In my last newsletter, I wrote about the ethics of arguing on the internet… and little did I know, that this would be a little too relevant that it would lead me to put things that I’m working on the back burner for next weeks newsletter, and continue to discuss one of my favorite dichotomy’s of all of the internet: the tech and journalism divide.
Buckle up folks, this post has a lot of 🍵and hot takes.
If you’re into that kinda stuff, you should probably share this newsletter.
tech bro, be nice
On Sunday, two giant forces on the internet, VC and tech journalists storms were a-brewing. Not the first time ever this has happened, nor — unfortunately — do I believe this to be the last, I mean, these groups essentially work in opposition to one another much of the time. Tech journalists work to keep individuals informed and accountable, while VC/startup land wants to be featured by tech journalists as if headlines are a metric of social proof. (Socially proved by the ‘featured in’ logo walls on their websites).
Naturally, as a formally trained journalist working in tech, pursuing a graduate degree on media innovation, I spend half my time convincing journalists that all tech ain’t bad, and all tech people, that hey you’re kinda being a douche. And this research became more relevant than ever with internet spats like the below
The deleted tweet, a comment along the lines of how “open up the economy people are the dumbest people ever, if you want to save the economy then u need to keep everyone alive,” was a fair point, and something that an individual has the right to make. You are welcome to disagree with it.
The unfortunate thing about this is, is the plethora of followers that @jason has, blatantly attacked Taylor for absolutely no reason, and the outtakes that happened. And we were attacking her character and point of privilege.
We can all account that everyone on both sides of this equation has privilege, no need to dig up the history of tweets, or stalk someones upbringing. However, I take a moral issue with someone discrediting someone’s line of work. Just because its not the work you do for a living doesn’t make it better or worse than your line of work.
FYI tech world: journalists don’t just mash buttons on an iPhone creating content writing about memes
FYI journalism world: tech bros know how to innovate, and need to be held accountable, but they know how to think quickly.
The biggest problem, IMHO, is the fact that both the journalism and tech worlds work in silos from each other. This is one thing I know for certain as I research how we can leverage the strengths of both to create better products.
Taylor has been a journalist that I’ve respected, and continue to respect as someone who always has a finger on the pulse of what’s happening and is completely unafraid to hold these industries accountable. Jason, bro - this hot take was just, no.
The best response of all this debacle came from Anand Giridharadas, who linked out an excerpt of his book:
Speaking of the regulations he didn’t like and unions he didn’t like, Pishevar said, “Finding companies that can disrupt those is one way of having some kind of ethical philosophy of saying, ‘We are going to use our capacity and our knowledge to improve our world by getting rid of some of those points of control.’” In short, technological disruption was the venture capitalist’s way of making the world a better place for everyone’s benefit.
And personally, I’m happy to see that Taylor has not stopped reporting on Memes or TikTok, and has had a sense of humor throughout this all.
how animal crossing new horizon’s fictitious stalk market is eerily similar to our real-world financial scenarios.
Animal Crossing New Horizon’s virtual stock market has been an escape for many during this pandemic crisis thing, and even that had a bit of upturn this week, with Tom Nook now announcing that our interest rates were being slashed significantly (rude).
For me, there’s some sort of bitter relief that this game is mimicking the real world, but also, damn, this game is mimicking the real world. That’s all I’ve got to say.
Recently the Correspondent announced that they were launching a global project to track coronavirus surveillance. With over 20 countries now tacking residents’ movements around the globe, there’s a question of who gets that data, and who can read it? And what does this mean for the long run? We know by now that these data sets often don’t just go away.
These questions only became more clear to me as I watched the Screening Surveillance short films. These short films created by the Surveillance Studies Center, question our rights and the common ethics behind those being surveyed. They’re very Black Mirror ish and get you thinking about these little technologies and how they’re used.
And it amazes me, while Americans are seemingly more likely to download a selfie app, or trust google with their most intimate secrets, the fact that they’re so blatantly unaware of where that information goes is concerning. Our desire for independence is far more than many other countries, which is totally fine, but I urge individuals to think about the different cultures of governments role in terms of data is.
Tech bros need to get over their exes
That whole Amanda Palmer / Neil Gaiman relationship drama on patreon bit.
People creating data are finding ways to catch people who take data — take for example, the city of Dorobō, (fun fact, does it exist, you thief?)
This Bookstore who’s nailed online sales of books!
That’s all for this week, stay safe and sane in these times. In the meantime see you on the internet my dudes!
In other news. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what to do with this community and reflecting a lot on how fortunate I am in this crisis to have health, employment, etc. In the meantime, help me help out small businesses and nonprofits — I’ve created a special swag store where I’m kicking back 20% to those who need it. check that out here.