterly charming.

At other times it doesn’t have to be funny as such, but some people write so well and hit so many nails right on the head in such terrific prose that it makes me happy too (maybe also a bit envious, but I think I can deal with that). Here’s a couple of examples of people who write about their own lives in such a way that it’s relevant and interesting to others as well: Mrs. L in her 43rd Year, Lucy Fishwife who’s a very bookish sort of person and there’s Backwards in High Heels where Tania explains why she (and I) never ever use the ugly swearword c*** about anyone or in any context. Thank you Tania.

As you’ve probably gathered by now I work actively and consciously on my own happiness and I’ve written about it on this blog before. Because I know I’ve got some new lovely readers, I’ll link here to a few of my older posts about happiness.

Dealing with criticism

Acts of random kindness

Nancy Etcoff on happiness