My top reading recommendations from Pocket and elsewhere, the week of March 14, 2022.
If You Read One Thing
Hope for the future (Audrey Waters, Hack Education)
This talk is specifically addressing the impact of "Silicon Valley ideology" on education technology, but I think it applies to many domains.
The tech industry's historical amnesia — the inability to learn about, to recognize, to remember what has come before — is deeply intertwined with the idea of "disruption" and its firm belief that new technologies are necessarily innovative and are always "progress." I like to cite, as an example, a New Yorker article from a few years ago, an interview with an Uber engineer who'd pleaded guilty to stealing Google's self-driving car technology. "The only thing that matters is the future," he told the magazine. "I don't even know why we study history. It's entertaining, I guess — the dinosaurs and the Neanderthals and the Industrial Revolution, and stuff like that. But what already happened doesn't really matter. You don't need to know that history to build on what they made. In technology, all that matters is tomorrow." (I could tie this attitude to the Italian Futurists and to fascism, but that’s a presentation for another day.)
World War Three
- Tanks, bombs, shootings: Ukrainians describe Russian takeover of villages (The Guardian)
- Is the West Laissez-Faire About Economic Warfare? (War on the Rocks)
- Preparing for Defeat (American Purpose)
Putin's defeat, to be clear.
- A free platform invites the creative community to help ‘give a face’ to the War in Ukraine (Creative Boom)
- Conservatives Say California Is A Disaster, But Facts Show The Opposite (DC Report)
California has some serious, serious problems that need attention. But the state is doing a lot right and I'm grateful to live here.
- From millionaires to Muslims, small subgroups of the population seem much larger to many Americans (Yougov.com)
An example of how news coverage distorts our ability to accurately perceive and respond to reality.
- Book review: Bullshit Jobs, Part 1 (Marian Bantjes)
I telling myself I need to read Bullshit Jobs, but I kind of get the sense that reading a review is probably depressing enough.
- Bitsy Is the Small Video Game Engine With a Big Community (The Verge)
- Contra Costa Sheriff defiant in wake of deputy’s conviction, even as audit of policy, training practices are requested (East Bay Times)
This article refers to my county sheriff, David Livingston. His policies and behavior are emblematic of the office's general problems, but turned up to eleven. He has repeatedly been elected in uncontested elections. This time, he's got an opponent, but I'm not hopeful.
- How Wordpress and Tumblr Are Keeping the Internet Weird (The Verge)
- Amazon Warehouse Workers Stage Coordinated Strikes Demanding $3 Raises (Vice Motherboard)
- If We're Back to 'Normal,' Why Am I Still So Exhausted All the Time? (Esquire)
- What If This Is Just the Way Things Are Now (Anne Helen Petersen, Culture Study)