Thursday, April 9, 2015

FB and metaphors

This week, I saw several references to occurrences (notions and more) that got me to thinking about the "Facebook as metaphor" post (time frame of September 2010).

In fact, on FB, this week, I put a comment after reading this article - Humans in Computing: Growing Responsibilities for Researchers which was published by the ACM (

Comment (4/8/15 at 8:39 on FB): Like we saw with Pavlov's subjects, ought we to suppose that some feeds may cause more salivation than do others? Much to discuss here: FB/cloud as metaphor (very crude approximation of the real thing which modernity has tried to squelch, but cannot), for one. We know what causes politicos to salivate: money passed under the nose.

Yes, all sorts of metaphors apply. But, then, FB, like all modern computing paradigms, is running willy-nilly, casting flowers about (hippy like - but with money involved - looking to gain some) while entrapping mankind into a very insidious snare (wake up, people).

So, we will get on with this topic once more. After all, it's five years late. You know what? Who would have thought that Ben/Janet would still be screwing the elderly, flaying the savers, and such. In the time frame of that metaphor post, we were looking for some improvement. What happened was that more idiocy ran amok. But, later on that.

For now, I have to tell about what I ran across yesterday. First, though, a couple of words about my FB usage. Essentially, it's a large index (albeit, full of features) into which I push notes, links to posts, and such. Too, I belong to a few groups (usual affair of watching for events, happenings, announcements, and the like). But, I do not hang on FB. I get in, and out, several times a day. That is, I log in, do what is needed, then log out (there is a reason behind this that will be explained, at some point).

Yesterday, during one of my many, mini-sessions, there was a pop up of the chat window with a friend as the originator (at least, that was what would be assumed from the ID). The attached image is a trace of the conversation. Now, it shows an hour for the elapsed time. I was doing other things, including leaving FB and coming back. Too, I had to assimilate the message, ponder the meaning, etc. several times.

The chat tone was: hey, I just heard from an agent who has been authorized to give grants of $150K. You can see that I was asking for more information trying to be understanding. As the interchange went on, flags were flying. For instance, there was a requirement to send in money which is a classic sign of a scam.

But, how does one not step on a friend's toe? Say, what if the friend had already sent in money. Actually, what if it had been legit (who knows with all of the activity that one sees on-line, nowadays, including financial efforts).

Aside: The biggest pain are know-it-alls (even if they are correct a time or two) who walk in their hubristic cloud as if they are superior in every way over the little guy, especially if they are computer types who are ignoring issues related to the shaky underpinnings. If you read, and follow, my exposition on economic basics, you will see that we ought to see that the economy really belongs to the humans who are in it (not to the capitalistic/aristocratic/... classes who have been overlords for so long - ah, so much to discuss).

Anyway, it turns out that the friend's account had been hacked. I just happened to be picked by whomever (more below) to get contacted. I didn't get a chance to see if it were a bot or fiend (meaning human). Look at some of my queries. Too, FB took away the content once some supervisor (meaning system-watching system) tagged the conversation as spam. So, too, when I reported the chat as spam, the thing disappeared.

However, I did get this trace (ought to have snapped earlier, but I can recreate the bot/fiend part of the dialog). Here is the image (FB Friend [other] and FB User[me]).

Chat with bot or fiend
I named it "Chat bot or fiend" without knowing whether it might have been a fiend on the other end. I asked what high school the chatter'er had graduated from. It took awhile, but the response was: I'm already retired, why do you ask that? Then, I asked if the chatter'er was a bot. The response was: Well, I just wanted you to have the money, too.

If I had known then what I know now, I would have pursued the conversation further (Turing'ly).

In any case, it was troubling for several reasons. If the friend's account had not been hacked, then it would imply that predators were loose on FB. Well, since last night, I have looked at the issue, and, sure enough, spam is a concern.

Guess what? I have been on FB since 2008, and this was my first experience with this sort of thing. Of course, the practice that I mentioned earlier came about because I observed side-effects of using FB (can explain, as required) that were problematic. So, once I got my process in place, FB (and my computer) has been nicely behaved.

Of course, I will categorically say that I do not (do not expect to) buy via FB. Nor, do I look at their ads. People who watch me notice that I don't get distracted by the frilly going-ons that screen presentation has devolved (yes, yes) to these days.


Well, enough. Here is a re-look, 2012 time frame.

Remarks: Modified: 07/22/2015

04/09/2015 -- So, this event happened during a feed'ing frenzy related to a new group that had grown to 600+ users in just 2 days. Lots of feeds going on.

05/14/2015 -- Related post.

07/22/2015 -- I have been getting calls that bring Turing to mind. There have been three so far. In the first, it sounded so real, that I reacted as if to a human. On the second, the message was the same. Hello, I am such-and-such. Did I catch you at a good time? ... I usually respond by saying, depends upon whom I am talking to or depends on why you called. But, as I was giving my response, there was small blip on the line, and the message went further. It was like some was reading from a script and not really listening. In both of the early calls, I hung up. On the third call, I just listened, After the message, there was  a pause. Too, something was listening for a response. But, I said nothing and just let it loop through the logic. It kept going with the explanation for the call and what the caller could do for me. ... Now, for the next few calls, ought I experiment with phrases to see if the response changes? Most likely it will. Either I would learn something or they would quit (hopefully, the latter happens before the former).