Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from May 14, 2018 Options

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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.

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Upcoming events:

Mon. Jun 17th, 6pm - 7pm: Damon Krukowski, author of "Ways of Hearing" (More info...)

Options May 14, 2018: David Sax, author, "The Revenge of Analog"

Listen to this show: MP3 - 128K | | Add or read comments

This week: David Sax, author of the new book The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter

Pointers to David's work:

@saxdavid on Twitter

Book site for "Revenge of Analog"

Our Love Affair With Digital Is Over (NYTimes, Nov. 18, 2017): "Analog, although more cumbersome and costly than its digital equivalents, provides a richness of experience that is unparalleled with anything delivered through a screen. . . . Analog excels particularly well at encouraging human interaction, which is crucial to our physical and mental well-being."

Other tech news

Google's New Voice Bot Sounds, Um, Maybe Too Real (NPR, May 9, by @laurelwamsley): "On the first day of Google's annual conference for developers, the company showed off a robot with a voice so convincingly human that it was able to call a salon and book a haircut – never revealing that it wasn't a real person making the call. CEO Sundar Pichai demonstrated the new AI technology on Tuesday at the Google I/O conference."

Google insiders claim that "the final version of Duplex, the stunning AI bot that sounded so real it fooled humans, may be purposefully made less scary." (Business Insider)

What Google is doing with your data, by John Rolfe in the Queensland Times (May 14): "Experts from Oracle claim Google is draining roughly one gigabyte of mobile data monthly from Android phone users' accounts as it snoops in the background, collecting information to help advertisers. . . . The information fed back to Google includes barometric pressure readings so it can work out, for example, which level of a shopping mall you are on. By combining this with your coordinates Google knows which shops you have visited. . . . Only turning off a phone prevents monitoring."

How to Keep Google From Owning Your Online Life, by David Pierce in the WSJ (May 8). Interesting that the Wall Street Journal is offering alternatives to Google services.

• Oh, and Facebook's share price has recovered. "Facebook wiped out all of its losses following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Shares hit an intraday high of $185.99 on Thursday."

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Artist Track Album Label Images Approx. start time
  Vinyl is back! And so are other analog technologies. Mark interviews David Sax, author of "The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter," to discuss why analog is making a resurgence over digital alternatives.
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options Machinarium Soundtrack  No label     
  Mark's intro      
  Interview with David Sax, author of "The Revenge of Analog"      
0:19:18 (MP3 | )
Kosmischer Läufer  Morgenröte   Options The Secret Cosmic Music Of The East German Olympic Program 1972-1983 - Volume 2  Unknown Capability Recordings    0:40:48 (MP3 | )
  Your calls and comments 201-209-9368      
0:41:40 (MP3 | )
The Tweeds  I Need That Record   Options Single  Autobahn    0:53:58 (MP3 | )

Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:04pm Bas NL:

Hi Mark!
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:04pm ultradamno:

Hello Mark and Techtoinc Plate Spinners!
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:05pm βrian:

I'm voting for Techtonite, where 'ite' has the sense of indicating a division of a body or organ: somite, dendrite, etc.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:05pm TDK60:

Hello. Soupcans and wire?
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:06pm βrian:

Print-on-demand is even a thing for those long-tail items.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:06pm northguineahills:

Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:07pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Hello, 'tonnies!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:09pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Roger Anderson, 10/23/2017: www.wfmu.org...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:11pm Michael 98145:

... to be effective, the bot should say "like" more often ...
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:12pm βrian:

Like, hell no!
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:13pm βrian:

"3 pm? Okay, could you rapesh canoodle the skeeter-pants?"
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:14pm TDK60:

Is it like "Hal" in 2001 Space Odyssey? Sounding human and emotional: "Dave, take a stress pill..."
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:14pm Michael 98145:

on the flippedy flop
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:14pm ultradamno:

Patton Oswalt has chunk about this kind of thing in his most recent Netflix special (a robocall that interjects "let me adjust my earpiece")
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:14pm Dean:

Call me paranoid, but I'm now concerned that DJ Mark's occasional um's and ah's, his reflexive discussion of how humans, as opposed to automata, really sound, are evidence that this show is *hosted by a robot*!
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:17pm βrian:

Cross ref barometric pressure with arthritic distress level and feed that to an analgesic broker!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:17pm Jeff Moore:

