Here we are at the end of October. I hope you’ve had a good month. I think I’m looking forward to the holidays? The idea of just winding down after this year seems appealing. I hope you’re taking care of yourself.
I accidentally made this week’s roundup pretty dense, so…
Several articles were published this week about Facebook and the behind the scenes of how the company is run and how employee criticism is silenced. Meanwhile, Facebook is changing its name to Meta and grasping at straws on how to remain relevant. I don’t think it’s worth salvaging unless there’s new leadership at the helm.
Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen, raises trust and security questions over its e2e encryption
Even if Facebook has implemented end to end encryption in Messenger, I don’t trust it either and neither should you.
We were the unpaid janitors of a bloated tech monopoly – by Ryan Broderick – Garbage Day
In 2017, I got fed up. I filmed a little experiment with the now-co-host of my podcast, Luke Bailey. We made a brand new Facebook account and I spent the week manually liking conservative Facebook pages and then every subsequent page the platform recommended for me. The Right-wing Ryan radicalized and hard. My feed jumped from normal Republican content to creepy boomer posts about sexy women to Alex Jones posts within a week.
Inside Facebook’s struggle to keep young people
A US Business Owner Allegedly Spent $57,789 Of Covid Relief Money On A Pokémon Card
In case you don’t know the origin of the word: spoopy.
It’s exactly what you think it is, a mispelled version of spooky that the internet has run wild with. Good luck future historians.
Discover the Weird History of THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS
I didn’t realize this cartoon ran this long. Also many episodes are available for free on YouTube if you want some low stakes spoopy fun.
Brian David Gilbert recorded an entire album of ABBA songs as Halloween villains. (See also: it’s time to get good at darts)
Much like Nestflix which listed all kinds of fictional movies and TV shows within fictional media, this Instagram account shows off all the books and reading material in the Simpsons.
YouTube (and Twitter video?)
Here’s a video of Stellan Skarsgård explaining why the film industry doesn’t make smaller movies anymore. Could it be… MONEY!?
I ❤️ Weird Al
I’m still laughing about this video.
(prepare for a rant)
This is a great video about how humans can (and have) forever changed the world. While we are great at solving problems, we also create problems. It reminds me about a concept I learned a few years ago about the introduction of new technology. There are five rules about technological change:
- All technological change is a trade-off. For every advantage a new technology offers, there is always a corresponding disadvantage.
- The advantages and disadvantages of new technologies are never distributed evenly among the population. This means that every new technology benefits some and harms others.
- Embedded in every technology there is a powerful idea, sometimes two or three powerful ideas. Every technology has a philosophy which is given expression in how the technology makes people use their minds, in what it makes us do with our bodies, in how it codifies the world, in which of our senses it amplifies, in which of our emotional and intellectual tendencies it disregards.
- Technological change is not additive; it is ecological. The consequences of technological change are always vast, often unpredictable and largely irreversible.
- Media tend to become mythic. Cars, planes, TV, movies, newspapers — they have achieved mythic status because they are perceived as gifts of nature, not as artifacts produced in a specific political and historical context.
Source: Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change (this concept is from 1998)
I remember getting into an argument about social media with someone. I basically had stated that I don’t think we can weigh whether or not social media will have an overall benefit or detriment to society. Their counterpoint was that it’s just a tool and that people will use it however, and I introduced these rules of technological change. We haven’t progressed to the point where we can foresee the future and the pursuit of introducing new things will forever change the world and we won’t know the outcome until we’re very old or until after we’re dead.
We have to be willing to accept that while change solves some problems, it creates new ones, and that we need to be accountable for those changes. The other example to take into consideration is the automobile. Before the automobile, cities were close and walkable and streets were made for the pedestrian. As automobiles gained traction cities (at least here in the US) streets started adapting to the car, and spread out. When the interstate system was introduced and built, entire neighborhoods were segmented or destroyed in favor of the road. Now we’re to the point where we can’t just build wider highways to solve the problem. But the first step has to be admitting that there’s a problem.
Anyhow, that’s it for me this week. I hope you have a fantastic weekend. Don’t forget to send your suggestions or links to me if you find something good.