Facebook and Ethics

Zuckerberg’s face is all of the media right now.  Quite a few items remarking on his poor social abilities.  He’s clearly on the autism spectrum and if I recall it’s more in-line with Asperger’s.

That generally means that the switch inside the head doesn’t register non-vocal feedback, and that the social skills never truly develop.  Socially inept.  We’ve all met people where social cues just go right by.  This is more evident in high school and college settings, where everyone is showing tremendous social growth, while others seem stalled.  As adults, the social aspects are usually screened out during the hiring process.  Or in.  Or the individual has learned some tricks to manage that lack of skill.

Or, they deploy a data harvesting tool with the guise of connection building, and become a billionaire.

Privacy

I work in IT.  Specifically at the intersection of consumer functions and security/privacy controls.  I know more than I should, or at least some days I’d prefer to know less.  First point – if you’re online you are giving up privacy.  Full stop.  Either you pay to control it (part of it at least, or the appearance of control), or you do it for free and give up that control.

There’s a reason it’s so easy to DOX someone.

The internet may be temporary – sites come and go – but it’s all archived somewhere.  It is both permanent and impermanent at the same time, making it really quite hard for people to navigate.  What people were doing 10 years ago is still being used to screen new hires.  That is not going away anytime soon.

Ethics

Ethics are a social construct.  We don’t eat dogs in North America, rarely eat horse.  In other parts of the world it’s a regular meal.  Ethically we have issues with that, while other do not.  That’s at the national level.  Even at the community level this changes.  Find two churches and you’ll find two different sets of ethics.

Now throw in someone who has no ability to understand the social implications of ethics.  They are not un-ethical in the sense that they purposefully go against ethical norms, but more so in that they just don’t understand the nuances of ethics.

For better or worse, this also means that they are immune from international ethics.  Say in one country, it’s entirely acceptable to scrape all user related data to make a giant database of behavior (China).  In another, the company must disclose all private data to the users (Germany).  A company working in both areas has to find the right balance, let alone their corporate policies to manage their service.  That Facebook said it would apply GDPR is a good step.  Considering that they fought it tooth and nail, is more like a thief admitting guilt after caught, but it’s still some progress.

I will say that for all the faults, the EU seems to take this more seriously than most other countries.  Canada would be wise to integrate those policies, as we tend to align the same way.  I mean that in the context of post-national ethics.  We’re all humans before we’re nationals after all, much more alike than dissimilar.

Silicon Valley

Generally run by people with poor social skills focused more on the what can we do, rather than why should we do it.  There’s a really good reason why so many harassment issues have come out of the woodwork in these companies.  A psychopath is someone who lacks empathy – they are not not just serial killers.  A lack of social skills is right in line with that behavior.

Many people are driven by power/money, and once bitten by that bug, it’s hard to go back.  People get blinded by their own agenda that they lose sight of the impacts of their decisions.  Uber simply didn’t care that there were existing markets, they just dropped down illegal cabs, paid a few fines and disrupted an entire market.  There’s only a small difference between that and WalMart moving into a small town, closing all the mom and pop shops, milking the town dry, then closing their shop down for good.

And we let them.  Because it’s practical.  Or it’s cheaper.  We’ll sell our souls to the devil without a blink of an eye.  Most times, we won’t even realize we’re doing it.  Or we think it doesn’t affect us.

Some Progress

The conceptual idea of adding more connections is certainly good.  It’s the foundation of the internet after all.  We are too soon into that space as compared to other social advances, for a web of ethics to have developed.  By breaking down the geographical barriers, we have exposed the sensitive nerves of ethic boundaries.  It’s much easier to ignore dog eating in China if you don’t ever hear about it.  Much harder to do when it’s on the newsfeeds, websites, and social media.

We’re growing.  We’ve taken a long swim in the infinite ocean and lost our footing at times.  The “go local” movement is meant to ensure we have both a foot inside our real space and the virtual one, and a better appreciation for both worlds.  There’s still a lot of work to do.  I’ll be spending my time educating myself and my family on the risk/reward facets of internet use.  Paying more attention to the terms of use, changing permissions on my devices, removing myself from some tools.  Still being involved, but under my terms.

And if it costs me more, or takes more time.  So be it.

