Reflection of Homeland

After reading Homeland and taking in what this class have taught me, it brings me back to a thought regarding information overload and how it is constantly being produced and also replaced constantly. In the life of Marcus and even in our current day lives, information is all around us. I believe that the more we try to combat it, the more it will try to combat us. We can see this in the Eric Snowden example. After leaking classified documents regarding government video surveillance, Snowden fled to Russia in hopes to avoid prison time and additional charges against him. In 2014, Snowden told a source, “I told the government I’d volunteer for prison, as long as it served the right purpose,” Snowden said then. “I care more about the country than what happens to me. But we can’t allow the law to become a political weapon or agree to scare people away from standing up for their rights, no matter how good the deal.” Snowden is facing several felony charges that can add up to decades and decades of prison time. In hopes of trying to expose the NSA for spying on telephone companies customers phone records, Snowden wanted to revel to the public the truth about the dangers of information security and how this can be a frightening invasion of our privacy.

Throughout this class, I have learned about the potential powers of metadata and how those bundles of information can actually determine a lot about a person. For example, what if someone told you that you were going to have credit problems before you know? Could they deny your loan or quote the higher interest rates? What if someone knew that you were having medical problems even before you knew? This is answered by the power of metadata. By conducting these projects for this class, I have been able to dive deeper into the depth of this “information overload” and metadata to really see how the information we produced is being utilized for the good of other companies and businesses. In this ever-growing society of technological advancement, more and more of our lives are becoming digitized. Not long from now, ALL of our personal information will be digitized in some form. You can see this already being done with iCloud storage systems with smartphones. Personal information including your contacts, notes, messages, emails, photos, videos, music, and other application data can now be put on digital storage systems such as iCloud, where all your information can be stored in one spot. This is a tad frightening because with all that information in one place, it can be easy for hackers to access that information. Also, in extreme scenarios, if something happens to that information, you might lose everything you have stored. This reminded me of a book I read called “The Medium is the Massage”, for DTC 375: Languages, Texts, and Technology. The quote states, “All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered. The medium is the massage” (Marshall McLuhan). Information is all around us and a huge question that revolves around this is, with this increase in technological advancement, are we more connected to ourselves? Or are we more connected to the woden spoon that stirs society’s melting pot?

Additionally, one thing I have learned this semester, if not throughout all my years at Washington State University, has been that this life is all about choices, and what choices you make greatly effect the outcome of your future. For example, if you chose to study extra hard for that final exam, or if you decide to stay up late one night and skip out on work the next morning, big or small, your life revolves around choices. My piece of advice for Marcus is, no matter what you do, be aware and think wisely about the choices you make, because each one ultimately determines your future.