‘The Goal Is To Automate Us’: Welcome To The Age Of Surveillance Capitalism

From The Guardian We’re living through the most profound transformation in our information environment since Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of printing in circa 1439. And the problem with living through a revolution is that it’s impossible to take the long view of what’s happening. Hindsight is the only exact science in this business, and in that long run we’re all dead. Printing shaped and transformed societies over the next four centuries, but nobody in Mainz (Gutenberg’s home town) in, say, 1495 could have known that his technology would (among other things): fuel the Reformation and undermine the authority of the mighty Catholic […]

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How to Take Steps Toward a Paperless Office

from LifeHacker It’s 2018, you have reams of paper in your home office, a file cabinet with documents at work, and your kid just handed you a new field trip form you’ve got to, for some reason, fax to their teacher. If this doesn’t sound like the paperless future you were promised, you’re right. Luckily, you don’t need much to get a handle on all those PDFs you’ve got (or are about to create). A scanner, a smartphone, and some cloud storage services are all you need to convert the stack of papers on your desk into a paperless wonderland. […]

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Jackson Pollock 51

from kottke In 1950, Swiss photographer Hans Namuth took some photos of Jackson Pollock painting some of his drip paintings, which were used to illustrate a 1951 article in ArtNews. Along with photos published alongside a piece in Life in 1949, they made Pollock and his unusual technique famous. Namuth returned with a film camera and captured the artist painting in full color motion in a short film called Jackson Pollock 51. ? More here.

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Paul G. Allen, Microsoft’s Co-Founder, Is Dead at 65

from NYTs Paul G. Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft who helped usher in the personal computing revolution and then channeled his enormous fortune into transforming Seattle into a cultural destination, died on Monday in Seattle. He was 65. The cause was complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his family said in a statement. The disease recurred recently after having been in remission for years. He left Microsoft in the early 1980s, after the cancer first appeared, and, using his enormous wealth, went on to make a powerful impact on Seattle life through his philanthropy and his ownership of the N.F.L. team there, […]

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Climate Scientists: Humans Have Only 12 Years to Limit Devastating Climate Changes

from kottke In a 700-page report detailing the latest research on climate change, a UN panel of scientists strongly warns that unless we make “massive and unprecedented changes to global energy infrastructure to limit global warming to moderate levels” to limit the world’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, there will be widespread coastal flooding, food shortages, wildfires, and other issues related to climate change. If you are 60 or under, these changes will occur in your lifetime. From the NY Times: More here.

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The Role Of Higher Education In A ‘Post-Truth’ Era

from Education Dive From the Ancient Greeks to educational reformer John Dewey, and from the suffrage and civil rights movements to modern issues of inequality, educated citizens have played a key role in participatory democracy. And universities have advanced this role by preparing students to critically engage with the issues that affect their lives. At institutions of higher learning, students gain the tools to discover and evaluate facts, test theories and deepen their understanding of themselves and the world. But our current cultural moment has raised an urgent question: What is the role of higher education at a time when the very […]

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Introducing the Internet Bill of Rights

from NYTs Should American citizens get a new Bill of Rights for the internet? Given all the damage that giant tech companies have done of late, including the disaster of the week — a breach at Facebook that exposed tens of millions of accounts and maybe lots more — many Democrats think the answer is yes. In an interview with me this week, Nancy Pelosi even suggested that a new agency could be created to manage tech’s growing impact. “Something needs to be done,” she told me, to “protect the privacy of the American people” and “come up with overarching […]

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A Self-Solving Rubik’s Cube

from kottke ?? For those of us who have never quite gotten the hang of solving the popular puzzle, some wonderful genius has constructed a self-solving Rubik’s Cube. There don’t seem to be any details available about how it works, but based on the videos, it seems likely the electronics inside record the moves when the Cube is mixed up and then simply performs them in reverse. (via fairly interesting) More here.

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The Promise Of Free College (And Its Potential Pitfalls)

from Brookings The price of college is rising, making college feel out of reach for a rising share of Americans. Families can borrow to be sure, but with total student loan debt now above $1 trillion nationally, the situation seems unsustainable. Meanwhile, we face a long-term decline in our international ranking on college attainment and the disparities in college access by race and income—disparities that financial aid and loans are supposed to address—seem larger than ever. It is no surprise then that in the campaign for U.S. President in the 2016 election, nearly all candidates of both major political parties […]

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‘Fake News’ Is Sparking an AI Arms Race

from Popular Mechanics In 2018 the California-based company FireEye tipped Facebook and Google off to a network of fake social media accounts from Iran that was conducting campaigns to influence people in the United States. In response, Google and Facebook, using backend data to determine that a branch of the Iranian government was responsible, removed dozens of YouTube channels, a score of Google+ accounts and a handful of blogs. Lee Foster, manager of information operations at FireEye, was at the forefront of the firms’ investigation. “Right now, you know something’s automated just by the sheer volume of content pushing out,” […]

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We’re Not Job Hopping Enough, That’s A Problem For Fed Chair Powell

from Forbes Janet Yellen, the former Chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States and a leading labor economist, had a rule of thumb: to achieve a healthy labor market, U.S. nominal wages needed to grow 3 – 4%.  Her successor, Jerome Powell, faces a challenge; despite a U.S. unemployment rate close to multi-decade lows, nominal wage improvements have lagged. This isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon. Research from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) shows that since 2007, in G-7 countries, real wages increased 0.5% annually, compared to 1.3% over the previous decade. Since real-wages adjust for […]

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The New Labor Day

from Seth’s Blog One day a year isn’t much to spend honoring the folks that built everything. One day a year for the more than twenty that died from the heights and in the caissons as they built the Brooklyn Bridge. One day a year to remember the 123 women and 23 men who died in the Triangle Shirtwaist tragedy. And one day a year for the overlooked and disrespected, for the hardworking and the burnt out. More here.

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Ignore The Questions

from Seth’s Blog It doesn’t matter what the questions are, really. They’re a prompt. When you’re in a job interview, a podcast interview, a sales call, a meeting… if we take the approach that this is a test and there’s a right answer, we’re not actually engaging and moving things forward. Instead, consider using the question as a chance to see more deeply in what this interaction is for, where are you hoping to go? Focus on status roles, the creation and resolution of tension, and most of all, changing minds. If you’re not working to change minds, why are […]

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A Printable, Flexible, Organic Solar Cell

from TED Unlike the solar cells you’re used to seeing, organic photovoltaics are made of compounds that are dissolved in ink and can be printed and molded using simple techniques. The result is a low-weight, flexible, semi-transparent film that turns the energy of the sun into electricity. Hannah Bürckstümmer shows us how they’re made — and how they could change the way we power the world. ? More here.

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Happy Pi Day!

from wikiHow Pi is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and it is also one of the most revered mathematical constants in the known world.[1] Pi Day was first officially celebrated on a large scale in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium.[2] Since then, Pi Day has been celebrated by millions of students and math-lovers. The holiday is celebrated on 14th March, since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits in the decimal form of pi. If you’d like to learn how to celebrate pi in due fashion, read on and […]

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Dorm Living for Professionals Comes to San Francisco

from NYTs In search of reasonable rent, the middle-class backbone of San Francisco — maitre d’s, teachers, bookstore managers, lounge musicians, copywriters and merchandise planners — are engaging in an unusual experiment in communal living: They are moving into dorms. Shared bathrooms at the end of the hall and having no individual kitchen or living room is becoming less weird for some of the city’s workers thanks to Starcity, a new development company that is expressly creating dorms for many of the non-tech population. Starcity has already opened three properties with 36 units. It has nine more in development and […]

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