- AOTD on 2/23/21 - Scout: KentFackenthallbill1 day ago
Patricia Lockwood cannonbaaaalll!!!! 💣
Unreal. Amazing. Ok - so I started reading this "piece" (lol) while making coffee and putzing aimlessly around my kitchen. But after a few hard whacks (basically just like: omg, did she really just say that?) I settled in for good for almost an entire hour and just... let it happen. I read it all in one big, furious gulp. Sweeter than candy!
At times I wished it was a bit more coherent (rather than lots of little disconnected bits) but it doesn't matter because everything everywhere these days is just disconnected bits - a point that Lockwood makes oh so well.
I love what writing like this does to me. It makes me feel so much less alone in my 'fear+excitement' of the web, the portal. And also inspired to keep working to make it better. We don't have to look at stupidity all day every day. But we also don't have to whip the shit our of ourselves for our persistent failure against the stupid, the one "big brain" we all share. Stupid isn't "wrong" just as beautiful isn't "right." It's all just stuff. Stuff to look at, think about, and talk through. It's all just information. So perhaps that's the takeaway: It doesn't matter how you process information, just make sure you're processing something. Otherwise you're dead. Or a robot.
And, again and again, we must keep asking ourselves this:
Why were we all writing like this now?
- # 97643 pts - Scout: DellwoodBarkerPacific Sun | Marin County, California | Nikki Silverstein | 1/19/21 | 6 min2 reads3 comments9.0Pacific Sun | Marin County, CaliforniaNikki Silverstein|1/19/21|6 min2 reads9.0
- AOTD on 2/18/21 - Scout: Alexa
A few weeks ago, in an article about a crazy meeting at the White House, I remember thinking “Sidney Powell is just plain evil.” (Read that piece, you’ll see what I mean.) Obviously, a thought like that is pretty crazy, powerful, negative, bad. When it happens, I try to remind myself: “There are no wrong people. People can’t be evil.”
But anyway, sometimes I just can’t help it. And I don’t think it’s “wrong” to feel that way. And, in fact, if you share those feelings openly and honestly, maybe it can lead to productive conversation. So, here goes:
It happened to me again. When I was reading this piece, I literally just kept thinking really bad thoughts about Alex Hanna. Like, wtf is wrong with you?! You work at Google (!) which actually commercializes evil technology, at scale, and yet you’re on some high horse about how science itself should evolve?”
I know that I could probably sit down with Alex and have a good conversation. But this article makes it seem like Alex has zero common sense, fake morals, and one true goal: stir up shit on the internet as a method of self-advancement and getting attention.
Newsflash: We are the problem. You, me, and especially our ancestors who made us all prejudiced and discriminatory.
Of course technology can create new problems. I’m glad that the Manhattan Project came up. We probably shouldn’t focus on tech that’s built to kill people or cause harm. But, on the flip side, we should DIVE IN to tech that shines an unflattering light on our biases; we can really learn from this.
Also, am I still reading, in 2021 (?) about how gender isn’t biological? Overall, I enjoyed reading this, but there were triggering sentences sprinkled all over the place that made me want to throw my device across the room.
“there are the kinds of A.I. that could easily be weaponized against populations”
Of course! But this makes it seem like every cop car and every hand gun isn’t being used against vulnerable populations. The State is the problem. Also, we are our own problem. Blaming technology and science fits perfectly with the book-burning dystopian vibe of modern life. But the problem with this “debate” is that it’s not actually a debate, it’s a game to get more attention on Twitter.
I hate that Twitter comes up so frequently in articles like this without more precise condemnation. I guess everyone just accepts that Twitter is reality now. But we should spend our time railing against that instead of wondering whether A.I. researchers have deep enough ethical compasses and moral infrastructure built into their careers.
Those were some messy thoughts. Here’s an attempt to summarize: I don’t think we have an “ethics in science” problem. I think we have a racism problem and a Twitter problem. So let’s get back to the real work, shall we?
