recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : timcarmody   101

« earlier  
The internet is too big
"Scale produces a vicious cycle wherein size facilitates both the problems and the "solutions."

Similarly, Twitter's userbase of hundreds of millions is what allows for the targeted, radically asymmetrical nature of harassment, where one user can be barraged by thousands of replies. The very interconnection that enables the best of the internet also helps foster its worst.

What are we to do if we want to reclaim the best of the internet while combatting its worst? While the tech giants have work to do, it seems that one way to think about this is to distinguish between the usefulness of infrastructure at scale versus the usefulness of certain networks. On one hand, it's beneficial for everyone to be potentially connected by a neutral set of wires and hardware. On the other hand, enormous, multi-billion user networks like Facebook aren't the only way we can connect.

Now that the internet is normal and accessible for billions, perhaps we need to think about the tech giants as necessary evils that kickstarted the early internet but have outlived their usefulness. In their place, imagine a set of standards — say, a calendar that anyone can access and that is interoperable with others' but doesn't require you to be on Facebook. It's an ideal of digital technology that rests on the concept that the internet is a way of connecting people but companies shouldn't entirely own the networks on which we connect.

Earlier this year, writer Max Read suggested that the best of the internet was now to be found in the group text chat. He argued that they feel so intimate and because their dynamic "occurs at human scale, with distinct reactions from a handful of friends … rather than at the alien scale of behemoth platforms." It's about finding the best of the internet without the worst — connection enabled by how large and ubiquitous the internet is, but without the internet's scale infecting how we use it on a daily basis.

It's not clear how such a change would come about. The tech giants not only wield enormous political and economic power, they have also deeply and perhaps even irrevocably integrated themselves into our lives. But as ideals go, a return to a smaller internet is one worth fighting for."
scale  navneetalang  2019  internet  web  socialmedia  facebook  twitter  youtube  interoperability  chat  maxread  size  networks  networkeffect  calendars  communication  dicsovery  intimacy  groupchat  messaging  email  online  timcarmody  robinsloan  nostalgia  humanscale  humanism  humanity 
8 weeks ago by robertogreco
Facebook is wrong, text is deathless
[resurfaced because:

"Welcome to the Post-text Future
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/09/technology/the-rise-of-a-visual-internet.html ]

"Maybe this is coming from deep within the literacy bubble, but:

Text is surprisingly resilient. It’s cheap, it’s flexible, it’s discreet. Human brains process it absurdly well considering there’s nothing really built-in for it. Plenty of people can deal with text better than they can spoken language, whether as a matter of preference or necessity. And it’s endlessly computable — you can search it, code it. You can use text to make it do other things.

In short, all of the same technological advances that enable more and more video, audio, and immersive VR entertainment also enable more and more text. We will see more of all of them as the technological bottlenecks open up.

And text itself will get weirder, its properties less distinct, as it reflects new assumptions and possibilities borrowed from other tech and media. It already has! Text can be real-time, text can be ephemeral — text has taken on almost all of the attributes we always used to distinguish speech, but it’s still remained text. It’s still visual characters registered by the eye standing in for (and shaping its own) language.

Because nothing has proved as invincible as writing and literacy. Because text is just so malleable. Because it fits into any container we put it in. Because our world is supersaturated in it, indoors and out. Because we have so much invested in it. Because nothing we have ever made has ever rewarded our universal investment in it more. Unless our civilization fundamentally collapses, we will never give up writing and reading.

We’re still not even talking to our computers as often as we’re typing on our phones. What logs the most attention-hours — i.e., how media companies make their money — is not and has never been the universe of communications.

(And my god — the very best feature Facebook Video has, what’s helping that platform eat the world — is muted autoplay video with automatic text captions. Forget literature — even the stupid viral videos people watch waiting for the train are better when they’re made with text!)

Nothing is inevitable in history, media, or culture — but literacy is the only thing that’s even close. Bet for better video, bet for better speech, bet for better things we can’t imagine — but if you bet against text, you will lose."
timcarmody  2016  text  facebook  canon  communication  evolution  resilience  efficiency  elegance  adaptability  simplicity 
february 2018 by robertogreco
No one’s coming. It’s up to us. – Dan Hon – Medium
"Getting from here to there

This is all very well and good. But what can we do? And more precisely, what “we”? There’s increasing acceptance of the reality that the world we live in is intersectional and we all play different and simultaneous roles in our lives. The society of “we” includes technologists who have a chance of affecting the products and services, it includes customers and users, it includes residents and citizens.

I’ve made this case above, but I feel it’s important enough to make again: at a high level, I believe that we need to:

1. Clearly decide what kind of society we want; and then

2. Design and deliver the technologies that forever get us closer to achieving that desired society.

This work is hard and, arguably, will never be completed. It necessarily involves compromise. Attitudes, beliefs and what’s considered just changes over time.

That said, the above are two high level goals, but what can people do right now? What can we do tactically?

What we can do now

I have two questions that I think can be helpful in guiding our present actions, in whatever capacity we might find ourselves.

For all of us: What would it look like, and how might our societies be different, if technology were better aligned to society’s interests?

At the most general level, we are all members of a society, embedded in existing governing structures. It certainly feels like in the recent past, those governing structures are coming under increasing strain, and part of the blame is being laid at the feet of technology.

One of the most important things we can do collectively is to produce clarity and prioritization where we can. Only by being clearer and more intentional about the kind of society we want and accepting what that means, can our societies and their institutions provide guidance and leadership to technology.

These are questions that cannot and should not be left to technologists alone. Advances in technology mean that encryption is a societal issue. Content moderation and censorship are a societal issue. Ultimately, it should be for governments (of the people, by the people) to set expectations and standards at the societal level, not organizations accountable only to a board of directors and shareholders.

But to do this, our governing institutions will need to evolve and improve. It is easier, and faster, for platforms now to react to changing social mores. For example, platforms are responding in reaction to society’s reaction to “AI-generated fake porn” faster than governing and enforcing institutions.

Prioritizations may necessarily involve compromise, too: the world is not so simple, and we are not so lucky, that it can be easily and always divided into A or B, or good or not-good.

Some of my perspective in this area is reflective of the schism American politics is currently experiencing. In a very real way, America, my adoptive country of residence, is having to grapple with revisiting the idea of what America is for. The same is happening in my country of birth with the decision to leave the European Union.

These are fundamental issues. Technologists, as members of society, have a point of view on them. But in the way that post-enlightenment governing institutions were set up to protect against asymmetric distribution of power, technology leaders must recognize that their platforms are now an undeniable, powerful influence on society.

As a society, we must do the work to have a point of view. What does responsible technology look like?

For technologists: How can we be humane and advance the goals of our society?

As technologists, we can be excited about re-inventing approaches from first principles. We must resist that impulse here, because there are things that we can do now, that we can learn now, from other professions, industries and areas to apply to our own. For example:

* We are better and stronger when we are together than when we are apart. If you’re a technologist, consider this question: what are the pros and cons of unionizing? As the product of a linked network, consider the question: what is gained and who gains from preventing humans from linking up in this way?

* Just as we create design patterns that are best practices, there are also those that represent undesired patterns from our society’s point of view known as dark patterns. We should familiarise ourselves with them and each work to understand why and when they’re used and why their usage is contrary to the ideals of our society.

* We can do a better job of advocating for and doing research to better understand the problems we seek to solve, the context in which those problems exist and the impact of those problems. Only through disciplines like research can we discover in the design phase — instead of in production, when our work can affect millions — negative externalities or unintended consequences that we genuinely and unintentionally may have missed.

* We must compassionately accept the reality that our work has real effects, good and bad. We can wish that bad outcomes don’t happen, but bad outcomes will always happen because life is unpredictable. The question is what we do when bad things happen, and whether and how we take responsibility for those results. For example, Twitter’s leadership must make clear what behaviour it considers acceptable, and do the work to be clear and consistent without dodging the issue.

* In America especially, technologists must face the issue of free speech head-on without avoiding its necessary implications. I suggest that one of the problems culturally American technology companies (i.e., companies that seek to emulate American culture) face can be explained in software terms. To use agile user story terminology, the problem may be due to focusing on a specific requirement (“free speech”) rather than the full user story (“As a user, I need freedom of speech, so that I can pursue life, liberty and happiness”). Free speech is a means to an end, not an end, and accepting that free speech is a means involves the hard work of considering and taking a clear, understandable position as to what ends.

* We have been warned. Academics — in particular, sociologists, philosophers, historians, psychologists and anthropologists — have been warning of issues such as large-scale societal effects for years. Those warnings have, bluntly, been ignored. In the worst cases, those same academics have been accused of not helping to solve the problem. Moving on from the past, is there not something that we technologists can learn? My intuition is that post the 2016 American election, middle-class technologists are now afraid. We’re all in this together. Academics are reaching out, have been reaching out. We have nothing to lose but our own shame.

* Repeat to ourselves: some problems don’t have fully technological solutions. Some problems can’t just be solved by changing infrastructure. Who else might help with a problem? What other approaches might be needed as well?

There’s no one coming. It’s up to us.

My final point is this: no one will tell us or give us permission to do these things. There is no higher organizing power working to put systemic changes in place. There is no top-down way of nudging the arc of technology toward one better aligned with humanity.

It starts with all of us.

Afterword

I’ve been working on the bigger themes behind this talk since …, and an invitation to 2017’s Foo Camp was a good opportunity to try to clarify and improve my thinking so that it could fit into a five minute lightning talk. It also helped that Foo Camp has the kind of (small, hand-picked — again, for good and ill) influential audience who would be a good litmus test for the quality of my argument, and would be instrumental in taking on and spreading the ideas.

In the end, though, I nearly didn’t do this talk at all.

Around 6:15pm on Saturday night, just over an hour before the lightning talks were due to start, after the unconference’s sessions had finished and just before dinner, I burst into tears talking to a friend.

While I won’t break the societal convention of confidentiality that helps an event like Foo Camp be productive, I’ll share this: the world felt too broken.

Specifically, the world felt broken like this: I had the benefit of growing up as a middle-class educated individual (albeit, not white) who believed he could trust that institutions were a) capable and b) would do the right thing. I now live in a country where a) the capability of those institutions has consistently eroded over time, and b) those institutions are now being systematically dismantled, to add insult to injury.

In other words, I was left with the feeling that there’s nothing left but ourselves.

Do you want the poisonous lead removed from your water supply? Your best bet is to try to do it yourself.

Do you want a better school for your children? Your best bet is to start it.

Do you want a policing policy that genuinely rehabilitates rather than punishes? Your best bet is to…

And it’s just. Too. Much.

Over the course of the next few days, I managed to turn my outlook around.

The answer, of course, is that it is too much for one person.

But it isn’t too much for all of us."
danhon  technology  2018  2017  johnperrybarlow  ethics  society  calltoaction  politics  policy  purpose  economics  inequality  internet  web  online  computers  computing  future  design  debchachra  ingridburrington  fredscharmen  maciejceglowski  timcarmody  rachelcoldicutt  stacy-marieishmael  sarahjeong  alexismadrigal  ericmeyer  timmaughan  mimionuoha  jayowens  jayspringett  stacktivism  georginavoss  damienwilliams  rickwebb  sarawachter-boettcher  jamebridle  adamgreenfield  foocamp  timoreilly  kaitlyntiffany  fredturner  tomcarden  blainecook  warrenellis  danhill  cydharrell  jenpahljka  robinray  noraryan  mattwebb  mattjones  danachisnell  heathercamp  farrahbostic  negativeexternalities  collectivism  zeyneptufekci  maciejcegłowski 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Ask Dr. Time: Orality and Literacy from Homer to Twitter
"So, as to the original question: are Twitter and texting new forms of orality? I have a simple answer and a complex one, but they’re both really the same.

The first answer is so lucid and common-sense, you can hardly believe that it’s coming from Dr. Time: if it’s written, it ain’t oral. Orality requires speech, or song, or sound. Writing is visual. If it’s visual and only visual, it’s not oral.

The only form of genuine speech that’s genuinely visual and not auditory is sign language. And sign language is speech-like in pretty much every way imaginable: it’s ephemeral, it’s interactive, there’s no record, the signs are fluid. But even most sign language is at least in part chirographic, i.e., dependent on writing and written symbols. At least, the sign languages we use today: although our spoken/vocal languages are pretty chirographic too.

Writing, especially writing in a hyperliterate society, involves a transformation of the sensorium that privileges vision at the expense of hearing, and privileges reading (especially alphabetic reading) over other forms of visual interpretation and experience. It makes it possible to take in huge troves of information in a limited amount of time. We can read teleprompters and ticker-tape, street signs and medicine bottles, tweets and texts. We can read things without even being aware we’re reading them. We read language on the move all day long: social media is not all that different.

Now, for a more complicated explanation of that same idea, we go back to Father Ong himself. For Ong, there’s a primary orality and a secondary orality. The primary orality, we’ve covered; secondary orality is a little more complicated. It’s not just the oral culture of people who’ve got lots of experience with writing, but of people who’ve developed technologies that allow them to create new forms of oral communication that are enabled by writing.

