China is hardly exceptional when you think about the Snowden revelations about the NSA and digital surveillance in the U.S. Democracy is good when it works, but at some point one has to admit that the U.S. is getting dangerously close to certain authoritarian tactics (mass surveillance) while maintaining the facade of democracy vs. countries like China....
Oh my god. This is probably the most influential article I’ve read in a long, long time. It’s really long but worth it, in my opinion. Don’t know if I agree with everything the author posited but it helped me re-evaluate some of my preconceptions. Would love to hear other’s thoughts for sure.
Loved it. Small thought, but I don’t think I can agree that the widely embraced goal of virality is necessarily rooted in a desire to share the gift, so to speak. Nowadays, virality is often sought after in order to gain long term social capital (followers, etc) to ensure the creator’s longevity on that platform. Not super idealistic I think.
I've been thinking about this quote since this article came out a year and a half ago: "'You know, we did a lot of things we wouldn’t advise anybody we loved to do.' I knew what he meant. If you catch it from the right angle, a kid picking himself up by his bootstraps can look like a suicide."
This article is amazing and has given me so much food for thought. Love the invocation of Auge; I'm definitely going to look into more of his theory on non-places. However, I'm not certain I buy into the author's superspatial theory completely. By describing someone doing work on their phone at the dinner table as "transporting to the office" or buying plane tickets off an app as "transporting to the ticket counter" feels a lot like the early promoters of the Internet trying to attract users by comparing it to the real world. In reality, using Slack on your bed feels nothing like being in the office, and I agree that this is definitely a problem.
I would almost argue the opposite of this statement from the author: "These changes hollow out the spaces where specific activities once took place. The unique vibe and spiritual energy of the record shop or the clothing boutique evaporate away once Spotify or Amazon takes over for them." Instead, although home has become a prison of convenience, does that not make physical experiences all the more special? The aesthetic and constancy of the Internet is something I personally easily tire of. And while I agree that the Internet has infiltrated into our lives inescapably, I wonder if spending most of our time in superspaces gives us a better appreciation of spaces that are simply single-purpose, just like the old days.
Maybe it's naive of me, but this was the article that has broken me the most over the past couple of days. I didn't know about Epstein's alleged involvement with Media Lab before this, and I've looked up to the lab as an institution since high school. With revelations such as this one, it's clear that the narrative of the objectivity and therefore uncorruptibility of tech is absolutely untrue. Abuse of power will never come as a surprise, even in the new tech age.
Such a brave, passionate take. "The tragedy of digital media isn’t that it’s run by ruthless, profiteering guys in ill-fitting suits; it’s that the people posing as the experts know less about how to make money than their employees, to whom they won’t listen" hit hard.
"college youtube" has been on my mind lately. honestly i think the title summarizes it best - are these youtubers commodifying the elite college experience, and if so, at whose expense? none of the students interviewed think this practice is wrong, but it feels so icky to me to capitalize off the fears and anxieties of college hopefuls
"Admitting that she’s "judgemental," Benedikt says one reason she "feels so strongly about public schools" is that, while some teens like to read Walt Whitman, "getting drunk before basketball games … did the same thing" for her. My girl deserves to be in a place where she won’t face diatribes from judgmental students who call her names just because she chooses to buy into her own educational aspirations. She should have the opportunity to read Whitman with sober, like-minded friends knowing that they, too, are getting what they bought in for."
Is it just me or does this part reek of the author imposing his will on his daughter? Of course, I understand his underlying point: from their children's early years, parents must decide if they should prioritize "coolness" or education (depending on which education system); but saying that it's the daughter herself who is buying-in to an immersive education seems like a bit of a stretch, imo, esp the part at the end where he completely dismisses the basketball anecdote for his daughter... Sounds an awful lot like "My daughter isn't one of THOSE kids .."