Pretty cool, huh?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:17pm Michael 98145:

good job, Jeff
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:17pm βrian:

Our motto: "Do evil."
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:18pm northguineahills:

Wouldn't they need to know the local barometric pressure of the location to figure it out?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:19pm Jeff Moore:

Wait, you're taking the word of Oracle? Emissaries of that evil tool Ellison?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:19pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Yeah, if I'm sitting stationary and a low front is approaching, it might think I'm levitating.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:22pm TDK60:

I'm still on Google's Gmail, would like to get off. // Another topic: Mark are you aware of the radio program "Off The Hook" on WBAI FM in NYC? They're from the 2600 magazine (and conference). They have similar views. It might be good to have one of them on the show. Just an idea.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:23pm βrian:

And for the O.C.D folks: "Be the first to lick this post!"
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:23pm chris:

i came for the news and stayed for the reightous indignation. let 'em have it, Mark!
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:23pm βrian:

"Techtonites," I say.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:23pm northguineahills:

βrian: Wow, I need to clean my screen, that was gross!
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:23pm Warren in Australia:

All ears.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:25pm northguineahills:

My work still uses Google products, and still about 1 year from migrating off of it for cloud and other services. (started last Friday on said endeavor)
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:26pm Michael 98145:

yes, Outlook and Google are the outsource wonderland of choice in many places
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:26pm βrian:

U of M migrated to G-mail. I opted out of sheeeeit.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:27pm βrian:

"that sheeeeit," I mean.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:27pm northguineahills:

I keep my phone on my desk in my studio when I sleep (but, that's so I don't oversleep by turning off my alarm when I'm still half-asleep).
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:28pm βrian:

It's POP. Print on Paper.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:29pm TDK60:

I have an email in my inbox from Google entitled "Improvements to Our Privacy Policy and Privacy Controls" -- haven't had time to open yet.
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:29pm Dean:

More righteous indignation here, but for some of us analog never went away.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:29pm northguineahills:

I still read my analogue The Wire magazine (and I have a digital subscription as well) at pubs as I don't want to have beer spilled on my tablets, or get it sticky.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:29pm northguineahills:

βrian: You must be a millennial, I heard they don't use top sheets.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:30pm medson:

The downside to this growth are the small record labels I've been buying from all along are being bumped by major labels. Major delays that they really cant afford
It sucks because the major labels are pressing things you can get in any $1 bin around the country.
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:30pm Dean:

Neither promise nor hope. It was hype, from the get-go.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:30pm βrian:

I love top sheets.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:31pm Bas NL:

In my workplace they are currently try to ban the use of paper books. You hand over your books and they put it through a scanner.. it is stopped now because of copyright issues. Phew! (Still got my books!)
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:31pm Michael 98145:

ah, yes, @TDK60, "Nothing is changing about your current settings or how your information is processed. Rather, we’ve improved the way we describe our practices and how we explain the options you have to update, manage, export, and delete your data."
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:32pm Robert Tables:

We were discussing at work how this Duplex tech could be abused. "Hey mom/dad I'm in trouble and need some money." Families would need to come up with code words to verify each others' identity over the phone.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:32pm βrian:

@Bas NL: I hope that doesn't happen where I work. (An academic library.)
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:32pm TDK60:

In 1989, when many were ditching their LPs, I did no such thing! I was low on $ and didn't want to buy new CDs of the same music. Now, I have LPs and CDs and computer files. (Oh yeah, cassettes too.)
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:34pm Bas NL:

You never know @βrian.. I'm working at a university!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:35pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Kevin Shields ('MyBloodyValentine') in depth on the Analog v. Digital Audio science...; In the beginning - they had no idea how best to present music Digitally to the masses... :
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:35pm Andy the painter:

as i’m not so well versed in these issues, could someone please tell me: are the reasons to opt out of instagram pretty much the same as to opt out of google and/or facebook?
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:35pm βrian:

Now, what's linkdin?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:35pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

A spectacular Model in my area wants to Friend me on faceborg! ...I so lucky...
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:36pm northguineahills:

The only thing I've ditched was my 8-track tapes (and I didn't start collecting them until 97, and I only abandoned them b/c my 8-track player was a part of a giant wardrobe.)
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:37pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Re Linkedin: www.acast.com...
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:37pm Dean:

