Viețile celorlalți par mereu interesante

I only tweet or gram (Is that a word? Kids these days!) when I have something interesting, funny or of value to share. In reality, 99% of my day is filled with non-interesting, non-funny stuff.

I know this about myself yet when I go online and read or see other people’s stuff, I assume they’re different, and somehow, their lives are awesome and interesting all of the time. That’s because all I see are their interesting bits and bytes.

Paul Jarvis – No one on the Internet is living the life you think they are

Cititul se mută pe telefon

Ever since the first hand-held e-readers were introduced in the 1990s, the digital-reading revolution has turned the publishing world upside down. But contrary to early predictions, it’s not the e-reader that will be driving future book sales, but the phone.

“The future of digital reading is on the phone,” said Judith Curr, publisher of the Simon & Schuster imprint Atria Books. “It’s going to be on the phone and it’s going to be on paper.”

Jennifer Maloney – The Rise of Phone Reading

Reclame blocate

Advertisingul online se schimbă, AdBlock devine standard pentru utilizatori, iar organizaţiile româneşti din media (fie presă ori publicitate) nu fac nimic. Codurile de conduită, standardele, rămân neaplicate sau la stadii de discuţii, rata de click rămâne mică, mia de afişări se tot ieftineşte, clientul e nemulţumit, publisherul falimentează.

Alex Mihăileanu – Advertisingul online: programmatic, AdBlock şi vânzarea cu cap

I’ve never been tempted to run ad-blocking software before — I make most of my living from ads, as do many of my friends and colleagues, and I’ve always wanted to support the free media I consume. But in the last few years, possibly due to the dominance of low-quality ad networks and the increased share of mobile browsing (which is far less lucrative for ads, and more sensitive to ad intrusiveness, than PC browsing), web ad quality and tolerability have plummeted, and annoyance, abuse, misdirection, and tracking have skyrocketed.

Marco Arment – The ethics of modern web ad-blocking

The Internet is a swirling death trap of dubious gossip, outraged tweet-to-tweet combat and a million identical pieces of over-processed, hormone-injected “news content” written for fourth-graders. There’s a reason for that. It’s called money.

Choire Sicha – Former Gawker Editor on the Cause of Internet Bile: It’s Ad Dollars

Lucrurile de care fugim

Apropo de impulsul de a face aproape orice pentru a ne feri de întrebările care contează, se pare că cineva i-a luat-o înainte lui Louis CK:

Nobody diagnosed this problem as brilliantly as Friedrich Nietzsche, the cantankerous 19th-century German philosopher who argued in Unmodern Observations that we seek out distractions in order to stay mentally busy, so we can avoid facing up to the big questions—like whether we’re living genuinely meaningful lives. We tweet and click and dive into angry online arguments because “when we are alone and quiet, we fear that something will be whispered into our ear.” Worse still, even work that feels productive can really be a form of distraction, if it keeps us from addressing what’s most important. “How we labor at our daily work more ardently and thoughtlessly than is necessary,” Nietzsche wrote, is because “it is even more necessary not to have leisure to stop and think. Haste is universal because everyone is in flight from himself.”

Oliver Burkeman – Why Are We so Distracted All the Time?

Socializare calmă

Most of our social networks are anything but calm.

“The one complaint about the Internet that I wholeheartedly endorse is that most of these tools have been designed to peck at us like ducks,” said Clive Thompson, an optimistic but incisive Wired writer, a few years ago. “Their business models are built on advertising, and advertising wants as many minutes of your day as possible.”

Robinson Meyer – I Like Instagram

Coloana sonoră a vieții

Once you accept that music is an input, a factor of production, you’ll naturally seek to minimize the cost and effort required to acquire the input. And since music is “context” rather than “core,” to borrow Geoff Moore’s famous categorization of business inputs, simple economics would dictate that you outsource the supply of music rather than invest personal resources — time, money, attention, passion — in supplying it yourself. You should, as Google suggests, look to a “team of music experts” to “craft” your musical inputs, “song by song,” so “you don’t have to.” To choose one’s own songs, or even to develop the personal taste in music required to choose one’s own songs, would be wasted labor, a distraction from the series of essential jobs that give structure and value to your days.

Art is an industrial lubricant that, by reducing the friction from activities, makes for more productive lives.

Nicholas Carr – Music is the oil in the human machine

Vreau să fiu clientul, nu produsul

Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, seems to have plenty of money, but I’d like to give him some of mine. I want to pay a small fee for the right to keep my information private and to be able to hear from the people I want — not the sponsored-content makers I want to avoid. I want to be a customer, not a product.

Zeynep Tufekci – Mark Zuckerberg, Let Me Pay for Facebook

A couple years ago, Rachel Law, a grad student at Parsons at the time, had this to say: “The ‘Internet’ does not exist. Instead, it is many overlapping filter bubbles which selectively curate us into data objects to be consumed and purchased by advertisers.” As she also said, a bit less academically, “Browsing is now determined by your consumer profile and what you see, hear and the feeds you receive are tailored from your friends’ lists, emails, online purchases, etc.”

Jacob Silverman – The Internet Doesn’t Exist

De ce stăm cu ochii-n telefoane?

Why, then, do we love our smartphones and Twitter apps so much? Because we want to be lovers of our time. The urge to belong to our age is more powerful than the need to use our time efficiently. My kids use text-messaging at every moment. It’s painstaking, time-consuming, finger-jamming and ultimately inefficient. “You’d resolve this in a second if you phoned her,” I say. But they fear something much worse than being inefficient. They fear being traitors to their time, renegades to their generation.

Adam Gopnik – Why I don’t tweet

Cineva e cu ochii pe noi

All these computers produce data about what they’re doing and a lot of it is surveillance data. It’s the location of your phone, who you’re talking to and what you’re saying, what you’re searching and writing. It’s your heart rate. Corporations gather, store and analyse this data, often without our knowledge, and typically without our consent. Based on this data, they draw conclusions about us that we might disagree with or object to and that can affect our lives in profound ways. We may not like to admit it, but we are under mass surveillance. (…)

Surveillance is the business model of the internet for two primary reasons: people like free and people like convenient. The truth is, though, that people aren’t given much of a choice. It’s either surveillance or nothing and the surveillance is conveniently invisible so you don’t have to think about it. And it’s all possible because laws have failed to keep up with changes in business practices.

Bruce Schneier – How we sold our souls – and more – to the internet giants