How did we get here? Seriously

A woman sitting in front of gaming console in the middle of a beutiful landscape.

Update (this is for digital design professionals):
Why I’m losing faith in UX

Why The Web Is Such A Mess

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Update: it was only a matter of time until Cory Doctorow joined this collection.

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Cory Doctorow interview here.


Update: Aral Balkan on Corona measures by Google and Apple

Seeing how companies like Facebook are driving the potential of information technology into the ground here are two three four some videos on the background of the industry.


Stage 1: Hope – the origins

link to Richard Barbrook: Californian Ideology 20.2 on vimeo

Further reading at The Jacobin.

Google’s true origin partly lies in CIA and NSA research grants for mass surveillance

Inside ‘Mondo 2000,’ the cyberpunk magazine that gave us a glimpse of the utopian future that never was


Stage 2: Change – turning south

link to Sleeping Through a Revolution – Jonathan Taplin on vimeo

link to How the Internet Became a Battlefield on Bitchute

‘One Has This Feeling of Having Contributed to Something That’s Gone Very Wrong’

An Alternative History of Silicon Valley Disruption

What Has Google Ever Done for Us?

This Is How We Radicalized The World

‘I Fundamentally Believe That My Time at Reddit Made the World a Worse Place’

‘Zucked: Waking up to the Facebook Catastrophe,’ by Roger McNamee

Google and YouTube executives ignored warnings on toxic video content, now we’re all paying the price

Why do people believe the Earth is flat?

Cryptodamages: Monetary value estimates of the air pollution and human health impacts of cryptocurrency mining

European Internet “Self-Governing” Body Ignores Own Report and Continues to Serve Criminals

The Internet Is Overrun With Images of Child Sexual Abuse. What Went Wrong?

Revealed: Google made large contributions to climate change deniers

Sacha Baron Cohen’s scathing attack on Facebook

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Culture Isn’t Free

Evil is Baked into Big Tech’s Business Plan. Now What?

Alienated, Alone And Angry: What the Digital Revolution Really Did To Us

Scraping the Web Is a Powerful Tool. Clearview AI Abused It

Wayback Machine Latest Victim of Big Tech Consolidation and Censorship

Facebook Is Patenting Technology to Spy on You Through Your Smartphone Camera and Microphone

How SEO Is Gentrifying the Internet


Stage 3: Action – or eternal tyranny

We need to rethink social media before it’s too late. We’ve accepted a Faustian bargain

link to Take Back Your Web – Tantek Çelik

The Revolt of the Public: Martin Gurri

Putting a price on our data won’t make the platforms stop abusing our privacy

The American Conservative and free speech without public spaces

At This Point We Have to ask Ourselves: is Google Opposed to Article 13 or the Nation State Itself? PT 2

How I fell out of love with the internet

Google reaped millions in tax breaks as it secretly expanded its real estate footprint across the U.S.

Let’s talk about ride-sharing.

After 6 Years in Exile, Edward Snowden Explains Himself

The Pentagon Wants More Control Over the News. What Could Go Wrong?

Bruce Schneier makes the case for “public interest technologists”

Evgeny Morozov: Competition and Cooperation in Digital Capitalism

Mensch sein in Zeiten digitaler Entmenschlichung

We’ve spent the decade letting our tech define us. It’s out of control

some thoughts on what to do about (tech) monopolies

Once developers are concerned: The cult of the free must die

Kommentar: Digitale Souveränität zum Schnäppchenpreis – von Europa und Mozilla

To Mend a Broken Internet, Create Online Parks

‘Do Not Track’ Is Back, and This Time It Might Work

Opinion | Facebook and the Surveillance Society: The Other Coup

The Case for Digital Public Infrastructure



And even furtherer reading and viewing:

He Who Must Not Be Mentioned! (Moment of Clarity)

And here is a guy doing a somewhat proper analysis, while pulling odd examples such as doctors in rural Africa (good luck finding one), while ignoring the harm YouTube did to recording musicians everywhere:
How “philanthropy” is a way for rich people to preserve the inequality that benefits them

Ethan Marcotte on the consequences of design on the web

The Epstein scandal at MIT shows the moral bankruptcy of techno-elites

And slightly related a new round of funding for future self made tech pioneers:
Trump signs ‘American AI Initiative’ executive order to prioritize federal funding for artificial intelligence research

Also the the web versus the climate:

and YouTube versus the artist:

Follow the Money: YouTube’s Failure to Pay Retroactively Gives “Conversion Rate” a Whole New Meaning

related: How We Analyzed Google’s Search Results

Young people and social media dependency:
Are the Kids Alright?