The great media forms of secondary orality are the movies, television, radio, and the telephone. All of these are oral, but they’re also modern media, which means the media reshapes it in its own image: they squeeze your toothpaste through its tube. But they’re also transformative forms of media in a world that’s dominated by writing and print, because they make it possible to get information in new ways, according to new conventions, and along different sensory channels.

Walter Ong died in 2003, so he never got to see social media at its full flower, but he definitely was able to see where electronic communications was headed. Even in the 1990s, people were beginning to wonder whether interactive chats on computers fell under Ong’s heading of “secondary orality.” He gave an interview where he tried to explain how he saw things — as far as I know, relatively few people have paid attention to it (and the original online source has sadly linkrotted away):
“When I first used the term ‘secondary orality,’ I was thinking of the kind of orality you get on radio and television, where oral performance produces effects somewhat like those of ‘primary orality,’ the orality using the unprocessed human voice, particularly in addressing groups, but where the creation of orality is of a new sort. Orality here is produced by technology. Radio and television are ‘secondary’ in the sense that they are technologically powered, demanding the use of writing and other technologies in designing and manufacturing the machines which reproduce voice. They are thus unlike primary orality, which uses no tools or technology at all. Radio and television provide technologized orality. This is what I originally referred to by the term ‘secondary orality.’

I have also heard the term ‘secondary orality’ lately applied by some to other sorts of electronic verbalization which are really not oral at all—to the Internet and similar computerized creations for text. There is a reason for this usage of the term. In nontechnologized oral interchange, as we have noted earlier, there is no perceptible interval between the utterance of the speaker and the hearer’s reception of what is uttered. Oral communication is all immediate, in the present. Writing, chirographic or typed, on the other hand, comes out of the past. Even if you write a memo to yourself, when you refer to it, it’s a memo which you wrote a few minutes ago, or maybe two weeks ago. But on a computer network, the recipient can receive what is communicated with no such interval. Although it is not exactly the same as oral communication, the network message from one person to another or others is very rapid and can in effect be in the present. Computerized communication can thus suggest the immediate experience of direct sound. I believe that is why computerized verbalization has been assimilated to secondary ‘orality,’ even when it comes not in oral-aural format but through the eye, and thus is not directly oral at all. Here textualized verbal exchange registers psychologically as having the temporal immediacy of oral exchange. To handle [page break] such technologizing of the textualized word, I have tried occasionally to introduce the term ‘secondary literacy.’ We are not considering here the production of sounded words on the computer, which of course are even more readily assimilated to ‘secondary orality’” (80-81).

So tweets and text messages aren’t oral. They’re secondarily literate. Wait, that sounds horrible! How’s this: they’re artifacts and examples of secondary literacy. They’re what literacy looks like after television, the telephone, and the application of computing technologies to those communication forms. Just as orality isn’t the same after you’ve introduced writing, and manuscript isn’t the same after you’ve produced print, literacy isn’t the same once you have networked orality. In this sense, Twitter is the necessary byproduct of television.

Now, where this gets really complicated is with stuff like Siri and Alexa, and other AI-driven, natural-language computing interfaces. This is almost a tertiary orality, voice after texting, and certainly voice after interactive search. I’d be inclined to lump it in with secondary orality in that broader sense of technologically-mediated orality. But it really does depend how transformative you think client- and cloud-side computing, up to and including AI, really are. I’m inclined to say that they are, and that Alexa is doing something pretty different from what the radio did in the 1920s and 30s.

But we have to remember that we’re always much more able to make fine distinctions about technology deployed in our own lifetime, rather than what develops over epochs of human culture. Compared to that collision of oral and literate cultures in the Eastern Mediterranean that gave us poetry, philosophy, drama, and rhetoric in the classical period, or the nexus of troubadours, scholastics, printers, scientific meddlers and explorers that gave us the Renaissance, our own collision of multiple media cultures is probably quite small.

But it is genuinely transformative, and it is ours. And some days it’s as charming to think about all the ways in which our heirs will find us completely unintelligible as it is to imagine the complex legacy we’re bequeathing them."
2018  timcarmody  classics  homer  literature  poetry  literacy  orality  odyssey  walterong  secondaryorality  writing  texting  sms  twitter  socialmedia  technology  language  communication  culture  oraltradition  media  film  speech  signlanguage  asl  tv  television  radio  telephones  phones 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Zines are the future of media
"My favorite Nieman Lab prediction for journalism in 2018 (including this one I wrote myself [http://www.niemanlab.org/2017/12/watch-out-for-spotify/ ]) is Kawandeep Virdee’s “Zines Had It Right All Along.” [http://www.niemanlab.org/2017/12/zines-had-it-right-all-along/ ]

His actual prediction is that in 2018, digital media “will reflect more qualities that make print great.” Virdee distills a shortlist of qualities of zines and quarterly mags that he thinks are portable to digital:

• Quarterlies are a pleasure to read with a variety in layout and pacing
• They’re beautiful to hold.
• They’re less frequent, and much better.
• Even the ads are well-crafted, and trusted.
• Zines have an enormous variety.
• They’re experimental and diverse.
• This gives them a freshness and surprise.
• They’re anti-formalist; they’re relatable.

“Most sites look the same,” Virdee writes. “It can be weird and wonderful.”

The positive example he gives isn’t a text feature, but the NYT video series “Internetting with Amanda Hess.” It’s an odd choice because digital video hasn’t had much of a problem picking up on a zine aesthetic or giving us that level of freshness and surprise; it’s digital text that’s been approaching conformity.

It’s also weird that Virdee works product at Medium, which is one of the sites that, despite or maybe because of its initial splash, is kind of the poster child for the current design consensus on the web. If Virdee is making the case that Medium (and other sites) should look a lot less like Medium, that would be the most exciting thing that Medium has done in a couple of years.

The other point I’d add is that zines and quarterlies look the way they do and feel the way they feel not because of a certain design aesthetic they share, or a design consensus they break from, but because of how they’re run, who owns them, and why they’re published. They look different because they are different. So maybe we need to look at the whole package and create an… oh, I don’t know, what’s the phrase I need… an “indie web”?"
timcarmody  kawandeepvirdee  zines  publishing  blogs  blogging  digital  publications  2017  2018  quarterlies  classideas  cv  conformity  medium  media  predictions  design  originality  weirdness  aesthetics  freshness  internet  amandahess  web  online  graphicdesign  layout  webdesign  indie  indieweb  diversity  anti-formalism  relatability  surprise  variety  craft  pacing  howwewrite  howweread  print  papernet 
december 2017 by robertogreco
The hidden heart of Howl’s Moving Castle
"Howl, Sophie, Calcifer, Markl, the Witch of the Waste, and Turnip-Head are all, in one way or another, shapeshifters. Some of them by choice, others by curse; the choices become curses, the curses choices. They are all orphans. Before we meet any of them, we learn that they have committed themselves to something that they did not fully understand, which they would undo if they could, but which they are powerless to speak about or tackle on their own. They are all fearless and cowardly, timid and reckless. They understand each other in ways outsiders never could."



"I asked my friend Margarita Noriega, a digital strategist, social media genius, and Miyazaki fan, to tell me what she finds compelling in Howl:
Howl’s castle, like many of Miyazaki’s objects-come-alive, is powered by a terrific, dazzling magic that contradicts itself. It has an opalite quality, akin to a clear opaqueness. To his enemies, the magic all around Howl is a sinisiter curse in need of purging by the righteous. To his friends, it can heal a broken heart or give flight to the grounded.

What kind of thing can make one person see evil and good? In Howl’s world, like ours, perspective is everything. The indescribable beauty of living and loving is a contradiction to the realities of aging, death, and war. It is magic because it is a power which defies a dark reality.


The most relatable thing about Howl, Sophie, and the other residents of the castle is how they experience emotions so big and so complex that they don’t fully understand them. They don’t understand each other’s motives. They don’t understand their own. But somehow they learn to trust and care for each other anyways. And that care — not power, knowledge, or any other transaction — manages to save them."
timcarmody  2017  howl'smovingcastle  hayaomiyazaki  care  caring  love  trust  film  storytelling  margaritanoriega 
october 2017 by robertogreco
The angel of history
"These are chaotic times. But to the angel of history, it’s not a sudden eruption of chaos, but a manifestation of an ongoing vortex of chaos that stretches back indefinitely, without any unique origin. When we’re thrust into danger, in a flash we get a more truthful glimpse of history than the simple narratives that suffice in moments of safety. As Benjamin puts it, “the tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency’ in which we live is not the exception but the rule.”

Global refugees, the stubborn pervasiveness of white supremacy, the arbitrary power of the state, the fragility of national and international institutions — we’ve been here for some time now, haven’t we? One day, you stir, and there you are — right where you’ve always been. With nothing under your feet, and ghosts pausing for breath next to your cheek.

This is not normal — and yet it’s the same as it’s always been. Because there is no normal. Not really. Just a series of accidents, a trick of the light, a collective hallucination we’ve all worked to diligently maintain."



"There are a lot of people, on the left and the right, who share a version of this idea as a matter of dogma, without anything like the Kierkegaardian leap of faith Benjamin took in order to suspend his disbelief in it. Better to knock everything down, to build something new to replace it; heighten the stakes, so we have no choice but to take drastic steps to build paradise. I’m a lot less sure. I know what it took to build those things, and the emergencies that forced us to build them. It’s not an algebra problem to me, a clever lecture, a witty conjecture. I like those. Those are fun. This is not fun. This is blood and bones and broken things that do not come back. It would be nice to have a political or religious framework in which all those things can be mended or redeemed. It’s not available to me, except in its absence.

But for all that, I think I do believe in something smaller, more limited:

• I believe that moments of emergency are shot through with new possibilities;
• I believe there are more of us and there is more to us than we know;
• I think that we are always becoming something new;
• and this is because we don’t have a choice in the matter.

I think James Baldwin is right (Baldwin, like Benjamin, is somehow always right) when he writes in “Stranger in the Village” that while so many “American white men still nourish the illusion that there is some means of recovering the European innocence, of returning to a state in which black [and brown] men [and women] do not exist,” that
This is one of the greatest errors Americans can make. The identity they fought so hard to protect has, by virtue of that battle, undergone a change: Americans are as unlike any other white people in the world as it is possible to be. I do not think, for example, that it is too much to suggest that the American vision of the world — which allows so little reality, generally speaking, for any of the darker forces in human life, which tends until today to paint moral issues in glaring black and white — owes a great deal to the battle waged by Americans to maintain between themselves and black men a human separation which could not be bridged. It is only now beginning to be borne in on us — very faintly, it must be admitted, very slowly, and very much against our will— that this vision of the world is dangerously inaccurate, and perfectly useless. For it protects our moral high-mindedness at the terrible expense of weakening our grasp of reality. People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.
The time has come to realize that the interracial drama acted out on the American continent has not only created a new black man, it has created a new white man, too. No road whatever will lead Americans back to the simplicity of this European village where white men still have the luxury of looking on me as a stranger. I am not, really, a stranger any longer for any American alive. One of the things that distinguishes Americans from other people is that no other people has ever been so deeply involved in the lives of black men, and vice versa. This fact faced, with all its implications, it can be seen that the history of the American Negro problem is not merely shameful, it is also something of an achievement. For even when the worst has been said, it must also be added that the perpetual challenge posed by this problem was always, somehow, perpetually met. It is precisely this black-white experience which may prove of indispensable value to us in the world we face today. This world is white no longer, and it will never be white again.
"



"In short, I believe in the future — not a paradise, not a tranquil place, not a reward, but in all its mundane possibility and broken uncertainty. I choose to believe in the future, simply because we have nowhere else to go."
timcarmody  2017  culture  history  walterbenjamin  fragility  refugees  jamesbaldwin  deadwood 
february 2017 by robertogreco
Facebook is wrong, text is deathless
"It's a throwaway line in a longer talk and we probably shouldn't make too much of it, but I will anyway.
In five years time Facebook "will be definitely mobile, it will be probably all video," said Nicola Mendelsohn, who heads up Facebook's operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, at a conference in London this morning. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, has already noted that video will be more and more important for the platform. But Mendelsohn went further, suggesting that stats showed the written word becoming all but obsolete, replaced by moving images and speech.

"The best way to tell stories in this world, where so much information is coming at us, actually is video," Mendelsohn said. "It conveys so much more information in a much quicker period. So actually the trend helps us to digest much more information."

Maybe this is coming from deep within the literacy bubble, but:

Text is surprisingly resilient. It's cheap, it's flexible, it's discreet. Human brains process it absurdly well considering there's nothing really built-in for it. Plenty of people can deal with text better than they can spoken language, whether as a matter of preference or necessity. And it's endlessly computable -- you can search it, code it. You can use text to make it do other things.

In short, all of the same technological advances that enable more and more video, audio, and immersive VR entertainment also enable more and more text. We will see more of all of them as the technological bottlenecks open up.

