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In 10 Years, Every Human Connected To the Internet Will Have a Timeline 209

Presto Vivace writes: O'Reilly Radar has an article about how ubiquitous tracking and collection of data will fundamentally change how we live. Quoting: "This timeline — beginning for newborns at Year Zero — will be so intrinsic to life that it will quickly be taken for granted. Those without a timeline will be at a huge disadvantage. Those with a good one will have the tricks of a modern mentalist: perfect recall, suggestions for how to curry favor, ease maintaining friendships and influencing strangers, unthinkably higher Dunbar numbers — now, every interaction has a history. This isn’t just about lifelogging health data, like your Fitbit or Jawbone. It isn’t about financial data, like Mint. It isn’t just your social graph or photo feed. It isn’t about commuting data like Waze or Maps. It’s about all of these, together, along with the tools and user interfaces and agents to make sense of it."
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In 10 Years, Every Human Connected To the Internet Will Have a Timeline

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:35AM (#49196093)

    This is already the case - we don't have to wait ten years. Except to actually have access to our own timelines - right now they are under tight government/corporate security.

    • by ranton ( 36917 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:47AM (#49196193)

      This story is about how this will fundamentally change the way we live (and government surveillance doesn't do that). The article mentions how a great deal of this data is already being collected and is somewhat accessible to the masses. But it contends that within 10 years a standard individual will have an instant connection to a very holistic view of this data.

      The social contract will fundamentally change when this information becomes so easily accessible. Knowing a slightly abridged version of the life story of everyone who walks past you in the supermarket instantaneously. Having the cliff notes of the past few conversations you had with every friend / coworker as soon as you are about to talk with them again. The benefits and of course the privacy concerns are staggering. But I am among those who believe the benefits will be so great that people will gladly give up their privacy for them. Mostly out of ignorance of what they are actually giving up, but they will lose it all the same.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:56AM (#49196295)

        Knowing a slightly abridged version of the life story of everyone who walks past you in the supermarket instantaneously.

        I have spent the last 20 years growing. I am not the very hostile and shy person I was years ago.

        To have people bring up things from 20 years ago and use it to judge me now would be a nightmare. At least with people who have known me all these years, they have seen the changes and have mostly forgotten or let go my past behavior. But to have people who see my past without context and the long and hard work I have put into being a better person would ruin me.

        Technology is increasingly removing our ability to make mistakes and move on with our lives. That is a hellish future.

        • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @10:24AM (#49196529) Journal

          Maybe technology will encourage people to learn forgiveness, and to filter out the superfluous.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06, 2015 @10:29AM (#49196577)

            Thanks for that. I needed a good laugh.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            This is not a technology problem. It is a human nature problems. A vast majority of people right now are more then willing to look the other way and understand that you do different things when you were younger. I see the problem is once the media gets involved or there is a ground swell publishing the incident or you are in a "group", people as individuals are afraid to admit they willing to look the other way because they themselves do not want to become the subject of the scrutiny. People are afraid

          • Unfortunately, so far, society here in the US has become even more unforgiving of a person's past. How often have you heard a statement along the lines that an employer should have known that a given employee was a risk? We've decided we can't have gun control so we will have to track any suggestion of mental illness in people to see if they could be a threat...
        • Ah, but doesn't everyone go through at least a mildly awkward adolescence? You'd see all their "crappy poetry written in blood' moments, too.
          • by mbone ( 558574 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @10:37AM (#49196673)

            Ah, but doesn't everyone go through at least a mildly awkward adolescence? You'd see all their "crappy poetry written in blood' moments, too.

            Yes, and what that means is that, while the youthful indiscretions of those favored by the system will be ignored, those of anyone who stands in the way of powerful interests will be used to persecute them.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          Technology is increasingly removing our ability to make mistakes and move on with our lives. That is a hellish future.

          This.

          And it's actually occurring today because the internet doesn't forget. This has never happened before in human history - sure people can write stuff down to preserve it, but they retain the ability to self-edit, hence why history belongs to the victors.

          But now, all your online activities are recorded pretty much permanently for everyone to see (sorry, privacy policies or settings just e

          • by suutar ( 1860506 )

            oh, they can't be kids anyway. That'd be neglect and abuse on the part of their parents.

          • But now, all your online activities are recorded pretty much permanently for everyone to see (sorry, privacy policies or settings just encourage people to spill the beans).

