60 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2022
    1. The problem isn’t the screens, it’s what's behind them. What screens have enabled is a gradual shifting of our locus of entertainment from internal to external. From entertainment being something we generate to something generated for us. And as a consequence, we’re losing the ability to entertain ourselves, relying on increasingly stimulating sources as our entertainment muscles continue to atrophy. 

      Main theme of the article. The focus is on the shifting of our locus of entertainment from internal to external. In other words, we've gone from actively generating our entertainment, to passively consuming pre-generated entertainment that requires little "work" on our part.

  2. Aug 2021
    1. So rather than having to curate your own feeds, you just land on a single site and have the “best” content presented to you.

      Which makes sense, when we're now all paralyzed by choice. With so much content out there, it has become difficult for us to choose because we want everything (because we feel we need to have/consume everything). So it's much easier to have someone/something else surface content for you (that's been generally agreed upon to be interesting)

    1. The limits of certainty demonstrate the power of human judgment over artificial intelligence

      Ooh, I never really thought about artificial intelligence this way. Artificial intelligence, as I understand it, relies on patterns in data to make decisions. So what will it do when there are no discernible patterns to use?

  3. Jul 2021
    1. Latency

      Reading this entire section and thinking about how much further back African countries are than the places mentioned here :(. Hopefully there's still space in the Metaverse for us by the time we have the technology to join it

    2. Netflix’s algorithms will ‘watch’ a scene with blue skies and decide that, if a viewer’s internet speed drops, 500 different shades of blue can be simplified to 200, or 50, or 25. The streamer’s analytics even do this on a contextual basis — recognizing that scenes of dialogue can tolerate more compression than those of faster-paced action. This is multipass encoding

      this is cool

    1. After all, these kids were very young when their parents gave them iPhones and tablets—they’ve never known a self that wasn’t subject to anonymous virtual observation. And so it may well be that whatever we mean by “authentic” here isn’t the standard definition that Rousseau and the Romantics first fathomed—a true effusion of your unvarnished personality—but is “authentic” in the sense that their identities have been made in perfect, unconscious sympathy with whatever their mob of online followers has deemed agreeable and inoffensive.

      Yeah, this part right here is gold. Authenticity means something completely different to them, they're using a completely different mental model to interpret what that means.

    2. That securing this blue check requires incessant and frequently extreme self-disclosure, that it encourages likability, brand-friendliness, and a willingness to conform to one’s audience—none of this is mentioned. Because these influencers are laboring in a system that asks them to create themselves in full view of the public, all of the calisthenics of the body are willingly displayed for their viewers.

      Yeah, I've never been able to understand the desire to get blue-checked on any platform. I see people tweet sometimes, complaining that their request to be blue-checked on Twitter was denied, or celebrating when they do get the check. It all feels so weird. You're celebrating that some people at Twitter deemed you worthy enough to have a verified profile on their platform? Why is that worth celebrating? "Congrats on your elevated status amongst us Twitter folk"

    3. Epistemologically, this is where we are as a country: when content gets expurgated because of blatant misinformation, it is taken as a sure sign of that source’s truthfulness.

      Thank Donald for that

    4. “When I was younger,” Brandon, who is nineteen, says, “I didn’t have this much perspective on the world. I didn’t get to see everyone’s opinions on things. What was it? Just the news? Facebook? As a kid, I didn’t have a TikTok. I wasn’t an eight-year-old kid with a TikTok seeing what everyone else is seeing. Now everyone feels like they have a voice, and I think that’s what people are afraid of.”

      This is interesting, because while these platforms are exposing people to a lot that they may otherwise not have seen, and teaching them things, there's also so much misinformation on the platform, and the people making content on it are evidently missing out on learning to chase the influencer bag

    5. Some frantic googling later that day will reveal that this supposed Nazi initiative—apparently called the Borghild Project, whereby German troops were given collapsible plastic dolls in their infantry backpacks that could be inflated and used (so to speak) in lieu of visiting prostitutes—is a hoax, one that was summarily debunked back in the early 2000s. Obviously, this has regained traction, though, in the unregulated wilderness of TikTok.

      "I saw it on tik tok" is the new "I read it on the internet"

    6. Honestly, man, this happens all the time. They all have ADHD. They haven’t been in school in like four years, and they haven’t had responsibilities, so their brains are fucking mush, bro. . . . It’s just like we pick teams for fun all the time.

      lol wut?

