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Jennifer Schaffer on Anna Wiener's memoir inside a tech startup, 'Uncanny Valley' "Any honest memoir of the 2010s in San Francisco is, in some sense, a memoir of loss: the get-rich-quick manufacture of millionaires has come at the cost of reckless destruction, the ripple effects of which were felt nationwide during the 2016 election, where Wiener ends her tale. But Uncanny Valley ...Read More
About the dangers of our increasing reliance on artificial intelligence. Zittrain considers the vulnerabilities and risks inherent in automated thinking technology — and how these might be exploited for nefarious purposes.
"Over the last fifty years, we have come to recognize that the fuel of our civilizational expansion has become the main driver of our extinction, and that of many of the species we share the planet with. We are now coming to realize that is as true of our cognitive ...Read More
“We are now in the mature stage of a book-to-film boom that is quietly transforming how Americans read and tell stories, and not for the better.”
Will techlash continue to grow? Will it result in more socially responsible and moral companies, or will the lure of prestige and high salarys continue to draw in the brightest and best? "“Working at Google or Facebook seemed like the coolest thing ever my freshman year, because you’d get paid a ton of money but it was socially responsible,” said Chand Rajendra-Nicolucci, 21, a senior at the University of Michigan. “It was like a utopian workplace.” ...Read More
"Many of the internet’s commodified social spaces weaponize a basic need to connect with others, mechanizing a fundamentally human desire in closely surveilled corridors. Rather than facilitating connections between people, privately-held platforms redesign the internet in capital’s image, boxing time and attention into commodified forms and compelling us to produce ...Read More
"A Silicon Valley lobby enrolled elite academia to avoid legal restrictions on artificial intelligence."
We've looked to the stars, used crystal balls and dealt the cards in efforts to better understand and find meaning in our world. Now people are divining from lines of code in the form of "Algo Seance" "In ancient Greece, someone seeking guidance may have turned to an oracle like the one at Delphi – a point of pilgrimage for those seeking help and advice. Today, technology is fulfilling that function as truth is increasingly conflated with mathematical proofs within our machines. Artificial intelligence networks are making ...Read More
“Many influencers prefer the short-term rental structure of Airbnb, in part because obtaining a lease can be tough when you’re young and have an unpredictable income. But unfortunately many Airbnbs in Los Angeles have a no-filming rule. (Homeowners worry about, among other things, tripods scratching the floors and the potential property damage that comes with YouTube stunts.) ...Read More
Do you want to find new research? #TheSyllabus (by Evgeny Morozov) is definitely a place to go, here is a link to their 2019 favorites. This is massive, enjoy! 📚🔗🌀🧠
This wet-noodle 'journalism' has to stop. This article presents the 'technosphere' as a non-aligned, neutral productive force which operates to some extent at the whim of consumers but with an irresistible internal logic to grow. This growth is achieved at the expense of the environment. ...Read More
"Over the past decade or so, an array of venture-backed companies have emerged from the ooze of Silicon Valley armed with a single goal: to give people like me—relatively young, relatively (but not too) affluent, in possession of some degree of “taste”—temporary access to nice things they wouldn’t otherwise be Clothing rental services ushered in the new rental economy. Where parasitic rent-to-own businesses stepped into the aftermath after the financial crisis to fleece the already vulnerable, several startups now target more well-off consumers to rent pricey mid-century modern furniture; organic, high thread-count sheets; and expensive kitchen appliances like KitchenAids and ...Read More
“The illusion of a city is carefully constructed atop a vast apparatus that exists primarily to organize capital, labor, and profit.” Another great piece on Sidewalk Labs and Quayside, their planned Toronto neighborhood.
“I also watched MIT (...) [hosting a talk by] the former secretary of state and notorious war criminal, and giving input on the U.S. Department of Defense’s “AI Ethics Principles” for warfare, which embraced “permissibly biased” algorithms and which avoided using the word “fairness” because the Pentagon believes “that fights ...Read More
“VanderMeer is perhaps the most celebrated practicioner of the New Weird in contemporary fiction, a current that updates the eerie atmospheres and bizarre netherworlds of writers like H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe for a present confronted by ecological disaster and ominous technology.”