- Update (2/18/2021):
Correction: “isn’t biological” should be “doesn’t have a biological context”
- Update (2/18/2021):
- # 103758 pts - Scout: sjwoosungjwoo.medium.com | Sung J. Woo | 2/13/21 | 6 min14 reads9 comments8.9sungjwoo.medium.comSung J. Woo|2/13/21|6 min14 reads8.9
- AOTD on 2/17/21 - Scout: Pegeen
- AOTD on 2/15/21 - Scout: Pegeen
- # 105589 pts - Scout: billThe New York Times Company | Annie Flanagan, Akasha Rabut | 2/13/21 | 5 min5 reads3 comments8.3The New York Times CompanyAnnie Flanagan, Akasha Rabut|2/13/21|5 min5 reads8.3
- # 67891 pts - Scout: Ruchita_GanurkarThe Guardian | 1/24/21 | 8 min5 reads7 comments10The Guardian1/24/21|8 min5 reads10
Lockdowns are deadly. We shouldn’t be living like this.
My deepest fear is that humanity itself has become colder and more distant, and that we will never fully recover our true, wild nature.
My deepest hope is that the pendulum swings back in the other direction. That we emerge from this and be we all become way more sensual, touchy, loving people. In the USA, the “roaring 20s” followed the pandemic of 1918. I miss hot yoga classes, sweaty bars and nightclubs, and the ever-present possibility that some new crush is just around the corner, ready to swap spit with a stranger.
- # 581040 pts - Scout: Ruchita_Ganurkar
The energy created by hamartia, the near miss. The crackling freedom and electricity when you forget your lines. To create is to fail. And to fail is to fall. And to fall is to be human. When we fall, we reach out our hands to all of humanity, going back even to that first wacky keystone couple who slipped on an apple peel and fell flat on their faces, Adam and Eve.
- # 441260 pts - Scout: bill
I need to cut back on reading about tech and focus more of my time on stuff like this — my personal jam: the convergence of literature and nature, art and beauty. Meaning. Purpose. Life.
This is a great read for someone who knows nothing about Snyder. And it was still rewarding to me although I have already read (and read about) him quite extensively.
If you’re a real dork, do what I did: read the poetry out loud. “Control Burn” sounds so beautiful. When the words float from throat to air, they feel even more like what they really are: prayer.
- # 18186 pts - Scout: bill
Funny, true, very well-written.
I have met Matt Cohler, a very early employee at Facebook (pre-Newsfeed) who started LinkedIn, and is now a big shot VC of the absolute highest order. His innovation, apparently, was figuring out ways to get people to use LinkedIn even when they weren’t job hunting, with features like endorsements, content, etc. In hindsight, those conversations seem so bizarre. They had nothing to do with building tools and tech that improved people’s lives. Winning is getting more people to use your product more often. That is all. That’s why these products are good for nothing except getting you hooked.
Articles (and memories) like this make it crystal clear to me why the internet works the way it does. Nobody ever asked the simple question: But is this good for people? Does our product make people happier? Healthier? Anything? That’s not the point and never was the point.
I’m proud to not be on LinkedIn. That’s my form of real leadership - demonstrating to the world that the impossible (ha!) is possible. (I’m only half kidding. Not having a LinkedIn account as an unproven technology entrepreneur is a gamble. It would be a different story if I was already rich and/or famous. “Fake it ‘til you make it” is why the world looks the way it does, and I’m hellbent on breaking that status quo - both the “faking it” part and the “making it” part. There’s a better way.)
- AOTD on 2/12/21 - Scout: chronotope
Dynamite! Quite dense, but worth it. I probably read it too fast, but I couldn't help it. I just ate it all up. I'll definitely need more time to synthesize.
The primary thesis here (I think?) is that capitalism splits us up into multiple identities. That's something I have a hard time wrapping my head around. What follows though seems very profound while also obvious: we're sold this idea that we're broken and need fixing. That part came through crystal clear.