Repetition is Key

Getting better at something means that you need to be doing that thing, multiple times, until it becomes second nature.  Repetition of an activity means you naturally get better at said activity.  This applies to absolutely everything we do.  In some cases, people conflate the thought/research of doing something vs actually doing something.

Simulators are a good example of this.  Many games have simulators that artificially optimize gameplay & statistics in order to provide a ranking of options.  On paper, a DK is better at DPS than a Rogue (example).  Sure, if the entire environment is controlled.  That assumes that the lag is the same, that no movement is required, that they take no damage, that the procs are perfect, and that the player’s timing is perfect.  Let’s even go a step further, where all the variables except the player are the same – the output is absolutely going to be different.  The player skill is one of the ultimate factors.

Sports are also a prime example.  Hitting balls in a batting cage has only a little to do with actually hitting a real-life pitch.  Hitting a hundred shots on the driving range only goes so far on the actual course.  The real-world variables take time for the body to adjust and compensate.

Hockey

This one hits a bit more for me as my eldest daughter is playing hockey as a first year player.  The season is over now and there’s some analysis that always comes from it.  My kid barely knew how to skate to start the season, and the strides forward were significant, but they were despite the actual season.  There were 18 kids on the squad, meaning that in a 50 minute session, she would be on the actual ice for about 7 minutes.  Practices were better, but the coach:player ratio was large, meaning a lack of directed feedback.

I am glad I built a backyard rink.  It gave dozens of hours of skating practice – more time than she had for the entire “team” season.

The good news is that the kids are young, so these things don’t really click with them. The bad news, for the sport at least, is that the kids are not as excited or involved as they could be, and the parents have a hell of a time justifying the cost for the time spent on ice vs pretty much any other activity.

Swimming

Another example I can use my kids for.  They’ve been taking swimming lessons for a few years now.  30 minute sessions, every week.  The last 2 seasons have been just the 2 kids, rather than 6 – again, a lack of actual swimming doesn’t make them progress.

We are lucky in that we can afford travel, luckier still that the travel includes pools.  Cuba, one weekend in a hotel, and another week in Florida gave about 4 hours a day of pool time in 4 months.  That’s about 60 hours of swimming.  That is more time in the pool in 4 months than all the time in swimming classes combined.

Games

One of my gripes with PvP games is the lack of practice due to either mechanics or power curves.  Aimbots and 1-shot-kills mean that you have a very low amount of actual combat gameplay.  Large maps where you spend 3/4 of the time walking around an empty zone is worse when combined with low combat times.  You could spend 20 minutes doing nothing but walking, then get sniped.  Not my definition of fun.

Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the tactical aspects of the game at elite levels.  But the path to get to the elite level is littered with rookie corpses.  And that’s aside from the abhorrent cultures within the games themselves.  Toxicity breeds more of itself and I’d rather avoid it altogether.

And let’s avoid the paint-chip-eating tutorials that most games implement.

Future Think

My gut tells me that the next gap to be bridged in competitive games is exactly that “starter to ok” mode.  The gap between starter & top tier is a massive gulf of negative junk.  A focus on the core mechanics that allow someone to get better, combined with a social atmosphere that helps with growth is the next logical step.  Guess is that the former will be required before the latter… unless someone really decides to tighten their belt and start having serious repercussions on behavior (positive/negative).

Transhumanism

Wikipedia article to get you started.

The concept that humanity can evolve from its current trappins and dramatically expand both intelligence and physical limitations.  I’d argue it’s where philosphy, technology, and religion intersect.

For a long time this was the domain of the golden age of sci-fi.  Tomorrowland.  Star Trek’s utopia.  Meritocracy.  Some would say, the childish naivety of the greater good.  My favorite book, Childhood’s End, covers this topic.  Foundation and Empire finishes with this.

Then the age of computers came upon us and we went through the cyberpunk phase.  Phillip K. Dick took the concept and turned it sideways to practical mental disease.  Rather than ask what’s next, it was more like what else is there.  We’re moving from the digital age into the quantum one now, where things are so small, things are so integrated, that it’s becoming much harder to see the line between human and machine.  Siri, Alexa, OkGoogle… all are integrated into society to a degree that we only realize they are there when we’re out of range.

And all of this is predicated on a singularity – a single transforming event.  We won’t likely understand it when it happens, but we’ll be able to point back to it.

Small Steps

Time is the ultimate currency.  You can always make more money, but you can never make more time – hence it’s value.  Opportunity cost is based on this principle – given the choice between two options, which provides the largest overall benefit?