And text itself will get weirder, its properties less distinct, as it reflects new assumptions and possibilities borrowed from other tech and media. It already has! Text can be real-time, text can be ephemeral -- text has taken on almost all of the attributes we always used to distinguish speech, but it's still remained text. It's still visual characters registered by the eye standing in for (and shaping its own) language.

Because nothing has proved as invincible as writing and literacy. Because text is just so malleable. Because it fits into any container we put it in. Because our world is supersaturated in it, indoors and out. Because we have so much invested in it. Because nothing we have ever made has ever rewarded our universal investment in it more. Unless our civilization fundamentally collapses, we will never give up writing and reading.

We're still not even talking to our computers as often as we're typing on our phones. What logs the most attention-hours -- i.e., how media companies make their money -- is not and has never been the universe of communications.

(And my god -- the very best feature Facebook Video has, what's helping that platform eat the world -- is muted autoplay video with automatic text captions. Forget literature -- even the stupid viral videos people watch waiting for the train are better when they're made with text!)

Nothing is inevitable in history, media, or culture -- but literacy is the only thing that's even close. Bet for better video, bet for better speech, bet for better things we can't imagine -- but if you bet against text, you will lose."
facebook  internet  text  literacy  timcarmody  2016  video  media  culture  history  future  communication 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Being rich isn’t a superpower, and Steve Jobs isn’t Spider-Man
"Every age gets the heroes it deserves—or rather, the heroes it needs to do a certain kind of cultural work. Superhero stories have become our Greek dramas — popular entertainment built around larger-than-life figures with rich histories playing out complex fables of power, morality, and democracy. We tell the stories over and over again, either taking their characters back to their roots or placing them in fresh scenarios. We use these stories to explore new fantasies and solve new problems.

There are many issues playing themselves out in contemporary superhero stories—race and gender representation, surveillance and militarization, LGBT rights and identities, to name just a few. It’s strange, however, that one of the most important is one of the least talked-about: the disproportionate power wielded by the rich, whether wealthy individuals or wealthy societies. Wealth may be the buried theme of both contemporary comics and contemporary politics. Talking about superheroes and superpowers without talking about money misses an enormous part of the story—not least because the business of superheroes is bigger than ever, and the companies behind our most popular superheroes are some of the largest conglomerates in the world.

Now, it’s true that many superheroes have been rich: Batman’s Bruce Wayne and Iron Man’s Tony Stark were created as millionaire playboys decades ago. And this makes sense. As Spider-Man’s adventures showed for years, super-heroics don’t pay the bills: it’s difficult being a gadget-driven superhero (or any kind of superhero) without first having money to burn. But over time, Bruce Wayne stopped being just an idle heir and Tony Stark stopped being just an eccentric arms dealer, and both became hero figures much more recognizable to the 21st century: the genius entrepreneur. These characters are less Howard Hughes (the original model for Tony Stark) and more Elon Musk, less J. Robert Oppenheimer and more Mark Zuckerberg. They are brilliant futurists, larger than life—the people we ask to show us the future, and hope that they will help make the world one worth saving.

We don’t have warriors and war heroes at the center of our popular consciousness any more; we don’t have kings and queens, gods or monsters. We have entrepreneurs and superheroes: incarnations of a myth of the heroic individual. These are the titanic figures, at the junction of capitalism and futurism, whose actions have disproportionate effects on our world—actions and effects the rest of us are trying to grapple with. The Social Network, Steve Jobs (both the book and the movie), Ashlee Vance’s biography Elon Musk, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In—all are about businesses and entrepreneurship but also have a strong element of inspiration and self-help, and not just for budding business leaders but the larger public, to a degree we haven’t seen since the days of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

They offer, in short, much the same appeal as comic books.

The sociologist Thomas Streeter argues in “Steve Jobs, Romantic Individualism, and the Desire for Good Capitalism” that these myths play an important role in contemporary culture. For Streeter:
The romanticized version of Jobs’ life offers a story wherein one can imagine a capitalism with integrity, a capitalism where one’s inner life, one’s flaws, one’s passions are appreciated and lead to good things. The Jobs narrative offers the appealing vision of an idealized, productive, humane capitalism contrasted with the speculative, predatory kind of capitalism, unconnected to useful objects or activities, that appeared in the headlines after 2008. The name of Steve Jobs has become the symbol for the opposite of a Wall Street financial manipulator. Jobs functions, not always but often, as a signifier of good capitalism, of industrial capitalism with moral integrity. And in a world straining awkwardly, perhaps desperately, for ways to reconcile capitalist production with political democracy, that signifier can seem immensely useful and attractive.

Now consider The Amazing Spider-Man #1. Peter Parker is still a superhero, a good guy—so the story’s authors go out of their way to dot every I and cross every T to make sure we know that he’s still a good guy, one still obsessed with “great responsibility.” Parker explains that his goal with Parker Industries isn’t to save the world—which superheroes do every day—but to “make a world worth saving.” Over the course of the issue, we learn that his factories in China pay fair wages, that he’s taken a minimum salary, and that along with consumer products, the company works on biotechnology and renewable energy. When SHIELD helps Spider-Man stop thieves who’ve made off with Parker Industries’ customer data, Spider-Man strong-arms Nick Fury into handing the data back without the government taking a peek. He’s even started an “Uncle Ben Foundation” with the vague but noble mandate of “going around the globe using Parker Industries technology to help the less fortunate and raise the quality of life wherever we can.” It’s half Gates Foundation, half Batman Incorporated.

“We’re not here to build a fortune,” Parker says, “we’re here to build the future.” In short, as a businessman, a superhero, and a human being, the new Peter Parker, the world’s greatest self-made superhero, is impeccably, improbably, offensively good. Peter Parker is what you get if you tally our persistent anxieties about the power and personality of Jobs, Zuckerberg, Bezos, et al—and then just alleviate them: the perfectly polished superhero entrepreneur. If the real Steve Jobs is not available to serve as our imaginary heroic capitalist—whether because his personality is too flawed, the businesses he built are too imperfect, or simply because we can’t continue to tell new stories about him—Spider-Man is available forever.

This is not to say that all CEO superheroes are as perfect as Peter Parker. For Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Oliver Queen, and other wealthy superheroes, exploring business gives the writers room to explore the characters’ flaws and mistakes: their obsessiveness, their addictions, their immaturity. In fact, often these characters can sometimes seem barely likable. But in many ways—just as with Steve Jobs—this focus on flaws is still an act of reconciliation and never really jars the premise that the story being told is the story of a hero. The assumption remains that, barring a mind swap with a supervillain or a mystical personality reversal, these men (and it’s almost always men) are fundamentally good.

On the outside they may be flaky, boorish, and arrogant. Still, they feel things, have powerful value systems, and ultimately want most of all to improve the world—if not save it. If they were not superheroes, Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne would be awful people. (They also resemble many young men in the worlds of business and technology.) Because we know Stark and Wayne are superheroes—and because we intimately know the history and personality traits that drive them—we forgive them everything. (Can you think of a better way to try to understand Elon Musk?) Despite their flaws, our superheroes are what we want our capitalists to be.

More subtly, they also give us tools we can use to understand ourselves—to reconcile our own wealth and power relative to others, our own status as citizens of global superpowers in a world filled with injustice, a world needing to be saved."



"In recent years, there have been a handful of comic book stories where superpowers have become consumer goods. MGH (mutant growth hormone), Xperience, and Kick are all mutant-derived drugs that induce or boost superpowers. All of them are addictive and deadly in various degrees.

But in a recent storyline, Iron Man/Tony Stark suffers a magic reversal spell that changes his personality. “Evil” Stark moves to San Francisco, where he creates a smartphone application and nanobot stack that lets users change their bodies to whatever they want, including boosted intelligence, health, beauty, and even immortality. Initially, he gives away the powers for free, but when adoption peaks, he remotely shuts them down, charging $99.99 a day for continued activation. The wealthy continue enjoying superhuman life, desperate users turned to crime, and Stark’s company makes a killing. Eventually, employee/love-interest Pepper Potts stops him, with the aid of a robot programmed with Stark’s old “good” personality. When that fails, Potts—a talented and quite wealthy business mind in her own right—buys out media outlets and blackmails Stark with the promise to expose the scheme.

The Superior Iron Man is literally a story of good capitalist versus bad capitalist, masquerading as a critique of contemporary tech culture. But the funny thing is that the “evil” Tony Stark doesn’t seem all that different from the “good” Tony Stark of past years. A little more craven, a little more louche, less evil than he is amoral. The difference between superheroes and supervillains turns out to be little more than a matter of perspective and degree.

It is tempting to think of our new capabilities as superpowers, because that makes us, in some way, superheroes. It is tempting to think of the inventors of our new technologies as heroes, icons, brilliant men and women of vision and ethics who overcame their own limitations and external opposition to save the day. It means that to cheer for them is to cheer for good. It means we live in a world that is both more magical and more ordered—even more human— than the one we know. It is much more distressing to ask ourselves, “What if we are not the hero in the story? What if we are not even the villain? What if the story was never even ours at all?”"
2015  timcarmody  superpowers  superheroes  comics  stevejobs  technology  wealth  capitalism  thomasstreeter  marcandreessen  tonystark  ironman  spider-man  brucewayne  batman  siliconvalley  elonmusk  peterparker  howardhughes  jrobertoppenheimer  markzuckerberg  inequality 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Whitney Houston and the music of loneliness / Snarkmarket
[via a small collection on loneliness by Tim Carmody: https://twitter.com/tcarmody/status/609837487414988800 ]

"After the death of Whitney Houston, our reflections on Twitter included these thoughts on pop music, loneliness and connection."



"So many of Whitney Houston's hits, even the happy ones, are about loneliness."

"Yes. I've been nursing a theory that some of the best pop songs - dance songs particularly - have loneliness at their core."

"I mean, it's also ultimately about desire being the cause of loneliness and the engine that overcomes it. But the appeal to loneliness is how the song gets into your head. It's how you suture yourself into its world."

"We bind ourselves most strongly to characters that seem to express our particular vulnerabilities."

"Yeah, that's kind of what I mean by "suture" -- it's how we stitch ourselves into, imagine/identify ourselves in that world."

"Whitney is really about loneliness, shyness, insecurity, uncertainty -- and hope."

"It's like Proust; the other person doesn't really matter as much as the emotion, the memory, the first-person resolution."
loneliness  timcarmody  2013  mattthompson  whitneyhouston  music  desire  beachboys  royorbison  vulnerability  insecurity  shyness  uncertainty  emotions  love  connection  humans  beinghuman  hope  proust 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Watching football after a traumatic brain injury — The Message — Medium
"I still watch football; I still drink Coca-Cola. I do these things in bad faith. I do them because they are ubiquitous; I do them because I do not know what I would do, if I did not. I do not know who I would be.

But any of these things could change tomorrow — and I have to confess, I don’t know how I would feel if they did. Cheated? Grateful?

Nothing is inevitable. Not even the NFL. Today it is a perfect machine of violence, spectacle, intrigue, and entertainment; today it is boxing, cigarettes, and Coca-Cola combined. Tomorrow it could be reduced to a fraction of itself, something at the periphery, a familiar scent in the air. Will our children even remember what it was like?"
2015  timcarmody  americanfootball  health  cigarettes  smoking  soda  football  culture  brain  change  taboos  nfl  sports 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Every cup of coffee is a spectacle of logistics
"Meyer's essay is part of what seems like a still-developing genre--Paul Ford's essay on "the American room" is another example--of stories that excavate the hidden infrastructure that make everyday experiences possible. These systems are utterly prosaic exactly because they're the product of huge amounts of manpower and material working according to painstakingly developed protocols. The author's motivation for exposing them seems to be to both demystify and reenchant the world, and the attitude expressed is a mixture of admiration, awe, and dread.

Neal Stephenson's classic Wired essay "Mother Earth, Mother Board" might be the model for the genre, like Tolkien is for epic fantasy. Let's call it the "systemic sublime.""
coffee  logistics  timcarmody  2014  robinsomeyer  supplychains  systemicsublime  systems  systemsthinking 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The 60-second interview: Tim Carmody, independent technology journalist | Capital New York
"CAPITAL: You were a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania before becoming a journalist. Why did you decide to leave academia?

CARMODY: “Decide” might be the wrong word. I was on the academic job market for two years, 2008 and 2009, which were really just a slaughterhouse. Getting a tenure-track job or a good postdoc in the humanities is kind of like getting drafted into the N.B.A. in any year, but schools were cancelling searches and trimming their adjunct budgets right and left, and more and more jobless PhDs were piling up. I was in the top two or three for a couple of really good jobs, which was harder in some ways because it felt really close. Some people keep playing the lottery for years and years, but I just didn’t have the heart to keep doing it.

But I was really lucky; I’d been writing online for popular and crossover publications while I was still in grad school, a couple of essays in The Atlantic. I wrote a future-of-media blog with Matt Thompson and Robin Sloan called Snarkmarket that was really smart and fun and popular with the right people. Jason Kottke liked my writing and asked me to guest-edit his blog. Then Wired took a chance and hired me—I really couldn’t have asked for a better first job in journalism. After that, all the momentum for me was in journalism, so I’ve been doing that ever since.

