Now Is the Time for Main Street Shops to Go Digital

from Wired AS MANHATTAN BRACED for lockdown in early March, the main street of Fredonia, New York, was still buzzing with activity. The town had been chosen as the location for season five of Small Business Revolution, a TV series hosted by Amanda Brinkman in which the shops in a particular community get a makeover, and filming was underway. “We wondered if Covid would end up showing up in the narrative of season five,” Brinkman mused. Now, “the entire season is going to be about how we were able to help these businesses through this crisis.” As the chief brand […]

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Digital Peer Pressure

From Seth’s Blog “You’re using it wrong.” That’s how culture develops, of course. That’s why no one uses ALL CAPS IN THEIR EMAIL ANY MORE. Culture develops online at the speed of light. Every interaction tool comes with peers to interact with, and quickly, those tools establish the norms of interaction. As a result, there are a ton of rules and more arriving every day. Culture forms around us, then changes and then forms again. Often, the peer pressure pushes people to fit in, to go along, to become a bystander. But the digital peer pressure that pushes us to […]

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What It’s Like to Live in a Surveillance State

from NYTs Imagine that this is your daily life: While on your way to work or on an errand, every 100 meters you pass a police blockhouse. Video cameras on street corners and lamp posts recognize your face and track your movements. At multiple checkpoints, police officers scan your ID card, your irises and the contents of your phone. At the supermarket or the bank, you are scanned again, your bags are X-rayed and an officer runs a wand over your body — at least if you are from the wrong ethnic group. Members of the main group are usually […]

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Thoughts on Privacy

from Doc Searls Weblog In Here Is New York, E.B. White opens with this sentence: “On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy.” Sixty-four years have passed since White wrote that, and it still makes perfect sense to me, hunched behind a desk in a back room of a Manhattan apartment. That’s because privacy is mostly a settled issue in the physical world, and a grace of civilized life. Clothing, for example, is a privacy technology. So are walls, doors, windows and shades. Private spaces in public settings are well […]

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