Scott Dewing

Jefferson Journal Contributor

Scott Dewing is a technologist, teacher, and writer. He writes the technology focused column "Inside the Box" for the Jefferson JournalScott lives on a low-tech farm in the State of Jefferson. He was born in the same year the Internet was invented and 3 days before men first landed on the moon. This does not make him special--just old.

In his essay “The Morality of Things,” the late writer Bruce Chatwin asserted, “All civilizations are by their very nature ‘thing-oriented’ and the main problem of their stability has been to devise new equations between the urge to amass things and the urge to be rid of them.”

Chatwin was obsessed with things. Before emerging as a prominent and much-celebrated travel writer with a keen sensibility for place, Chatwin worked as an art dealer at Sotheby’s where he became an expert in Impressionist art.

Tinder Is The Night

May 29, 2014

 

"Someday I’m going to find

somebody and love him and

love him and never let him go.”

‑from Tender Is The Night
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Internet was not designed with security in mind. It was developed by computer scientists, most who knew one another personally, with the goal of interconnecting computers (at the time, large mainframes) and moving data back and forth. Security adds a layer of complexity and the task before them was complex enough. So they pressed forward, perhaps unaware that they were laying an unsecure foundation for what would decades later become a critical global communications infrastructure that today has more than 8 billion computing devices connected to it.

Shattered Windows

Dec 31, 2013

An “operating system” is what underlies all the various digital devices you use on a daily basis. Without it, your smartphone, computer, or tablet is just a collection of silicon, plastic, various metals, and some glass. The operating system, or OS, is the software that allows these otherwise inanimate objects to come to life. Other applications hum along on top of the OS. Without it, these apps are just a collection of code that can do nothing.

Every new technology is a Frankenstein. Once it is created it is no longer in the control of its creator and once released into the world, it may behave in ways the creator never intended. That’s not to say that all new technologies are monsters; rather, it’s to point out the inherent duality in every new technology to be both good and bad. To put it simply: technology is not neutral.

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