Still, I’d totally be Professor Carmody in UC-Santa Barbara’s English department if things had gone my way, and I don’t know, maybe that would have been a happy ending too.

CAPITAL: Does your academic background still inform your reporting, or have you found that the skills valued by academia and those valued by journalism are total opposites?

CARMODY: I think the tools of journalism and scholarship complement each other. I had to learn how to be a reporter: do phone interviews, develop sources, write up different genres of articles. In some ways, I appreciated the tools of reporting more, because when you’re writing about Citizen Kane, you can’t get Orson Welles or Gregg Toland on the phone. If you’re writing about Netflix, you might be able to get Reed Hastings or Ted Sarandos on the phone. That’s pretty amazing.

In other cases, I think my training gave me some significant advantages. I’m really good at research, at context. I’m good at breaking down a document, whether it’s a press release or a letter to shareholders or an interview, and digging out what’s important. I’m good at linking things that are happening right now to big changes that happen over decades. I’m really comfortable with the publishing and media industries; I speak their language.

Also, besides research, I was a teacher for ten years. I love working with younger writers, whether it’s as an editor or just helping them think about what they do, because that was my job. And a lot of the students I taught in college have gone on to have really great careers in the industries I write about, which is really satisfying too."



"CAPITAL: You've extensively studied the history, theory, and future of writing. So what’s the future of writing?

CARMODY: I’m bullish on writing. Movies, radio, television, and now digital media—everything was supposed to push us away from text, to video or “back” to speech. First, there’s no going back. We’re always stumbling forward. Second, writing is invincible. Thirty years ago, we thought we’d all be talking to our computers; instead, we’re all typing on our phones. Can you believe we get to play and work on machines that give you new things to read all day? If you’d told me this when I was six years old, I’d have fainted from happiness.

We live in such a hyperliterate world, soaked and saturated in writing: on our machines, on the streets, on our television screens. It’s just that writing doesn’t live in the boxes that it used to. The genie is out of the bottle. But that just means that the magic could be anywhere."
timcarmody  interviews  academia  journalism  highered  highereducation  writing  text  media  snarkmarket  context  research  television  radio  film  literacy  multiliteracies  hyperliteracy  2015  howweread  howwewrite  cellphones  mobile  phones  voicerecognition  readingmachines 
january 2015 by robertogreco
A leaky rocketship / Snarkmarket
"Joining this blog was one of the most important things that ever happened to me, and that’s another way in which I can judge somewhat objectively how important it is been. In November 2008, I was on the academic job market, getting ready to interview for a few tenure-track jobs and postdoctoral fellowships, and it was weird — it was a time when people, smart people, influential people still said “you shouldn’t have a blog, you shouldn’t be on twitter, if you do these things, you should do them under pseudonyms, and if anyone asks you about it, you shouldn’t tell them, because if you blog, and it’s known that you write a blog, online, people are going to wonder whether or not you’re really serious about your work, and you just don’t want to give them any extra ammunition to wonder anything about you.”

I didn’t care. I had been waiting for one or two years, ever since Robin had suggested that maybe Snarkmarket would add a few writers and maybe I might be one of them, I think when we were on our way to the bathroom at the Museum of Modern Art on a random visit, and I was just super hungry to be handed the key to this place where I’ve been reading and writing comments since before I knew what a blog really was.

Is that still a thing, people getting excited about being able to be part of a blog? I didn’t think so, but then I became part of Paul Ford’s tilde.club and saw people falling over themselves to get an invite to SSH into a UNIX server, just to be a part of something, just to have a chance to put up some silly, low bandwidth, conceptually clever websites and chat with strangers using the UNIX terminal. It’s not like being one of the cool kids who’s in on a private beta for the latest and greatest smartphone app, where your enjoyment is really about being separate from the people who aren’t included, and the expected attitude is a kind of jaded, privileged disinterest: it’s more like getting a chance to play with the neighbor kid’s Lego set, and he has all the Legos.

Robin and Matt had crazy good Legos. I didn’t get that academic job, but I was able to take their Legos and build my way into a job writing for Wired, of all places, 30 years old and I’d never been a journalist except by osmosis and imposture here at Snarkmarket, and now I get paid every month to write for Wired, how does that happen except that this place was an extra scaffolding for all of us, for me in grad school, for Matt at newspapers across the country, for Robin at Gore TV/Current TV/Twitter, to build careers that weren’t possible for people who didn’t have that beautiful Lego scaffolding to support them (I’m wearing a sling on my arm right now with straps that wrap around my body to hold my arm in place, and a screw and washer to hold my shoulder bone together, my upper arm bone really, plus my rotator cuff, plus hold massive tendons, plus I’m thinking about those times that I would walk from my apartment in Columbus Circle down Broadway to Four Times Square in Manhattan to go to work at wired, wired isn’t there anymore, Condé Nast just moved in to one World Trade Center today, all the way downtown, but the scaffolding in Manhattan that is just constant, that is the only thing that allows the city to remake itself day after day month after month year after year, so this scaffolding metaphor is really doing something for me, plus Legos, well, Legos that just came from before, so what can I tell you, roll with it).

I don’t work at Wired, Robin doesn’t work at Twitter, Matt is at NPR, and we are where we are because of the things that we did but also because of this place. Ars Technica ran a story about it being 10 years since EPIC 2014 – I could paste the link [http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/11/epic-2014-recalling-a-decade-old-imagining-of-the-tech-driven-media-future/ ] and maybe that would be the bloggy thing to do, but you’re big boys and girls, you can Google it after you finish reading this — and there’s great interviews in there with Robin and Matt about how they made the video, and some specific names of wars and companies aside, were basically right about how technology companies were going to take the distribution and interpretation of the news away from both traditional journalism companies and the emerging open standards of the World Wide Web. I mean, isn’t that a hell of a thing, to see the future and put it in a flash movie? Anything was possible in 2004, especially if that anything Looked like a future that was vaguely uncomfortable but not so bad, really.

I turned 35 today, and I don’t really have a lot of deep thoughts about my own life or career or where I am in it. I’ve had those on other birthdays, and I’ve had them on many days in the not too distant past. Today, though, I’ve mostly felt warm and embraced by the people all around me, in my home, across the country, on the telephone, connected to me by the mails, whose books I read (and whose books publishers send to my house, my friends are writing books and their publishers send them free to my house, that’s almost as amazing as a machine that I can control that lets me read new things all day), and who were connected to me by the Internet: on twitter or Facebook, on Slack or email, by text message or text messaging’s many, many hypostases, all around me, as real to me as anyone I’ve ever imagined or read or touched, all of them, all of them warm and kind and gracious and curious about me and how I’m doing, what I’m up to, what I’m thinking, what I want to do this week or next month or when I get a chance to read that thing they sent me. it is as real to me as that invented community at the end of epic 2015 [http://epic.makingithappen.co.uk or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQDBhg60UNI ], that brilliant coda that people almost always forget, and I don’t know why because it’s actually a better prediction of our future-come-present than anything in the first video, but maybe it’s not about the New York Times, it’s just about a beautiful day outside, a traffic accident, an open door, Matt’s beautiful voice when he narrates that photograph, beckoning you to come outside to look, LOOK.

The Snarkmatrix Is infinite, the stark matrix is everywhere, the start matrix can touchdown at any point in these electronic channels and reconstitute itself, extending perpetually outward into the entire world of media and ideas and editors who are trying to understand what will happen next, and teenage kids who are trying to figure out how what they’re doing maps in any way at all to this strange, established world of culture, to writers who are anxious for any sense of community, any place to decompress between the often hostile worlds of social media and professional correspondence. People want a place, a third place, and blogs are a great form of that place, even when they’re not blogs. (I’m subblogging now. This is what it’s come to. But I think most of you feel me.)"
2014  snarkmarket  epic2014  epic2015  timcarmody  robinsloan  mattthomas  blog  blogging  writing  scaffolding  lego  snarkmatrix  looking  seeing  observing  sharing  conversation  howwelearn  howwethink  howwewrite  history  future  making  culturecreation  media  journalism  slack  email  im  twitter  facebook  socialmedia 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Snarkmarket: A Concise History of the Future
"Tim: I used to have a rule, that I would never just link to stuff. I always had to comment just as much.
That’s why in my first year, I had about fifteen posts.
Robin: a blog is like an article of clothing. a weird one, like a futuristic pointy hat or silver pants.
you don’t know how to wear it at first…
but then you break it in — you get comfortable with it
Tim: but suddenly you go to a party where everyone’s rocking it
and you say… oh, that’s how you do it
Matt: when we started, I just thought it would be a good way to keep in touch w/ Robin. which it has been. but it ended up much awesomer, which was a plus.
Robin: well i credit snarkmarket to essentially changing my trajectory in journalism entirely.
because, almost overnight,
it was so much more FUN than writing normal articles,
and getting feedback in the normal way.
which is to say, not at all.
your party metaphor applies here, tim.
Tim: Snarkmarket easily made me much more interested in, um, now than I ever would have been.
Reminds me of the Nietzsche quote — the trouble with scholars is that by thinking backward, eventually you believe backward too.
Robin: mmm i like that!
Tim: SM has helped me orient my thinking forward.
Robin: a blog — and all the things that surround & support it, like a well-stocked rss reader, and commenters — are an anchor to the present
sometimes to a fault
but even so
Tim: The real trouble is thinking that backwards is the last forwards
like, the real break is the printing press
or the french revolution
or the advent of the computer
some epoch-making change that fixes everything forever
so you don’t see how things are changing now
Matt: it took me a moment to process “backwards is the last forwards.”
Tim: thinking backwards to find beginnings
rather than closures or ruptures
Matt: I eventually got it. I like it.
Tim: which in a way is a blinder to optimism
Matt: I’m going to toss that at a curmudgeonly academic one of these days.
Robin: honestly we’ve waited too long to refresh/reboot/rethink snarkmarket —
partly as a result of, you know, having jobs and lives and things —
but at its ideal it is changing a lot more frequently, a lot more fluidly.
so we should think of this evolution not as an epoch-maker
but the first beat in a new, faster tempo
Matt: amen.
Tim: right, throwing the finish line ahead so you can run past it
Matt: the other day, I was thinking about how I’ve never kept a diary. and there was a moment of regret - all those thoughts and memories that have just been scattered to the ages.
but then I remembered Snarkmarket. which is the oddest type of diary. ‘cause it’s not about me, but it’s about how I view the world.
Robin: yes! actually matt, you just linked to an old 2006 post of mine today —
and i clicked over and went: “wait… who wrote this?”
it struck me in the best possible way
Tim: a diary of public preoccupations
So, like, what are the big moments in SM history?
It seems like Robin targeting Al Gore TV is a big one
EPIC is undoubtedly a big one
which, in a way, is more consequential.
Matt: I remember four years ago, a while after Dean’s Presidential candidacy went up in flames, when I posted about a story I intended to report in ten years. (when his records from office in VT would be made public.)
Robin: love that. i feel that we must endeavor to make snarkmarket a reliable repository for ten-year ideas.
Matt: Snarkmarket seemed the most enduring document in which to declare that intent. there was no better way to send a message to myself in 10 years.
Robin: we’re halfway there already which isn’t bad.



Matt: blogging = destiny.
Robin: welcome to the snarkmatrix officially, tim
Tim: thanks kids.
Matt: yes, we are very glad to have you.
Tim: good to be aboard this leaky rocketship into the future."
snarkmarket  2008  timcarmody  mattthompson  robinsloan  blog  blogging  optimism  writing  howwewrite  howwethink  forwardthinking  backwardthinking  evolution  progress  inventingthefuture  genesis  future 
november 2014 by robertogreco
The problem with OKCupid is the problem with the social web
"We all buy in to Facebook (and Twitter, and OKCupid, and every other social media network), giving them a huge amount of personal data, free content, and discretion on how they show it to us, with the understanding that all of this will largely be driven by choices that we make. We build our own profiles, we select our favorite pictures, we make our own friends, we friend whatever brands we like, we pick the users we want to block or mute or select for special attention, and we write our own stories.

Even the filtering algorithms, we're both told and led to assume, are the product of our choices. Either we make these choices explicitly (mute this user, don't show me this again, more results like these) or implicitly (we liked the last five baby pictures, so Facebook shows us more baby pictures; we looked at sites X, Y, and Z, so we see Amazon ads for people who looked at X, Y, and Z. It's not arbitrary; it's personalized. And it's personalized for our benefit, to reflect the choices that we and the people we trust have made.

This is what makes the user-created social web great. It's the value it adds over traditional news media, traditional classified ads, traditional shopping, everything.

We keep copyright on everything we write and every image we post, giving these services a broad license to use it. And whenever the terms of service seem to be saying that these companies have the right to do things we would never want them to do, we're told that these are just the legal terms that the companies need in order to offer the ordinary, everyday service that we've asked them to do for us.