Over the weekend I read Langdon Winner's "Do Artifacts Have Politics?," published in Daedalus in 1980. Well worth reading even at this late date.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:38pm βrian:

BTW, I heard a report of corporate headhunting consultant who bragged about her credentials of promoting diversity. She said candidates without a social media presence were ingnored.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:39pm mrdonutsu:

I dunno man, everything I learned at school, I learned from a Wollensak...
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:39pm Dean:

In fact, that entire issue of Daedalus was devoted to "Modern Technology: Problem or Opportunity?" Plus ca change.
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:39pm herb.nyc:

So, can VR be made more analog? (I'm half serious)
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:41pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

...I think it was called 'Theater'...
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:41pm βrian:

C'mon now, Dean: Option + c = ç
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:42pm Dean:

I'm on a typewriter, βrian.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:43pm northguineahills:

Thanks Mark and David!

and Thanks Rev Rabbit for the Shields link!
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:43pm βrian:

Oh. Well, I love me some Olivetti.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:43pm northguineahills:

Leaving work at a sane time!
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:44pm βrian:

Did Olivetti make AZERTYs?
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:45pm Dean:

Have also been reading, again, about Luddism. Such an abused epithet.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:45pm βrian:

@NGH: Maybe avoid the curse of working at home. It can work, but ...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:45pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

@ngh: It's quite an interview.
...They're all damned Monopolies, man!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:46pm Michael 98145:

actually the history of mp3 is quite interesting : _How Music Got Free_ by Stephen Witt.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:46pm βrian:

We should aspire to "techtonite" being an epithet, too.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:47pm βrian:

Techtonites and luddites, hand in hand ...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:48pm Jeff Moore:

Robert Tables?

Little Bobby Tables?

Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:48pm Phil with the phone:

Wanna brag about the obsolete analog technology you're stubbornly still using? Call in at 201-209-9368!
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:49pm JeremyB:

Great episode
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:49pm Robert Tables:

You got it Jeff Moore
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:49pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Also note that phones are always listening in case you summon them with the "Hey Google now" phrase.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:50pm βrian:

Instagraham is for crackers.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:50pm Jeff Moore:

"Analog"... as in "in Meatspace".
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:50pm Dean:

  Mon. 5/14/18 6:51pm herb.nyc:

From a sci fi angle, maybe parents of dead children want to have conversations w their children via Duplex. Google can help them.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:51pm Michael 98145:

"Alexa" ...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:52pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Yes We Replican.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:54pm βrian:

Whatever happened to Mr. Ed Tech?
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:54pm TDK60:

"Off the Hook" is on at 8 PM on Wednesdays on WBAI, 99.5 FM via olde fashioned broadcast. // I saw there's a new "Fahrenheit 451" film. Why? The old one was fine I thought at the time.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:55pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:55pm βrian:

I'm reminded of the Codex Tech Support video.
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:56pm Emily:

I had Langdon Winner as a professor in college. Really great guy, and such an important professor to have at an engineering school.
  Mon. 5/14/18 6:56pm Dean:

That is *very* cool, Emily!
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:57pm βrian:

@RRabit: or "No, we Republicant."
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:57pm Bas NL:

Ohh and we'll have no more wastebaskets in the offices! Train of thought: No paper, no waste!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:57pm Michael 98145:

the monetary goal of AI is the elimination of 'human resources'
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:58pm TDK60:

Ken, can we get this show up to 90 minutes someday?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:58pm Webhamster Henry:

Hi folks - coming in really late here! But I am actually working up some kind of intelligence - that is, having original thoughts and thinking about them.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 6:58pm βrian:

@Emily: Have you noticed a difference between European engineers and US?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:58pm Michael 98145:

thanks again, Mark H
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:59pm Bas NL:

*Types quickly* Thanks Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:59pm Mayuko:

This was super interesting from the beginning to the end. Thanks Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 6:59pm Ken From Hyde Park:

In automotive technology news, it seems that cars with keyless ignitions are killing people who come home and leave their cars running in the garage. They forget to push the button to turn off the car.
Avatar Mon. 5/14/18 7:00pm TDK60:

This show um, "rocks" Mark.
  Mon. 5/14/18 7:00pm Dean:

Oh, boy, have I got an automotive technology story, based on painful experience late last week. Will relate it some other time.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 5/14/18 7:01pm Mark Hurst:

Thanks, everyone! Great comments. Have a good week & see you next time.
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