This nice book waited in my mail as I came home from the mountains: I had the privilege to write a chapter in it about how utopias have evolved, and devolved, over the last couple of decades. To my unbridled joy my contribution also contains a reprint of Lubberland!
One of the most fascinating books on writing that I have read was recommend to me by a professor who I once considered doing my Ph D for. I ended up, for different reasons, doing it for another amazing professor who really helped me think about not just the topic and dissertation, but about thinking… Continue reading Eviatar Zerubavel and in praise of continuous work
One of the things I have come to feel is increasingly important, is to organize some sort of personal knowledge management. I have a number of different tools that I have been playing around with including Notion and Bear. The challenge is that I have essentially three things I want to solve for my in… Continue reading Roam – some thoughts
I don't know if I am an outlier, but it has taken me a long time to realize the value there is in developing personal workflow routines. Ideas about how you do something - write an article, draft a blog post or an issue of a newsletter or even start and finish a book. I… Continue reading The surprising importance of routine processes
How does man relate to machine? There is a series of questions here that I find fascinating and not a little difficult. I think the relationship between these two concepts also are determinative for a large set of issues that we are debating today, and so we would do well to examine this language game… Continue reading Man / Machine I: conceptual remarks.
Jacques Ellul is arguably one of the earlier and most consistent technology critics we have. His texts are due for a revival in a time when technology criticism is in demand, and even techno-optimists like myself would probably welcome that, because even if he is fierce and often caustic, he is interesting and thoughtful. Ellul… Continue reading Notes on attention, fake news and noise #4: Jacques Ellul and the rise of polyphonic propaganda part 1
This February it is 10 years since I defended my doctoral thesis on what I then called the Noise Society. The main idea was that the idea of an orderly, domesticated and controllable information society - modeled on the post-industrial visions of Bell and others - probably was wrongheaded, and that we would see a… Continue reading Notes on attention, fake news and noise #3: The Noise Society 10 years later
It has become more common to denounce the idea that more speech means better democracy. Commentators, technologists and others have come out to say that they were mistaken - that their belief that enabling more people to speak would improve democracy was wrong, or at the very least simplistic. It is worth analyzing what this… Continue reading Notes on attention, fake news and noise #2: On the non-linear value of speech and freedom of dialogue or attention
So, this may seem to be a nitpicking little note, but it is not intended to belittle anyone or even to deny the importance of having a robust and rigorous discussion about data, artificial intelligence and the future. Quite the contrary - this may be one of the most important discussions that we need to engage… Continue reading Data is not like oil – it is much more interesting than that
One of the things I hear the most in the many conversations I have on tech and society today is that computers will take jobs or that man will be replaced by machine. It is a reasonable and interesting question, but I think, ultimately wrong. I tried to collect a few thoughts about that in… Continue reading A note on complementarity and substitution