The Cyber Effect by Dr. Mary Aiken

(refer to Dr. Mary Aiken book, The Cyber Effect: A Pioneering Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human Behavior Changes Online)

We are living through an exciting moment in history, when so much about life on earth is being transformed. But what is new is not always good—and technology does not always mean progress. 

We desperately need some balance in an era of hell-bent cyber-utopianism. In the prologue to this book, I compared this moment in time to the Enlightenment, hundreds of years ago, when there were changes of great magnitude in human knowledge, ability, awareness, and technology. Like the Industrial Revolution and other great eras of societal change, there is a brief moment of opportunity, a window, when it becomes clear where society might be heading—and there is still memory of what is being left behind. Those of us who remember the world and life before the Internet are a vital resource. We know what we used to have, who we used to be, and what our values were. We are the ones who can rise to the responsibility of directing and advising the adventure ahead. 

It’s like that moment before you go on a trip, and you are heading out the door with your luggage—and you check the house one more time to make sure you’ve got everything you need. 

In human terms, do we have everything we need for this journey? 

At this moment in time we can describe cyberspace as a place, separate from us, but very soon that distinction will become blurred. By the time we get to 2020, when we are alone and immersed in our smart homes and smarter cars, clad in our wearable technologies, our babies in captivity seats with iPads thrust in their visual field, our kids all wearing face-obscuring helmets, when our sense of self has fractured into a dozen different social-network platforms, when sex is something that requires logging in and a password, when we are competing for our lives with robots for jobs, and dark thoughts and forces have pervaded, syndicated, and colonized cyberspace, we might wish we’d paid more attention. As we set out on this journey, into the first quarter of the twenty-first century, what do we have now that we can’t afford to lose?” (p. 303-304, The Cyber Effect) 

“Forensic science is the study of the physical evidence at a crime scene—fibers or bodily fluids or fingerprints. In TV terms, think CSI. Forensic psychology is the study of the behavioral evidence left behind at the crime scene, what we like to call “the blood spatter of the mind.” Then there’s my area, forensic cyberpsychology, which focuses on the cyberbehavioral evidence … “Every contact leaves a trace” … This is just as true in cyberspace”  (see p.6 The Cyber Effect)

Special task force … arresting the biggest human trafficker in the United States and one of California’s “Most Wanted”…. team of experienced professionals pulled from the FBI, Homeland Security, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC), the California State Police, and the LAPD”   (p. 3 The Cyber Effect) 

“Not long ago, I was invited to join the Steed Symposium panel on cyber-security at the Los Angeles Film Festival and found myself sitting on a stage with blinding lights, awkwardly perched on a very tall director’s chair… Next to me, perched on his own precarious chair, was a famous ethical hacker, Ralph Echemendia, a brilliant self-taught tech expert who had recently served as the subject-matter expert on Snowden, the Oliver Stone movie.”   (p.278 The Cyber Effect) 

“I most recently found myself spending a good bit of time in Hollywood, working on the television show CSI: Cyber, inspired by my work. In the show, Patricia Arquette plays Avery Ryan, a special agent in the FBI Cyber Crime unit who is tasked with solving high-octane crimes that “start in the mind, live online, and play out into the real world.” That describes my work perfectly.”     (p.18 The Cyber Effect)

Translate »