            Or they could re-release their history as a special edition with revisions, and wait for the original copies to go obsolete.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Obligatory viewing: Black Mirror's The Entire History of You [wikipedia.org] .

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by facetube ( 4023065 )

        Pervasive government surveillance doesn't fundamentally change the way we live? Tell that to the people who now self-censor to avoid ending up on a no-travel list, the journalists whose families are repeatedly detained at border crossings on manufactured "terrorism" suspicion, the technology companies and countries who are increasingly avoiding doing business with anyone in United States, the software developers who repeatedly get their laptops and phones confiscated at US ports of entry, the international

        • by ranton ( 36917 )

          Pervasive government surveillance doesn't fundamentally change the way we live? Tell that to the people who now self-censor to avoid ending up on a no-travel list, the journalists whose families are repeatedly detained at border crossings on manufactured "terrorism" suspicion, the technology companies and countries who are increasingly avoiding doing business with anyone in United States, the software developers who repeatedly get their laptops and phones confiscated at US ports of entry, the international tourists who now refuse to even fly through the US on their way to somewhere else, and the giant hole in basic infrastructure funding that's instead going toward a full-take federal wiretap facility in Utah.

          The social contract has already changed, and certainly not for the better.

          Everything you mention here probably only enters the mind of 1% of the population. Almost no US citizens self-censor to avoid a no-travel list, and almost no international tourists have a problem flying into a US airport. So like I said, it doesn't fundamentally change the way we live. Whether or not it should is another discussion.

    • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:52AM (#49196231) Homepage Journal
      I'm kinda glad I was born before the complete Timeline Age then.

      Sometimes people forget the importance of Not Being Seen [youtube.com].

    • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @12:37PM (#49198019) Journal
      Never mind 'What do you mean 'in ten years'', how about 'not at all'? I am not a participant in ANY social media at this point, and even when I did I NEVER used my real name or even allowed people to post photographs of my face. When forced to use my real name, it's for things like purchases. There is no 'timeline' for me, nor would I allow such, and to sit there and say 'you can't avoid it' is extremely naive and defeatist. There still is such a thing as privacy -- you just have to fight for it.
      • by spauldo ( 118058 )

        Same goes for me.

        Sure, there aren't a lot of "spauldos" out there, so people could find stuff from me by that name (hopefully they see that attribution in the iptools howto and think it was for something technical and important rather than correcting the author's use of "learn" and "teach"), but my social media presence is almost null. I probably reveal more of myself on slashdot than anywhere else, and I only post on here a few times a year.

        I never install apps on my phone that require access to extra stu

      • by ColaMan ( 37550 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @07:19PM (#49201695) Homepage Journal

        I am not a participant in ANY social media at this point

        You don't define slashdot as 'social media'?

        But I know you live in the US. You're somewhere in your late 40's. And like to ride bikes. And train on said bikes a lot because you're on a road race team. And that's just the first page of your slashdot comments that I idly flicked through.

        I suppose you could tell me that's all part of the plan and that you're actually a dog........

  • by skgrey ( 1412883 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:36AM (#49196105)
    Great, so now the breakup of my ex-girlfriend from years is going to be used by others when judging my worth in relationships, or maybe health data. Or finance. Data is beautiful, but it can be really evil. Deeds will no longer be forgotten at some point; we'll be the sum of all of our decisions on the inside *and now* the outside for everyone to see.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      And because there will be so much information out there, the value placed on individual pieces of information will be that much lower. I mean, the bottom line is when you have access to all the information about everyone, no one really cares that much that you had a bad breakup in '09 or that your appendix burst back in '11. Because that kind of shit happens to everyone.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yeah right. What's really going to happen is that one time you shit your pants in grade 5 will be one of the most memorable things you ever did in your life. Flooding people with data doesn't make people treat it all as noise, it makes them treat most of it as noise except a few notable cases (good or bad). It will distill everyone's life down to a set of easily digestible factoids, and /dev/null the rest.

        Fuck that.

        AC because I shit my pants in grade 5.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Don't worry. As usual the article is written by a nitwit who doesn't know jack shit and just started to realize what Internet is.
      After a couple of years the person will have a more realistic outlook on the technology. Unfortunately the eternal September ensures that another nitwit will write the same scare story again.

