Can you see your computer (and can your computer see you)? The history of the screen, from radar to AR
A conversation with Louisa Shen
Can your computer see you? . . . and can you see your computer?!
Before you tumble off into the philosophical deep end, you might want to listen to the latest episode of the Anti-Dystopians with Louisa Shen: A history of the screen, from radar to AR.
Louisa explains how the screen began as military technology in WWII, how the Cold War overlapped with the mass production of screens (and spying), and how interactive screens now make it seem as if we can see our computers—or maybe that our computers can see us. Plus, will the future of screens be the VR world of Facebook’s Oculus Rift or the AR overlaid life of Google glasses? Or will Amazon’s Alexa turned hologram become the next IoT “screen”?
Meme of the Week
The ship that launched a thousand memes
What I’ve Been Reading
Very interesting feature on how California has outsourced its vaccine rollout (even more than other US states) to Blue Shield, an insurance company. What could go wrong?
Following more Biden and Big Tech news, here’s an excellent American Prospect feature from Jonathan Guyer about Jake Sullivan—Thinker, Tanker, Scholar, Consultant: Every former policymaker in Washington is an academic, a researcher, and an adviser to big business.
The Revolving Door Project is truly doing the Lord (of Anti-Corruption)’s Work with its ongoing list of Biden appointees financial disclosures and conflicts of interest. (Spoiler alert: there’s a lot.)
If you’ve noticed some really weird behavior from Amazon’s Twitter account (like it’s suddenly turned into a snarky Reply Guy on progressive Senators’ tweets), Vox reports that order came straight from the top—Jeff Bezos himself ordered the company to be more aggressive in its PR strategy. (P.S. Internal Amazon documents show that the company is aware its drivers pee in bottles, Just So You Know.)
Nice feature from the American Prospect on the Berkeley School of Economics, and the shift towards inequality and how to fix it.
John Naughton, writing on digital advertising, says: “I think I’ve seen this film before (and I didn’t like the ending)”—Is online advertising about to crash, just like the property market did in 2008? Plus, featuring a shout out to one of my favorite books this year: The Subprime Attention Crisis.
Readers will know I have always been a fan of Jennifer Cobbe, but her remarks on blockchain and bitcoin last week were unreal levels of fire and insightful commentary on why the belief that “decentralizing processing will result in decentralizing power” is a myth. Check out the full event “Blockchain Democracy” hosted by the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy here.
Cathy Park Hong, the wonderful author of Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, on unlearning internalized racism and the resurgence of Asian American activism.