I'm very thankful for this new way of thinking about ADHD. Clear, smart, insightful stuff.
If you sometimes feel like you're going crazy (and who doesn't?) this one's for you.
- AOTD on 2/9/21 - Scout: SEnkeyAxios | Jonathan Swan,Zachary Basu | 19 min23 reads9 comments9.2AxiosJonathan Swan,Zachary Basu|19 min23 reads9.2
- AOTD on 2/10/21 - Scout: Raven
It is not well appreciated, but the truth is that one never really finishes to analyze a dataset. You just decide to stop and move on at some point, leaving some things undiscovered. Because night science demands a highly creative state, it is not surprising that this process mirrors the situation in the arts as described by the poet Paul Valéry in 1933: “un ouvrage n’est jamais achevé . . . mais abandonné” (“a work is never finished, only abandoned”).
Poets always know.
- # 200159 pts - Scout: kellyalysia
The times in my life when I have had to tell people, “I’m wrong,” have undeniably been better for me as a person than the times where I’ve been 100% nail-on-the-head correct.
I find it very interesting to consider the ways in which we have to battle our own nature in order to elevate ourselves as humans. Makes life so spicy.
- # 170238 pts - Scout: bill
Finally, Readup has a Manifesto. ✊ I'd love to know what you think.
My goal here was to say what we're all about, instead of what we're not all about ("move fast and break stuff," being evil.. you know) and also let go of some of the talking points that are starting to feel old. I'm so done thinking and talking about clickbait, fake news, echo-chambers - all that crap. Readup isn't fixing the past, we're building the future. Reading is the future.
In the coming weeks (as we gear up to launch some seriously huge updates that are going to completely transform this whole thing -- Paid Readup, basically) we're going to tighten up all of our documentation across the board, including our Mission, Core Values, How it Works, FAQ, etc. So the timing seemed right here.
Then again, I guess it's always a good time to have a conversation about Why?
- # 221123 pts - Scout: SEnkey
What a legendary human being!
I remember where I was and how I felt when I first learned about Leonora Carrington, almost exactly a year ago, from a Mexican painter I met in rural Southern California and quickly fell in love with. Carrington’s paintings are exceptional. Until reading this, I had no clue that she was also such a prolific writer and liver-of-life. Beyond inspiring. People like this enhance life on Earth for all of us.
- # 158264 pts - Scout: jeff
This is loud, exuberant writing. And dense. Lots of hard-hitting proof that, yes, life now is, in fact, surreal.
We see more, and more rapid, scene cuts per minute in commercials than in regular programming because, although they cost marginally more to make, viewers who are made more alert during commercials through the multiplication of scene shifts are more likely to remember and hence to buy the product. So advertisers judge the added expense to be cost-effective. We may think ourselves immune to consumerist sirens, but, statistically at least, we are easily influenced moist robots.
Many people in advanced-wired technological environments now experience more mediated images than real ones. Data on the average waking hours that Americans spend sitting in front of screens are shocking and still rising. On college campuses, very large percentages of students are neurobiologically addicted to their phones, thereby shaping their brains in ways that appear to be busily undoing the “revolution in the brain”-circuitry created by generations of their deep-literate forebears.
- AOTD on 2/8/21 - Scout: bill
- # 28758 pts - Scout: bill
- AOTD on 2/4/21 - Scout: deephdave
- # 213135 pts - Scout: Frosty
Excellent article. Simple, clear, inspiring.
If you want to go deeper, the book Growth Mindset by Carol Dweck (referenced in this article) is amazing. It has had a huge impact on my life. I read it years ago and still think about it often. I still vividly remember the bits about Michael Jordan. I often catch myself in a "fixed mindset" mode (like: "it's too late for me to learn how to do that") but sometimes (certainly not always) I can figure out a way to shift my perspective.
