Clouds of disinformation and climate change

Clouds of disinformation and climate change

Cloud is the term used for remote storage of images, files and other things in this digital age.

Highlighting Those in Need, with Anthony Bernard.

Every smartphone is connected to its cloud, just like mosquitoes follow the Scots in summer. Maybe it’s an acronym, CLOUD – Calamitous Load Of Unexpected Doom? Keeping all this information instantly available requires massive amounts of energy, with a lot of cooling as energy generates heat. We are all fooled into believing that smartphones and computers have no carbon footprint, when in fact they seriously contribute to global warming.

Software in new computers and smartphones monitors everything we explore online. Users’ interests are categorized and then fed with more information to support their original thoughts and reinforce their perceptions, however ill-advised they may be. Messages will be targeted to favorite items, advertisers will be alerted to more opportunities to sell them gambling, pizza, funeral services or anything else.

Ireland uses 20% of its electricity to power clouds from ‘data hubs’, which is helped by Irish tax laws encouraging international operators to base themselves there while still serving customers in other countries. A lot of water is needed to cool the electronics. Water shortages in the London area last summer were exacerbated by the cooling of data centers in the Slough with water from the Thames. Don’t worry, this column was typed on a 1999 iBook, made before all this smart stuff, with its own memory, no clouds, just coffee for the operator!

“Influencer” is the term for a regular user whose posts are widely read; Recently, a major promoter of macho violence was in the news after his arrest. Years ago such self-promoters on the playground might have been surrounded by ardent admirers who grew into a gang willing to follow the leader. Vlad Putin’s school days might be revealing, maybe some of his school friends are now oligarchs!

Today, with social media, a crowd can be gathered to follow a particular policy, issue, or whim; “Dislikes” result in people being excluded from the group. Nowhere is there a better or sadder example than the commotion surrounding the disappearance of poor Nicola Bulley. According to average statistics, in the three weeks she was missing before her body was found, maybe a hundred other people would have gone missing. Most would have been found unharmed, but some would have had an unfortunate outcome mixed with drugs, alcohol, gambling or mental health. Maybe a thousand cops did their best and mostly got it right. None of this was in the news; the only story was Nicola Bulley.

Reports say that every day someone commits suicide as a result of gambling, which is a disaster for their family and friends but goes unnoticed by the rest of us

Massive and easy data storage facilitates social media madness on specific topics apart from balanced news. This contributes to global warming and puts a significant strain on electricity and cooling water. We all assume that internet is free, but we all pay through our cellphone and wifi charges and suffer from the effects of climate change.

Social media opens up communication, but software distorts the way we deal with news and brings like-minded thinkers together. This makes it a haven for activists to shout louder than the fair-minded majority.

We should avoid getting confused or caught up by these trends. Global warming remains an issue; cattle exhale methane; Data hub clouds are worse

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *