It's some weird sort of irony when an issue of an email newsletter urges you to unsubscribe from email newsletters, in order to simplify your life.
Frank Pasquale on the all-powerful algorithm:
Far more worrying is the shady world of thousands of largely unregulated data brokers who create profiles of people, profiles built without people's knowledge, consent, and often without the right to review or correct. One casual slur against you could enter into a random database without your knowledge - and then go on to populate hundreds of other digital dossiers purporting to report on your health status, finances, competence, or criminal record.
More to reinforce your paranoia:
An inference like this may not be worth much on its own. But once people are so identified, it could easily be combined and recombined with other lists - say, of plus-sized shoppers, or frequent buyers of fast food - that solidify the inference. A new algorithm from Facebook instantly classifies individuals in photographs based on body type or posture. The holy grail of algorithmic reputation is the most complete possible database of each individual, unifying credit, telecom, location, retail and dozens of other data streams into a digital doppelganger.
If the last few years have taught us anything, it's that digital paranoia is usually justified.
On the likely source of the next pandemic:
Looking at epidemics and pandemics through this evolutionary lens makes it clear that the most important condition necessary for the evolution of virulent, transmissible disease is the existence of a human disease factory. Without social conditions that allow the evolution of virulent, transmissible disease, deadly outbreaks are unlikely to emerge.
Human disease factory. That's an image for you.
So now I am going to make some rules. I'm going to set expectations. Namely, I plan to post something every weekday and most weekends. I'll probably skip most days I'm on vacation.
I took my first iPhone 7 Plus portrait mode photo today. Stellar.
If you're picking these photos apart for minor flaws, maybe consider not doing that.
Fundamentally Broken is one episode old, but I already know it's going to be one of my favorites. The fact that one of the hosts is my buddy Tim might have something to do with that.
All too often, I realize the paths I take in my daily life have problems. And it makes me realize how broken I can be, often times at very basic level. But when I have these moments, I'm able to overcome them through creative methods, past experiences, and most of all friends, and build it back up again. And sharing the problem makes me feel that I'm not alone.
I got an early listen because I'm special. I listed again today, and can't wait for the first "real" episode. It's already at the top of my Overcast priority list.
My buddy Jack's latest:
I'm finding that being on social media isn't much fun anymore. I'll stay for now, but the thrill is long gone.
Nothing to add besides my head nodding.
Patrick Rhone is taking one hell of a break from the public-facing internet:
Beginning on March 4th, my newsletter will be the only new words you hear from me for a long while.
He's talking about a year or more. That is some serious dedication to his next project. If you enjoy Patrick's wisdom, and you should, sign up for his newsletter. It's one of my favorite things to read.
The esteemed Jack Baty:
One thing I do know, is that a blogging platforms like Medium or Tumblr are never permanent.