Good writing that’s worth reading. Mostly about technology, science, & their impact.
Charles Fitzgerald, a good friend, a skeptic of all cloud-hype writes about the cloud (and related technologies) on his blog, Platformonomics. Lately, there has been a lot of noise around something called the “supercloud.” I have been bemused by the whole debate around “supercloud.” Charles in a two-part series peels the onion and has come to an astute conclusion: “‘supercloud’ is still not a thing that you could pick out of a police lineup.”
FWIW, during my professional writing days, I simply hated jargon and worked hard to explain things in plain everyday English. Sadly, we don’t see that approach when it comes to technology these days.
Facebook executives have downplayed the company’s role in the Jan. 6 attack and have resisted calls, including from its own Oversight Board, for a comprehensive internal investigation. The company also has yet to turn over all the information requested by the congressional committee studying the Jan. 6 attack. Facebook said it is continuing to negotiate with the committee.
The ProPublica/(Washignton) Post investigation, which analyzed millions of posts between Election Day and Jan. 6 and drew on internal company documents and interviews with former employees, provides the clearest evidence yet that Facebook played a critical role in the spread of false narratives that fomented the violence of Jan. 6.
The more than 650,000 posts attacking the election — and the 10,000-per-day average — is almost certainly an undercount. The ProPublica/Washington Post analysis only examined posts in a portion of all public groups, and did not include comments, posts in private groups or posts on individuals’ profiles. Only Facebook has access to all the data to calculate the true total — and it hasn’t done so publicly.
It should not surprise anyone that Facebook was at the heart of this attack. The company’s platform is a catalyst for all kinds of good and terrible behavior. Instead of using technology and starting to flag downright criminal behavior, the company hums, and haws. They don’t need an oversight committee — they need a moral compass.
“I’ll have a better understanding of why in a year and an even better one in two, and an even greater one in five, and it’ll go from being, you know, a book of my life to becoming a chapter to a paragraph to a line to a word to a doodle.”
He is saying that in a long arc of time, we humans tend to overthink the present. We confuse what’s happening “now” as the whole book when it is nothing but a doodle. It is not that important.
The GQ interview is excellent. The overall series, though, gets a shrug from me! After watching the two seasons, courtesy of Apple PR, I felt the series is a tad overhyped. Because we live with so much toxicity in our society, when we do come across something positive and uplifting, we revere it to distract ourselves from the brutal reality of it all.
In a recent blog post, George Hahn, who writes about many different things, talked about how capitalism benefits from sowing seeds of discontent. Sure, the piece is not about technology, but it is nevertheless worth a read. This paragraph stands out:
Quite the contrary. In the interest of making a profit by selling things, happiness and contentment are the enemy. Discontent is the spark that ignites the burn and yearn for something more, something bigger, something else. It’s all about what we don’t have, where we aren’t, with whom we aren’t. Discomfort or dissatisfaction with self and everything else is the kryptonite marketers have, telling us that we’re losers or less-than without the right car, the right watch or a full head of hair.
Ambition means different things to different people, but in the capitalist framework I am talking about, I think its defining feature is its linear trajectory. Think of all the highly driven and ambitious people you know working long after their basic needs are met: Are they ever “done” or satisfied with where they’ve ended up and ready to call it quits on achieving? Of course not. Ambition is an unquenchable thirst.
Since the Industrial Revolution launched a large subset of humanity into the illusion that we could conquer nature for our own purposes, linear ambition has been a kind of survival strategy. In recent decades, that’s certainly been true for privileged, knowledge-economy workers like me: We’re always trying to keep up in a world of work that seems to constantly get faster and expect more of us, leaving us too burned out and apathetic to deal with anything that doesn’t directly affect us or our families.
This is a wonderful read and a good reminder of lessons from the pandemic, that we have already started to forget.