This is why it really stings whenever somebody turns around and says, "well actually, the terms you've signed give us permission to do whatever we want. Not just the thing you were afraid of, but a huge range of things you never thought of." You can't on one hand tell us to pay no attention when you change these things on us, and with the other insist that this is what we've really wanted to do all along. I mean, fuck me over, but don't tell me that I really wanted you to fuck me over all along.

Because ultimately, the reason you needed me to agree in the first place isn't just because I'm using your software, but because you're using my stuff. And the reason I'm letting you use my stuff, and spending all this time working on it, is so that you can show it to people.

I'm not just a user of your service, somebody who reads the things that you show it to me: I'm one of the reasons you have anything that you can show to anyone at all."



"More importantly, though, don't make this just a question about dates or feelings, about what somebody did or didn't read and what its effect on them was. I don't care if you think someone making a dating profile is a frivolous thing. Somebody made that. They thought the company hosting it could be trusted to present it honestly. They were wrong.

So this is the problem I see not just with Facebook and OKCupid's experiments, but with most of the arguments about them. They're all too quick to accept that users of these sites are readers who've agreed to let these sites show them things. They don't recognize or respect that the users are also the ones who've made almost everything that those sites show. They only treat you as a customer, never a client.

And in this respect, OKCupid's Christian Rudder and the brigade of "and this surprises you?" cynics are right: this is what everybody does. This is the way the internet works now. (Too much of it, anyway.) It doesn't matter whether your site is performing interventions on you or not, let alone publishing them. Too many of them have accepted this framework.

Still, for as long as the web does work this way, we are never only these companies' "products," but their producers, too. And to the extent that these companies show they aren't willing to live up to the basic agreement that we make these things and give them to you so you will show them to other people -- the engine that makes this whole world wide web business go -- I'm not going to have anything to do with them any more. What's more, I'll get mad enough to find a place that will show the things I write to other people and tell them they shouldn't accept it either. Because, ultimately, you ought to be ashamed to treat people and the things they make this way.

It's not A/B testing. It's just being an asshole."
timcarmody  facebook  okcubid  2014  data  ethics  abtesting  socialmedia  content  relationships 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Twitter / tcarmody: baby, tonight I'm writing you ...
"baby, tonight I'm writing you an email newsletter
with an audience of one"

Preceded by https://twitter.com/tcarmody/status/476208961595510785 :
"All of my emails are newsletters"
audiencesofone  timcarmody  email  newsletters  2014 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Twitter / tcarmody: Inside each of us is a little ...
"Inside each of us is a little boy, a shy, lovesick girl with a curse, a demon made of fire, and a shape-shifting wizard with no heart."
timcarmody  2010  twitter  hayaomiyazaki  multitudes  miyazaki  howl'smovingcastle 
february 2014 by robertogreco
STET | Attention, rhythm & weight
"For better or worse, we live in a world of media invention. Instead of reusing a stable of forms over and over, it’s not much harder for us to create new ones. Our inventions make it possible to explore the secret shape of our subject material, to coax it into saying more.

These new forms won’t follow the rules of the scroll, the codex, or anything else that came before, but we can certainly learn from them. We can ask questions from a wide range of influences — film, animation, video games, and more. We can harvest what’s still ripe today, and break new ground when necessary.

Let’s begin."

[See also: http://publishingperspectives.com/2013/10/books-in-browsers-iv-why-we-should-not-imitate-snowfall/ and video of Allen's talk at Books in Browsers 2013 (Day 2 Session 1) http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/40164570 ]
allentan  publishing  writing  internet  web  timcarmody  2013  papermodernism  literacy  fluency  intuitiveness  legibility  metaphor  interaction  howweread  howwewrite  communication  multiliteracies  skills  touch  scrolling  snowfall  immersive  focus  distraction  attention  cinema  cinematic  film  flickr  usability  information  historiasextraordinarias  narrative  storytelling  jose-luismoctezuma  text  reading  multimedia  rhythm  pacing  purpose  weight  animation  gamedesign  design  games  gaming  mediainvention  media 
december 2013 by robertogreco
One-handed computing with the iPhone
"The easy single-handed operation of the iPhone1 is not one of its obvious selling points but is one of those little features that grows on you and becomes nearly indispensable. A portable networked computing and gaming device that can be easily operated with one hand can be used in a surprising variety of situations."

[See also: http://kottke.org/13/09/computers-are-for-people ]

[Update: see also (via @ablerism):
"It’s a Man’s Phone: My female hands meant I couldn’t use my Google Nexus to document tear gas misuse"
https://medium.com/technology-and-society/its-a-mans-phone-a26c6bee1b69 ]
computersareforpeople  iphone  usability  accessibility  apple  design  kottke  2009  timcarmody  jasonkottke 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Phone solo / Snarkmarket
"Generally, I would say that while I was actually pretty conscious of accessibility issues before my injury, I have a completely different understanding of it now, as I’m navigating the world in a wheelchair, trying to both capture and manage the attention of random passers-by, totally aware of just how much function I have, and that (unlike my friends) I’ll be hanging up the wheelchair in just a few weeks. (Rehabbing the arm will take a while longer.) Your cheerfulness about the situation varies almost directly with your autonomy — and the iPhone is GREAT at making you feel autonomous. Innovation in interface design isn’t just about creating a cooler experience. It’s about giving more and more people a shot at that experience to begin with."
timcarmody  accessibility  iphone  computersareforpeople  design  autonomy  empowerment  2009 
november 2013 by robertogreco
This Isn’t Franzen’s World Anymore | Hazlitt | Random House of Canada
"The real issue, it seems, is the declining moral and critical standing of the novelist. We don’t believe what Franzen and Eggers tell us about the world. Even if we enjoy their novels, they haven’t earned the moral and critical authority to translate their judgments to nonfiction, or even for us to respect their vision. They don’t just seem nostalgic for a time before social media took over our popular discourse—they’re nostalgic for a time when the novelist was, or at least was capable of being, at the center of that discourse.

The gap today is really between people who still want to assign literary novelists that role and people for whom only nonfiction will do the job. Emile Zola wrote “J’accuse!”, his great letter intervening in fin-de-siècle France’s notorious Dreyfuss Affair, with a moral authority that frankly seems impossible today. When the Kennedy administration wanted to improve racial relations, attorney general Robert F. Kennedy met with James Baldwin (along with Harry Belafonte, Lorraine Hansberry, Lena Horne, and a smattering of civil rights leaders); it was the public failure of that meeting that led directly to both President Kennedy’s address supporting new civil rights legislation and that August’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

What do we do in a world where Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg has more moral authority than a popular-critical novelist like Franzen or Eggers? Is it possible for any novelist to have Tolstoy‘s or Baldwin’s or even David Foster Wallace’s authority today? Consider Franzen:
In my own little corner of the world, which is to say American fiction, Jeff Bezos of Amazon may not be the antichrist, but he surely looks like one of the four horsemen. Amazon wants a world in which books are either self-published or published by Amazon itself, with readers dependent on Amazon reviews in choosing books, and with authors responsible for their own promotion. The work of yakkers and tweeters and braggers, and of people with the money to pay somebody to churn out hundreds of five-star reviews for them, will flourish in that world. But what happens to the people who became writers because yakking and tweeting and bragging felt to them like intolerably shallow forms of social engagement? What happens to the people who want to communicate in depth, individual to individual, in the quiet and permanence of the printed word, and who were shaped by their love of writers who wrote when publication still assured some kind of quality control and literary reputations were more than a matter of self-promotional decibel levels?


With social media, we are at no shortage of opinions, diagnoses, and feelings about our world, its apocalyptic implications, and our future place in it. And it increasingly feels as though a writer like Franzen is talking about a much narrower place. Instead of facts, instead of expertise, he is giving us “the quiet and permanence of the printed word,” a media artifact that is not endangered, but is no longer central.

Franzen is no longer central, if he ever was. He cannot be Tolstoy. He cannot be Baldwin. He cannot even be David Foster Wallace. And if those authors were with us today, what guarantee would there be that the role they occupied would command the same respect, let alone exist? That time is ending, and Franzen knows it."
2013  timcarmody  jonathanfranzen  daveeggers  internet  fiction  literature  writing  expertise  tolstoy  experience  nonfiction 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Computers are for people
"Markets are gonna market, and specs are gonna spec, but it often feels like companies are forgetting that computers are for people, first. And people have bodies, those bodies have limitations, and all of us have limitations in specific situations.

We're all disabled sometimes. If I turn off the lights in your room, you can't see. If I fill the room with enough noise, you can't hear. If your hands are full, you can't use them to do anything else.

But as Sara Hendren writes, "all technology is assistive technology." When it's working right, technology helps people of every ability overcome these limitations. It doesn't throw us back into the world of assumptions that expects us all to be fully capable all of the time.

That's not what good technology does. That's not what good design does. That's what assholes do.

I think often about Jason's post on one-handed computing because I'm in the story. He wrote it for his wife, and he wrote it for me. I'd badly broken my right arm in an accident, snapping my radius in half and shooting it out of my body."



"The thing that tech companies forget -- that journalists forget, that Wall Street never knew, that commenters who root for tech companies like sports fans for their teams could never formulate -- that technology is for people -- is obvious to Jason. Technology is for us. All of us. People who carry things.

People. Us. These stupid, stubborn, spectacular machines made of meat and electricity, friends and laughter, genes and dreams."

[Update: see also (via @ablerism):
"It’s a Man’s Phone: My female hands meant I couldn’t use my Google Nexus to document tear gas misuse"
https://medium.com/technology-and-society/its-a-mans-phone-a26c6bee1b69 ]
technology  timcarmody  2013  assistivetechnology  sarahendren  humans  vulnerability  ability  disability  iphone  limitations  computing  computers  accessibility  computersareforpeople  disabilities  zeyneptufekci 
october 2013 by robertogreco
In living memory
"Remember that fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation, A. Philip Randolph was organizing the Shakespearean Society in Harlem. Fifty years after that, he was meeting a President who now owed him more than he probably ever knew. Fifty years is a long time and yet not so very long. If so much can be done in just one day, how much more could we do, now that we know we have another fifty years?"
us  history  civilrights  marchonwashington  2013  1963  timcarmody  activism  time  martinlutherkingjr  aphiliprandolph  rosaparks  josephyelowery  jamesforman  bayardrustin  mlk 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Stéphane Mallarmé | HiLobrow
"When painter Edgar Degas complained to friends that despite being full of ideas for new poetry, he had struggled all day to write a sonnet, the salon’s host, STÉPHANE MALLARMÉ (1842-98), replied, “But Degas, it is not at all with ideas that one makes poetry. It is with words.” Sound did not follow sense: consider the distortion between language and reality even in the darkened vowels of jour (day) and the bright ones of nuit (night). That was the lesson of Baudelaire and especially Poe, whose verse Mallarmé translated into French prose and to whom Mallarmé dedicated a famous sonnet celebrating the poet’s “black flights of blasphemy” against taste and tradition in his attempts to “give a purer meaning to the words of the tribe.” In time, Mallarmé’s insistence on the elemental role of words led him from sound to space, writing his breathtakingly experimental poem “Un Coup de des” (“A Throw of the dice”) and a series of influential essays calling for a free verse modeled in part on the daily newspaper: the “full sheet on display… [allows for] mass production and circulation, but that advantage is secondary to a miracle, in the highest sense of the word: words led back to their origin, which is the twenty-six letters of the alphabet, so gifted with infinity that they will finally consecrate language.” Many of Mallarmé’s longest projects, including an elaborate combinatorial performance piece alternately called simply Le Livre (The Book) or Le Grand Oeuvre (The Great Work), remained incomplete or in fragments at his death."
edgardegas  degas  mallarmé  stéphanemallarmé  words  language  french  abstraction  timcarmody  poetry  painting  2011 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Memory to myth: tracing Aaron Swartz through the 21st century | The Verge
"“if you’re in the tech sector, why are you there? What do you really believe in? If you believe that technology is making the world a better place, why do you believe that? Do you really understand what makes the world a bad place to begin with?” When I think of Aaron, living out of a backpack even after he’d become wealthy, challenging other activists and philanthropists as irrational and unproductive, and unable to eat much more than white rice or water crackers without pain, I think that discomfort is entirely appropriate. We should be uncomfortable. We should be asking better questions. We should see nothing as inevitable."
journalism  information  technology  2013  ethics  aaronswartz  activism  timcarmody  techsector  copyright  purpose  education  tech  politics  values  policy 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Hero’s Welcome, The Big Hairy Edition « Snarkmarket
"Like Auerbach, by returning to every document within his tradition, uprooting them, jointing them, and flinging them across the room to find the lived reality beneath, he makes them his own. And there he is home."

