What is Facebook?

A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics.
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retrofuturist
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What is Facebook?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:20 am

Greetings,

Well, well, well, what's this...?

Pentagon Kills Lifelog Project

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Wikipedia wrote:Facebook is an American online social media and social networking service company based in Menlo Park, California. Its website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.
Check the date of the article.

:spy:

:ugeek:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

SarathW
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Re: What is Facebook?

Post by SarathW » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:31 am

You are too late.
By the way I do not have a face book page.
But I have DW page.
:tongue:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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retrofuturist
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Re: What is Facebook?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:35 am

Greetings Sarath,
SarathW wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:31 am
You are too late.
By the way I do not have a face book page.
But I have DW page.
Nice - good call.

I have a Facebook account, but I don't use it nowadays for a lot other than for promoting events that I host.

As I see it, I have little to fear personally by having a Facebook account, and that Facebook will be getting their comeuppance soon enough. I predict there will be an Internet Bill of Rights (or equivalent) come about before I have cause to be overly concerned about what they might do with my personal data.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Bundokji
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Re: What is Facebook?

Post by Bundokji » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:01 am

Why we, as human beings, are so concerned about privacy?

If our actions are praiseworthy, why do we worry if others know about us?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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pilgrim
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Re: What is Facebook?

Post by pilgrim » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:07 am

Bundokji wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:01 am
Why we, as human beings, are so concerned about privacy?

If our actions are praiseworthy, why do we worry if others know about us?
Because there are morons who post their nudie pics and criminal activities on FB. Personally I approve of FB's use of my data. It's like having a free personal secretary. And I won't post on FB what I won't tell my secretary.

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No_Mind
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Re: What is Facebook?

Post by No_Mind » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:13 am

Bundokji wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:01 am
Why we, as human beings, are so concerned about privacy?

If our actions are praiseworthy, why do we worry if others know about us?
Not right point of view. We do not mind if those of whom we approve know of us.

But we do mind if our identity is "scraped" by an unknown person or entity

Otherwise give us your photo, name, address, phone number here

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Bundokji
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Re: What is Facebook?

Post by Bundokji » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:53 am

I raised the hypothetical question as it can be a useful tool for reflection.

I remember Ajahn Jayasaro once telling a story about Ajahn Chah and his ability to read minds (the story about a monk who wanted to eat a lot of rice), and how monks felt uncomfortable when they knew that someone could read their minds, but at the same time, how this fear itself made them more aware of their thoughts.

From my understanding of Buddhism, hiding or revealing in themselves are not necessarily a measure of how wholesome an action is. For instance, the Buddha discouraged his disciples to show off their psychic powers. It seems that the intention behind the action (or inaction) is the criteria.

Nevertheless, we generally tend to hide things that we know that they are unwholesome. Most of the users of Facebook (and this can be extended to the vast majority of human beings) act seeking future gratification of sensuality and this comes at a huge expense, that what we hide from others becomes a mental habit and we tend to hide it from ourselves, and when we are confronted with it, it gives rise to painful feelings of guilt and shame.

More generally, i think those who experienced a breach of their privacy can be lucky if they know how to deal with it. There is something therapeutic when circumstances expose us.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

dharmacorps
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Re: What is Facebook?

Post by dharmacorps » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:24 pm

Whatever you do, don't google Total Information Awareness.

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Mkoll
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Re: What is Facebook?

Post by Mkoll » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:40 pm

dharmacorps wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:24 pm
Whatever you do, don't google Total Information Awareness.
Reminds me of the film Minority Report but with technology instead of psychic humans. As artificial intelligence technology is further developed, it could look more and more like that.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Justsit
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Re: What is Facebook?

Post by Justsit » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:55 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:53 am
I raised the hypothetical question as it can be a useful tool for reflection...

Nevertheless, we generally tend to hide things that we know that they are unwholesome. Most of the users of Facebook (and this can be extended to the vast majority of human beings) act seeking future gratification of sensuality and this comes at a huge expense, that what we hide from others becomes a mental habit and we tend to hide it from ourselves, and when we are confronted with it, it gives rise to painful feelings of guilt and shame.

More generally, i think those who experienced a breach of their privacy can be lucky if they know how to deal with it. There is something therapeutic when circumstances expose us.
There is a difference between wanting to hide something and an expectation of privacy. A person's financial and medical information should not be available without express consent. Nothing to do with hiding or guilt and shame, and certainly not "therapeutic" to have it published or used for illicit or illegal purposes.

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Bundokji
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Re: What is Facebook?

Post by Bundokji » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:56 pm

Justsit wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:55 pm
There is a difference between wanting to hide something and an expectation of privacy. A person's financial and medical information should not be available without express consent. Nothing to do with hiding or guilt and shame, and certainly not "therapeutic" to have it published or used for illicit or illegal purposes.
Where does the expectation of privacy come from?

In monotheistic religions, after the fall of Adam and Eve from heaven and descended into earth, they looked for fig leaves to cover themselves. An allegorical yet powerful story in my opinion.