It’s a simple fact that automation is here to stay, and will take over more and more of our lives.  Driverless cars seem neat, but driverless trucks are going to put thousands of people out of work.  Even super menial jobs for teens are going away (see Flippy).  Assembly lines and mining/timber have been gutted with this fact.  Regardless of what is being said, those jobs are not coming back.  Even the countries that were outsourced to in the past 20 years are moving away from hiring people.

People require food, rest, space… robots do not.  One robot working 24/7 replaces at least 4 people in terms of time, and likley dozens in terms of productivity/accuracy.  The math is not hard here, and the people doing the math are the ones without any interest in the people. If you have any stocks, then odds are you actually have no idea what the impact is to the workers on the other end of that stock.

Everytime we make something more efficient, or connect something, or share something, we are taking smaller steps to a collective.  It’s hard to articulate the tangible differences between someone in north america and someone in Autralia – aside from culture.  Even culture is blurring… there are more 2nd language English speakers on the planet than native speakers.

The Big Question

What makes you, you?  If you were to replace a bit of you every week(eye, arm, foot) with a robotic part, when do you stop being you?  If you were to completely swap human bodies, but kept your mind, are you still you?

What proof do you have that you exist?  If memories are just triggered synapses, could they be faked?  Sensory input is just electrical charges, those can be replicated (see Matrix for one argument, and many bionic limbs do this as well).  It is possible, though unlikely, that we are just a few days old – the imaginings of a more powerful set of beings.  No different than restarting from a save point in a video game, and we go back to some default state.

How can anyone prove either for or against?

Progress

It’s our unfailable certainty of our own existence that keeps us sane and grounded.  It’s the basis for science, in that what is observed is fact.  It took a long time for science to delve into things we cannot see (the 4 forces, notably), and even longer into things we cannot easily comprehend (quantum mechanics for starters).

At each step of progress, there’s the discovery and then the integration into society.  We can’t imagine a world without electricity, but even 100 years ago it wasn’t all that common.  Nowdays our kids are infinitely connected to all sort of people and things, and privacy is a 4 letter word.  And there’s no going back, that genie is out of the bottle.  Best we can hope for is an educated consumption of technology.

But how do you educate when society changes so rapidly?  Facebook hit its apogee years ago.  Kids (well college age folk) were all over it, then younger kids came onboard.  Time has gone on and as much as grandparents use it, today’s youth wants nothing to do with it.  They’ve moved on.

The blogging community is somewhat unique, in that we live in a world of tech, to differing levels.  I can generally understand the technology presented to my children, and I can communicate my set of values and ethics within.  But it doesn’t prevent them from finding a youtube channel by chance, that is full of content I don’t want them to see.  I have to be extra vigilant, and take the time.  I can near guarantee that the majority of my social circle doens’t even process that thought.

Change for the sake of change.

What’s Next

VR & automation.  We’re at the cusp of both being integrated into our daily lives.

VR is a much higher fidelity now.  Even just augmented reality is on the doorstep.  People reprenting themselves with avatars has been commonplace for 20 years, but to integrate that concept with reality isn’t far off.

Automation not in the sense of robots, but in the concept of anticipatory intelligence.  I wake up and make a coffee most mornings.  Automation would detect me waking up, and based on my behavior patterns, make a fresh brew.  I’m a few years from asking for an “earl grey, hot” and it magically appearing.

As cool as it all sounds, I’m terrified.  I’m not altruistic enough to always make the right decision, and I’m not evil enough to take advantage of the situation. The future is much closer than it appears.

 

The Job-pocalypse

I work in IT, the field that specializes in making things redundant.  I have made a career out of making my current position redundant, then moving onto another problem area and repeating the process.  What’s left is automated processes for “mundane” activities, allowing people to apply skill to their tasks.  This has impacted jobs, fully conscious, though in most cases they were able to find something else to do.  Always more resistance than not, but human nature isn’t a big fan of change.

If you’ve been paying attention the past 20 odd years, the general theme is that automation has taken over most manufacturing jobs.  Even the overseas companies which were veritable gold mines of cheap labor (compared to robots) are losing out now due to price scales.