    • Everyone else will be in the same boat as you, because you'll get to see their previous breakups as well. Perhaps we'll all be better off when there's more transparency in the world, and others can see what you've done with your life, and you can see what they've done with theirs. As recording technology and data capturing improves, we're going to see an increase of information available on everyone - whether they want it or not. This is a really difficult concept to swallow because we value privacy so m
    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Maybe people will actually keep private things private?...
      Naw...
      It is amazing the differences I see see between my friends in their 30s and up vs some of the young people I know.
      A friend of mine got divorced and I know she got divorced and I know she is sad. I do not know the exact details of why. She is someone I know but was not really close to. Her close friends have all the details but they are not posting them online.

      The 20 somethings that I know post everything public. I know that one broke up because

    • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @11:57AM (#49197551)
      No, it won't be the breakup with your ex-girlfriend from years ago that you will be judged on. You will be judged based on that STD that your timeline says you had ten years ago, as reported by a doctor you never saw (or even heard of). The problem isn't that deeds will never be forgotten (well, OK that will be a problem too). It is that deeds you never committed, but the database says you did, will never be forgotten.
      • When is /. going to finally add the "sad but true" mod? Certainly applies...
      • by vyvepe ( 809573 )
        That is it. The data in timelines will be manipulated.
        • Even without manipulation the data will be corrupted with incorrect information. If people come to rely on these timelines there will be no way to correct such erroneous information. Or if it can be corrected it will only be after spending a lot of effort to do so (and probably money).
  • Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:41AM (#49196141) Homepage Journal

    In 10 years, half of humanity will have had enough of this bullshit and will have hacked their way to privacy, or have decided that the internet just isn't worth it, or will have adapted multiple identities so as to confuse others.

    And I should know, as I am traditionally an early-adopter, and have taken all three paths myself. I am also currently at the point of thinking it's better to destroy the current internet and rebuild it -- but without all the bullshit.

    • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jeffmeden ( 135043 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:49AM (#49196209) Homepage Journal

      In 10 years, half of humanity will have had enough of this bullshit and will have hacked their way to privacy, or have decided that the internet just isn't worth it, or will have adapted multiple identities so as to confuse others.

      And I should know, as I am traditionally an early-adopter, and have taken all three paths myself. I am also currently at the point of thinking it's better to destroy the current internet and rebuild it -- but without all the bullshit.

      The internet is certainly better off without the 50% which is complete bullshit. The problem is, at this point we have no idea which 50% that is.

      • The internet is certainly better off without the 50% which is complete bullshit.

        50%? You're way under-estimating, especially if you go on a straight SNR ratio. One stupid auto-playing video that should have been a brief essay (happens on Yahoo all the time) is enough to make a page almost 100% pure bullshit.

    • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

      I agree, just look at teenagers and the services they choose - they use snapchat because they think the data is gone quickly, they only use Facebook minimally to keep contact with parents etc.

      I think it's a half and half thing, over half of the population are sheep and don't care enough about being tracked / are too lazy to try and do anything about it / or even think it's ok.

    • You're right, but you're too optimistic. The Internet can not be built without the bullshit. It's impossible, and I can prove it.

      What do we get excited/happy about as people? Let's be very basic. Also, let's constrain this with the ways that we can generally come across as happy people while communicating in text online. By "excited," I mean that we're happy enough about something that we want to talk to others about it.

      We get excited about an optimistic future where things may happen that we wan
    • This panopticon will happen.
      As the article says, it really has only just begun.

      However, in my view, by the end of this century a "timeline" will be viewed as an incredibly narcissistic way to "live" and the vast majority of humanity won't partake in it.

      There will come a time when people will want to live like human beings again, and not some kind of sad row in a table or formula in a spreadsheet.
      Human beings with the understanding that "No one here gets out alive". and that life is for living, not
    • by khallow ( 566160 )

      I am also currently at the point of thinking it's better to destroy the current internet and rebuild it

      What would be the point? You'd have the same people on the internet, you'd have the same people running it. And nothing keeping people from making their own internet right now.

  • by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:43AM (#49196151) Journal

    Those without a timeline will be at a huge advantage

    There, fixed that for you. If influencing strangers is named as an advantage, I strongly disagree. Strangers more likely influence anyone with a publicly available profile. Remaining anonymous gets more important every day.

