November 18, 2020


Privacy Project 

Link to article:

In his article titled, “We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point,” Bruce Schneier shares information on the different types of identification technology, specifically facial recognition. Around the country, states have begun to ban facial recognition and more and more politicians have shown support for removing it as well. Schneier recognizes that these actions are coming from the right place, however, when looking at the big picture placing bans on facial recognition technology won’t be effective in solving the underlying problem. Schneier writes, ” Focusing on one particular identification method misconstrues the nature of the surveillance society we’re in the process of building.” With such an expansive and imposing issue there needs to be more done to prevent the effects of intrusive technological advances. Schneier introduces other forms of identification that do not get as much attention such as laser-based systems to recognize people’s heartbeats or walks. Another widely used technology is the MAC addresses broadcasted by our phones. Why are we focusing our time and efforts on banning one form of identification technology when surveillance systems can simply switch to another way of tracking us?

Schneier’s final argument is that the problem lies not in fact that the surveillance system exists but in fact that the people have no say in how it works and where the boundaries lie. We need to be able to give consent and know about what parts of our lives are private and what parts aren’t. This is especially important because of how the data that is collected influences the way we are treated: “In the future, we might be treated differently when we walk into a store, just as we currently are when we visit websites.” Before reading this article I had a limited understanding on the extent and mechanisms of the technology that is becoming a norm in our society and for the most part I don’t think it is common knowledge, which is dangerous. Moving forward, it will be crucial to educate the population on how our lives are effected by surveillance systems so that we may be able to prevent the development of a nearly dystopian society.


November 18, 2020

esguala_week 9

Although cursive can be a beneficial skill to learn in school, there are many other important topics that can be taught in place of the handwriting style. The Philadelphia Inquirer article includes a screenshotted tweet stating, “Not enough time in the day.” Speaking to the matter of teaching cursive in elementary school. I agree with this statement. Most school days, in a normal year, last around six to seven hours. To fit the four core subjects into each day along with, lunch, recess, music, and other activities is already difficult. School should focus on the more important topics and use any extra time to further educate children on said topics. Along with focusing more on the common core subjects, the times are changing. Computers are being used more and more frequently throughout schools and the world. In Big Think’s article called, “Is cursive writing important to child development?” An argument is posed against cursive stating that, “if the goal of public education is to prepare students to become successful, employable adults, typing is inarguably more useful than handwriting. [And] there seems to be no difference in benefits between printing and cursive.” I found that as of September 2001, about 65 million of the 115 million adults who were employed and age 25 and over use a computer at work. This was nearly 20 years ago. Think of how high the numbers would be today. Typing skills are much more necessary in the real world. The closing sentences of The New York times article quotes a third grade teacher and her opinions on the agenda to include cursive classes. She states it “feels like a boomer effort.” The practice of cursive is archaic and can be dated back to the late 8th century. The world is advancing and now may be the time to let cursive go.