There is a single driving factor – money.  It’s cheaper to pay a robot, it’s cheaper in insurance, it’s faster, there’s less defects, and it can work 24/7.  The upfront cost is larger, granted, but the price point for robots and their abilities make them more attractive every day.  How many people have “smart something” in their houses to automate things?  That’s what an Instant Pot does, or Alexa.

Optimization

Society has always aimed for optimization.  Farmers have modified their techniques for generations to get more yield.  Houses are built with more solidity.  Travel paths avoid hazards.  Food last longer.  People are living so much longer.

Always striving to be better.

Industry Change

The trucking industry is 5 years away from being gutted with autonomous vehicles, shipping as we know it will be turned over in 20 years.  Hand made tools and parts are a rarity, and society as a whole isn’t willing to pay $60 for a wrench when they can get 3 for $5.  The energy and natural resources sectors are not coming back to what they were before, no matter what anyone tries to sell as an idea.  Coal is dead – solar is in nearly every single case cheaper to produce and maintain, and even if a mine stayed open, it would be robots running it to save money.

The majority of society has not accepted this.  Global society.  There are still plenty of people who have trouble getting water and light, so this all seems like magic.  That I can talk into my phone and order shoes, which will be delivered to my door tomorrow…hell, even my parents have trouble grasping that.

These are mundane jobs, in that the skill required is generally minimal, and transferable to another individual with minimal investment.  e.g. someone with minimal education, and a small amount of time being shown a task, can then do that task nearly as well as the teacher.  This is the job that “does”.  The advantage here is that individual typically can find another mundane job, though often at lesser pay.

Artificial Intelligence

This is the bigger one.  AI makes decisions on many factors, and executes at a rapid pace, far outstripping human ability.  This has changed the stock market, where nearly all the money exchanged is done through coded algorithms. People used to study piles of data, use their experience and knowledge, them recommend a way forward.   Now you let a computer do all the work.

There’s more an more of it too.  Analytical tools to monitor video feeds, to spot minor changes and alert a human for action.  I mentioned Alexa, or Siri, or Google “butler” services that listen to everything you say and follow on the task.   Computers are being taught to build art, and “deepfakes” is just an exploration of that idea.

Humanity’s ability to think rationally is the largest factor for our success on this planet.  Analysts, trades, masters… in each case we greatly value the unique ability of an individual to do more than another.  To take a complex set of data, rationalize it, and come up with a way forward.  We have rewarded the best of the breed that have that skill…every time someone has a success where another has failed, there was a decision made along the way that made the difference.  These are the jobs that “think”.  If a computer can do a better job than a CEO, then why have a CEO?

That’s a large paradigm shift.  One that most people don’t even realize has happened, since it’s been gradual, and for the most part, positive.  Who drives anywhere now without a GPS giving you the clearest way?  The even more interesting part is that we are directly influencing its learning.  Every click, like, share, interaction…it shows human preference and statistical probability.  We’re on the border of psychohistory – and some may say we’ve passed it with the recent US elections and aftermath.

Side note – BBC has an interesting article on AI used for these purposes.

Last Bastion

There is one trait left that has not had as much success as doing and thinking, and that’s creating.  While it’s an arguable point that every pop star is propelled through algorithmic decisions, true artists are still celebrated.  Sports, music, dance, visual art… all things that robotics can certainly emulate and enhance, but to spawn creativity is a different matter.

It’s not so much to paint a gloomy picture but to just point out that we’ve created something that is generally better at “doing”, getting better at “thinking” every day, and is on the border of “creating” in the next few years.  Those 3 done… well it makes for a good sci-fi story.

Virtual Value

The previous post talked about lockboxes and the challenge around calling it gambling.  I argue that the distinguishing difference is that gambling is a known loss, with a chance at winning, while lockboxes are a known win, with a chance of a bonus.

There’s a fundamental weakness to this argument though and that’s the concept of value of goods.

This is actually a relatively old argument, and one that eBay struggled with nearly 20 years ago.  If you read any of the EULAs for modern games, they are fairly clear that the actual ownership of these items never belongs to you, but is more or less “loaned” and can be reclaimed at any time.  Let’s walk through those impacts.

Real World

Let’s say I buy (not lease, rent, or take a loan) a car for $30,000.  It has an agreed to value, using globally negotiated currency.  I won’t go into what the level set it (gold to USD) but I know that there’s a specific value, and the courts will recognize that value.  The car company and the seller cannot take that car from me without compensation.  I own it.  If they do take it, I can go to court and get my money back.  Hundreds of years of property laws cover this.