    • Honestly, this really sounds like a person who is addicted to life on the net, and can't imagine how people can be content with just some moderate interaction with e-mail, a website like slashdot, or some form of social media of their choosing... but could probably live without it as well. Having grown up without it, some of us understand that a fulfilling live is possible without the internet, just... not quite as convenient. He talks about being at a "huge disadvantage" without it, but seemed fairly vag

      • by Enigma2175 ( 179646 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @10:45AM (#49196767) Homepage Journal

        Seriously? Read a book. Watch the History Channel

        Why, so I can learn about "Ancient Aliens"? Or learn about how items are priced when pawned? Or keep track of the doings of "Swamp People"? I support your idea (learn history!) but watching the History Channel is one of the worst ways to do that.

        • I'm apparently a little dated, as I haven't had cable for the last six or seven years. It used to have really good documentaries, but I guess they've traded that in for lowest-common-denominator programming. Too bad.

          Well, I'm sure you can still find good historical documentaries out there somewhere.

    • The author seemed delusional, especially on the point you make.

      At an interview you are better off telling your story from scratch or by personal reputation than having to deal with someone who has already googled up some tidbits and let their mind fill in the blanks. Plenty of private details that will never affect your work performance (church affiliation, political party, age) can dramatically affect someones perception of you and are hard unseat (especially if you are unaware of how you have been judged

  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:44AM (#49196159) Homepage Journal

    Does this mean that the follies of your youth become held against you for your entire life? Even if we were somehow shielded until we're 18, youthful mistakes don't stop then. There has been quite a bit of study now that important developments in the brain continue into the mid 20's. Heck, since we often accept anecdotal fiction as evidence around /., think of Scrooge. He had a life-changing event relatively late in life.

    At one extreme, we freeze everyone into the patterns of their youth. At the other, "I've changed, I've learned since then," becomes a mantra that absolves all responsibility. The difference here is that in the real world, people know you, your speech and actions, and how they all change with time, so they're at least equipped to make a decent judgement, even if that doesn't always happen. In non-meat-space those things aren't necessarily true, especially as so much incoming information is filtered to confirm one's current world-view.

  • What then? As little as it seems now? Or by then will no one care a shred about privacy?
  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:45AM (#49196169)

    You might call it "Timeline" I call it "Big Brother". Same difference.

    Edit the time line and you have edited history.

    And the advantage is doubleplusgood.

  • er, okay. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:45AM (#49196173) Homepage
    The argument being asserted is predicated on the idea that in 10 years everyone will be a drooling simpleton incapable of action outside of consuming the product. you're always going to have hackers writing pedometers for android and scoffing at a pay for play system that puts them at a genuine disadvantage. Its why safety razors and thrift shop clothing are making a comeback despite a multibillion dollar shoe sales convention with a rubber ball.

    Those without a timeline will be at a huge disadvantage.

    you told me the same thing about google plus, facebook, myspace, twitter, instagram, youtube, vine, secondlife, and tumblr. I seem to have suffered no loss in "advantage" though. Let me put it in your terms, maybe that will help. #GETOFFMYLAWN.

    • Amen!
      In fact, the timeline will be a huge disadvantage. You will be profiled and influenced much more than you can influence others.
      Do you think your "like" is really that important? It's no more important than a drop in the ocean, but together with billions of others it is worth money.
      You will be declined form job interviews due to your timeline. It may be a concert or a movie. Maybe it is the data on how many times you moved that gets you. Hiring someone who you find out could be likely to move withi
    • Please don't see this as argumentative, it's meant just to be thought provoking. You say you are at no disadvantage, having avoided these things. Your life might be great now, but can you know for absolute certain that it couldn't have been any better had you adopted these thing?

      Without a ghost of christmas present, you really cannot imagine how different your life (positive or negative) would be with these things.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If I can google for where I left my keys last night, they can have all my privacy and keep it. For fucks sake where are my keys!!?!?!

  • by duck_rifted ( 3480715 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:49AM (#49196205)
    We have enough ways for small groups to try and keep a stranglehold on the lives of others already. The very last thing we need is some manipulable artificial construct to dehumanize us in our real world relationships like we already are online. Will we have to live under rocks to get some kind of peace of mind in the future?

    Screw it, let's go make a new Amish colony. We'll have conversations in person where we can actually see that we're not talking to robots, and mirror neurons will actually mean something. We'll be human again. Who's with me?
    • Screw it, let's go make a new Amish colony.

