Menorise [men-oh-rIse]; the process of inculcation

"If I am what I have, and if I lose what I have, who then am I?"
(Erich Fromm)

` © Yamini Ali MacLean


First Friday Filmclub

The final 'filmclub' for 2016 and it is a  serious message brought to you from Blogville's OoWaC...  click here for an informative page on the Musk Ox.


In Between from Rolf Steinmann on Vimeo.


Menoducational - one of those things

It's the etherwobblie post I've been threatening you with promising to write.  Settle down with a hot cuppa and cheese toast...or maybe a cookie or two. You'll need the sustenance.

There have been (more) changes on the web, and most particularly to us, changes which affect Blogger. Let's begin with the notification thingy.

Most of you will have gotten over it by now, and I did comment in a fair few places to reassure you; it was not an end-of-world thing. The notice about the https:// conversion was simply a completion of an 18 month rollover by Google to the more secure url usage. IF you had converted to a self-named domain name however, you will have remained on http:// only and will need to select to change to the 's' format of your own accord. It is a good thing to do, as it increases the guard against malicious coding creeping in on the back of some of the cookies which are mentioned in the other bit of that notice we got last week. As to that, the fact of the matter is that the EU put into law the need for all web pages to announce their 'cookie policy' to anyone who opens those pages within the EU borders. The theory is that any website domiciled outside of those borders, but which provides a service accessible within the EU must also comply with regulation on announcing the use of cookies. Until this year, many non-EU pages had been getting away with this, but now compliance is being enforced. There are BIG fines and potential for prosecution for non-compliance.

The 'we use cookies' notices are fairly standard and, for the most part, those of us affected by them have simply been hitting the 'x' just to clear the screen. As I mentioned last week, though, for Chrome users certainly, there is the possibility to use a little app which blocks the notices for you (mostly... ), because it can get pretty darned irritating being told the same thing over and over. HOWEVER, it may be worth getting to grips with the importance of what is being covered here.

A little history and some analogy may be necessary. What's that in your eye... glaze??? Pecker up, this is all good stuff, I promise!

Most folk are at least vaguely aware that cookies are about tracking usage and have something to do with advertising. This is largely true, but not the whole story. Did you know that cookies were first used in their current guise as trackers back in the mid-1990s? Prior to that, they were little discrete items of code utilised for confirmation of log-on procedures and were very much contained within the 'nerd' category. One bright spark of a fellow realised the potential for the feedback ability of cookies to provide useful info about usage. At that time this was only for 'in-house' computer systems with a view to creating a 'virtual shopping cart'; yes the very beginnings of e-shopping.

Boy did that take off... for the most part, with the public being in ignorance of them. When it became known in the late 90's there was a bit of a media hoo-hah, and a few highly vocal users decrying the invasion of privacy... but the plain fact was that most of the public were not that worried and were getting the hang of the more personal experience that cookies were beginning to provide.

Here's the thing, peeps; Unless a complete isolationist (of which there actually really rather few), even if you lived way out in the woods, every now and then you would have to go into the nearest urban area to obtain certain items to make life bearable, be it just drinking water or loo roll. The urban is required and the way to reach that urban, once off your own field, is the road, be it busy or not. As the largest number of humans actually live in communities, they will still have a need to go to the next bigger urban development to obtain stuff they cannot get locally... and so it goes on. Has done for centuries. Now, the 'communities' are moving online. There are lots of local places to visit, but there are also the ultra-slick-top-urban places such as the Big A and {place your favourite shop-spot here!}. At one point or another, we all go to visit the big city. As much as we might say otherswise, at one point or another we will find ourselves purusing such pages, even if we never actually buy. Window shopping in the city may come with the pesteration of sales folk wishing to know if they can be of assistance; online they are supplanted by cookies, which have grabbed your flow and now offer up things judged to be in your frame of desire.

Travelling to the nearest urban development might be done by foot, or by pony, or by car, but whichever, there was a mode of transport. As we progress along those routes, especially those routes we use most, we leave an imprint, be it footmarks, hoof marks or tyre marks. Each of them would be, to the trained eye, identifiable as "John Oats from Line Wood" or "Jenny Wring from the shore". Once at the place of desire, we are generally very happy to be greeted by residents there, especially if they remember our name and enquire after our health and such like. It's the social thing to do.

Online, the mode of transport, other than electrons and other magical mayhem, are the identifying packets laid down by our particular computer. The 'experts' identifying those etherprints are the cookies. It is these same cookies which can then set up the 'welcome and how are you' experience that we get from many sites we regularly visit.

Are you following the drift here???

Now, of course there are always irritations with living in society; the nosy neighbour, the noisy neighbour, the niffy neighbour... we can rant and rave, but unless we have the wherewithal to uproot and go isolationist, we have to learn to 'get on' 'cuz no matter where we move to, there will always be one or other - or all - of those three!

Just as, in society, if we don't necessarily wish to interact on a given day we might duck our head, or close our curtains or some such, so it is that we have defensive controls available to us online. Against cookies? Yes, against cookies. Firstly, there is that software mentioned previously. It is specific to Chrome, but typing the title into the query bar will find a version for your preferred browser. As the title, "I Don't Care About Cookies" suggests, this is for those of us who just don't want to be bothered thinking too much more than this and don't mind the fact, or at least accept the fact, that cookies are here to stay.

However, there is a bit more to this which is worth considering... will pick this up on Monday. My cuppa needs refreshed... and I haven't forgotten a couple of you have asked for comments on the new Blogger setup, too. We'll get there.