Manifesto: Juliane Preisser

1. Cruise control should be removed from cars, so drivers are forced to pay attention at all times.

I developed this Manifesto the other day when I was driving in the car with a friend of mine. We were on I-81, the traffic was nearly non-existent, and it was daylight. I was in the passenger seat and we were quiet, paying attention to the music on the radio. A few minutes pass without talking, and I start to notice cars breaking a ways ahead of us. I say nothing, assuming my friend saw what I saw. We continue to close in on them, and finally I turn to my friend and ask her if she sees them breaking. She opened her eyes wide and slammed on the breaks, luckily in time. Once stopped, she explains that she had zoned out since her feet weren’t doing anything and there was a lot on her mind. I thought about this for a moment, because I never had to worry about this – my car doesn’t have cruise control. This lead me to do some research, and I’ve come across some articles about an auto piloted car. Although this is more complex than cruise control, it worries me that people may no longer be in control of cars. I truly think this should be seriously considered because advances like these give people a reason to not pay attention. Getting into a car is a huge responsibility, and it’s vital to pay attention at all times. Cruise control allows your body to relax and your mind to wander, something no one wants to happen while on the road.

Although this Manifesto came to me through experience, I found this article to help explain where I’m coming from:

2. Students ought to have the option to attend lecture online, in case they are unable to attend class.

I know that I’m not the only student who has felt ill at the most inconvenient times, had family emergencies, or has accidently overslept. The idea of this Manifesto is that students have the option to stay at home, log onto their computer, and watch the lecture. This would mean that teachers would have to film their lectures and put the notes online – but I believe the benefits outweigh the cons. Chances are students would use this only when necessary, with the occasional student who abuses it. I think this needs to be addressed and considered important because the amount of students getting degrees and graduating could dramatically increase. Online education is becoming more and more known, with Universities such as the University of Phoenix. People can get their Masters and Doctorates online now, why can’t that option be available to undergrads? The power becomes there’s, and it’s up to them to use the class tools to their full potential. This way if a student’s car breaks down they can sign on with their PID and log onto the class website. Online questions would be an option, with the teacher answering them as if they were there. The students in the classroom would benefit the same as if they were online, they’re both interchangeable. We already have the option of taking an entire course online, but I believe “hybrid” classes are really the way to go. They’re convenient and have potential to benefit students everywhere.

3. GPS should be removed from cellular devices in order to avoid unpleasant circumstances.

Anonymity is nearly non-existent in this day and age, and that is both good and bad. However, it crosses the line when you can be found anywhere at any time. With new developments in GPS features on cell phones you can literally find someone as long as they’re “on the map”. In order to escape, someone needs to have a faraway cabin in the woods or live somewhere in the heart of the amazon. This specific GPS feature makes it so dangerous people can find your whereabouts, and that is why I think this Manifesto needs attention. Stalkers, murderers, anyone can find you if your cell phone is on you. It’s even gotten to the point where the phone doesn’t need to be turned on – as long as it is on your being it is traceable. I came up with the idea for this Manifesto when I was talking to my father and he nonchalantly joked that he could “see me”. So, I did some research and found that a few people agree with me that the GPS in phones is frightening. It’s even gone as far as social media, now people can tag where they are along with the picture they’re posting. At this very moment someone would be able to tell that I’m at home, just by tracking my phone or Facebook. It’s an uneasy thought.

4. The “safe search” option on Google Search should be mandatory, not a choice.

After reading books like The Googlization of Everything and Tubes, I’ve come to believe that we are very much not alone and nothing is private. We spoke in class about how we can research topics (sex robots?) without intending any real harm, but the search results come up with unappealing results. I believe this happens a lot, especially with kids – when they’ll be searching something seemingly harmless for school and instead stumble across something such as child porn. If Google was able to focus on the safe search option, and figure out how to make it permanent than I think we could all feel more relaxed when we search for something possibly taboo – as long as our intentions are pure and we’re looking for a non-explicit result. This Manifesto should be taken seriously because Google is no place to search for things such as porn, abuse, incest, etc. In all honesty, I don’t believe any search engine should help people with these results. Finding these things on the internet is fairly easy enough, I doubt people need the extra help to find explicit web sites. I considered this Manifesto because I stumbled on a “kid safe” version of Google, and it made me think that it could do the world some good if all of Google was “kid safe”.

The Googlization of Everything

5. The Kinect for Xbox 360 should be taken off the shelves.

The Kinect is an add-on for the Xbox 360, which takes pictures of your body and uses it to follow your motions and play the game. I have a friend who recently bought the Kinect and we used it the other day to play a fitness game. While playing we laughed and enjoyed looking at our figures portrayed on the screen while the Kinect box moved around to follow our motions. After the game play, I stared at it for a few moments and a horrifying thought came to me; what if we weren’t the only ones who could see our images? Could someone tap into the Kinect and watch us play these games? The scariest of all, is if it’s possible that the Kinect could watch us even when it’s seemingly turned off. I think this Manifesto should be considered highly because there is a great potential for an invasion of privacy, which could potentially cause a great deal of trouble in someone’s life. The Xbox 360 is still enjoyable, even without the Kinect. Since it’s a relatively new option, I believe it could be taken off the shelves and people wouldn’t react too badly. I researched the Kinect Privacy statement and took a look through it. I also found a video that helps explain the point of view of this Manifesto.

6. There should be a stricter policy when it comes to uploading pictures on social media, such as Facebook or Twitter.

There’s the age old problem when parents find their teenage daughter half-dressed on her Facebook page doing a keg stand at an out of control party. The truth is, however, that this happens more often than not – and many times the person in the picture is underage. Facebook will allow you to upload anything you want, and unless someone flags it or reports it, it will stay up there. That means thirteen year olds with beer, young men with a woman’s face over their genitals, or anyone in compromising positions. Although it is the responsibility of the person uploading the picture, I think that Facebook should have a 6 hour waiting period before the picture goes public; in order to make sure it is appropriate for public eyes. This Manifesto should be taken seriously because everyone understand what it’s saying. Some people have family on their Facebook pages, and don’t want them seeing that they speak with someone who isn’t fully dressed on their page. If Facebook could put this policy to work, Facebook would be a nicer, friendlier place to visit, and people of all ages could join and enjoy themselves. Chances of finding child porn would lessen, or even finding porn in general. Alcoholic content would be at a minimum, and people wouldn’t be as afraid to click on profiles they are unfamiliar with. I thought of this while I was on Facebook earlier today and I noticed a girl I used to babysit have her profile picture of her in a tanning bed with her hands covering her. This Manifesto would protect her and the people who may see her – whether they be potential employees or family members.