      So, you think you need to reinvent the Amish lifestyle for some reason, to do away with technology, when they already have a perfectly good lifestyle that has done away with technology. Good luck with that. A few years from now I bet you will think you need a "new" way of talking face to face, by some magic wires and magnetic coils. The reinvention shouldn't stop there, though! Transistorize it, and write a packet layer to make it easier for several users to share the channel. Are you writing this dow

      • Calm down there, spunky. I'm not saying that technology is bad. I'm saying that we've already outpaced our capacity to bond with other humans via our most prevalent form of communication, and it might be a good idea to let that dust settle a bit before we start denying people jobs or friendships because they argued with a troll that one time.

        Were we discussing this in person, you'd be able to tell that the Amish thing is a joke. I shouldn't have to tell you that online either, but I do. Because to yo
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Screw it, let's go make a new Amish colony. We'll have conversations in person where we can actually see that we're not talking to robots, and mirror neurons will actually mean something. We'll be human again. Who's with me?

      *crickets*

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      In an Amish colony, everyone will know everything about you.

  • I don't know (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ugen ( 93902 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:51AM (#49196221)

    For now the big 3 credit reporting agencies can't even make a decent snapshot of what I *am* now, never mind any past history.

    I am constantly surprised by incorrect addresses, wrong phones, misspelled names and other such junk (mostly because data entry clerks elsewhere can't be bothered to enter data right, or poorly designed "business systems" don't handle it properly).

    My driver license from one state was not properly canceled, when I moved and obtained license in another - so for a while, unknowingly, I had two parallel driver licenses and separate records (even though presumably states share that information).

    The only place where information about me seems to resemble anything like reality is my own linkedin profile, and that's because I care to keep it correct.

    That's not to say there isn't a ton of information on each and every one of us, and the amount keeps growing. However, most of that information is of poor quality, and not organized - something I wouldn't expect to change anytime soon. The only danger I see is that new generation is conditioned to maintain their own timeline and do the information-cleaning job for the big corporations and government for free. So, let's wait and see, shall we.

    • Up until recently, I used to get junk mail addressed to me now deceased, then ailing in a nursing home grandmother at my home. She's never even lived in the same state that I'm in now. It's creepy.
  • This is a contradicting concept. Few weeks ago on Craigslist there was an article stating that Privacy will be a luxury. Today's article states that those who will be private will be somewhat disadvantaged.

    To the best of my knowledge, many of the people that I know have multiple internet identities and email accounts.

    Even if cash is banned and internet access is only provided with valid government issued biometric ID, marketers can continue dreaming into their fantasies about unlimited marketing potential a

  • So, in our post-manufacturing, robot-serviced future economy based on selling ad views, I want to be paid for access to my timeline. Why should the data warehouse get all the revenue? They are just another IT shop, no value added there, their costs should be ruthlessly minimized. (Same goes for other utility services: ISPs, cell phone operators. They never took any financial risks, the users guaranteed the entire investment.)

    If the only recognized way to "create value" is to display possible interest in buy

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:54AM (#49196267)
    A couple of generations ago this was also true for most people. In a small town everyone knew you, your family, and everything about you. It some places that's still true. You did (and do) have the option of moving away; but that meant you were starting out in a new place with no timeline.
  • by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudsonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday March 06, 2015 @09:57AM (#49196309) Journal
    Anyone who believes this garbage deserves what they get. Time to go outside for a bit, people. Your virtual existence is not real, and if you think it defines who you are, you're as sick as the junkie who thinks the most important thing in their life is their next fix.
    • the junkie who thinks the most important thing in their life is their next fix.

      I'd reply to this, but I have to check Facebook now. And refresh. Refresh. Duh, I forgot about twitter!

    • by radl33t ( 900691 )
      Good unintended analogy. As with the vast majority of recreational drug users, most people will live in both worlds without having an issue. I don't know why my virtual existence wouldn't define who I am since it is effectively just a database of data about me.
      • I think most people will agree that there's a difference between a "recreational user" and a "junkie". (Of course, most junkies will also claim that they're "just recreational users" and can "quit any time", same as smokers, gamblers, and alkies).
  • Basically, what this guy did was say "Hey, Privacy is EVIL"

    His concept of a timeline is simply the opposite of privacy.

    All the gains he thinks are present are gains for other people.

    He refuses to realize that those gains for other people come at a cost - and the cost is paid for by you.

    Timelines are great - for advertisers.

    They are not great fore you. They do nothing good for you, except make it easier for other people to judge you.

    Guess what, we already have something like that - it's called a credit history.

    Yeah, a few - less than 10% - people benefit from having a credit history. But far more people suffer from having it. There are identity thieves, there are bad (and damaging) decisions made based on false ideas about credit history every single day - like hiring/promoting people based on it.

