Am I the Only Human To Be Wasting My Precious Time In This Natural Reminder of Staying Calm?
Another Sunday, Another Naive Weekly - Observations From The Internet Wilderness.
Read a book. The other book too. The magazine we bought. The article someone shared. The article you already shared. Read your inbox. Your messages, DMs, and notes. Reply. Write to your mom. Call your mom. And your dad. Tell your grandparents that you love them. Like that post.
Cook. Eat healthily. Plant-based, of course. Variated. Fibers, nuts, fruits, vegetables. Run. Meditate regularly. Do yoga. Sit straight. Don’t lie on the couch. Do the dishes, clean the bathroom, vacuum clean. Water the plants. Repot a few. Listen to podcasts. Practice your languages. Learn a new one.
Pay your taxes, report VAT. Transfer rent. Make a budget. Read terms and conditions. Be a good colleague, friend, citizen. Prepare for birth. Get a driver’s license. Make love. Shower. Brush teeth. Sleep enough. Visit the doctor, the dentist, and the hairdresser. Fix your clothes. Donate money. Pick up trash, take out trash. Support culture. Go on vacation. Plan vacation. Follow politics, and the news. Be happy. Remember to cry. Fly. Fly you beautiful butterfly.
Internet Black Hole
Mysteries I Went Along With Until It Was Time For Dinner
The Army that Never Existed
It is common knowledge that social media bots have influenced elections. In this grand post, Michael Kreil disputes this sentiment by going straight to the source. Michael identifies only three research groups as the sources for all the media coverage claiming that the 2016 US President Election has been influenced by bots. Then he confidently breaks-down their academic method until the conclusion is self-evident: there is no evidence that social bots exist in large numbers, have influenced elections in any way or caused any other sort of problems.
Tourists Should Sleep In Hotels
The image above shows the vacant short term rental apartments in Dublin. In March, Dublin has experienced a 64% increase in smaller properties compared to last year. The pattern is similar in many other places, for example San Fransisco, Nashville, Honolulu, New Orleans, and Savannah. Looking at the explosion of AirBnb over the last decade, I think it is fair to assume that many of these places are now available for rent because there are no/less tourists. Maybe tourists should be staying in hotels so flats could be reserved for students and the working middle class?
Your Personalized Audio Feed
This week New York Times acquired Audm, a company that turns longform journalism into audio and offers the stories to customers through a monthly subscription service. While Audm relies on human voice actors, many other companies are using synthetic voices (like Siri, Alexa, etc). Last month BBC launched a voice study that is supposed to explore the ways synthetic voices could be used in the future. I was surprised to learn how quickly BBC could train an entire new synthetic voice (3 hours). Whether human or synthetic voice, the gap between written and spoken word seems to be narrowing, and we could soon be walking around with our headphones feeding us a personalized mix of music, podcasts, and journalism. (Oh wait, isn’t this Spotify Daily Drive?)
Delightful Surprises From The Information Superhighway
This tool lets you estimate the gender distribution of your followers and those you follow on Twitter. As you can see, I have work to do in balancing my feed.
New York Apartment
Imagine all actual real estate listings of New York City compiled into one apartment. This is what the artists Sam Lavigne and Tega Brain did in their New York Apartment project for Whitey’s Artport. The duo has previously collaborated on New Organs, a crowdsourced project where people from all over the world have contributed stories of how the Internet is listening to them. The New York Apartment project resembles Sam’s Occupied AirBnb project featuring an overview of Airbnb rentals in Israeli settlements.
This is a classic Instagram account, providing you with “Somewhere to go when you're feeling low.” It had been silent for nearly one year until it returned with Quarantine Beach, Plague Hole, and Mistake Island. All of the places can be found on Google Maps.
This is Color Push
Zach Lieberman is one of the longest standing artists working with code. This week he released This is Color Push, a browser painting canvas. Use your cursor, or head, to make these colourful windows. And Internet love to WeTransfer for continuously supporting roadside flowers.
Rich Nutrients For Your Passive Consumption
Real Life Mag
Real Life Mag publishes essays, arguments, and narratives about living with technology. Starting from the paths cleared by Donna Haraway, Real Life Mag doesn’t treat our online life as opposite to real life, but explores how our lives are mediated by devices. The project is funded by Snap Inc, but has editorial independence. I recommend starting with Heather White’s The Wrong Goodbye.
SXSW 2020 Shorts
While the physical SXSW was cancelled, Mailchimp and Oscilloscope Laboratories have created a digital home for the Official Short Film Selections. Quilt Fever is portraying “The Academy Awards of Quilting”, super cute. Waffle feels like Black Mirror. Double Tap is a short horror. Really a pleasant break from YouTube, go explore.
Art at a Time Like This?
Responding to all the closures of museums, galleries, and cultural institutions, Barbara Pollack and Anne Verhallen asked the question; how can we think of art at a time like this? The question turned into an evolving digital gallery meant to become a place to cry, share anxieties and plan a revolution. While you check out the work on the platform, I hope our common attention can hold more than the coronavirus.
David Edgerton - The Shock of the Old
I really love the premise of this book: technology is not limited to what you find on Gartner’s Hype Cycle, it is all the tools we have ever invented. David does a thorough job describing how seemingly old technology is important much longer than what we think, and how we should not overlook the importance of maintenance for society to keep functioning. That said, the writing really wasn’t my liking, and it took me half a year to get through the book. The introduction was good though.
A reader who will stay anonymously replied to last week’s newsletter with a comment on Zoom that resonates a whole lot with me.
“I know Zoom calls have been praised everywhere, but at least for me the social pressure to jump on zoom calls here and there, do a quick FaceTime, people endlessly chatting over and under each other on group texts is the real source of stress. After two times four hour long Webex calls each week for my MBA classes that have been moved online, the last thing I want to do is have another audio lagged, video conversation.”
Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly - Observations From The Internet Wilderness.
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Photograph by Ana Santl from Sicily.