[Shorter, edited version referenced within is here: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/Issue/109244 ]

[This post resurfaced today due to a new one: http://snarkmarket.com/2012/8039 ]
longshot  expression  language  howwewrite  understanding  reality  meaningmaking  aggregation  piecingtogether  pieces  nostalgia  creativity  whatweknow  history  music  jerryleelewis  literature  erichauerbach  odysseues  odyssey  2012  timcarmody 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Twitter / robinsloan: @audreywatters @tcarmody @mthomps ...
"@audreywatters @tcarmody @mthomps Ha! Nothing we do at @snarkmarket is massive or even particularly scalable—that's part of its charm ;-)"

…in response to https://twitter.com/audreywatters/status/265508419048439808

"@tcarmody @Snarkmarket @mthomps @robinsloan thank you for not calling this MOOC. Otherwise, you'd be dead to me, Carmody"

…in response to https://twitter.com/tcarmody/status/265507504723738624

"The best blogs become great classrooms. On @Snarkmarket’s Tenth Anniversary Seminar w/@mthomps, @robinsloan, me, & you: http://snarkmarket.com/2012/8022 "
snarkmarket  seminars  charm  scaling  scale  robinsloan  timcarmody  audreywatters  moocs  2012  mooc 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Games in the street « Snarkmarket
"We didn’t play stickball out in the second-ring suburbs of Detroit, but we did play with sticks. We ran in the street until dark and we built forts in the mud down by the creek. Most importantly, we made up new games on the spot.

That’s just about my favorite thing about kids: their willingness to transform anything, instantly, at any time, into a game. And I do mean a game: a system with rules. It can be as simple as I slap your knee, you slap mine but it’s a game.

I was lucky to fall in with a neotenous crew in college, and we spent long afternoons inventing games at Michigan State, too: coming up with new configurations of ground and body and frisbee out on the big quad around the clock tower.

Anyway, Spike Lee shouldn’t lament cocolevio (?!) because it’s in the nature of kids’ culture to change, eventually beyond recognition, but I’m with him when it comes to games in the street. I’m sure there are still some kids playing this way in Cobble Hill, but definitely not as many as before. I mean, there’s just no way, right? There are so many other games already invented for them now—all these other games waiting indoors on bright screens big and small.

Stickball never looked like much fun to me, but you can carry a stick into a sword battle, too. Those were more our style. And at a certain time of day, with the sun low in the sky, a neat lawn could truly become a battlefield. You got tired after just a few tussles, really desperately tired, and maybe your knuckles got a little bloody too, but you had to keep going, had to keep fighting—at least until your mom called you home for dinner.

Snarkmatrix, you know me: I am not a Luddite (no way) and not a techno-triumphalist, either. So I hope you’ll take it not as a nostalgic yawlp but rather a considered statement about the nature of the mind and the body when I say: Raw unselfconscious imagination is the best graphics engine that has ever existed, and the street will forever be the arena in which all the best games are played."
snarkmarket  play  games  neoteny  comments  edg  srg  minecraft  sticks  children  creativity  spikelee  imagination  cocolevio  stickball  rules  robinsloan  2012  brooklyn  interviews  timcarmody 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Tim Carmody spells it out. (with tweets) · maxfenton · Storify
"…after WW2, a professional managerial class figured out they could trade benefits tomorrow for real money today across the workforce.

Early on, this didn't cost them much, because the workforce was young, health care was cheap, & most of it was just paper promises.

Then when the economy got a little tougher, these industries laid off workers & stopped kicking in funds for pensions. Profits still high.

Now, every single one of those industries are laying off even more workers, reducing benefits & weaseling out of those old promises.

What we're seeing is much less global industrial disruption than it is a bad check, a ponzi scheme, a bald-faced transfer of wealth.

A transfer of wealth across classes and generations, coupled with a villainization of the very employees who've been defrauded.

This is no accident of history. This is a fully planned and executed heist. This makes Ocean's Eleven look like a botched stickup…

[one more here]

This is how you murder the future."
industry  labor  inequity  wealthdistribution  wealth  ponzischemes  pensions  2012  finance  economics  history  timcarmody 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Imagination to imagination « Snarkmarket
Ellen Ullman quote:

"I think that literature—essays, stories, poems—is the one form where we can meet, imagination to imagination, without hosts of people in between, no directors and actors and set designers and so on. The medium itself is fairly transparent. You don’t need equipment or electrical outlets. You can go off alone to read, and, if the work is good, you are then intensely close to other human beings."

Tim's comment:

"I’ve been thinking about this a bit lately — how literature overcomes (or tries to overcome) the deficiencies of language — all those failures of imaginations to connect — WITH language. Like, only the spear that made this wound can heal it. Cf also Mallarmé, “to purify the language of the tribe.”"
imagination  connection  mallarmé  language  books  reading  ellenullman  communication  poetry  2012  timcarmody  writing  literature  snarkmarket  robinsloan 
april 2012 by robertogreco
TOC 2012: Tim Carmody, "Changing Times, Changing Readers: Let's Start With Experience" - YouTube
Notes here by @tealtan:

"unusual contexts in writing / reading text

“In a hyperliterate society, the vast majority of reading is not consciously recognized as reading.”

“What readers expect is more important than what readers want.”

Bill Buxton: “every tool is the best at something and the worst at something else”

skills, path-dependency, learning effects

“…we actually like constraints once we're in them.”"

And notes from @litherland:

"11:40: “I do things like … just obsess about weird little details. So, for instance … like, how do you do text entry in a Netflix app on the Wii? You know? I think about this a lot.” Your many other talents notwithstanding, Tim, you may have missed your calling as a designer. /

18:30: “I think it’s a tragedy that we have not been able to figure out a good interface for pen and ink on reading devices.” Holy grail. My dream for years. I would give anything. I would give anything to be smart enough to figure this out."
design  reading  writing  journalism  history  timcarmody  toc2012  via:tealtan  constraints  billbuxton  bookfuturism  ebooks  stéphanemallarmé  paper  2012  media  mediarevolutions  sentencediagramming  advertising  photography  change  books  publishing  printing  modernism  context  interface  expectations  conventions  skills  skeuomorph 
february 2012 by robertogreco
What (Some) People Like On Twitter « Snarkmarket
"The other day on Twitter, I had a particularly silly/dorky Steve Jobs tweet become crazy popular, like a thousand retweets popular. So — being again, particularly silly and dorky myself — decided to pull some of my most popular tweets into a Storify to try to discern a pattern (if any)."

[Don't miss this comment: http://snarkmarket.com/2011/7301/comment-page-1#comment-38907 ]
in-jokes  laughing  jokes  2011  patterns  howwewrite  snarkmarket  timcarmody  writing  twitter 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Matthew Battles: It doesn’t take Cupertino to make textbooks interactive » Nieman Journalism Lab
"Schiller made a sentimental play to this constituency, opening his presentation with a series of excerpted interviews in which teachers sang the sad litany of challenges they face: cratering budgets, overcrowded classrooms, unprepared, disengaged students. The argument that Apple — founded by dropouts and autodidacts — is fundamentally motivated to change this set of conditions is as ludicrous as the notion that the company could ever hope actually to do any such thing…

We can never count Apple out — the company’s visions have an implacable way of turning into givens — but the future is undoubtedly more complex. There will still be overcrowded classrooms, overworked teachers, and shrinking budgets in an education world animated by Apple. But I prefer to think of teachers and students finding ways to hack knowledge and make their own beautiful stories to envisioning ranks of studens spellbound by magical tablets."
ibooksauthor  ibooks  technology  schooliness  rubrics  standardization  autodidacts  pearson  timcarmody  matthewbattles  publishing  tablets  knwoledgebowl  knowledge  interactive  textbooks  books  schools  learning  storytelling  teaching  education  2012  ipad  apple 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Gibson: Dreaming in Social Media · tealtan · Storify
An online dinner party (or nightcap) conversation in the wake of a "William Gibson gave a talk tonight at the Union Square B&N;, and threw out a provocative thought." Compiled by Allen Tan.
oversharing  intimacy  surrealism  dreamspace  networks  sharedconsciousness  unconsciousness  sharing  reading  blurredrealms  sleeping  waking  joy  sarcasm  snark  humor  telepresence  presence  future  fiction  onlinedinnerparty  humanity  andrewfamiglietti  sciencefiction  scifi  socialmedia  web  net  dreams  ideasmuggling  ideas  books  nyc  maxfenton  danielreetz  erinkissane  comments  aaronstewart-ahn  timcarmody  twitter  storify  conversation  2012  allentan  williamgibson 
january 2012 by robertogreco
‘This Stuff Doesn’t Change the World’: Disability and Steve Jobs’ Legacy | Epicenter | Wired.com
"My son is on the autism spectrum and has a severe receptive and expressive language delay. He’s 4 years old, and can read and spell words, and sing entire songs, but is more like an 18-month- or 2-year-old in normal conversation. He cannot use a telephone and has a hard time sitting still for video telephony. He has a thoroughly well-loved iPod Touch, filled with videos and apps that have helped him learn to speak and augment his ability to communicate."

"Apple never had a perfect record when it came to user accessibility. No technology company does. But I bought my first iPhone when I broke my arm, because it let me use a computer with one hand. And on Tuesday, when I saw Apple’s demo video for Siri, its new voice-command AI assistant — which ends with a blind woman using Siri to send and receive text messages — knowing that blindness has been the disability least well-served by the touchscreen revolution — I wept. I’m weeping again now."
disability  timcarmody  accessibility  ipodtouch  itouch  stevejobs  2011  communication  autism  blind  blindness  design  disabilities 
october 2011 by robertogreco
What diversity means « Snarkmarket
"…if you’re broke or have less education, your child’s more likely to go undiagnosed/misdiagnosed & be treated as slow or mentally retarded…even if you get the “right” diagnosis, the therapies offered & your ability to take advantage of them will vary wildly depending on your resources. Maybe especially time.

…just as autism stories overwhelmingly focus on children, not adults, they also overwhelmingly focus on the wealthy, not the poor…& the link between autism & poverty is extraordinary once a child becomes an adult — what “independence” means in that context is very different.

This is also to say that while all these additional considerations are important, fuck that shit. Because autism does cut across class, race, gender, sexual identity & physical ability, etc…because of that, it changes what we mean by diversity, what kinds of diversity count, what diversity we ought to care about, & how we think about all of these issues of identity & privilege taken all together."
autism  aspergers  timcarmody  2011  poverty  class  race  diversity  gender  wealth  independence  childhood  parenting  adulthood  privilege  identity  education  diagnosis 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Bless the toolmakers « Snarkmarket
So much here in Robin's post and the comments that I'm not going to quote anything. Lots to think about.
tools  apple  pixar  arts  art  robinsloan  snarkmarket  creativity  creation  media  freemandyson  roolmaking  liberalarts  lasting  building  software  design  writing  timcarmody 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Harry Potter and the Comment of Wonders « Snarkmarket
"This comment from Robinson Meyer…kinda blows my mind…chatting about fandoms and Harry Potter, and Robinson says:

"But the best part of Harry Potter, for me, came in the reading of the first few chapters of each new book. It was like meeting old friends. I’d discover every time that Harry and I had both grown up a little, had emotionally become more sophisticated, and that we also had that same old warm rapport and that same old love for each other…"

“[R]eading the first few chapters of Books 5, 6, and 7 are among my happiest memories.” That kinda blows my mind.

It also makes me realize that I had no comparable experience as a young reader. There was no fantasy epic being released/revealed as I grew up…

Seriously, I can’t even fully articulate why—but I am sorta obsessed with the last few lines of Robinson’s comment. It’s almost a recipe. Engineer that, somehow, and you win."

[Some great comments here too. Also, check out the Google+ plus that served as the source for the conversation: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108770025895417156764/posts/HZEV4owg9qz ]
harrypotter  snarkmarket  robinsloan  sahelidatta  timcarmody  franchises  books  children  formulas  literature  serials  expectation  anticipation  childrenliterature  2011  robinsonmeyer  fandom  compulsoryfandom  sharedexperience  culture  classideas 
july 2011 by robertogreco
There Is One Apple, But Many Microsofts: The Company You Don’t Know | Epicenter | Wired.com
"But now, even as I (like most everyone else) use more of Apple’s stuff, I think I’m more fascinated by Microsoft — particularly the Microsoft that most of us don’t usually think about."
apple  microsoft  organizations  timcarmody  2011  business  software  revenue  hardware 
july 2011 by robertogreco
‘March Backwards Into the Future’ — Marshall McLuhan’s Century | Epicenter | Wired.com
"Thursday is the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the literary scholar, media theorist and intellectual icon Marshall McLuhan.<br />
<br />
In his books The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man (1951), The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1962), Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964), The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects (1967), War and Peace in the Global Village (1968) and From Cliché to Archetype (1970), McLuhan analyzed the effect of a wide range of media on individual psychology and common culture.<br />
<br />
This essay examines McLuhan’s legacy by reading one of his rare experiments in new media, The Medium is the Massage, a collaboration with designer Quentin Fiore that remains McLuhan’s best-selling work."
2011  marshallmcluhan  timcarmody 
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Coming Cloud Wars: Google+ vs Microsoft (plus Facebook) | Epicenter | Wired.com
"Right now, it’s easy to share links, pictures, location and videos on Google+. Soon, it’ll be equally easy to share maps, office documents, news and shopping deals.