    This guy is wrong about everything he believes in.

    • by radl33t ( 900691 )
      Interesting analogy. I checked my credit score recently to see the effect of playing CC games. I took a huge hit, but I still have excellent credit. Credit Karma had a neat feature where I could compare myself based on age, income, sex to others. I was surprised to see that I am only in the 55-60% percentile. Since I'm still offered the cheapest rates of capital, it seems to me that about 40% of similar people are offered cheap capital, thus benefiting from credit history.

      I was weary about facebook and g
  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @10:03AM (#49196347) Journal
    The movie, In Time [imdb.com], touches on the subject of a timeline for a person. As Wikipedia relates [wikipedia.org], Harlan Ellison had already written a similar story as well as a few others.

    Despite this, I can see people not appreciating or caring about a timeline. I know it's hard to believe but there are millions (billions?) of people who use the Net strictly for general communication and research rather than the be all and end all to life.

    As we've seen with smart phones, more technology does not necessarily make our lives easier. People are becoming so addictive to being connected, of needing to see if their lives are validated through tweets and pictures, that this timeline may send some over the edge as they desperately search for something to make themselves seem like someone.
  • by David_Hart ( 1184661 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @10:07AM (#49196371)

    Private social media sites exists for the rich and famous. How long before we have two social media sites. One that is public and one just for our close friends and family?

    In a way, we are already doing this through the privacy settings (public, vs friends, etc.). It's just not as finely tuned or as effective as it should be.

    My point is that even though people will have full timelines on the Internet, people will be taught from an early age what should be public and what should be kept private. The biggest problem today is that we are still figuring this out and people aren't trained to think this way, so almost everything is public

  • If you have been paying attention over the past five years, you know that anyone writing about what technology will be like in ten years is an idiot.

    A.

  • i use google and facebook, but sparingly

    i don't have a fitbit and don't keep track of my biometrics because it's fucking stupid to count the number of steps i take daily or record my pulse all day long

    i don't use waze or Maps that often because i have a brain and can figure things out on my own if there is traffic or some train is running slow. or it's fucking useless to use Maps if you have one route to work and taking shortcuts takes just as long. i only use it as a quick traffic check or if i'm driving

  • This "timeline" is the ultimate privacy nightmare and will be a blight on all those that suffer it.

    "Show me six lines written by the most honest man in the world, and I will find enough therein to hang him"

    If you thought your employer seeing your Facebook was bad, that was a little taste compared to what they'd do with this.

  • by Katatsumuri ( 1137173 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @10:43AM (#49196737)

    What is all this babble about?
    - a modern mentalist
    - how to curry favor
    - Dunbar numbers
    - Fitbit
    - Jawbone
    - Mint
    - Waze
    - It’s about all of these, together

    What kind of parallel universe do you come from?

    I usually don't mind looking up a new term or name on Google or Wikipedia, but this author just keeps throwing up, and it doesn't look appetizing.

  • You know all these kids, teens and young adults who are virtual shut-ins in Japan? Now imagine that 95% of the world population is like that.

    The only way to beat this "timeline" problem is to have as little direct interaction with people as possible.

    The good news is, a huge percentage of Slashdot readers have nothing to fear.

  • ... the 1980's were a blur. Now, they'll be a pixelated blur.

  • by rockmuelle ( 575982 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @11:10AM (#49197045)

    A few random thoughts on this:

    Influencing people by having instant recall is a classic sales trick. Old school sales people wrote notes in their Rolodex to remember spouse's names, birthdays etc,. Today, Salesforce, Zoho, and the like (hell, even linkedin) handle this role. However, as soon as you realize that the sales person remembered something using a CRM rather than actually remembering it, that interaction quickly becomes awkward. In the past, sales techniques like these weren't well known outside of sales circles. Nowadays, everyone knows about them and they're less effective. The value in the technique is that people weren't aware it was being used and mistook the sales person remember personal details as actual friendship, rather than just a sales trick. Same will happen with timelines - we'll quickly sort those who use it as a gimmick and those who are sincere.

    Another angle is the fitbit/life tracking. You know who obsessively tracks everything they do in hopes of improving themselves? People who obsessively track everything in hopes of improving themselves. The rest of us don't. Those people will always be around and will use these tools, the rest of us won't.