Being a beginner is a blast. Letting go of ego is a real magic power.
- # 35134 pts - Scout: DellwoodBarkerThe Guardian | 12/29/20 | 8 min2 reads1 comment10The Guardian12/29/20|8 min2 reads10
- # 172226 pts - Scout: kellyalysiaThe Atlantic | Amanda Mull | 1/27/21 | 13 min8 reads3 comments8.0The AtlanticAmanda Mull|1/27/21|13 min8 reads8.0
- AOTD on 1/31/21 - Scout: billharpers.org | 10/13/20 | 24 min7 reads3 comments10harpers.org10/13/20|24 min7 reads10
Right up my alley! Wow - dynamite!
Another connection to "relevant" might be "recognize." Because when I read writing like this, I immediately recognize myself, which makes the writing so relevant to me. And that's why we read, right? To experience the euphoria of Wow - someone else feels the same way that I feel. Yogis say "Namaste," which means "The Light In Me Sees The Light In You." Different ways to describe the same thing: the transfer of energy between souls.
Needless to say, I'm all over Garth Greenwell now.
- # 150278 pts - Scout: thorgallegetrevue.co | 4 min21 reads13 comments8.0getrevue.co4 min21 reads8.0
In this new AP interview, Weinstein tries to assuage fears that his platform is no better than Facebook, mentioning — much like ReadUp — the 'structural design prohibits the amplification’ and stating “We have absolutely no censorship for good people who follow our rules”.
This is all very interesting and helpful!
First, to quickly beat a dead horse: Readup actually does have a built-in mechanism to increase the signal to noise ratio. lol. I mean- When other startups and huge social media platforms say that they have that, they don't; they're lying. In fact, they have machines that systematically achieve the opposite: they amplify noise; they're incentivized to maximize your screen time, and the best way to do that is to addict, confuse, and anger you. The more they do that, the more money they make.
But Ben's so right on that we don't have it together on the mod strategy front, which was the point of the blog post: Readup is currently flat-footed, resting on our laurels. And now is not the time for us to snooze on the mod front because it will be too big of a beast at some point soon and if the community (and curation) goes in a toxic direction we're really screwed. That could destroy everything we have worked so hard to build here.
Nail-biting times to be building an internet company!
And I'm so thankful to have the conversation moving. Thx benwhitelaw!
- # 206149 pts - Scout: billThe New York Times Company | MATT RICHTEL | 1/16/21 | 9 min5 reads5 comments10The New York Times CompanyMATT RICHTEL|1/16/21|9 min5 reads10
- # 33639 pts - Scout: bill
- -0 pts - Scout: chronotope'We've Never Seen Anything Like This': Spotify Reacts to Olivia Rodrigo's Record-Breaking 'Drivers License'Billboard | 7 min3 reads4 comments7.0Billboard7 min3 reads7.0
I recently deleted Spotify. This song was being pushed on me hard in my final days on the platform and I never got around to listening to it until just now I watched the music video on YouTube.
My first (very quick) take: Rodrigo (like AOC) has a really ample mouth. Big teeth, big lips, expressive. It makes her super fun to watch right now because we're all masked up all the time and starved for the bottom half of other people's faces.
TSwift is leading this mini-renaissance in pop where songwriters are shirking the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus convention. Its wonderful. Drivers License FTW. Bump it. The one missed reference here is Ingrid Andress.
- -0 pts - Scout: chronotopeBillboard | 3 min4 reads4 comments5.3Billboard3 min4 reads5.3
- -0 pts - Scout: monstertuckThe New York Times Company | Shauna Farnell | 1/13/21 | 6 min3 reads3 comments7.0The New York Times CompanyShauna Farnell|1/13/21|6 min3 reads7.0
- -0 pts - Scout: thorgalleWall Street Journal | Gabriel T. Rubin | 5 min8 reads2 comments9.3Wall Street JournalGabriel T. Rubin|5 min8 reads9.3
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