Virtual World

I pay for services, not products, as per the agreement.  Let’s say I acquire the Sword of Death in the game.  This has a high virtual value due to it’s rarity.  I could try to exchange it, using in-game currency.  That’s akin to bartering.  Two people, using an un-managed currency, coming to terms on value.  There is no legal recourse to this exchange.  There are certain ethical issues, and this is why you sometimes see game companies do something when there’s internal fraud (I use that term loosely).  Heck, that’s discounting the ability to acquire something yourself simply by investing time (say a rare drop from a raid), that cannot be traded.  Enter the P2W conversation…

Inflation

This is the increase of value of an item, based on the increase of available currency.  In the real world, inflation is controlled to a degree by central banks/agencies through interest rates, currency issuance and other monetary methods.

Games have sinks and faucets, and often times much larger faucets.  WoW is a good example.  10 years ago, 1000 gold was considered rich.  Today, 1000 gold is an afterthought.

Devaluation

When you drive that car off the parking lot, it loses value.  Anything used loses value.  Very few items ever increase, in natural value – typically art/gems.  Virtual goods are similar.  That Sword of Death becomes obsolete after the next patch by the Twig of Destiny.   You may spend an entire fortune acquiring one item, and then a couple months later, that value is completely lost.

Currency Conversion

There are plenty of exchange options for real currency.  Large organizations collude (that is the correct word) to set the trading rate, but are overseen by laws.  (see: LIBOR scandal).  This has gradual changes over time, and is usually based on GDP and inflation, along with overall market value.

Virtual conversion is also usually straightforward, as it is brokered by the game company.  You are buying virtual assets, to use in a specific bartering session, for an item that is unique to that environment.  It is a fairly rare occurrence that you can then resell that currency.  And you cannot transfer that item to another environment.

A real-world analogy would be buying a car in Paris, France.  You would take your currency, trade it to local baguettes (that can’t be used anywhere else but that car dealer), then buy the car that you can’t use anywhere else but Paris.  To get your money back, you’d need to trade it back for baguettes, then find a currency trader that wants those baguettes and has the currency you’re looking for.

Direct Buying Power

This is the crux of the issue – the real-world value of a virtual good that cannot be used anywhere else.  The Sword of Death in one game would have zero value in another.  You would have to extract the normalized (real-world) currency value, based on the exchange rate for virtual currency (if any).   Ex:  $5 gets me 20 gold, which can buy a super sword in Game 1.  $5 gets me 1000 gold, which gets me a twig in Game 2.  Virtually, they have different values, in the context of those games.  In practice, they have the same value.

The Lockbox Connundrum

For lockboxes to be considered gambling, the real-world value of the items has to be zero in most cases, and rarely above.  That gets even murkier, since many of the items in the lockboxes cannot be acquired by other means.  That special skin is locked in a lockbox, you can’t get it any other way.  And maybe that’s a premium skin, vs a regular one.  There is no real-world gambling analogy to that model.  Well, not entirely true.  There are many lottery types that are legal within a country, but not within some of their states/provinces due to the nuance.

The fundamental problem then, is associating real-world value to virtual goods.  There’s no scale, no measure, no consistency across the medium.  We’re at that lovely cross road of law, and of ethics.  Territory that is so uncharted and vast that no one knows where to even start.  It’s a multi-trillion dollar industry, there’s going to be pushback.

Now, that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be treated like a controlled substance (a separate fun argument), or that it should be absolved of regulation.  Ethics + money = regulator’s dream job.  Now, if EA was smart and wanted to head this off at the pass, they would set up their own board (with other companies) to set some ground rules.  ESRB is such an example.  But dollars to donuts, the execs don’t see the issue yet.  BF2 was the tip of the iceberg.  They see lost dollars.. not the hammer coming in for a swing.

What We’ve Wrought

Appropriate link to Hawaii coming through with tabled legislation on Loot Boxes.

It’s a bit like Icarus flying too close to the sun, and of course it’s EA that triggers the change. They are part of the 1-2 punch of game developers after all.  There are 2 main points to this, restricting loot boxes as if they were gambling (21+), and displaying loot odds.