That’s where things really get interesting — particularly if Google can turn its identity system into the kind of purchasing system that Apple and Amazon have, pairing it with its advertising power and ever-present mobile phones to create a virtual mobile wallet.

If Silicon Valley were hosting a basketball tournament for consumer money and mindshare in the cloud, right now we’d be looking at a Final Four of Google, Apple (plus Twitter), Microsoft (plus Facebook) and Amazon (especially if they can make a compelling tablet). Apple just had its earnings call; Microsoft’s is tomorrow.

The stakes are high, the players are ready. It’s a fun time to be a fan."
timcarmody  google+  google  amazon  apple  facebook  microsoft  skype  twitter  social  cloud  cloudcomputing  identity  sharing  notification  communication  bing  search  spotify 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Post by Robin Sloan; "the Borders bankruptcy isn't essentially about the book business"
"I think it might have something to do w/ the franchises you cite, +Tim Carmody. I think the real locus of love & engagement today is not books (e- or otherwise) but rather fandoms. You know this is the case when you don't ever cite a particular volume. Instead it's just: Twilight. Harry Potter. Middle Earth. Game of Thrones. (And there's an interesting cross-media dynamic in that last example: the TV incarnation has essentially usurped the naming rights for the whole fandom. I call the book series "Game of Thrones" now—not "A Song of Ice and Fire.")

Now, as it turns out, books are a great way to kick off sprawling cross-media stories, and manga are even better; words are still a world-builder's best tools. But importantly, the thing people get wrapped up in, the thing they feel this crazy allegiance for, isn't the words, or the paper, or the E-Ink. It's the fictional world."
robinsloan  timcarmody  bordersbooks  books  booksellers  print  publishing  retail  bankruptcy  2011  genre  franchises  fiction  literature 
july 2011 by robertogreco
You’ve got the sickness, I’ve got the medicine « Snarkmarket
"These two blockquotes, curated by Andrew Simone and Alan Jacobs respectively, arrived in my RSS reader within moments of each other. I liked Jacobs’s adjective, which applies to Simone’s selection, too: “Kierkegaardian.”"
boredom  jimrossignol  timcarmody  alanjacobs  andrewsimone  walkerpercy  tv  television  2010  kierkegaard  idleness 
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Case of The Traveling Text Message - Michele Tepper - Interactions Everywhere
"Last year, the BBC and Masterpiece Mystery aired a new adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes stories called Sherlock. It’s available now on Netflix Watch Instantly, so if you haven’t seen it yet, go check it out.

But I’m not here to talk about how fantastic the concept and the writing are, or how much I love the performances, or even how anxiously I’m awaiting the next series. I want to argue that the thing that makes this series really groundbreaking is something very subtle: the way director Paul McGuigan handles titles…

…instead of cutting to the character’s screen, Sherlock takes over the viewer’s screen.

But none of that takes away from the achievement, which screenwriter John August calls “the one to beat.” I fully expect the text messaging style McGuigan brought us in Sherlock to become part of the visual narrative vernacular, coming soon to a screen near you."
design  writing  television  ui  text  userinterface  narrative  film  tv  2011  sherlock  timcarmody  screens  computers  mobile  phones  storytelling  perspective  filmmaking  classideas  glowingrectangles 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Real-World Math - storify.com
"Hey, kids! Ever wonder how math is done in the real world? This is the way math is done in the real world."

Storify that I put together to document a conversation on Twitter about a specific math problems that Diana Kimball asked for help with.
math  mathematics  realworld  cv  storytelling  storify  collaboration  twitter  2011  timcarmody  robinsloan  dianakimball  games  boardgames  problemsolving  statistics  probability  conversation  comments 
july 2011 by robertogreco
For Dewey, Bellow, and Sweetness: The Story of the Chicago Comma - storify.com
"The University of Oxford no longer uses the "Oxford" or serial Comma in its own publications. Even though the serial comma is still recommended by Oxford University Press, we feel that the time has come for the torch to be passed to a new city on a new continent. We say: let the so-called Oxford Comma become hereafter known as the Chicago Comma."
timcarmody  danielsinker  oxford  oxfordcomma  punctuation  chicago  2011  manualofstyle  writing  style  ego  humor  appropriation  renaming  classideas  storify  commas  howwewrite  parentheses  quotationmarks  dumbquotes  serialcomma  language  communication  comments  styleguides 
june 2011 by robertogreco
For Dewey, Bellow, and Sweetness: The Story of the Chicago Comma - storify.com
"The University of Oxford no longer uses the "Oxford" or serial Comma in its own publications. Even though the serial comma is still recommended by Oxford University Press, we feel that the time has come for the torch to be passed to a new city on a new continent. We say: let the so-called Oxford Comma become hereafter known as the Chicago Comma."
timcarmody  danielsinker  oxford  oxfordcomma  punctuation  chicago  2011  manualofstyle  writing  style  ego  humor  appropriation  renaming  classideas  storify  commas  howwewrite  parentheses  quotationmarks  dumbquotes  serialcomma  language  communication  johndewey  saulbellow  styleguides 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Alan Jacobs, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction - storify.com
"Q: how does reading fiction help you become a nonfiction writer? A: I'm a southerner, started school early (and tiny): I'm a storyteller."

"I talked with Alan about this afterwards, and we both agreed that the structure of reading-as-morally-virtuous vs reading-as-guilty-pleasure has metastasized to virtually every kind of media: newspapers, movies, television. We all want to be reading and watching the right things, the best things, and can be the subject of shame when we're not. It's a structure."

"Q: What about audiobooks? What is reading? A: We're rooted in storytelling, but for me, it's rooted in reading aloud, that connection."
alanjacobs  timcarmody  reading  literature  distraction  storytelling  pleasure  shame  audiobooks  books  internet  web  online  storify  structure  fiction  life  nonfiction  2011 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Descartes didn’t say that « Snarkmarket
"I like that description, too! Kotkin liked it so much, he put it in his book. I like it so much, I wanted to find out where it came from.

And it turns out Descartes didn’t say that. And the phrase doesn’t mean what Kotkin thinks it does. But there’s a reason both the philosopher and the new meaning got mixed into it.

Get the genealogical-detective lowdown in a Storify by my Twitter-co-archeologist Wilko von Hardenberg after the jump. (I really like his idea that this would make for a great game/exercise in the classroom.)

Also, if you missed it, see why Martin Luther King and Mark Twain didn’t say what you might think they did either. Similar psychology at work here, too. And it shows that it isn’t just the cut-and-pasters on the interwebs who make these mistakes."

[See also: http://storify.com/wilkohardenberg/the-inventory-of-the-possible-attribution AND http://wilkohardenberg.posterous.com/of-scavenger-hunts-great-cities-and-descartes ]
psychology  cities  twitter  quotes  descartes  joelkotkin  timcarmody  snarkmarket  attribution 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Giving our feelings a name
"One of the many things that fascinated Freud about jokes was that they passed around from person to person without an author. This is why they were interesting - they showed the unconscious uncensored, in public. (This is a big part of what Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious is about.)

When we (mis)attribute a joke or quote, we're doing something different: we're giving our unconscious an author, and leaning on the author's authority. Just like with jokes, it's an acceptable way to let our nervous feelings out, without having to completely own them ourselves. We just co-sign."
psychology  twitter  networks  feelings  mlk  pennjillette  timcarmody  quotes  authority  jokes  freud  attribution  misattribution  social  marktwain  osamabinladen  2011  clarencedarrow  meganmcardle  jessicadovey  drewgrant  martinlutherkingjr 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Twitter / @Timothy Burke: "Interdisciplinarity" see ...
[A thread on Twitter about interdisciplinarity…]

"Interdisciplinarity" seems so formal, like a treaty organization. I like the version that's about smuggling stuff across borders. [http://twitter.com/swarthmoreburke/status/63037778606292992 ]

@swarthmoreburke @publichistorian "Idea Smuggler". Love it. [http://twitter.com/navalang/status/63039078488211456 ]

@swarthmoreburke @navalang @publichistorian Cross-disciplinary. Anti-disciplinary. Black-market scholarship. [http://twitter.com/tcarmody/status/63041041145663488 ]

@tcarmody @swarthmoreburke @navalang @publichistorian Bricolage. [http://twitter.com/ayjay/status/63042045635334144 ]

[Additional, unassembled thoughts: discipline tunneling, cross-pollination, kludge, bilge, edupunk, thought trafficking, pirates, buccaneer scholar, clandestine, etc.]
interdisciplinary  interdisciplinarity  crossdisciplinary  ideasmuggling  crosspollination  bricolage  antidisciplinary  black-marketscholarship  pirates  piracy  cv  academia  academics  timcarmody  alanjacobs  navneetalang  suzannefischer 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Athletes are different from you and me
Way too much to pull a quote. Several passages woven together into a tight argument. Classic Carmody from his amazing stint at Kottke.org.
sports  athletes  davidfosterwallace  timcarmody  billsimmons  katiebaker  michaeljordan  hemingway  fscottfitzgerald  tonyhawk  eddiedow  specialization  pathology  behavior  humans  society  dedication  specialists 
april 2011 by robertogreco
How Grad School Is Like Trying to Make the NBA - storify.com
"What do you tell a smart, committed undergraduate who wants to become a professor and pursue a PhD?"
education  highered  highereducation  timcarmody  sports  gradschool  teaching  nba  basketball  comparison  2010 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Short Schrift: The New Liberal Arts: Photography ["Photography is a comprehensive science; photography is a comparative literature."]
"classical liberal arts are arts of the word, products of the book, letter, lecture…Renaissance added plastic arts of painting & sculpture, & modernity those of laboratory…new liberal arts are overwhelmingly arts of the DOCUMENT, & the photograph is the document par excellence.

Like exact sciences, photographic arts are industrial, blurring line btwn knowledge & technology…Like painting & sculpture, they are visual, aesthetic, based in both intuition & craft. Like writing, photography is both an action & an object: writing makes writing & photography makes photography. & like writing, photographic images have their own version of the trivium—a logic, grammar & rhetoric.

We don't only SEE pictures; we LEARN how they're structured & how they become meaningful…

Photography is science of the interrelation & specificity of all of these forms, as well as their reproduction, recontextualization, & redefinition…"
timcarmody  2009  newliberalarts  photography  seeing  intuition  craft  writing  documents  actions  objects  meaning  expressions  communication  logic  grammar  composition  art  visual 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Cracking the Twitter Case  | American Journalism Review
"Other reporters tried and failed, but The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal tracked down the identity of the man behind the profane and brilliant @MayorEmanuel. Posted: Fri, March 11, 2011"

"Madrigal is thoughtful about technology's role in society, Carmody adds. He and his colleagues "take the long view; they think about history, culture and ideas as much as the latest consumer tech."

Among Madrigal's many areas of interest, the one that probably most informed his story on Sinker is the storytelling potential of social media. "I've been tracking literary uses of Twitter for years," Madrigal says. He lives much of his life online -- Carmody says that although the men are good friends, they have never met face-to-face -- and last year wrote a long and eloquent response to novelist Zadie Smith, who had written that Facebook should be struggled against. Madrigal disagreed strongly, writing that "the real struggle is with ourselves to use Facebook well.""

[via: http://snarkmarket.com/2011/6720 ]
twitter  socialnetworking  us  @mayoremanuel  mayoremanuel  rahmemanuel  timcarmody  journalism  history  technology  zadiesmith  storytelling  danielsinker 
march 2011 by robertogreco
A noteworthy feed « Snarkmarket
"I would like to take a moment to recommend an eclectic tumblr called Noteworthy and Not. I would then like to take another moment to note that its author is my mom.

Over the last few years, my parents have both jumped into the bright bubbling conversation of the internet with both feet—reading lots and lots of stuff, across a whole spectrum of subjects, and increasingly sharing a bit of what they find. My dad is more of a Google Reader sharer, so I won’t out him here. But my mom has been posting to a tumblr for a while now, and you know, wow—it’s really good!

This fun, meditative little video was a recent find. I like the short, stirring comment on this post. This is a trip. Here’s homage to A Journey Round My Skull… and of course, Fuckyeahfrankchimero.

Highly recommended." [As is the comments thread on this post too.]
bettyannsloan  robinsloan  handmeups  handmedowns  generations  snarkmarket  commenting  timcarmody  tumblr  mattthompson  frankchimero  steppingout  snarkmarketcommentertoblogger 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Coming out « Snarkmarket
"For those reasons, I’ve still been reluctant to say too much, especially on the open web. There are plenty of privacy issues that go way beyond myself…

But since so much of my life now, so many of my friendships, happen online, and since I’m determined to not let fear or anxiety about what I do or don’t say control how I feel about the world, this seems like as good a time as any to tell a whole lot more people all at once.

As Jeff Mangum put it in Neutral Milk Hotel’s song “Ghost,” I’m resolved to “never be afraid / to watch the morning paper blow / into a hole / where no one can escape.” Or as xkcd put it in the comic “dreams” (This is actually the very last part of my talk), Fuck. That. Shit.

