“The economic impact of hyperemployment is obviously different from that of underemployment, but some of the same emotional toll imbues both: a sense of inundation, of being trounced by demands whose completion yields only their continuance, and a feeling of resignation that any other scenario is likely or even possible. The only difference between the despair of hyperemployment and that of un- or under-employment is that the latter at least acknowledges itself as an substandard condition, while the former celebrates the hyperemployed’s purported freedom to “share” and “connect,” to do business more easily and effectively by doing jobs once left for others competence and compensation, from the convenience of your car or toilet.”—Hyperemployment, or the Exhausting Work of the Technology User by Ian Bogost
“It’s the sort of innovation that capital loves: minimizing the cost of labor, maximizing the lightning-quick flows of money and goods. […] we probably don’t need drone delivery systems for our online shopping. But, as a desperate King Lear reminds us, “Reason not the need … Allow not nature more than nature needs, Man’s life is as cheap as beast’s.” This isn’t about need and, of course, Amazon would not be Amazon, nor would capitalism be capitalism, if need were the determining factor. The robots have long been coming; reason not the need.”—Salon.com on Amazon drones.
This is the original implementation of Parry, in MLISP (meta-lisp) for a PDP-10. It will not work in Common Lisp and would require a significant amount of porting (parts are written in PDP-10 assembly code).
“I understand the role of advertising and marketing, but I want the online equivalent of going into a shop and politely saying "no thank you" when sales people offer me help, and then left alone to form myself a picture of what is on offer and if that fits with my needs. Only after that will I engage with sales staff for advice, choice, whatever (and I buy on principle in a shop if I asked their help instead of then buying online - to me, that’s a bit unfair otherwise). What you get with Salesforce and others is relentless pushing of the kind we used to have in the 90s where some sites loaded up both pop over and pop under windows and started a whole series of "are you sure" screens the moment you tried to leave, a sort of hostile take-over of your browser.”—Relevant comment found here.
The kinds of social and cultural ideas, tools and techniques we’ve created have often been ahead of their time: testing the just-possible and directing attention at where things could go. Is there perhaps a contradiction in using the logic of consumption and popularity to support projects that are precisely not popular because what underlies them is unfamiliar, perhaps even uncomfortable – something that may not become mainstream for years?
For a long time, cars were a symbol of freedom and independence. No longer. In its Zoe electric car, car maker Renault apparently has the ability to remotely prevent the battery from charging. And that’s more chilling than it sounds.
“We cannot say we know the devices in our pockets. We find ourselves dependent on infrastructure that we don’t understand. If you cannot unpack, or describe, the constituent engineered parts of your environment, you cannot critically engage with the world you live, because you can’t see your world, you can’t describe it. The children’s book reality that we rely on to describe the world around us, is full of really silly metaphors [like the cloud, the matrix, or series of tubes].”—Julian Oliver, eyeo2012 presentation
“As even some partisans of big data have noted, the massive identification of regularities and irregularities can speak to “what” but not to “why”: they cannot recognize causes and reasons, which are essential elements of humanistic research. And in some agitators for the digital humanities I detect a certain mischievousness that does not inspire confidence: they speak exaltedly of “versioning,” for instance, which is “favored over definitive editions and research silos”: “there is space to iterate and test, to create precarious experiments that are speculative, ludic, or even impossible.” This sounds like a lot of fun. I am not sure what it has to do with the expansion of scholarship.”—Leon Wieseltier, in his answer to Pinker