Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from April 15, 2019 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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Options April 15, 2019: Clive Thompson, author, "Coders"

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This week: Clive Thompson, author, "Coders"

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Pointers to Clive Thompson:

• Web: clivethompson.net

• Twitter: @pomeranian99

• Book: Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World

The Efficiency Delusion, by Clive Thompson and Evan Selinger (who himself co-authored "Re-Engineering Humanity" with past guest Brett Frischmann): "Placing efficiency over other values can be a mistake — a lapse in ethical, political, personal, or professional judgment. Some human or civic interactions thrive when they’re deliberate and erode when they’re sped up."

Delorean Sisters on Bandcamp (Clive on banjo, guitar, harmonica)

• Clive's announcement of his wife Emily Nussbaum's new book about TV

Recent tech news:

Amazon reportedly employs thousands of people to listen to your Alexa conversations (CNN, April 11): "Amazon confirmed to CNN Business that it hires people to listen to what customers say to Alexa. But Amazon said it takes 'security and privacy of our customers' personal information seriously.' The company said it only annotates an 'extremely small number of interactions from a random set of customers.'"

• Alice Goldfuss posts: "TECH CONSUMERS: Alexa decides what music I listen to, what my children eat, and who can open my door
TECH WORKERS: my address is a secret and my children play with rocks"

Facebook plans to pass your photographs to advertisers and make users the stars of online ads, patent reveals (Telegraph, April 9): Facebook granted US patent for "system which can detect photos people have uploaded that feature items such as alcoholic drinks and snacks. The company would then pass those images to the brands, which would turn them into adverts for other Facebook users to see."

• New Zealand's privacy commissioner, John Edwards posted (reports Guardian, Apr 7): "Facebook cannot be trusted. They are morally bankrupt pathological liars who enable genocide (Myanmar), & facilitate foreign undermining of democratic institutions."

• via Rob Price and Business Insider (Apr 12): "Facebook accidentally shipped 'tens of thousands' of VR controllers with hidden messages like 'Big Brother is Watching' and 'The Masons Were Here.'"

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Listener meetup: You're invited! Killer Robots Movie Night at WFMU - Friday, May 10 in Monty Hall.

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Check out techtonic.fm for recent Techtonic interviews and Little Slice of Tech Pie segments.

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Artist Track Album Images Approx. start time
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options Machinarium Soundtrack 
0:00:00 (Pop‑up)
  Mark's intro    
  Interview with Clive Thompson    
0:12:27 (Pop‑up)
  Your calls & comments 201-536-9368    
0:39:03 (Pop‑up)
The Delorean Sisters  One Thing Leads to Another   Options The Delorean Sisters    0:55:05 (Pop‑up)

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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:00pm ultradamno:

Hello Mark! Techryptographers!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm Phillippe Bastille:

Hi Teccers (Tonicers?)
Avatar 6:01pm Bas NL:

Mark! Techtonicoids!
Avatar 6:02pm TDK60:

You're gettin' technical.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Ike:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Webhamster Henry:

Hi Taxtonics!
Avatar 6:03pm Jeff Moore:

Mark! Techie McTechfaces!
Avatar 6:03pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

HolySmokes. Three GodzillaWatchParties...faceborg is destroying my mind...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm listener james from westwood:

Evening, Mark and all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Ken From Hyde Park:

How are we supposed to read those Techtroglyphs on today's image?
Also, 99% of the goal!
  6:03pm chresti:

Hello technoids
  6:03pm Dave Miss:

Hello all.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm listener james from westwood:

Yay, pledgers—we'll see that 100% animation yet!
  6:05pm melinda:

Welcome back Mark!
Avatar 6:05pm Beast of Boonton:

Mark - Did you go tech free on your week off?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm chris:

hi, Mark and techtonaughts. hey, i'm a coder. what shall i learn about myself and my colleagues this evening...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Webhamster Henry:

And Hi to Clive, who owes me some prize for cracking the vigenere puzzle in ST!M Magazine (Dot-com era web zine).
Avatar 6:06pm Jeff Moore:

Who calls it the "show notes" page?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm Buffalo's Tom:

Hi all! Welcome back, Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm annie:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm Granny Spicy Tuna:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm listener james from westwood:

"the Hudson River's right there" = me cackling in my kitchen
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Ken From Hyde Park:

But ... but ... but - www.carscoops.com... "Buyers Want Amazon Alexa And Google Assistant In Their Cars, Study Finds"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Granny Spicy Tuna:

smarte spatula TM tells you when your pancake is browned to perfection
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Buffalo's Tom:

"Alexa, what did I say yesterday at 4:13 PM?"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm listener james from westwood:

Alice Goldfuss!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm Webhamster Henry:

"Alexa: what did Fred say to Siri about me"
  6:12pm juje:

facebooks new 'delete a message' feature? zucko had access to that feature FOR YEARS.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm Buffalo's Tom:

Haha @Henry
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm ɛɨk:

I can answer that question about the numerous independent contractors, at least at one Amzn-owned local co.: They can opt into health benefits, but they are shittier and more expensive than the FTE health benefits. Aetna instead of BCBS, that should tell you all you need to know right there.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm diciassette:

This is too good. I am turning my surveillance device back on as soon as I get home. Hello!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Phillippe Bastille:

"Alexa: Play WFMU" is still worthwhile...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Courtney T. Edison: WFMU's Old Coder. I think he used knitting needles to punch holes into a thin strip of leather to program his computing device.
Avatar 6:19pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Okay. I'm frightened.
Avatar 6:20pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Always thot that. 'Computers are logical - just follow what they say'...yeah - if you think like this Programmer...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:20pm Webhamster Henry:

I usually write a script if I have to do something three times!
  6:21pm Martinibomb:

Very interesting radio today.
  6:21pm chresti:

I bought a wooden spoon today. As far as I know, it won’t read my mind...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm diciassette:

Webhamster Henry, now that's being pragmatic. Sometimes I write a script for something I've never done before.
  6:23pm The Butterman:

Does Mark remind us of Dave Emory?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm Granny Spicy Tuna:

i have heard that uber helicopters are in the works
Avatar 6:23pm Jeff Moore:

The three virtues of a programmer: laziness, impatience, and hubris.

