Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from June 11, 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.

Mondays 6 - 7pm (EDT) | On WFMU (Info) | 91.1, 90.1, 91.9 FM & wfmu.org
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Options June 11, 2018: Brett Frischmann, co-author, "Re-Engineering Humanity"

Listen to this show: MP3 - 128K |  Pop‑up player! | Add or read comments

This week: Brett Frischmann, co-author (with Evan Selinger) of the new book Re-Engineering Humanity.

Pointers to Brett's work:

@BrettFrischmann on Twitter

Brett's page at Villanova, where he is professor in law, business, and economics

Book site for Re-Engineering Humanity - also on Indiebound

Recent tech news:

"I'll call the police," say new techie scooters in Oakland if you touch them without paying.

Net neutrality expired today (good explainer from WaPo)

"Zuckerberg lied to Congress," says David Carroll, professor at Parsons. My suggestion is that we just charge them the $3.4 trillion they owe for violating the consent decree (see Jason Kint's calculation), liquidate the company, and use the proceeds to build a citizen-owned, non-addictive, democracy-respectful social network."

• Speaking of which, project I need to look into: Platform.coop, supporting platform co-ops.

Big Tech's re-engineering of humanity is not inevitable. So don't give up. Mar Hicks writes, "Technofatalism isn't logical; it's a highly destructive failure of imagination & unwillingness to resist the status quo. It's the sullen twin of technophilia. Both assume tech can & will determine society. It's not that simple. We have a fighting chance. But we have to fight."

Brilliant, spot-on video about Facebook from The Daily Show, imagining Facebook as a bar.

Venture capitalist Fred Wilson has unplugged his Alexa. "If anyone in our house is uncomfortable with devices listening to our conversations, I don’t want to subject them to that. . . This raises a broader question about these voice devices which is whether the value they offer outweighs the creepiness they create in the home. For us, the answer has been a resounding no."

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Artist Track Album Comments Images Approx. start time
  Turning humans into robots: Brett Frischmann, talks about his new book "Re-Engineering Humanity," co-authored with Evan Selinger.
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options Machinarium Soundtrack   
  Mark's intro      
  Interview with Brett Frischmann      
0:15:49 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Your calls and comments 201-209-9368      
0:38:58 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
Xordox  Diamonds   Options Neospection  this song on bandcamp 
0:54:22 (MP3 | Pop‑up)

Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm listener james from westwood:

Evening, Mark and all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm Bas NL:

Hi Mark! Hi all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm Rich in Washington:

Hello, Techtonicites!
  6:01pm Warren in Australia:

All ears.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Buffalo's Tom:

Hello, everyone!
  6:03pm melinda:

Howdy Techtons
Avatar 6:04pm dale:

i'm having a gin and techtonic as we speak.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm ultradamno:

Panicky Scooters, would be a good band name.
Avatar 6:05pm Jeff Moore:

Fuck you, douchebag scooter.
Avatar 6:05pm dale:

i'd call a johnnycab instead.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Carmichael:

I would astral project instead.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm ultradamno:

Would you get charged with scooter molesting?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Michael 98145:

Scooter Anxiety Disorder
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm Carmichael:

What if you're just sniffing?
Avatar 6:07pm dale:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm Rich in Washington:

there was just a story up here in the Portland area about those scooter companies coming up here, with condo-commandos being able to dump the scooters willy nilly.
I wonder if the voice thing is also to deter people from picking them up and dumping them in the streets, as I have heard people say they will do if they, like in SF, find them blocking doors, etc.
Avatar 6:09pm Jeff Moore:

Fuck you, douchebag comically large Reese's coffee cup wielding telecom shill.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Happy Techtonicities, all!
Avatar 6:09pm Jeff Moore:

Avatar 6:11pm northguineahills:

Gamera! Gamera!
Gamera is really neat!
Gamera is filled with meat!
We've been eating Gamera!
  6:12pm matt:

twitter, facebook, tumblr, Instagram and linkedin are all bored (and boring) white people?
Avatar 6:12pm northguineahills:

(apropos of nothing)
Avatar 6:13pm northguineahills:

Leaving work at a sane hour, catcha near the end at home!
  6:14pm melinda:

@Jeff I like your style
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm ultradamno:

I don't know but if it still does it but Comcast/Xfinity's Twitter-bot was real aggressive about claiming the company was in favor of net neutrality (including contradicting posts pointing out the lie of it) while they lobbied against it.
  6:18pm melinda:

The creepy factor is huge, I draw the line there.
Avatar 6:18pm Jeff Moore:

"What are you doing to do with yours?"

