weekly reel June 4, 2017

¡Hola! and music, with: a direct & capable remix of Elza Soares, a new old Radiohead, and some Dillinger Escape Plan (thx Sam 🙂) for good measure.

End of the world Remixes by Elza Soares (bandcamp.com)

Radiohead - I promise (youtube-nocookie.com)

Dillinger Escape Plan - Ire works (youtube-nocookie.com)


  • Maciej Cegłowski: Notes from an emergency, on Europe and tech worker unions as a last chance to regulate GAFAMs.

    [Internet giants] software and algorithms affect the lives of billions of people. Decisions about how this software works are not under any kind of democratic control. In the best case, they are being made by idealistic young people in California with imperfect knowledge of life in a faraway place like Germany. In the worst case, they are simply being read out of a black-box algorithm trained on God knows what data.

    This is a very colonial mentality! In fact, it’s what we fought our American War of Independence over, a sense of grievance that decisions that affected us were being made by strangers across the ocean.

    Today we're returning the favor to all of Europe.


    But real problems are messy. Tech culture prefers to solve harder, more abstract problems that haven't been sullied by contact with reality. So they worry about how to give Mars an earth-like climate, rather than how to give Earth an earth-like climate. They debate how to make a morally benevolent God-like AI, rather than figuring out how to put ethical guard rails around the more pedestrian AI they are introducing into every area of people's lives.

    The tech industry enjoys tearing down flawed institutions, but refuses to put work into mending them. Their runaway apparatus of surveillance and manipulation earns them a fortune while damaging everything it touches. And all they can think about is the cool toys they’ll get to spend the profits on.

    The message that’s not getting through to Silicon Valley is one that your mother taught you when you were two: you don’t get to play with the new toys until you clean up the mess you made.

  • More on facebook/google monopoly and antitrust, via The Exponential:
  • [fr] Les 400 culs - Gynéco-logique : comment Gutenberg a changé le monde, qui pointe vers Sociologie du numérique.
  • When will AI exceed human performance? (PDF), via The exponential.

    "Researchers predict AI will outperform humans in many activities in the next ten years, such as translating languages (by 2024), writing high-school essays (by 2026), driving a truck (by 2027), working in retail (by 2031), writing a bestselling book (by 2049), and working as a surgeon (by 2053). Researchers believe there is a 50% chance of AI outperforming humans in all tasks in 45 years and of automating all human jobs in 120 years, with Asian respondents expecting these dates much sooner than North Americans."

  • DHH: Trickle-down workaholism in startups. HN.
  • New Yorker: Is the gig economy working? , thoughts on Airbnb/Uber-induced job conditions shifting into precariousness. Via [fr] Nouveau Projet.
  • Kottke: Thirteen dominos, or a metaphor for how cultural, technological, and scientific changes happen.
  • SMBC - Moody inspects the modern pragmatic to spirituality attempts.
  • Google is bringing adblocking to Chrome, and will let publishers charge readers who use other adblockers, interesting. See Google's Contributor pass and blog post. Good rebuttal in an HN (1, 2) comment:

    It will fail just like the past iterations because the fundamental flaw is that Google is the heart of the system and they're unwilling to extricate themselves from it. I don't think this type of service is the way forward and the solution will not come from Google or any other ad provider for a number of reasons. The first is that Google is not the only ad network and no one wants to be cut out. The second is that this does nothing to address the privacy or security issues people have today that drive them to ad blockers.

    There aren't just a handful of Ad networks, there are thousands if not millions out there. On top of that, they utilize each other to push out ads in a horrid rat king like incestuous jumble. Any payments to avoid ads served by these companies would require compensating all of these companies, the end result predictably would be movie studio accounting that leaves the content provider with nothing in the end.

    This setup does nothing to address the privacy issues people have with companies like Google tracking their comings and goings. Google is still at the heart of this system and still knows everything about you. To get any benefit from this system actually requires you to embrace Google. People want to maintain their privacy, they don't want to login to Google to get rid of ads.

    It's easy to envision a system utilizing a crypto currency and a digital wallet held by your browser that you fill occasionally and that prompts you to pay a site similar to the manner in which Location Services work simply based on a meta tag a site provider puts in their page head containing their wallet and request pay amount and schedule. It's impossible to imagine Google, Apple, Facebook, or anyone who wants in your pants to allow themselves to be cut out of a revenue stream by such a system. Companies like this are double dipping by charging everyone else to be the broker and also by being the service provider being paid.

    I honestly don't know if an ad free web is allowable. It's technically possible but everyone who isn't the content creator is going to do everything they can to stop it form happening.

Comments and feedback welcome by email.