    7. the collab-house phenomenon will be the model for brands moving forward and that someday all major businesses will have their own influencer residences—the McDonald’s collab house, the Jeep Wrangler collab house, or even, god forbid, the Viagra collab house. How long before other industries will be forced to embrace this trend? How long before newspapers have collab houses? How long before universities get their own influencer mansions, with professors made to compete for students’ attention, blending course material with sad TikTok dances?

      Funny enough, this made me think of how I've been seeing more and more people in devrel engaging with people via tik tok and other social media platforms. There are already communities for devrel where people share ideas and content they've created for their companies, which is in some way a virtual collab house of sorts (there's even a collab channel in a Slack group I'm in). Perhaps this is already kinda happening in that industry

    8. For instance, Christopher Romero just did a TikTok video for a Louisiana-based chicken franchise called Raising Cane’s,2 for which he and his girlfriend, Madi, were paid $14,000 and $60,000, respectively

      wow. And every time I've eaten at Raising Cane's I've had to pay them!

    9. The previous semester, for instance, during a class on creative non-fiction, twenty-four of my twenty-six students wrote about self-harm or suicidal ideation. Several of them had been hospitalized for anxiety or depression, and my office hours were now less occasions to discuss course concepts—James Baldwin’s narrative persona, say, or Joan Didion’s use of imagery—than they were de facto counseling sessions. Even students who seemed happy and neurologically stable—Abercrombie-clad, toting a pencil case and immaculate planner—nevertheless displayed unsettling in-class behavior: snacking incessantly during lectures, showing Victorian levels of repression. The number of emotional-support service animals had skyrocketed on campus. It seemed like every third person had a Fido in tow, and had you wandered into my lecture hall when we were still holding in-person classes, you might have assumed that my lessons were on obedience training or the virtues of dog-park etiquette. And while it seems clichéd even to mention it, the students were inexorably—compulsively—on their phones.

      The effect that social media is having on people's psyches is wild. I wonder how this plays out over the next decade or so, as these people enter the workforce and perhaps start families of their own. How different will the societies they create be from today's?

    10. From a certain vantage, then, these influencers aren’t so much celebrities as they are prototypes of laborers in the new passion economy, a glittering premonition of where the world seems to be heading.

      They've essentially figured out how to industrialize the process of making a celebrity

  4. Apr 2021
    1. When it comes down to it, everything that is not a law of nature is just a shared belief. Money is a shared belief. So is a border. So are bitcoins. The list goes on.

      Took me a while to start thinking like this. So much of what we have and what we do, is as a result of some shared belief that WE came up with. What this means, is that nothing is truly set in stone, and we can change everything

  5. Mar 2021
    1. In addition to identifying success from the developer perspective, you want to know how it looks in your product. What signs do you have that someone has moved from tire-kicking to actual usage? It might be repeated logins, volume of API calls, or the amount of data stored in their account. When you identify it, you can measure it.

      We should figure out metrics for tracking developer usage and experience. What indicators do we currently have?

      • For merchants who sign up as developers, track their volume of API calls
      • Track the number of support requests the merchant makes
      • Track community engagement/interactions
      • Track open source contributions
    1. We call it the framework of intention. My brother and I designed it during the lockdown. We were gardening a lot, and we learned some lessons from nature. Those lessons became the framework, and it has just three steps. The first step is “slow down”. You have to slow down when communicating so your reaction isn’t a knee jerk one. The second step is to “give gratitude”. For me, I ask myself, “What am I grateful for about this person?” It helps with balance. Then the last step is “take responsibility”. Before pointing out what your partner hasn’t done right, take responsibility for the part you played in that disagreement, be vocal about it, and do better. We’ve found that these three steps have been instrumental in reducing the level of conflicts we have. 
      1. Slow down - take a second before responding
      2. Give gratitude - think about the things you like about this person (I feel like this is the most important part tbh. Gets you out of that angry state)
      3. Take responsibility - own your shit first
    1. Most people are bad at time management. We are terrible at estimating how much time tasks will take, and we have a tendency to overcommit our future selves.

      Me af

    2. If you don't control your schedule, it will control you.

      Big fax, no printer!

    1. When this happens, Blackness—or what is perceived as Black identity—thrives outside of context. It's diluted and remixed to a dizzying degree. Black people lose control over how their humanity is presented.

