Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from May 11, 2020 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 1st, 6pm - 7pm: Ryan Walsh, of Hallelujah The Hills, on the Open AI Jukebox (More info...)

Options May 11, 2020: Jathan Sadowski, author, "Too Smart: How Digital Capitalism is Extracting Data, Controlling Our Lives, and Taking Over the World"

Listen to this show: MP3 - 128K |  Pop‑up player!

Tonight: Jathan Sadowski, author, "Too Smart: How Digital Capitalism is Extracting Data, Controlling Our Lives, and Taking Over the World"


By David in London. Click for full size.


Also from David in London, a textual compilation of movie and book recommendations made by you, listeners, on last week's comment board.

About Jathan Sadowski:

• Website: jathansadowski.com

• Book: Too Smart: How Digital Capitalism is Extracting Data, Controlling Our Lives, and Taking Over the World

• Twitter: @jathansadowski

Tech news:

Tim Bray's resignation letter from Amazon (April 29)

Brad Porter's response, as "Vice President and Distinguished Engineer at Amazon." (May 5)

Senators Want to Know if Amazon Retaliated Against Whistle-Blowers (NYT, May 7)

Criminal investigation of Amazon for possible perjury (Representative Cicilline, May 1)

Criminal investigation of Amazon in the Senate for "predatory and exclusionary data practices" (April 28)

Sidewalk Labs pulling out of Quayside project (The Star, May 7)

Google Sibling Abandons Ambitious City of the Future in Toronto (NYT, May 7)

New York Gov. Cuomo just tapped former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to help invent a more tech-focused future for the state post-pandemic (Business Insider, May 6)

New York Is Turning Into a Silicon Valley Science Experiment (Vice/Motherboard, May 8)

Amazon told workers paid sick leave law doesn't cover warehouses (Sam Levin in The Guardian, May 7)

- - -

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Artist Track Images Approx. start time
  Jathan Sadowski, author, "Too Smart: How Digital Capitalism is Extracting Data, Controlling Our Lives, and Taking Over the World"
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options
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  Mark's intro  
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Kraftwerk  Tanzmusik   Options
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0:15:41 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Interview with Jathan Sadowski  
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0:15:47 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Mark's comments after the interview  
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0:48:23 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
Fine Young Cannibals & GE  C by GE light bulb instructions   Options
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0:53:16 (MP3 | Pop‑up)


Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 5:58pm listener james from westwood:

Whoa, excellent graph!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:00pm Handy Haversack:

David in London: A talented guy!

Hi, Mark and all the Techyon particles! Tech Gin: poured! Ready for Techtonic!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:00pm ultradamno:

Hello Mark! Techtonotherfuckers!

You know, because yesterday was motherfuckers day, I was told.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Handy Haversack:

I had so much trouble finding an appropriate card, ultradamno.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Phillippe Bastille:

Hey Mark, technoids
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Mark Hurst:

Hi James, Handy, ultra, Phillippe!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Webhamster Henry:

You're all living like a Webhamster, hunkering in their little hamster den.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Into the Technolocker!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm Phillippe Bastille:

Nice, DiL
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm chris:

hi, Mark and folks. David in London, whoa! winning the data visualization game. niiiice.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm Bas NL:

Hi Mark and Techtonicaldataloids!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm Webhamster Henry:

Nice data mining DinL!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm Handy Haversack:

OK, Mark, Kate and I will figure out a way to record what I e-mailed you earlier. I would prefer not to take an Incomplete on the assignment!
  6:07pm queems:

hello mark hurst & all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm David (in London):

Hi Mark and all in the Techno-Gang.
  6:08pm P-90:

“Technotherfuckers”...? Dang.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm chris:

Bray's letter is marvelous.
  6:09pm queems:

totally forgot about the movie request because i have a goldfish brain
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Megaroni:

Thank you Techtonic! Your tech news is much needed truth to be called out!
  6:10pm queems:

cry me several rivers buddy
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm listener james from westwood:

Re Porter: Hit dogs will holler.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm Handy Haversack:

We forgot till this morning, queems -- or remembered stochastically.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm chris:

what color is the sky in Porter's world?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm Handy Haversack:

Cash green, @chris.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm Mark Hurst:

Hi Webham, KfHP, chris, Bas, queems, David in London, P-90, and Megaroni!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm Bas NL:

We won't be amazonolated!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm chris:

since Bray acknowledged giving up about a million bucks by quitting, i'd say you're on to something, Handy.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm melinda:

hi Mark and everyone!
  6:13pm queems:

LOL BYE
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm melinda:

Good news!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Handy Haversack:

Wow, well done, Toronto!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Mark Hurst:

@melinda hi! yes, good news
Avatar 6:14pm herb.nyc:

send VP Porter to "the Russian front". Hey, "hogan's heros" might be fun to watch while stuck at home.
Avatar 6:14pm herb.nyc:

