Book Recommendation

Books

img_0915Last summer, after I broke up with my phone, I proceeded to read a number of really great books about how technology, particularly social media, is affecting us humans, both on an individual level and as a culture. One of my favorites of these books is Jaron Lanier’s “Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.”  It’s short and sweet, and packed with a ton of information. Jaron Lanier is a pioneer in the field of virtual reality and knows what he is talking about regarding this subject. I won’t break the book down for you because it’s short enough that you can read it all yourself in a day, but I would really encourage you to read it. Even if you don’t delete your accounts (which I have yet to do), you will be have a better understanding of how the big internet companies like Google and Facebook and messing with our minds and, according to Lanier, destroying our culture. Here is a link to a great talk that Lanier gave on this subject. It’s long, but totally worth watching.

Several months after reading it this is what stuck with me: We are not the customers of websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google. Advertisers are the actual customers. We are providing the content for the websites. FOR FREE.  And in the meantime we are being completely fucked with so that we will purchase things from the advertisers. This is the new advertising model. It has become totally ok for advertisers to creepily spy on us and follow us around the web so they can market their product to us. THIS PISSES ME OFF. And the shitty thing about this is that IT WORKS.

So after reading all of these books and taking the red pill I am feeling all of these feels about participating in this horror show. I feel pulled in different directions. On the one hand I care about my friends that I connect with on these platforms, but on the other hand GODDAMNIT  I don’t appreciate my brain being hacked and manipulated for profit! One of the ways that I’ve compromised is that I have deleted social media from my phone and I have pretty much broken up with Google. I refuse to use Chrome or Google search (I’m using Firefox and Duck Duck Go which are both awesome) and I’ve moved over to ProtonMail. I’ve been able to use social media through Firefox on my phone and I’m happy with the way this is working. With one exception: Instagram. I love IG more than the others but I really do not want to have it on my phone. Instead I have it on my iPad, which is a good compromise, I think.

And I’ve noticed the advertising on Instagram when I view the app on my iPad. I’ll be mindlessly scrolling through the feed, thinking everything is fine, and then BAM, I’m hit with an ad and it’s literally the perfect thing for me, whatever it is. It’s this thing that I never knew I needed. As I mentioned above, this advertising method WORKS!  But damn, it’s so sneaky and creepy and evil.

Anyway. Read the book.

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You make me want to pick up a guitar…

Life, Music

I was listening to music this morning and this oldie popped up on iTunes: Interpol’s Slow Hands. I love this song,and this whole album for that matter. I haven’t heard it in years and years.

So anyway!

I sprained my knee and have been crankily hobbling around on a crutch for the past week and a half. I really would love to get back into the habit of blogging more, but I am not sure that is going to be anytime soon. Maybe this post will be the seed that gets me going?

 

Why can’t we give love that one more chance

Life

via Daily Prompt: Overwhelming

I’ve been obsessing and worrying a lot lately. There have been lots of tears. There have been lots of dark moments. I’m working extra hard  keeping myself on level ground. I feel like I can’t afford to fall into a hole that is impossible to dig myself out of.

I realized that I need a project. I need to give my brain something to do to keep it from worrying about the future. I keep coming back to sketching, which  is perfect because it is just enough of a challenge for me to keep my brain occupied. At some point I will, once again, get back into a daily drawing habit (why is it so hard for me to stick with it?!?) However, I realized that I kind of already have a project that I can do, that is much easier for me to jump right in to. It’s this blog. This blog has been with me through thick and thin. Through Bush and Obama. Writing has been the way I sort though thoughts. It has been my trusty companion my entire life.

So I am going to work through these tough times by blogging everyday. I don’t know what that is going to look like. It might be messy some days. It might be uplifting. It might just be a song, or a photo, or something that particularly touched me that day.

I’m hoping, mostly, that it will be a way for me to connect with you, because the last thing anyone should do during this time isolate.

The song Under Pressure made me happy twice today. It randomly played while I was running and also while I was getting ready for work. It is one of those songs that always fills me with hope when I hear it. And because I love a good coincidence, I can’t help but think that the Universe is trying to tell me something.

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you
No man ask for

Under pressure
That brings a building down
Splits a family in two

Puts people on streets

Um ba ba be
Um ba ba be
De day da
Ee day da – that’s okay

It’s the terror of knowing
What the world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming

‘Let me out’
Pray tomorrow gets me higher

Pressure on people people on streets

Day day de mm hm
Da da da ba ba
Okay
Chipping around – kick my brains around the floor
These are the days it never rains but it pours
Ee do ba be
Ee da ba ba ba
Um bo bo
Be lap

People on streets
ee da de da de
People on streets
ee da de da de da de da

It’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming
‘Let me out’

Pray tomorrow – gets me higher
Higher
High

Pressure on people people on streets

Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don’t work

Keep coming up with love
But it’s so slashed and torn
Why – why – why?
Love love love love love
Insanity laughs under pressure we’re breaking

Can’t we give ourselves one more chance
Why can’t we give love that one more chance
Why can’t we give love give love give love give love
Give love give love give love give love give love

Because love’s such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the (People on streets) edge of the night
And loves (People on streets) dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure
Pressure