At a very early age, we are taught that different body parts hold different meaning. Sexual organs for example are treated differently than the rest of the body and even if you go to the beach or to a swimming pool, you are allowed to expose all of your body except certain areas (we call them private parts) hence the idea of consent is emphasized in sexual relationships. And you might have noticed that sexual scandals have been used frequently as a blackmailing tool.

Not long ago, the BBC broadcasted a series called "shaming". There are groups on the internet (mainly from Morocco) who make a living by acting as if they were an attractive female by using a fabricated video, and they ask their victims to chat on Skype, then they film them masturbating and then blackmail them by threatening them to publish the video if they do not pay. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of human beings masturbate, and yet, if this becomes a public knowledge, it becomes a scandal. Strange, is it not!

As the body is divided into parts holding different meanings, the human psyche seems to be equally divided. You might have noticed that most comments on this thread were related to how we associate certain information with certain people. For example, pilgrim said "I won't post on FB what I won't tell my secretary", and No_Mind said "We do not mind if those of whom we approve know of us" and you said "A person's financial and medical information should not be available without express consent".

What i am trying to say is that living in a society that is based on "role playing" created this fragmentation in our psyche. Living with people brings about many benefits, but also comes at a great expense. Just look at human insecurities both physically and psychologically. Our "self" which is a reflection of our social interactions is divided, somehow we get too involved in the game to the extent that it becomes real through identification with the roles we play.

If the purpose of Buddhist practice is to end psychological fear, then understanding the idea of "privacy" becomes essential in my opinion. It is beneficial if (and only if) it is understood from practical point of view as you and other discussant already stated. However, if it seen to be something real (rather than a mere convention) it is a cause of suffering. This is somehow similar to the idea of "human rights", it is something we invented and it can be useful (but also at an expense which is a sense of entitlement and lack of gratitude), but if taken to be more than what it is, it turns into suffering.

To sum up, ideally, a wise man has nothing to hide except for practical reasons, and if for whatever reason his/her privacy has been breached, it won't be a cause of suffering as it is no longer believed to be something real in the first place.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

Justsit
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Re: What is Facebook?

Post by Justsit » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:01 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:20 am
Greetings,

Well, well, well, what's this...?

...

Check the date of the article.

:spy:

:ugeek:

Paul. :)
OK, but as my scientist friend repeatedly reminds me, correlation does not imply causation.

Justsit
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Re: What is Facebook?

Post by Justsit » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:22 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:56 pm
Where does the expectation of privacy come from?...
In US law, it comes from the Fourth Amendment. In business transactions, it comes from confidentiality statements, consent forms, etc. In health care, it comes from HIPAA regulations. (HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. Your medical information cannot be shared without your expressed consent.)

Bundokji wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:56 pm
...ideally, a wise man has nothing to hide except for practical reasons...
Such as?

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Bundokji
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Re: What is Facebook?

Post by Bundokji » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:14 pm

Justsit wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:22 pm
...ideally, a wise man has nothing to hide except for practical reasons...
Such as?
Our worldly laws are not meant to be perfect, but they are necessary to organize the relationships between individuals within the group (practical reasons). This is why the idea of "ownership" is a necessary evil (a corner stone) to build our worldly law around it. And the idea of privacy is a by-product of this idea of ownership.

When the idea of ownership is believed to be real (rather than a necessary evil), then this becomes a cause of emotional entanglement. We are no longer using the "thing" but the "thing" that we have invented is using us. We are, somehow, enslaved by what we believe we own. The very realization that the whole thing is meant for practical reason only is a cause for detachment.

Then, the question arises: if we own nothing, even this body and mind are to be used, then how should we use them? By looking at the human condition, and our vulnerability to suffering, life's chief task becomes to end suffering in oneself, and to act in a way that does not lead to suffering in others. For instance, our worldly laws (due to delusion of ownership) in many cases, becomes a tool to twist the truth and to serve selfish ends. If you look at recent political crisis, you would see that countries still go to security council to give the impression that they are "law abiding" but the truth is the least of their concerns. Satisfying their immediate pleasures becomes the main driver of their behavior. What they choose to either reveal or hide is to serve their narrow interests. In their mind, their interests and that of others are mutually exclusive most of the time.

The very understanding of suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering and the way to end suffering is what drives the wise. When he speaks, his aim is the truth, and when he is silent, his aim is also the truth. He is fully aware of the idea of privacy and its practical uses, hence he does not misuse it. The misuse happens when it is not seen for what it is, either by under valuing its usefulness, or by over valuing it by seeing in it more than what is really there. All in my opinion.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

Justsit
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: What is Facebook?

Post by Justsit » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:11 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:14 pm
Justsit wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:22 pm
...ideally, a wise man has nothing to hide except for practical reasons...
Such as?
Our worldly laws are not meant to be perfect, but they are necessary to organize the relationships between individuals within the group (practical reasons). ....
I'm looking for examples of what you consider "practical reasons" per your first quote above. Since the topic is Facebook and we're in the news forum, I'm focused on discussing mundane rather than dhammic reasoning.

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