I'm guilty- I use the NYC kiosks.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Mark Hurst:

@chris you got it
  6:15pm queems:

nah cuomo can gtfo. can’t stand him
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm Handy Haversack:

Yeah, that's about the Cuomo-est thing possible. Refuse $7B in federal health money so he can dismantle medicaid and the hospitals and then turn it all over to big data. Cuomo all the way down.
Avatar 6:16pm herb.nyc:

Schmidt to the Russian front too.
  6:17pm P-90:

“optimize for exploitation”
Avatar 6:19pm JakeGould:

Pretty much every Kraftwerk album was about tech advances in Germany and the world: The autobahn, Trans Europe Express, computers, radioactivity and such.
Avatar 6:20pm JakeGould:

I always have mixed feelings about LinkNYC kiosks and even subway charging stations but without them the homeless would truly be disconnected nowadays.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm Handy Haversack:

It's true, Jake. Free, safe internet seems like a no-brainer as a public utility. That's just not what they built. The city just caved on the contract to save money.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm WR:

What was the name Sadowski mentioned? Landon Winner?
Avatar 6:24pm JakeGould:

“The city just caved on the contract to save money.” More like to make public services a profit center rather than a cost center.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm chris:

Langdon Winner - www.langdonwinner.com
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm Handy Haversack:

Well put, Jake.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm David (in London):

An electronic leash that few can escape.
  6:26pm Ochre Ogre:

Bravo David in London, there's a good chap!
Not certain if it fits but, would expect to see 'Brazil' in the list. Liquid Sky!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:27pm Mark Hurst:

The profit center for the city is only part of LinkNYC... we still don't know how much Alphabet (Google) is benefiting from all of the surveillance data they're extracting from New Yorkers
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm Mark Hurst:

@Ochre it's a compilation of all the listener recommendations on the comment board during last week's show
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm Handy Haversack:

"Brutally extractive" seems like a reasonable guess at describing how Alphabet is handling it, though, Mark. That homeless people have to use them so extensively is speaking right to Jathan Sadowski's point.
  6:30pm Ochre Ogre:

Mark thanks, I should have read that
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:31pm ultradamno:

The Stuff is a good one. Marketed contagion.
  6:34pm Ochre Ogre:

My belated recommendation is THE GREAT HACK on Netflix.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:35pm Mark Hurst:

@Ochre that's a good one
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:39pm ultradamno:

But it sounds so reassuring, fulfillment centers, more like a spa than a sprawling, confusing labyrinthine warehouse.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:39pm Mark Hurst:

George Carlin would have had a field day with that one
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm Handy Haversack:

Mac Maclellan's brilliant and now*eight*-year-old article on conditions in a [not explicitly Amazon but really Amazon] warehouse is still terrifying and relevant -- and probably outdated only in the levels of control exerted over the workers now: www.motherjones.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm melinda:

@ultradamno so true.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm David (in London):

I wonder how many times a week the words "Our people are our greatest strength" are spoken in the 'fulfillment centres'? Until the AIs have passed beta testing.
  6:41pm Ochre Ogre:

Christian Smalls!! Staten Island Amazon whistle blower.
  6:41pm duck:

we are for real transitioning into a new system. this part is inevitable. i don't like that this is being planned on our behalf, but what is anyone doing/what can we do other than talk about it, throw a fit and anarchy
  6:43pm duck:

we've got all this time on our hands while changes are literally being implemented around us, and we're talking about netflix
Avatar 6:43pm JakeGould:

Folks like that at an executive level have utterly never worked any job anywhere for any reason.
  6:43pm Dean:

It's time to reread Kevin Robins & Frank Webster's Times of the Technoculture, which appeared in 1999.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm Mark Hurst:

@duck nothing inevitable - look at activists in Toronto successfully kicking out Google
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm David (in London):

"Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.” - Jeff Goldblum's line from Jurassic Park never gets old.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm Mark Hurst:

@Dean thanks, hadn't heard of that book
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm Megaroni:

For this jerk at Amazon to say how dare you to the Vp who quit easily leaves out the human component- how convenient for his argument
  6:46pm duck:

@mark. it is inevitable - these changes are logical and welcome. the difference between the nightmare and the utopia maybe is a matter of the subjects participating in the construction
  6:46pm queems:

i got added to a whatsapp group by my boss and i’m like nooOOOOO
  6:46pm Ochre Ogre:

There was a segment on this Amazon topic 60 Minutes last night, probably available online.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm Webhamster Henry:

I think Signal is still secure....
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm Mark Hurst:

@duck I'd recommend Jathan's book - he writes in detail about response to the claim of inevitability (a favorite of Silicon Valley)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm Webhamster Henry:

BTW Eric Schmidt is gone from Alphabet now.
www.marketwatch.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm chris:

technology as a bucket term doesn't always work. what we usually have discussions about, on this show, is *software* technology, specifically.
  Swag For Life Member 6:50pm JG:

@queems, same here w the Wahtsapp work group text. its the most invasive thing. Horrible
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm chris:

great interview once again, Mark. kudos and thanks to Mr. Sadowski.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm Handy Haversack:

@Henry, yes, but it requires a connection to a mobile phone.
  6:51pm kevlicki:

Tuning in late this week. Hi mark and all
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm Mark Hurst:

@chris thanks
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm Mark Hurst:

@kevlicki hi, thanks for joining!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm Webhamster Henry:

Maybe you can get all your Surveillance Capitalism Guests on a virtual panel (on a secure conference platform, of course) .
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm melinda:

I don't think there is a surveillance utopia.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm Mark Hurst:

@Webham 6:49 good pointer.. maybe on paper he's cut ties.
  6:53pm queems:

@jg my coworkers don’t know how to use it, either. like i don’t want to see your coronavirus conspiracy theory videos
  6:53pm duck:

yes that sounds like an oxymoron
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm Mark Hurst:

Thanks, herb.nyc and David in London!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm ultradamno:

And the main government repercussion for Amazon may be the destruction of the post office. Cutting of your face to spite someone else's eye.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Webhamster Henry:

@melinda Glinda the Good has a book, the Great Book of Records, that wrote everything that went on in Oz.
  Swag For Life Member 6:54pm JG:

@queems I know and some of my foolish co workers want to be On work time 24/7
  6:54pm castor:

In thinking about democracy at work, Richard Wolff is a good place to start: https://www.democracyatwork.info/
  6:54pm queems:

thanks, mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm David (in London):

Thanks Mark. A small contribution to this community which I love being a part of.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Webhamster Henry:

@mark he's been backing of for years, now he can concentrate on messing up NYC.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm listener james from westwood:

Scott!! A mighty substitute. Enjoy your time away!
  6:54pm P-90:

Thoughtful recommendation, HerbNYC
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm melinda:

Thanks Mark, great interview!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Bas NL:

Thanks Mark & Jathan!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Mark Hurst:

@David I appreciate it!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Handy Haversack:

I haven't used Amazon in over five years, but I live in NYC and have neighborhood options. Not everyone still has local options, which is horrifying.

Thanks, Mark! Thanks, everyone! So good to hang out with you all again!
  6:55pm Ochre Ogre:

Bezos is into a lot a of messed up stuff
  6:55pm P-90:

...and thanks, Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Mark Hurst:

@melinda @Bas @Handy thanks!
  6:56pm Ochre Ogre:

Great, thanx Mark!
  6:56pm queems:

oh my god if i need to reset my lightbulb i have bigger problems than my lightbulb
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Mark Hurst:

@P-90 @Ochre thanks for joining in this evening
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Thanks, Mark. Have a good time off the grid!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm listener 126464:

How many tech support personnel does it take...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Webhamster Henry:

I have a smart bulb, I don't use it because you can't turn it off without either disempowering it , in which case turning it on loses all its settings, or using an app. Who wants to open an app to control a light bulb??
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Mark Hurst:

@queems pay attention to the instructions! It takes several minutes of specific on-off switching to get that reset done correctly!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Mark Hurst:

Smart tech will save us all! This proves it
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm ultradamno:

I'm going to start reciting this when I wash my hands. They will be done thoroughly
  6:57pm queems:

LOL FIRMWARE
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Webhamster Henry:

Also, your bulb might be mining bitcoin while you're trying to do the puzzle in your easy chair.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Mark Hurst:

@ultra you're gonna have extremely clean hands
  6:58pm queems:

this is like the cha cha slide
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm chris:

this user experience brought to you by dogbert?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Webhamster Henry:

This could be a new dance hit: Do the Bulb!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm listener 126464:

gotta reformat my bulbs hard drive
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Mark Hurst:

Smart tips about smart products! Everything is so smart!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm David (in London):

Slow and bulbous.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm listener 126464:

Thanks Mark!
  6:59pm Sam:

Ha!!!!! That bulb would be in the trash after step 3.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Do the hokey pokey and you turn your smart bulb on!
  6:59pm Dean:

How many seconds does it take to screw in a light bulb?
  6:59pm P-90:

The truly “smart” bulb will be the one that remembers how you programmed it, and simply switches on/off dependent on current supply like the traditional bulb.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Mark Hurst:

@126464 thanks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm jillydg:

So amusing!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Webhamster Henry:

Thanks Mark! We'll be surveilling you in two weeks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:03pm WR:

Thank you Mark, Jathan & skellington krewe.
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