I've never had one, because they're an obviously bad idea.
Avatar 6:19pm geezerette:

Sales resistance is a valuable skill.
Avatar 6:20pm herb.nyc:

Those Alexa devices, ugh. the wnyc people often say "tell yr speaker ..." to preface an ad. Not ad, product placement.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm listener james from westwood:

ngh bringing the mst!
  6:21pm Johnzon:

Listening to the show on the bus Heading back to Detroit from a protest in Lansing
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm Buffalo's Tom:

I'm not yet that lazy wherein I need to be able to bark orders at an ever-listening presence to get through the day.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm ultradamno:

Bluetooth speakers like Riva is as close as I get. The appeal of asking a virtual personality to basically search google for me mystifies me.
Avatar 6:23pm geezerette:

Teach your children to read paper maps. It's empowering and fun.
  6:25pm WebHamster Henry:

Are others hearing the left channel? I’m not.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm Rich in Washington:

I hear both channels.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm Rich in Washington:

I'm listening on a mixer with a pan pot and it sounds about equal in both channels.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm Mark Hurst:

Hi everyone! Thanks for the comments. WHHenry, I hear both channels here in the studio.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm Rich in Washington:

one of the fun things about texting people in the same room, party, event, etc., is you can talk in a manner where whispering would be necessary, but polite.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm Rich in Washington:

impolite, I meant.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm ultradamno:

Eye contact, vocal tone, gesturing, little things like that
  6:29pm melinda:

Texting people in the same room is weird.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm Mark Hurst:

Rich - to be provocative - how did people manage to navigate dicey social situations for 1000s of years before texting?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:32pm Tommy in Neversink:

NO ..it IS dehumanizing to be texting with your girlfriend in the same room..in fact , it's bizarre
Avatar 6:32pm geezerette:

@Ultradamno: Exactly, all the natural ways in which we've evolved to "read" each other.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:32pm Michael 98145:

sort of like passing notes in class. in an empty classroom.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm Ken From Hyde Park:

ImI just going to wait for the chip they plant in your brain. Not going to sit there barking out orders to a speaker like a sucker!
Avatar 6:34pm geezerette:

Comply or leave.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm Mark Hurst:

Frischmann's book makes a strong case that doing these little things, "what does it matter?" over time normalizes the behavior of just doing whatever the tech cos want.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:35pm Michael 98145:

i used to feel weird on the bus to -not- be staring at my phone screen
  6:36pm Johnzon:

I'm with you Ken...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm Rich in Washington:

MH: For some reason, I am picturing European aristocrats using their folding fans to cover their mouths as they make fun of their host, guests, etc.
Avatar 6:37pm Jeff Moore:

When you discuss Terms and Conditions (accepting thereof without reading) it's impossible not to think of the South Park HumancentiPad episode:

Avatar 6:37pm geezerette:

Anyone else remember H.G. Wells "The Time Machine"? The fate of people in the future? Their total, thoughtless passivity? They were actually cattle.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm Mark Hurst:

Yes - and with monocles!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm Rich in Washington:

I've been, as an exercise, NOT staring at my phone when in a public place, business, etc., while waiting for something. It's really weird. I imagine people wonder why I am staring off into space, acknowledging people's presence, etc.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:39pm Michael 98145:

@gz'ette, and they were tasty!
Avatar 6:40pm geezerette:

ha! Michael!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm Michael 98145:

sadly, my career choice has led me to identify with the Morlocks
  6:42pm melinda:

I can sort of see texting as a way to avoid being heard, but the person in question here didn't offer that as an explanation, they didn't really know why they were doing it.
  6:42pm Dr. Peter:

Great interview
Avatar 6:43pm geezerette:

Most of us would, if they knew what those were.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm ultradamno:

I would like to propose supermarkets become a tech free zone. When you are in the dairy aisle, buy some cheese or move on, stop milling about staring at your devices, I have things to do!
Avatar 6:43pm JakeGould:

A good name for a hair salon near a college campus would be “Terms and Conditioners.”

Just increased the noise ratio! *rimshot* *drunk shouting me down in the back* *howls* *howls* *homeless person shouting* *howls*
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm Buffalo's Tom:

I love the BBC for those reasons among others.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm listener james from westwood:

Amazing DIY WFMU-related constructions:
• Archives
• Free Music Archive
• Playlists & message board
• Mobile app
• Audience Engine
• Irwin's triple-walled environment tank
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Michael 98145:

what listener james just said
Avatar 6:46pm Phil with the phone:

@JakeGould What about Perms and Conditioners
Avatar 6:46pm JakeGould:

Avatar 6:47pm geezerette:

My worst fear concerning today's topic is that imagination is beginning to atrophy, by design.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm chris:

hi, Mark and folks. great thought provoking questions tonight.
Avatar 6:48pm JakeGould:

@geezerette: But aha! There is the rub… The one thing all pundits agree on is abstract thought and ideas will be more and more valued even with AI. So there you go.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm Listener John from NJ:

NOTE RE: Cellphone use:"Ten percent of people admit to checking their phones during sex, according to a study released from SureCall, a manufacturer of cellular signal boosters." www.wxyz.com...
Avatar 6:48pm JakeGould:

@ListenerJamesFromWestwood: What about Daddy Garbage’s lava lamp collection?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm chris:

being human is much of the time in conflict with technology. where humans are explicitly imperfect, technology is usually desired to be the opposite. however, i would hate to live in a world where tech didn't exist to let us know what Hawkins was thinking.
  6:49pm hoeg:

Hi Mark and people, podcast listener checking in live for a change.
I use my sansa clip, it makes sound and doesn't distract me with anything else ;-)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm listener james from westwood:

Chip shmip. Anyone who's encountered some semi-literate MAGA-chud friend of a friend bloviating on your FB posts knows the unmoderated brain-to-FB connection is already working at damn near supralight speed.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm Michael 98145:

PK Dick was a prophet
Avatar 6:49pm geezerette:

Ha ha ha! @Mark! :D
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm chris:

as is your neighbor to the north, Bill Gibson, Michael.
  6:50pm Johnzon:

socialism. A homeless man once described a socialist to me as someone who wants what is best for the largest number of people. I'm not talking about the various versions of socialism that have failed or succeeded to varying degrees in the past, but a democratic modern version designed by and for the people. Put technology to work for all people, not the few. We can avert ecological disaster and lift our species out of poverty etc. but it will take a revolution because those in power, who control the technology, will not give up their power easily.
  6:51pm melinda:

I like being the weird one staring into space.
Avatar 6:51pm JakeGould:

Here is anecdote about the NYC subway… I wanted to watch a TV show on my iPhone but had no headphones. I looked around and realized the subway car was mostly empty and most people had headphones on… SO IF I JUST PLAYED THE TV SHOW THROUGH THE SPEAKER WHO CARES THEY ARE NOT LISTENING TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD!!!
Avatar 6:51pm geezerette:

@Jake, by the minority, I fear.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm Buffalo's Tom:

Hey Mark, have you ever looked into Off the Hook on WBAI yet? I think someone mentioned it here before and I concur it's really good. And their (2600's) fun conference in NYC is next month!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm Michael 98145:

our post-scarcity world appears to be intent on squeezing all wealth to the top.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm Tommy in Neversink:

I don't don't have an internet phone..just basic cell
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm Rich in Washington:

We need to usher boredom back into our lives, if even for a moment.
Boredom has made me do some of the best, craziest stuff ever.
I think boredom is essential to creativity.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm common:

look at a tree!
  6:53pm melinda:

You do become aware of how unaware everyone else is.
  6:53pm WebHamster Henry:

I’m a dedicated cloud watcher!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm chris:

here, here, Rich!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm Tommy in Neversink:

WOW.. I got an on air read
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Rich in Washington:

@Melinda: aliens would have no trouble invading us. No one would notice it happening.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Rich in Washington:

or maybe it already happened...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Michael 98145:

we are Borg
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Guido from Cologne:

I'm considering getting back to paper maps.
  6:55pm Warren in Australia:

Avoid tech neck
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm chris:

have i shared this story: google maps has my address wrong (wrong city, even), so i wrote them to tell them this, and they responded they were right. hahahahhaaha!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Tome:

..... they smell better
Avatar 6:55pm northguineahills:

I can't stick to looking at my phone in public. I'm a space cadet, my head is in the clouds, I also have no idea what's going around me. (although I make a mental photo (and recording) of my surroundings in my brain every few minutes.)

cartographer here, I have plenty of paper maps....
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Buffalo's Tom:

Rich, in talking to some of my co-workers lately I think it might be the latter.
Avatar 6:56pm JakeGould:

There was some study about Venmo and how it has ruined sharing meals. Because venmo does exact math, instead of people saying, “Just give me $10 and we’re good.” But Venmo will do EXACT MATH so it’s an IOU like, “Please pay me $12.67.”
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Tommy in Neversink:

Aliens would probably have advanced texting abilities and could takeover all texting posing as the government and tell everybody those aren't aliens they are seeing
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm ultradamno:

Are Siri users just people who grew up with a fantasy of having a little robot buddy like in Lost In Space?
  6:56pm L. Maybud:

Yes, please do a show about mapping data!
  6:57pm WebHamster Henry:

I like Google Earth- mostly to visit deserts and Siberian coastlines.
Avatar 6:57pm northguineahills:

Most Google Maps data is created via shareware, most is created from volunteers who fill in the details around the world.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Rich in Washington:

Is it like Czech neck, which you get from doing the made-up drug Cake (Chris Morris fans will get it).
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Buffalo's Tom:

I love Jeff Hackworthy's You Might Be a Techneck bit.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm chris:

without looking at trees, Martin Buber would not have written, I and Thou.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Tommy in Neversink:

I love Google man on the street ....sorry
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Rich in Washington:

Thanks, Mark! my synapses just doubled!
Avatar 6:58pm northguineahills:

I've been to every square inch of Google Earth. I pretty much have half of it memorized.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm listener james from westwood:

Avatar 6:58pm northguineahills:

I never use GPS. I already have the maps memorized.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm chris:

Avatar 6:59pm northguineahills:

what james said...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Michael 98145:

i found this world thanks to Liz B podcasts
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm ultradamno:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm chris:

bleep bloop, Mark and all.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm Michael 98145:

does anyone know why it's "hang up" ...?

heh :)
  7:02pm WebHamster Henry:

Update: my earbuds are busted
  7:02pm WebHamster Henry:

Hear you next week, maybe in stereo.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:03pm Michael 98145:

danged technology
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