Now, if I recall China did the same a few years ago.  Blizzard complied by giving the loot boxes for free when you bought currency.  If you’re not buying the box, then there’s no need to disclose the odds.  This has worked fairly well since Blizz pulled in $4 billion from all in-game transactions in 2017.

I’ve stated previously that I don’t think loot boxes fit our current definition of gambling.  Gambling today assumes that you get nothing, with a chance to get something.  Loot boxes always give you something, with a chance to get more things. Imagine if playing the lottery always had a payout, even 10c.  That would require a massive investment to distribute payouts to everyone… but software companies already have that link.  That’s not to say that the definition of gambling doesn’t need to change.  Plenty of other laws have changed.

Age restrictions – that one I can get behind.  There are no 16 year old whales.  A 16 year old with that much disposable income is much to smart to spend their money on virtual items.  Loot boxes are addictive, and they do a great job of nickel-and-diming you forward.  That’s their intended design.  21 is the same age as most other controlled substances in Hawaii, so the number makes sense to them, and easier to align with other legislation.

Displaying loot chances… does that discourage the people who are buying loot boxes?  Whales are keeping the games afloat, it certainly won’t impact their behavior.  Well, unless they are min-maxers finding the best route to an item.  It won’t impact addicts either.  Maybe it will impact the regular Joe, or stop someone from even starting down that path in the first place.  People knew for years that smoking killed, didn’t make a dent.  Change all the packaging to put cancer-ridden pictures (along with lots of restrictions on where to smoke, and services to assist in quitting) and the rate of smokers plummets.

Change for changes’ sake rarely works out.  Consumers are called “the money” for a reason.  Values and ethics have not caught up to the change in technology.  We can’t go 5 years without some sort of disruption.  It’s a heck of a time to be watching society playing catch-up.

 

Arkangel

I would think most people who read this blog are fans of The Twilight Zone. All the various iterations.  In igloo-ville we also received The Outer Limits during the 90s.  Psychological, horror, sci-fi…mostly standalone episodes.  All of them acting as parables or warnings for what could happen. It’s either in the now, or about 15 minutes from now, making the best of those episodes very poignant.

Looking back at them now, without the social context of the time, it’s hard to fully appreciate what they had going for them.  The best of them certainly do.  It’s a Good Life may be the most recognizable.

The real joy of these is that they are not brain dead stories, or pure entertainment.  They engage your brain matter and feel like they are talking to you.  Compare to say, Game of Thrones or Lost.  Both excellent but the viewer is not an agent.  Rod Sterling talked to us.

Black Mirror is as close as we can get to that feeling today.  Disclaimer – I have a soft spot for English writing.  Proper English.  First season ran in 2011 and woo is that episode a doozy.  Season 3 and 4 have been picked up by Netflix and each have 6 episodes. I’m only a few into season 4 now.  USS Callister was solid with a good premise.  Crocodile was like a mini-psychological thriller.  Hang the DJ is what happens when Tinder goes on steroids (and the most uplifting of the bunch).  Arkangel though – that’s a Phillip K Dick short story.

The foundation is solid – an anxious single mother who worries about her kid.  She loses sight and ends up putting a tracker on the daughter.  But the tracker does more… it gives a health check, let’s her see what her daughter sees and can filter “bad things”.  I’ve read enough sci-fi to see where this is going.

Sure enough, it follows the proper notes, with the necessary social commentary. As a parent, I could relate with the steps taken to “protect” the kids.  It hits a special note where there’s a clear psychological impact of permanent helicopter parenting and you really hope the mother learns a lesson.

Of course she does until her teenager lies about where she is for one night.  And what teen has not done that? The draw to snoop on her kid is too much, and then it’s a massive descent into invasion of privacy.

Side note – since I work in IT, in particular user-facing IT, I’ve been very exposed to the concept of privacy and network connectivity.  In that privacy doesn’t really exist.  If people knew what Facebook on a smartphone actually collected… or maybe if they cared…

Back on track.  The 1 hour episode felt more like a mini-movie.  There was some rather solid points to be made about a nanny-state (within a family), in particular when the individual being spied on is not aware of it.  The hurtful part was that the mother deemed watching her kid better than talking to her kid.  Like the data collection only ever needed to be one way and from one source.  (A bit like getting your news from a single source without any dialogue).

The best part is the feeling of not being comfortable watching the episode.  It hits really close to home.  I am really enjoying this series.  People should take a watch.