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ORBITAL OPERATIONS: Alive And A King - OO 18 Feb 18

Damien Williams on a book about animal tool-use [https://social-epistemology.com/2018/02/13/deleting-the-human-clause-damien-williams/ ] and the "human clause" -

Shew says that we consciously and unconsciously appended a “human clause” to all of our definitions of technology, tool use, and intelligence, and this clause’s presumption—that it doesn’t really “count” if humans aren’t the ones doing it—is precisely what has to change.

Tracking Elon Musk's car through space.

Eight reasons why Facebook has peaked.

Does anyone else find it odd that selfies still get more likes and engagement on Instagram than anything else?


Via Nabil, this interview with Jason Kottke [http://orbitaloperations.createsend1.com/t/d-l-ojdgtl-iroiiuht-i/ ], a survivor of the first wave of "professional bloggers," is interesting.
The way I’ve been thinking about it lately is that I am like a vaudevillian. I’m the last guy dancing on the stage, by myself, and everyone else has moved on to movies and television. The Awl and The Hairpin have folded. Gawker’s gone, though it would probably still be around if it hadn’t gotten sued out of existence.

On the other hand, blogging is kind of everywhere. Everyone who’s updating their Facebook pages and tweeting and posting on Instagram and Pinterest is performing a bloggish act.

The Republic Of Newsletters.

The Invisible College of Blogs.

Kottke notes that he gave up on RSS when Google Reader shut down. So did some websites. But not all of them, not by a long chalk. And RSS readers like Feedbin work just fine, even in tandem with phone apps like Reeder. (I know other people who swear by Feedly.)

In part of a long thread about the Mueller indictments, my old acquaintance Baratunde Thurston said:
We build a giant deception machine called marketing and advertising, and an adversary used it against us.

We build a giant influence machine called social media, and an adversary used it against us.

These two lines apply to pretty much everything on and about the internet in the 2010s, too.
When I was young, living down the road in Essex, where radio was born (in a Marconi hut outside Chelmsford), radio came out of wooden boxes. Switches and dials. I liked the way my old radios imposed architecture on a world of invisible waves. A red needle, numbers, a speedometer for signals. Physical switching between Medium Wave, FM and Long Wave. Ramps and streets and windows. To me, it gave radio a structure like the false topology of the Tube map.

That was me, from a few years ago. I bet, at some point, there were Tube maps made for certain blogging continuums.

Why am I going on about this again? Because you like reading. You wouldn't be here if you didn't like reading. The "pivot to video" narrative of last year turned out to be basically Facebook's way to kill publishers, and it was a great doomsday weapon. Get publishers to fire all their writers and get video makers in. Then kill publishers' ability to reach people on Facebook with video! It was genius, and you need to understand how insidious that was.

(Also ref. Chris Hardwick's recent Twitter rant about the terrible timeshifting Instagram is doing.)

Tumblr's so fucked up that you could probably take it over between you. And set up systems with IFTTT as simple as mailing your posts to yourself so you have an archive for when the ship goes down.

The Republic and the College are pro-reading, pro-thinking, pro- the independence of voices.

In 2015, I also wrote:
I’m an edge case. I want an untangled web. I want everything I do to copy back to a single place, so I have one searchable log for each day’s thoughts, images, notes and activities. This is apparently Weird and Hermetic if not Hermitic.

I am building my monastery walls in preparation for the Collapse and the Dark Ages, damnit. Stop enabling networked lightbulbs and give me the tools to survive your zombie planet.


Back in 2012, I had the great honour of introducing reporter Greg Palast to an audience in London, and this is part of what I said:

I'm a writer of fiction. It's fair to wonder why I'm here. I'm the last person who should be standing here talking about a book about real tragedies and economics. I come from a world where even the signposts are fictional. Follow the white rabbit. Second star to the right and straight on til morning. And a more recent one, from forty years ago, the fictional direction given by a mysterious man to an eager journalist: follow the money.

Economics is an artform. It's the art of the invisible. Money is fictional.

The folding cash in your pocket isn't real. Look at it. It's a promissory note. "I promise to pay the bearer." It's a little story, a fiction that claims your cash can be redeemed for the equivalent in goods or gold. But it won't be, because there isn't enough gold to go around. So you're told that your cash is "legal tender," which means that everyone agrees to pretend it's like money. If everyone in this room went to The Bank Of England tomorrow and said "I would like you to redeem all my cash for gold, right here, in my hand" I guarantee you that you all would see some perfect expressions of stark fucking terror.

It's not real. Cash has never been real. It's a stand-in, a fiction, a symbol that denotes money. Money that you never see. There was a time when money was sea shells, cowries. That's how we counted money once. Then written notes, then printed notes. Then telegraphy, when money was dots and dashes, and then telephone calls. Teletypes and tickers. Into the age of the computer, money as datastreams that got faster and wider, leading to latency realty where financial houses sought to place their computers in physical positions that would allow them to shave nanoseconds off their exchanges of invisible money in some weird digital feng shui, until algorithmic trading began and not only did we not see the money any more, but we can barely even see what's moving the money, and now we have people talking about strange floating computer islands to beat latency issues and even, just a few weeks ago, people planning to build a neutrino cannon on the other side of the world that actually beams financial events through the centre of the planet itself at lightspeed. A money gun.

