Reading Roundup Week of 2022-06-13
Stuff that tickled me this week.
A theme: on wresting the ownership and culture of the web and technology from shitty tech bros and back into the hands of kind, neurotic intellectuals.
- Exploiting Android Users for Fun and Profit - The kind of things you feel must be happening at companies but don't have proof for, spelled out in plain English.
Meet the Guy Who Went Viral for Explaining How NFTs Are a ‘Poverty Trap’
Just chef's kiss. Some choice quotes:
[…] I was a young, tech-savvy white guy, tenuously middle-class, anxious about my financial situation and my financial future, angry over the 2008 subprime crash, angry about the Iraq war and the war on terror and 9/11—feeling like my adulthood had been stolen from me before I even got a chance to do anything with it. A lot of the frustrations of my generation that have allowed so many of my peers to be recruited by literal goddamn Nazis.
Part of the reason why I call bullshit is because it’s like, new wave same as the old wave. It's all the same old overpromising. They'll take a hypothetical application that doesn't exist, that no one's working on and might not even be possible, and treat it as though it's already happening. Give themselves a gold star for having already done it, when no one's even started.
I think we can, as a society, build a weird internet again. The problems with the internet and how centralized it’s become have nothing to do with server or database structure. Hosting costs are still too expensive for individuals, and the tools are too complicated. That’s why the old web went away: the only people who could afford to participate on the internet at audience scale, let alone mass market scale, were businesses and wealthy individuals.
The reasons for the old web going away are very pragmatic: what does it cost to run a website? Based on those costs, where do things gravitate towards? These are simple questions that are not going to be solved by cryptocurrency or brute force decentralization. If you're not solving those problems, then you're resetting the clock to the current status quo.
- ‘They keep threatening to arrest us.’ The obstacles facing local news in Uvalde - As a parent, it destroys something in me to read about Uvalde every time. But I want the truth of what happened there, even as we keep pushing the worst parts of our society to improve, to choose kindness, to reject violence, to reject profit.
“Sounds good!” I type, my body trembling with rage. My eyes welling with tears. I begin plotting my revenge— jon drake (@DrakeGatsby) June 14, 2022