๐Ÿ’ฌ Running to Bangkok (TIDE)

Replied to Episode 112: Running to Bangkok by Doug Belshaw, Dai Barnes (Tide Podcast)

This week, Doug and Dai discuss whatโ€™s been going on over the last couple of weeks, MozFest, MoodleMoot US, Universal Basic Income, humane technology, Creative Commons, success, decentralised apps, and more!

Dai, I was interested in your discussion of James Bridle’s book. I agree Dai with your concern about such a dystopian portrayal. That was something that I tried to get across in my post on becoming informed. Is the answer that it takes a range of voices to get to this stage?

With this in mind I am intrigued by the video you mention from Vox featuring Tristan Harris:

I liked his suggestions, but for me it is like going to McDonald’s to buy a salad. The issue is not the salad, but McDonald’s and their push for non-human consumption. I wonder about a sustainable smartphone, one that is built ethically from the outset, not one that puts the blame back on the user. As Audrey Watters argues:

I donโ€™t want to suggest that this is something the consumer alone is responsible for โ€“ blaming consumers, for example, for looking at their phone when it vibrates or beeps or for downloading Candy Crush and trying to get all their friends to play along. The whole modus operandi of the tech industry has been to create apps that are as engaging and compelling and viral as Candy Crush. The industry views its users as highly manipulable, their behaviors as something that can be easily shaped and nudged and controlled. Maybe itโ€™s time to rethink and regulate and restrict how that happens?

Discussing the work of Harris the other such apologists, Watters asks why we should trust them:

Why should we trust these revelations (or revelators) to guide us moving forward? Why not trust those of us who knew it was bullshit all along and who can tell you the whole history of a bad idea?

I wonder then why we should trust Harris over Bridle and wonder whether in the end they both have a particular place at the table?

8 responses on “๐Ÿ’ฌ Running to Bangkok (TIDE)”

  1. I know where you and Dai are coming from here, Aaron. Everyone, after all, has their own agenda. However, I’d highly recommend you read Bridle’s book. It’s eye-opening.

    1. I have read it (you can read my review here.) I think that Thom Yorke captures it best in a resent discussion of music in which he explains that he listens to a wide range of music, not because it is the music that he is trying to create himself, but rather than it is about the different possibilities available. Harris and Bridle are both possibilities.

  2. I enjoyed the discussion of โ€˜newsโ€™. Personally, I draw upon a diet made up of aggregations, newsletters, podcasts and feeds. I have gotten to a place where I initially sift through titles and summaries to work out what is out interest and either read them or send to Pocket to read/listen or save to Huffduffer before saving them. I touched upon my filters here and my workflows here.
    I wanted to clarify a comment made in response to my post. If the perception is that I sit all day at my desk reading the web, then it is wrong. I did spend time curating resources associated with Google, however I have moved departments and Google is no longer at the core of my work. Although I dip in now and then to my feed, the majority of my curation occurs out of hours on the train ride home or after the children have finally gone to bed. Rightly or wrongly, this is what I choose to spend my time with. I have little interest in gaming or watching television. I would argue that my current work does not necessarily allow the time, but rather the cognitive space to explore divergent ideas.
    In regards to my newsletter, thank you for the feedback. Some food for thought moving into the new year.

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