      Is this not an ever present factor of life though? In the US, the media has controlled how the humanity of white people, black people, Arab people, and everyone else in the world is presented. In North Korea, Russia, and China, they've controlled how the humanity of Americans is presented. Africans certainly have zero control over how our humanity is presented to the rest of the world.

  6. Aug 2020
    1. “At the end of the day, clout is still clout—whether it's good clout or bad clout,” she says, waving a finger in and out of the frame. “Because through the good clout you're always going to have haters, and if you got bad clout you're always going to have supporters. So either way you win.”

      This is so true. Similar to how people say "no publicity is bad publicity". I think this potentially goes a step further though. It's very possible that at the beginning, people post controversial things, knowing they're controversial, but that they'll get a big response from them. What happens though, when you have a large group of people validating and agreeing with what you're saying? Is it possible that those views then become less controversial to you, and you start to believe those things more and more? That social validation has to have an impact. So you started out as a troll, just trying to stir the pot, but then you actually do end up believing in the things you've been saying.

    2. “There were little white girls slicking their edges and drawing their eyebrows all weird,” Roberts says. “They would wrap tape around their fingers to be their fake nails. They'd put hoops on. When you call them out, it's, ‘Anyone of any race can be a Hot Cheeto Girl.’ No sweetheart, we know what you're doing. We know that the Hot Cheeto Girl is just a derivative of the ghetto girl, the hood rat, the Shanaynay that people used to call Black and Latinx women.”
    3. The most effective videos come down to one factor: how well a creator grabs hold of our attention. That is to say, how deftly they make what we watch theirs. Blackness is a proven attention getter. Its adoption is racism, custom-fit.

      This last line needs more explanation. Why is its adoption racism?

    4. the tenets of minstrel performance remain alive today in television, movies, music, and, in its most advanced iteration, on the internet.

      I wonder if it's the history of minstrelsy that makes this a problem. When I think of people laughing at minstrel shows, I think they were laughing at the racist caricatures of black people on show, so it was hateful entertainment and their joy was derived from it. When I think of what people are doing today on TikTok, it doesn't immediately seem to be for the same reasons. And the laughter doesn't seem to come from a place of hatred of black people. A person painting themselves black and making a "joke" about black people being stupid feels very different from someone imitating Nene Leakes to call an airline ghetto. Is it possible to imitate black culture innocently?

    5. In a video uploaded to TikTok last December, a white teen saunters through an airport terminal, roller suitcase in hand. As he passes the check-in counter for Spirit—the notoriously awful low-cost airline—a look of mild irritation crosses his face. He glances left, then right. “Whew chile, the ghetto,” he says, elongating the o in ghetto. Only it's not the young man's voice we hear. It's that of reality diva NeNe Leakes, whose audio was pulled, edited, and resynchronized for the eight-second clip.
    6. As Blackmon puts it, “Be clear: Without Black culture, TikTok wouldn't even be a thing.”
    7. TikTok, it turned out, was reminiscent of Vine in more ways than one. The common denominator of many of its viral moments is an unspoken partiality to Black cultural expression
    1. I have a theory that time scarcity is also linked to something I'll call time scatteredness. This happens when you really have no idea how long it takes us to complete tasks, and this skews how much time you think you have or need.

      I relate to this so much I can still feel the sting on my cheek from where it slapped me

    1. it’s a wise idea to begin tracking your time in order to get a more realistic handle on how long specific projects and tasks take you. That’ll override your optimism bias and keep your expectations for your own productivity in check.
    2. Pushing a deadline back once is one thing. Needing to do it over and over again will make it appear as if you don’t know how to manage your own workload.
    1. See it as an experiment where failure yields valuable insights 🔬.

      Try and figure out when you actually are the most productive. When your usage of tools actually works. The insight you gain there could help you figure out what your ideal "productivity situation" is.

      Side note, just realized this is a perfect application of cybernetics (at least as far as I understand it so far).

      1. Apply a system
      2. Observe myself within that system
      3. Gain feedback by observing how I behave in that system
      4. Use that feedback to tweak that system until I've achieved my desired goal
    2. Time management is more about a system that works and less about a tool or just a method

      I've been focusing on the wrong things. To do lists aren't going to help me manage my time more effectively. It's a tool through which a system needs to be applied. If I don't have the right system, no tool is going to work.