Avatar 6:27pm northguineahills:

@Jeff: That explains me, I only possess the first quality....
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm ultradamno:

And anti-vaxer talk is a good example of something that wouldn't have previously gotten any traction that has resulted in real world consequences like a measles outbreak.
Avatar 6:28pm herb.nyc:

I LIKE this show. -- I LIKE this show. -- I LIKE this...
Avatar 6:28pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

...yes - we should be able to clicky-star each other off the island...
Interviewer: Do you expect WFMU to not have to worry about money?
StationManager: No - that would mean we've sold out...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm Webhamster Henry:

My app sales are hockey sticks .. pointing the other way though.
Avatar 6:31pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

I always figure I'm so weird I won't fit in a lowest common denominator algorithm anyhow. Sounds too much like if yer innocent you don't need civil rights...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm listener james from westwood:

Is this in ref. to Prof. Marie Hicks's Programmed Inequality?
Avatar 6:36pm herb.nyc:

This book "reads like butter"? Well I just picked up "algorithms of oppression" from library, thx to mark
and techtoenails show. will try to read >80pages, which is about how much iread of douglas rushkoff's "team human" before i had to return to library. and that book was *terrific", really opening my eyes. i guess i'm just a coke-addled 14yo add kid who has to learn to focus.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm ultradamno:

Halt And Catch Fire was kind of the coder equivalent of Mad Men, in that it dealt (in part) with women rising up in the coding world.
  6:42pm JakeGould:

These show notes are very informational.
  6:43pm Dave Miss:

So where is coding going? Will Sir Tim Berners-Lee be able to create an open source second Internet with new types of coding languages?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm Webhamster Henry:

Lemme tell you - there is definitely age discrimination in coder hiring.
  6:45pm JakeGould:

FWIW, most of these 6 month intensive JavaScript bootcamp programs are kinda scammy. They only teach you front-end JavaScript at best. Very little of the server-side stuff.
  6:45pm melinda:

I was class of 94 too. In art.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm dale:

i was a pagemaker and paint whiz. then POOF!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm dale:

henry - there is age discrimination in ALL hiring.
Avatar 6:48pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

...now now - none of this Commie Anti-Monopoly talk...
  6:48pm Kramer:

My theory as to why WordPerfect lost was that the mouse came along.
  6:49pm Listener Robert:

WordPerfect 5.1 was the pinnacle of word processing.
Avatar 6:49pm Jeff Moore:

No. Micro$oft Word is terrible. Nobody should still be using it.

(Really, though, those attempted-WYSIWYG editors are a terrible idea. Just use a markup language in a plain-text editor! TeX for the win!)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm spaghetti head:

Not using Windows definitely improves your computing life. "Get off of Windows!" Yes.
  6:50pm JakeGould:

@Jeff: MarkDown works great.
  6:50pm Listener Robert:

Why would people want a word processing program that doesn't have "Reveal Codes"?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm dale:

webhamster's henry comment really...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm Webhamster Henry:

I am !on. (bang on).
  6:52pm ?question:

Why can't we get hack-proof voting machines?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm listener james from westwood:

Fuck Bloomberg.
Avatar 6:53pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Voting?? Why should that be a priority in a proud rich Democracy...Republic...thing...
  6:54pm Listener Robert:

To this day I struggle to put text in the proper place relative to hard breaks or the starts and stops of font-modifying codes. In WordPerfect it was all clear.

However, they started to go off the rails with 6.0.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm chris:

10,000 hrs for programmers, yes. for developers, probably not. you also need people skills and business knowledge.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm dale:

i've sat in ad meetings where young new people were presenting work that the client rejected weeks before but you weren't supposed to bring that up and stifle their creativity.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Granny Spicy Tuna:

o, yeah— i live a 20-minute walk from Valencia Street in SF and am all too aware of what these young white brogrammers like.
  6:55pm chresti:

If I’m ever given an Alexa, I’m going to tell it to give me money
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm listener james from westwood:

My first supervisor, an FMU listener from way back, had an 11" x 17" foldout of every useful WP 5.1 keyboard command. Still have it, in case it's all we have after the computer apocalypse.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm mrdonutsu:

I roll my eyes at everyone's stated fondness for software they haven't used in 20 years. Pretty certain you would consider it to be crap now.
Avatar 6:56pm northguineahills:

Thanks Mark and Clive. I still think all front and back code should be available to customers....
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Granny Spicy Tuna:

this has been an excellent program, thank you!
  6:56pm melinda:

Great show.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm coelacanth∅:

Thanks Mark & Clive Thompson
  6:57pm chresti:

Thanks. I used to be a paste-up artist for a book publisher
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm spaghetti head:

Yes, great show. Thanks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm chris:

thanks, Mark and Clive. good stuff.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm listener james from westwood:

Thanks, Mark and Clive!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Webhamster Henry:

This has been fun! See ya,
Signed Nemo from Echo.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Ken From Hyde Park:

The future is dogramming or maybe catgramming.
  6:58pm Jay:

Have y'all ever done a show on decentralized systems? Would be really into listening to folks prattle on about gossip protocols and such.
  6:58pm Listener Robert:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm spaghetti head:

ps Google, get off SF!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm ultradamno:

The sister cars of the future.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm Siouxsie:

Great show thanks :)
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