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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.
Today: David Bodanis, author of The Art of Fairness: The Power of Decency in a World Turned Mean.
Bio (via publisher site): David Bodanis was born in Chicago, lived in France for a decade, and makes his home in London. He studied math, physics, and history at the University of Chicago, and for many years, taught the “Intellectual Toolkit” course at Oxford. His books include the New York Times bestselling The Secret House, the bestselling E=mc², which was adapted into the PBS documentary Einstein’s Big Idea, and the Royal Society Science Book of the Year Prize winner Electric Universe.
• SpaceX’s Satellite Megaconstellations Are Astrocolonialism, Indigenous Advocates Say (Vice, Oct 5, 2021): " Satellite companies such as SpaceX and Amazon aim to provide global broadband, but their networks threaten dark skies and Indigenous traditions that depend on them. ... Earth orbit may contain 100,000 operational satellites by 2030."
• Even when you turn the iPhone "off," Apple's Find My feature can still locate the phone. This means there's no such thing as "off" for smartphones. As this post reminds us, "A smartphone is a human tracking device, no matter what."
On Facebook as Big Tobacco
• Roger McNamee (past Techtonic guest) posts: "Analogizing FB to tobacco or alcohol trivializes the damage FB does. Tobacco and alcohol did not undermine democracy, enable an insurrection, or extend a pandemic, much less all 3 in one year."
• Jason Kint posts:"I wish in the constant analogy of Facebook to big tobacco, people would point out that tobacco causes cancer - which, last I checked, isn’t contagious. The second hand-effects of Facebook are a lot more dangerous than second-hand smoke and cigarettes never threatened democracy."
• Sandeep Vaheesan posts: "Ban surveillance advertising and force firms to make money through contextual ads and subscription fees (newspaper model); split Facebook into multiple rivals; mandate interoperability across networks." (I add: "Break up the company; Ban algorithmic amplification; Put Zuck & Sheryl on trial for criminal behavior.")
• My response to Derek Thompson positing Facebook as “alcohol” - I posted, “could we say that ‘alcohol’ drove the rioters into the Capitol on Jan 6? or the rise of hate groups? no. this is something far worse.”
• My own comments: Facebook’s laughable response to the whistleblower (Oct 7, 2021)
Finally, from Canadian cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon, "How Facebook turns a profit":
|Artist||Track||Images||Approx. start time|
|Do nice guys always finish last? David Bodanis discusses his new book, "The Art of Fairness."|
|Tomaš Dvořák||Game Boy Tune|
|Interview with David Bodanis||0:11:30 (MP3 | Pop‑up)|
|Mark's comments||0:50:02 (MP3 | Pop‑up)|
|Jim Nesbitt||Nice Guys Always Finish Last||0:56:04 (MP3 | Pop‑up)|