  7. Jul 2020
    1. first-order cybernetics is “the science of observed systems,” while second-order cybernetics is “the science of observing systems.

      Inception, but make it Cybernetic.

      When observing a system, it's important to also observe the observer of the system

      This is important because the observer is directly influencing the observation of said system. One must consider any implicit bias the system's observer may introduce in what they're observing.

    2. If shared conceptual models applicable to solving problems in many sciences could be found, then “by agreeing on the usefulness of these models, we get glimpses of a new lingua franca of science....

      Cybernetics is key in that it allows for models of thought to be transferred across areas of knowledge

    1. Most people think of their impact as their intention, but those two things are actually quite different. Here’s how: Intention is personal to you and your team, and what you hope to achieve. Impact is how what you make is lived and experienced in the real world in actual communities. Intent does not undo impact!

      This is key. And extends to other parts of life too. Too often we think in terms of what we "intended" as opposed to the actual "impact" on others. I think trying to think in terms of impact instead, can help one become more empathetic.

    2. if dominant culture is used as the norm from which we create and design, then we will undoubtedly end up excluding everyone else.

      Considering that dominant culture right now is tech, and that we (Africans) are fairly very well behind the rest of the world in this regard (and underrepresented), we're at risk of becoming excluded by design.

    3. The pilot’s checklist isn’t just about order of operations—instead, it’s a way of thinking about preparation, accountability, and teamwork.

      What kind of checklist can our team build?

    4. DESIGN is the creation of a plan to build an object, system, or human interaction. DIVERSITY is quantitative. It’s the composition of different people represented in what you make, and the decision makers on your team. INCLUSION speaks to the quality of the experience you’ve designed for these diverse folks, so they experience themselves as leaders and decision makers. EQUITY lives in how we design our systems and processes; the way we work, and who we work with, so we are upholding our commitment to diversity and inclusion. FRAMEWORKS are the basic structures that enable complex systems to function. MISREPRESENTED COMMUNITIES are communities that have been defined by dominant culture, denied the ability to define themselves on their own terms, and are therefore falsely or narrowly represented. We use this instead of “underrepresented” or “marginalized,” because those identifiers again center the POV of dominant culture.

      I love these definitions and want to remember them

    1. Be bold and provide concise suggestions on moving projects forward instead of letting them sit in limbo. Bold writing will win you the reputation of an un-blocker and problem solver.

      Never really thought about doing this. I should try following up my suggestions with recommendations on what to do next, such that I leave people with actionable next steps and cut out time spent deliberating

  8. Jun 2020
    1. The strange focus of state-sponsored Depression-era propaganda on consumption becomes understandable in this light. As a consequence, the 20th century citizens of the U.S. didn’t embark on consumption as mere personal indulgence—but as a pro-social and patriotic duty

      Convincing people that spending money was vital to the rebuilding of their country? Capitalism is wild lol

    2. A peacetime alternative for sustaining a technology is to make it necessary for participation in society and in everyday life

      Eg. Fintech. Payments are ubiquitous with life, whether in peacetime or wartime. To be a participating member of society, one needs to be able to pay for things. Financial systems enable that, thereby giving Fintechs the opportunity to always stay relevant

    3. But no society can wage war forever, even if wartime is the origin of much of technology

      How much has constantly being at war contributed to the advancement of American society and technology?

    4. The rapid spread of the state-mandated Prussian model of education as an aid in economic development owes as much to preparing workers for a lifetime of such discipline as it does to loftier goals like imparting literacy.

      Will need to read up more on this. From what it sounds like, there's a certain level of forced learning, mandated by the state, that was necessary to get the Industrial Revolution going. I wonder if the same would be possible/benefit a society/economy like Nigeria's

    5. An invention does not achieve adoption because of its mere existence, but only when it has found a stable socioeconomic niche

      Building things is cool and all, but what worth do those things have if nobody wants to use them?

    1. Personal learnings from this one for me. I can be a bit quick to criticize, particularly with customer support at work. How can I retrain myself to ask questions about what made the customer do what they did? As opposed to just trashing whatever they've said and assuming they don't know what they're doing?

    1. How can techniques like mindful context switching, asynchronous communication, and mindful breaks help me with my work?