    More importantly on the personal side of things: anyone who's accumulated a lifetime's worth of photos knows you never really go back an look at them in an detail. Sure, once in a while you'll reminisce, but you never do the detailed analysis of your past that these data hoarding stories predict. Instead, you live your life in the present, learning from the past with an eye toward the future. A few million years of evolution has made our brains very good at that. Every attempt to document and catalog our lives externally has failed to really live up to what our brain already does (hint: we likely don't have perfect recall for evolutionarily important reasons).

    From the corporate side, data will be tracked as long as it can be traced back to profits. Right now, most of the profits are going to companies selling big data analysis services. It's only a matter of time before their customers move on to the next marketing trend.

    trl;dr: live in the present and stop trying to cheat nature. :)

    -Chris

    ps: yes, the government collecting all this data is scary as hell. Voting can help fix that (at least in America - it'll take a few elections, but it's possible).

  • Those trying to influence somebody with a good one will have the tricks of a modern mentalist: perfect recall, suggestions for how to curry favor, ease maintaining friendships and influencing strangers

    Information is power, think before handing too much of it over to the marketing dudebros.

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @11:37AM (#49197327)

    In 10 year All of humanity will have ascended a higher plane of existence in which link-baiting, trolling and attempts at viral propagation of marketing propaganda will become so ineffective people will no longer bother to try.

  • by rock_climbing_guy ( 630276 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @11:44AM (#49197421) Journal
    Something tells me that this will be used to make Asperger's geeks into pariahs even more than they already are. It will make the already enormous pressure to conform to the group 100x heavier than it already is. Suicides will occur because people are embarrassed by their "timeline".

    Comparing "timelines" could make body image issues look like child's play.

  • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Friday March 06, 2015 @11:51AM (#49197491)

    Not everyone is going to give a damn, to be honest - we don't all live and breathe for things like Twitbook or whatever they are called.

    I mean, I'm hardly a luddite, being a UNIX sysadmin, developing web applications in J2EE and so on, but I have only just got my first smartphone - and I have spent most of the time getting rid of crap I don't need or want. It's possible that sales guys actually believe in the hype when they go 'This Change Everything!!!!' from time to time, but it doesn't really. Think about it realistically; the internet has changed many of the ways we interact with information, but in many ways it is still the same sort of shape: Wikipedia has replaced the Encyclopedia and made it a lot easier to find out about things, but it is still, basically, an encyclopedia. On-line shopping is still shopping; we look at things, we pay for them etc. The internet, for at it's usefulness, has not "changed everything", it has just made the same old thing more convenient.

    There is a sort of Darwinian-like selection that goes on in all this: a lot of new technology is developed all the time, but most of it does not survive; in many cases because it isn't acutally that useful. Will it be compellingly useful to have complete timelines for every person on the planet? I doubt it; a lot of the data that can be collected will come from involuntary sources - such as the cheap, disposable computing devices that are one the way in. Never heard of them? Not surprising, perhaps, but there are in fact companies already now that make business from producing ultra-thin, printable computers, which can collect their electric power from ambient sources, and which will be fully networked. So, much of the data from people's "timeline" will come from such devices embedded in wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and clothes. There will GB of data from your underwear, just for starters. How useful is that going to be? People's video logs will be a very minor part of it, I can guarantee you. It's a fad, nothing more.

  • Ah, no, that's not our future. In ten years global conflict, greed, and social pushback will cause civilization to collapse, reducing the world to an agrarian economy similar to the mid-nineteenth century. Technology of all sorts will be condemned as the cause of our problems, to which the solution will be ignorance, intolerance, and cultural isolation. Anyone who disagrees with the opinion of the majority will be purged from society. As a result, all digital Timelines will simply ... end.

    On a more positive

  • Last time I heard, people are leaving facebook in droves...
  • The prediction here is made by extending the present, but the future is never that predictable. Look at snapchat and google allowing deletion of entries. The demand for ephemeral data is growing, and this directly contradicts the premises. What this doesn't take into account is the people NOT wanting this who will invent ways to serve those who don't want it either... and when that market surpasses the Timeline reseller market, this prophecy will not be fulfilled.

    Timeline is a technology that is already
  • We all have a timeline already. Acxiom has been tracking electronic spending and any other records they can get a hold of since 1969. Every adult in a first world country who isn't living off grid is tracked. Your profile is meticulously maintained and sold off to whoever wants it. They can infer women's menstrual cycles and let marketers know the best time to send targeted ads when they are most likely to have success. That is just the tip of the iceberg of the way these big data companies can influence yo

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