Neutrinos are subatomic units that are currently believed to be their own antiparticle. Or, to put it another way, they are both there and not there at the same time. Just like your cash. Just like fiction: a real thing that never happened. Money is an idea.

But I don't want to make it sound small. Because it's really not. Money is one of those few ideas that pervades the matter of the planet. One of those few bits of fiction that, if it turns its back on you, can kill you stone dead."
warrenellis  2018  damienwilliams  multispecies  morethanhuman  blogging  economics  communities  community  newsletters  googlereader  rss  feedly  feedbin  radio  reading  chrishardwick  instagram  timelines  socialmedia  facebook  selfies  aggregator  monasteries  networks  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  gregpalast  fiction  money  capitialism  cash  tumblr  ifttt  internet  web  online  reeder 
12 minutes ago by robertogreco
Vietnam attempts to mimic Chinese-style internet controls
Vietnam's efforts to counter cybersecurity threats and misinformation online should not "be used as a smoke screen for stifling dissenting opinions and curtailing freedom of speech," writes journalist Dien Luong for the Washington Post, while detailing how Vietnam has sought to copy China's sophisticated Great Firewall internet control mechanism. While other states grapple with the challenges posed by 'fake news,' Vietnam's leadership seems more concerned with controlling the spread of "content deemed detrimental to their own reputation" and ensuring "the survival of the regime," Luong writes - an unrealistic pursuit given the spread of popular social media platforms like Facebook inside the country:

"The development of Vietnam’s Internet infrastructure has outpaced the government’s ability to regulate and control it. The best it can do is restrict access to certain sites. It has also deployed an army of people to closely monitor public sentiment on social media. In December, Vietnam unveiled a new, 10,000-strong military cyber unit to combat 'wrong' views online, a move that was apparently modeled on the Chinese route of controlling the Internet. In another move, which also appears to mirror China, the Vietnamese government has reiterated its plans to develop homegrown social media and Internet platforms that it can control more effectively. But that is an unrealistic plan. Facebook, which first penetrated the Vietnamese market over a decade ago, is wildly popular here, with about 52 million active accounts...

"Given the stakes involved, the government must abandon the notion that it can build a Chinese-style firewall or follow in the footsteps of some of its Southeast Asian neighbors to stifle freedom of speech in the name of fighting fake news. Such a course of action would only further isolate the country from the rest of the civilized world."
otf  vietnam  facebook  access  censorship 
1 hour ago by dmcdev
The #1 reason Facebook won’t ever change – Om Malik
So now you know why Facebook does what it has been doing recently — sending various messages constantly to get you back on the service. I know first hand. I left Facebook on September 23, 2017, and not a single day has gone by when I don’t get at least a couple of emails or some SMS messages trying to get me back with notes about what friends have posted recently, or birthdays or other milestones. I keep unsubscribing and they still keep coming. Now I’ve set up a spam rule: all emails from Faceb...
facebook  culture  bestof2018 
2 hours ago by elrob
How activists of color lose battles against Facebook’s moderator army
Mary Canty Merrill was fed up. So she turned to Facebook.

“Dear White People: The terminology we use to define a problem determines how we attempt to solve it,” she wrote in an April 4 Facebook post.

“You are so accustomed to defining racism as people of color being the problem that you want to fix us, patronize us, save us and heal us. You rarely perceive yourselves as the problem (which is where its root lies). Thus, your interventions are most often ill-informed, misdirected and yield no meaningful or sustainable results.”

She logged in the next day to find her post removed and profile suspended for a week. A number of her older posts, which also used the “Dear white people” formulation, had been similarly erased.

Perhaps most Facebook users would’ve simply waited out the weeklong ban. But Merrill, a psychologist who advises corporations on how to avoid racial bias, wondered whether she was targeted because she is African American. So she asked some white friends to conduct an experiment: They copied what she had written word for word and had others report it as inappropriate content. In most cases, Facebook allowed the content to remain active. None of their profiles were suspended.
by:AaronSankin  from:RevealNews  Facebook  racism  moderation  censorship 
2 hours ago by owenblacker
Google Play Phone Number | Call Now & Shortcut to Rep
If you don't know about it, start using this site to get to a human being about your issue. Some numbers allow you to submit your phone number, and the site calls the company. They then ring your phone when connected. It's an awesome service that th…
ifttt  facebook 
3 hours ago by erui
To Stir Discord in 2016, Russians Turned Most Often to Facebook - The New York Times
How Facebook advertising and #SocialMedia tools were made to order for russia influencing 2016 usa president election
facebook  russia  exposé  advertising  example  trump  instagram  social  media  influence  usa  election 
3 hours ago by csrollyson

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