      1. Mindful Context Switching - It happens very often that I have up to 3 or 4 tasks on my plate at a time. 1 or 2 I've defined for myself and another two that come in from requests in the company. With mindful context switching, I can try to dedicate chunks of time to each task, where I completely focus on that task, get some work done, then move onto another task for another chunk of time. This way, I'm as efficient as possible on each given task for a given window. That way I don't have the other tasks hanging over my head waiting for me to get to them. I've put the tasks in a queue of sorts, which will allow me to manage them more effectively.

      2. Asynchronous Communication - Turning Slack notifications off maybe? Setting windows within which I will respond to people on Slack. I'm not sure how well this would work out though. How do I handle situations where I need to have a conversation with someone on Slack? I'll need to think about this more.

      3. Breaks - This is straightforward. Set up chunks of time to work, then take short breaks in between those chunks. Refresh your mind, relax a bit, then continue working.

    2. Not taking breaks leads to decision fatigue, where we make simplistic choices because we lack the mental energy to ponder our options properly.
    1. By deciding you will write a short note about everything you read, you will naturally slow down and reduce your content consumption levels.

      I'm already seeing the effects of this. I feel like my reading is more of a participatory experience now, and as a result, the knowledge "sticks" better.

    2. Anytime you struggle to write about something you just read, watched, or listen, make sure to take the time to understand properly. The fact that you’re struggling to express it in your own words often means you haven’t completely grasped the new idea.

      Need to start doing this regularly

    3. Writing is a great tool to compound your learning. To write about something, you need to first understand it. Forcing yourself to write after reading something can help you create a "generational effect". Your brain retains the information more by having to "create" the information as opposed to passively reading it off of a screen/page.

      Writing in public is the preferential mode of writing. It allows you to receive critiques on your writing, which in turn can help you gain more knowledge. You can gain perspective, or discover new ways to tacke a problem.

  9. May 2020
    1. Last, but not least, a skillset can be rare and valuable if you specialise in it before it becomes clear that it is valuable.

      Being ahead of the pack. Another way to increase your value

    2. A skillset can also be rare and valuable if the skillset is unattractive but valuable.

      I take this to mean that your value is then buffeted by the fact that nobody else really wants to do what you do

    3. A skillset can be rare and valuable if the path to your unique combination of valuable skills is opaque.

      To me, this sounds like it means that people are unable to discern the path you took to acquire your skill and therefore, are unable to recreate it. That makes you uniquely positioned to be the best at what you do

    1. Piaget’s research establishes that when a toddler is learning to walk, they build a mental model of their body in their brains. (This mental model is sometimes referred to as ‘embodiedness’, and explains things like the phantom limb phenomenon in amputees).

      This is interesting. I never would have thought of my perception of my physical presence as a mental model. But in essence, I suppose that's what it is. I've created a model of what my body looks, feels and moves like. And it's within that "framework" or "mental representation" of myself, that I define my being

    1. “An inflated style of writing; a kind of writing in which high-sounding words are used, above the dignity of the thoughts or subject; bombast.”

      Gotta use this word sometime

    2. … Flashing differs from exploding or disploding in not being accompanied with a loud report. To glisten, or glister, is to shine with a soft and fitful luster, as eyes suffused with tears, or flowers wet with dew.

      How has American English gone from this to what it is today???

    3. You’ll find a sense of the word that is somehow more evocative than any you’ve seen. “2. To convey as by a flash… as, to flash a message along the wires; to flash conviction on the mind.” In the juxtaposition of those two examples — a message transmitted by wires; a feeling that comes suddenly to mind — is a beautiful analogy, worth dwelling on, and savoring. Listen to that phrase: “to flash conviction on the mind.” This is in a dictionary, for God’s sake.

      Very poetic

    4. There’s actually this great history of how he almost singlehandedly invented the very idea of American English, defining the native tongue of the new republic, “rescuing” it from “the clamour of pedantry” imposed by the Brits.

      I find this interesting given how we feel about American vs British English now. America seems to have strayed further from this "pedantry" as the years have gone by. It's also ironic, seeing how so many Americans now find the British accent and English to be attractive

    5. Webster’s dictionary took him 26 years to finish. It ended up having 70,000 words. He wrote it all himself, including the etymologies, which required that he learn 28 languages, including Old English, Gothic, German, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Welsh, Russian, Aramaic, Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit. He was plagued by debt to fund the project; he had to mortgage his home.

      This is an insane amount of dedication