A game that plays people:
A Game Designer’s Analysis Of QAnon

Controversial Tiki

I read this stuff about the colonial aspects of polynesian pop with great interest and am on the fence, accepting points of both views. One thought that spontaneously comes to my mind is that Tiki as a religious symbol was replaced with the cross on the islands, decades before people chose it for the design of cocktail mugs. If I abandoned mock south pacific references tomorrow and should I by a twist in the time-room-continuum then end up in the Marquesas wouldn’t I still be an atheist trying to convince them to let go of all religions, which maybe made them easy prey in the first place? Of course I realize that religious symbols are cultural items at the same time, thus relevant to atheists as well.

But what else could be questioned? I would like to make a list of things in the realm of modern Tiki culture and Polynesian pop.

  1. rum based drinks – caribbean origin, colonial slave economies
  2. time of creation mid 20th century – time of imperial militarization of the pacific
  3. floral print fabrics – originated from japanese print making, marketed to basically white audiences from the go
  4. island and south east Asian staff – colonial as it gets in western locations
  5. room decorations including tapa cloth and carvings – pacific origins of the design with potential of religious and cultural hurt

In this list item 3 is clearly innocent in my book.

For 1 I think if the rum had to go, shop could be closed down right away. So, how much does the number of tides come and gone since the days of slavery on sugar plantations make a difference?

Item 2 is not valid to me, because as Europeans we don’t make a connection between the pacific islands and WWII until we are made aware of it, which does not happen in our Tiki bars. Meaning to say we explore on our own dime, not the defense budget. So what is a US bar to do? Maybe have no WWII references in favor of Jack London, whalers and .. traders? I mean the theme is not really time based per se, make the best of it!

4 – it has been mentioned elsewhere that this is providing jobs for these people, and this is a horrible way of seeing it, since that argument is normally used for legitimizing atrocities like arms and fossil fuel engine manufacturing, or overseas low wage work.

The room decorations 5 – if done properly and not comically, will help with the escapism. Which, as I understand the discourse right now, is not being considered a bad thing. One could consult indigenous or anthropologist people to make sure the decor is fine for the use in a cocktail bar.

I leave out music. All good music is pulling from places near and far, combining and making new connections. This is why I didn’t realize a problem earlier because I only ever saw and heard the enriching aspects of cultural cross pollination.

There is an Elephant in the Tiki Bar

I just realized there’s the valid discourse going on about Tiki from a cultural appropiation view. If the term was to be replaced in pop culture I would just take pacifica rather than tropical, because tropical is much too unspecific geographically and thus doesn’t connect as directly as it should.

Here’s a quote from Samuel Jimenez that I sure will subscribe to:
“The drinks genre itself is rooted in colonialism and imperialism. To me, there’s no way around it. To me, non-appropriative tiki doesn’t exist. It’s not a thing. It can’t be a thing. But I’ll be a 100 percent honest—for the Pacific Islands, for Oceania, for Pasifika, the problems that we face in this world are greater than tiki. Our islands may cease to exist in the next 10, 20, 50, 100 years. Our cultures, our languages, our islands may be lost to climate change. We may not have homes to return to. The diaspora continues to lose aspects of culture year by year, moment by moment. So to me, even when I talk to people about tiki and when I try to educate people on our islands and our land and our people and our culture, if I’m being 100 percent honest, I’m like, “You guys can keep tiki if you want tiki,” but recognize that the cultures that you’ve taken a lot of inspiration from—if that’s what you want to call it—cultures that you’ve taken a lot from to create this aesthetic have modern issues that are seriously threatening the future of our people.”

Find more links on the discussion at Pasifika Project.

Los Angeles Overwhelmed by Covid

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What will happen to cities after the pandemic? Amsterdam is trying something:
“In cities that are grappling with the immediate social and economic effects of COVID-19, though, the doughnut framework is proving appealing, says Joshua Alpert, the Portland-based director of special projects at C40. All of our mayors are working on this question: How do we rebuild our cities post-COVID? Well, the first place to start is with the doughnut. Alpert says they have had a lot of buy-in from city leaders. Because it’s framed as a first step, I think it’s been easier for mayors to say this is a natural progression that is going to help us actually move out of COVID in a much better way.