It’s an experience — one that’s always ongoing — that broke my heart and changed my life, irrevocably, for the better. Orders of magnitude better. It taught me who I was and is teaching me who I am. I can’t explain it any better than that."
timcarmody  snarkmarket  adoption  parenting  humanities  digitalhumanities  digital  privacy  online  yearoff  experience  life  beauty  growth  fear  anxiety  courage  lifechanging  identity 
march 2011 by robertogreco
The Last Hours of @MayorEmanuel « Snarkmarket
"…here is the stunning conclusion to the story of @MayorEmanuel. He won the election and as predicted by Mayor Daley, vanished into a time vortex in order to save the multiverse.

I’ve also been boning up on my @MayorEmanuel backstory, & man, it is totally batshit in the best possible way. There are layers and layers to this thing that I couldn’t even guess at, and a few I’m probably still missing. In short, the anonymous author(s) of the thread have been building towards this science-fiction/comic-book resolution of the story for a while now, first planting the seeds months ago, then grinding them up like fine celery salt.

You can read a quick-&-dirty PDF of all of @MayorEmanuel’s tweets …assembled by @najuu…I’m not Storifying the whole thing, because 1) Twitter’s archives have a hard time going back that far in the Storify interface & 2) even if they did, I’m not stupid. But I would like to do my small part to gather the limbs of Osiris just here at the end."
timcarmody  rahmemanuel  mayoremanuel  chicago  writing  fiction  multiverse  snarkmarket  humor  realitystretching  politics  storytelling  thenewstorytelling  storify  2011  elections  @mayoremanuel 
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Two Mayors « Snarkmarket
"Since Emanuel announced he was running for office, he’s been joined by a delightfully funny and foul-mouthed shadow on Twitter calling himself @MayorEmanuel…combines a kind of exaggeration of the known qualities of the real Rahm Emanuel…with a fully-realized, totally internal world of characters and events that has little to do with the real world and everything to do with the comic parallel universe @MayorEmanuel inhabits.

…The idea is that if we strip back the secrecy and public image to something so impolitic, so unlikely, we might arrive at something approximating the truth…

Yesterday, however, @MayorEmanuel outdid himself. He wrote an extended, meandering narrative of the day before the primary that took the whole parallel Rahm Emanuel thing to a different emotional, comic, cultural place entirely. It even features a great cameo by friend of the Snark Alexis Madrigal. The story is twisting, densely referential, far-ranging — and surprisingly, rather beautiful."
chicago  twitter  rahmemanuel  mayoremanuel  timcarmody  storify  alternateuniverse  humor  snarkmarket  writing  fiction  realitystretching  elections  politics  @mayoremanuel 
february 2011 by robertogreco
What is social information? « Snarkmarket
"Wallace has already signaled that this is going to be a paragraph about repetition to exhaustion or even injury before he even does it. You could say he needs to keep clarifying & repeating these things because his sentences are so convoluted that otherwise you couldn’t follow them, but 1) his syntax is pretty clear 2) it’s not like he’s a freak about specifying everything… But it’s also just Wallace — who understands all of this, by the way, better than we do: communication, information, redundancy, efficiency, purity, the dangers of too much information, and especially the fear of being alone and the need to find connection with other human beings — creating a structure that allows him to ping his reader, saying “I am here”… and waiting for his reader to respond in kind, “I’m alive right now; I’m a person; look at me.” 
timcarmody  snarkmarket  davidfosterwallace  infinitejest  language  solitude  loneliness  human  need  information  redundancy  efficiency  purity  clarity  communication  infooverload  connectedness  connection  freemandyson  malcolmgladwell  devinfriedman  ycombinator  dailybooth  expression  jamesgleick  congo  kele  languages  words  pinging  drums  2011  northafrica  revolution  revolutions  media  raymondcarver  history  cannon  signaling 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Film History 101 (via Netflix Watch Instantly) « Snarkmarket
"Robin is absolutely right: I like lists, I remember everything I’ve ever seen or read, and I’ve been making course syllabi for over a decade, so I’m often finding myself saying “If you really want to understand [topic], these are the [number of objects] you need to check out.” Half the fun is the constraint of it, especially since we all now know (or should know) that constraints = creativity."

[See also Matt Penniman's "Sci-fi Film History 101" list: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/6492 ]
film  netflix  history  cinema  movies  timcarmody  snarkmarket  teaching  curation  curating  constraints  lists  creativity  forbeginners  thecanon  pairing  sharing  expertise  experience  education  learning  online  2010  frankchimero  surveycourses  surveys  web  internet  perspective  organization  succinct  focus  design  the101  robinsloan  classes  classideas  format  delivery  guidance  beginner  reference  pacing  goldcoins  surveycasts 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Two observations on Lanier on Wikileaks « Snarkmarket
"We’ve canonized these guys, to the point where 1) we think they did everything themselves, 2) they never used different strategies, 3) they never made mistakes, & 4) disagreeing w/ them then or now violates a deep moral law.

More importantly, in comparison, every other kind of activism is destined to fall short. Lanier’s essay, like Malcolm Gladwell’s earlier essay on digital activism, violates the Gandhi principle… The point is, both Ad Hitlerem and the Gandhi Principle opt for terminal purity over differential diagnosis. If you’re not bringing it MLK-style, you’re not really doing anything.

The irony is, Lanier’s essay is actually pretty strong at avoiding the terminal purity problem in other places — i.e., if you agree with someone’s politics, you should agree with (or ignore) their tactics, or vice versa. At its best, it brings the nuance, rather than washing it out."
timcarmody  snarkmarket  wikileaks  jaronlanier  julianassange  2010  falsedichotomies  purity  allornothing  canonization  malcolmx  activism  gandhi  nelsonmandela  jesus  imperfection  grey  tactics  politics  mlk  martinlutherkingjr 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Blogger, Reporter, Author « Snarkmarket [One of three Snarkmarket posts on Marc Ambinder's "I Am a Blogger No Longer", links to them all here: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/6396]
"So far, we have lived in a world where most the bloggers who have been successful have done so by being authors — by being taken seriously as distinct voices and personalities with particular obsessions and expertise about the world. And that colors — I won’t say distorts, but I almost mean that — our perception of what blogging is.<br />
<br />
There are plenty of professional bloggers who don’t have that. (I read tech blogs every day, and couldn’t name you a single person who writes for Engadget right now.) They might conform to a different stereotype about bloggers. But that’s okay. I really did write snarky things about obscure gadgets in my basement while wearing pajama pants this morning. But I don’t act, write, think, or dress like that every day."
blogging  journalism  timcarmody  snarkmarket  blogs  marcambinder  authors  athorship  writing  writers  identity  voice  publishing  newspapers  magazines 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Instapaper Inventor Links Inattentive Reading to Information Obesity | Gadget Lab | Wired.com
"“People love information,” Arment said. “Right now in our society, we have an obesity epidemic. Because for the first time in history, we have access to food whenever we want, we don’t know how to control ourselves. I think we have the exact same problem with information.”…

Instapaper, like Twitter, also shows the continuing versatility and relevance of text in a multimedia age: “It’s a very flexible and pliable medium. You can skim or search. You can copy and paste. You can read at your own speed. It’s simple and cheap to produce and store and share. That’s what gives it its power. Even when you bring media into a high-computing era, you can still do a lot more and more easily with text than you can with video or audio or software.”
attention  information  instapaper  timcarmody  text  marcoarment  twitter  infooverload  reading  email  dropbox  storage  synchronization 
october 2010 by robertogreco
A family resemblance of obsessions « Snarkmarket
"Blogs — the best blogs — are public diaries of preoccupations. The reason why they are preoccupations is that you need someone who is continually pushing on the language to regenerate itself. The reason why they are public is so that those generations and regenerations and degenerations can find their kin, across space, across fame, across the likelihood of a connection, and even across time itself, to be rejoined and reclustered together.

Because that is how language and language-users are reborn; that is how the system, both artificial and natural, loops backward upon and maintains itself; because that is how a public and republic are made, how a man can be a media cyborg, and also become a city. That’s how this place where we gather becomes home."
timcarmody  language  blogs  blogging  definitions  cyborgs  regenerations  degenerations  connections  neologisms  words  time  etymology  ego  cv  obsessions  obsession  snarkmarket  robinsloan  timmaly  family-resemblance  ludwigwittgenstein  meaning  conversation  gamechanging  perspective  learning  understanding  misunderstanding 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Visiting dConstruct 2010 | Coldbrain.
"That kinda sums up the past few years of my life. I’ve been collecting all these new interests and passions and obsessions and trying to get myself beyond ‘advanced beginner’ in all of them. It’s taking time, because being a generalist means soaking up so much information from so many areas. It’s exhausting, and I wish I had this mindset 5 or 10 years ago, so I could be that much further down the line. I have to remind myself that it is as much about the journey, though."
matthewculnane  dconstruct  2010  generalists  brendandawes  tomcoates  merlinmann  davidmccandless  samanthawarren  johngruber  daringfireball  hannahdonovan  jamesbridle  nerds  learning  process  journey  journeynotdestination  constellationalthinking  timcarmody 
september 2010 by robertogreco
A Herald From the Past « Snarkmarket
"Bayard Rustin’s first rule of man­age­ment was to make lists of every con­ceiv­able task. If some­body thinks that some­thing can pos­si­bly go wrong, come up with a spe­cific solu­tion, and put it on the list. Orga­niz­ing any­thing — a mas­sive march, a union picket, a train­ing pro­gram, a news­pa­per — suc­ceeds or fails because of details.

All day long, Rustin and his team crossed off com­pleted tasks and added new tasks to the three– and four-page lists"
bayardrustin  lists  problemsolving  organization  timcarmody  snarkmarket  doing  action  actionminded 
august 2010 by robertogreco
10 Reading Revolutions Before E-Books - Science and Tech - The Atlantic
[Great question: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/6155/comment-page-1#comment-13172 ]

"1. The phrase "reading revolution" was probably coined by German historian Rolf Engelsing. He certainly made it popular. Engelsing was trying to describe something he saw in the 18th century: a shift from "intensive" reading and re-reading of very few texts to "extensive" reading of many, often only once. Think of reading the Bible vs reading the newspaper. Engelsing called this shift a "Lesenrevolution," lesen being the German equivalent of reading. He thought he had found when modern reading emerged, as we'd recognize it today, and that it was this shift that effectively made us modern readers. …"

[More here http://snarkmarket.com/2010/6155
and, on the images, here: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/6161 ]
books  ebooks  history  literacy  media  print  publishing  reading  writing  timcarmody  alexismadrigal  change  revolutions  classideas  cv  readinghabits  howwework  learning  gamechanging 
august 2010 by robertogreco
The city is a hypertext
"cognitive scientists have actually begun empirically verifying Simmel's armchair psychology. & whenever I read anything about web rewiring our brains, foretelling immanent disaster, I've always thought, geez, people—we live in cities! Our species has evolved to survive in every climate & environment on dry land. Our brains can handle it!

But I thought of this again when a 2008 Wilson Quarterly article about planner/engineer Hans Monderman, titled "The Traffic Guru," popped up in Twitter. (I can't even remember where it came from. Who knows why older writing just begins to recirculate again? Without warning, it speaks to us more, or differently.)…

In other words, information overload, & the substitution of knowledge for wisdom. Sound familiar?

I'll just say I remain unconvinced. We've largely gotten rid of pop-up ads, flashing banners, & <blink> tag on web. I'm sure can trim back some extra text & lights in our towns & cities. We're versatile creatures. Just give us time."
architecture  cities  timcarmody  kottke  media  perception  transportation  ubicomp  urbanism  psychology  infrastructure  technology  culture  design  environment  history  information  infooverload  adaptability  adaptation  urban  stevejobs  cars  cognition  hansmonderman  resilience  traffic  georgsimmel  1903  2008  2010  shifts  change  luddism  fear  humans  versatitlity  web  internet  online  modernism  modernity  hypertext  attention  brain  research  theory 
august 2010 by robertogreco
A Bookfuturist Manifesto - Science and Tech - The Atlantic
"Bookfuturists refuse to endorse either fantasy of "the end of the book" [bookservativism and technofuturism] -- "the end as destruction" or "the end as telos or achievement" as Jacques Derrida would have it. We are trying to map an alternative position that is both more self-critical and more engaged with how technological change is actively affecting our culture.

We're usually more interested in figuring out a piece of technology than either denouncing or promoting it. And we want to make every piece of tech work better. We're tinkerers. We look to history for analogies and counter-analogies, but we know that analogies aren't destiny. We try to look for the technological sophistication of traditional humanism and the humanist possibilities of new tech."
bookfuturism  timcarmody  future  futures  ebooks  fiction  books  publishing  manifesto  futurism  bookservatives  technofuturism  clayshirky  nicholascarr  reading  technology  tinkering  thinking  humanism  complexity  manifestos 
august 2010 by robertogreco
« earlier      
per page:    204080120160

Copy this bookmark:





to read