Ephemeral Progress

It is only because of our binary minds that we need a direction to progress

Another Monday, Another Naive Weekly - Curated stories on Technology and Internet Culture.

Yesterday this year’s Techfestival came to an end. It is a project that has been close to my heart over the last couple of years. In a world where technology is slipping through any door, closed or open, I believe it is important to have a conversation where we raise all of our stupid questions and take time to reflect on the purpose and wider impact of technology.

On the open, public stage in the middle of the gentrified meatpacking district of Copenhagen, Aydo entered the stage Saturday afternoon to moderate a one hour panel-discussion on the difference between innovation and progress.

In the panel were David (founder, Unity), David (founder, Arduino) and Pia Henrietta (founder, Carbo Culture). People I respect a lot. People who have created tools leveling the playing field for technology. People who are generally speaking left-leaning and whom I have had good conversations with in the past.

Yet I was rather unsatisfied with the panel discussion.

Reflections on progress are probably the most meaningful conversations we can facilitate on a stage like Techfestival. Having founders, investors and leaders take time to consider the externalities of what they are doing is something that is not happening enough. The current system is created for monthly targets, quarterly earning reports and the annual shareholder report, not daily meditation as Aydo suggested the panelists to practice.

Neither Aydo, nor the panelists did bad, but in reality they all represented the same system and I highly doubt that you can change a system while being in a vacuum. To move the discussion about innovation and progress anywhere we’d need different voices on the stage. People who run mom and pop stores, performance artists and Eastern philosophers. We would need a deeper conversation about our capitalist growth cycle, linear understanding of time and what is beauty.

I hope Aydo continues his work on progress. Hopefully in public. And maybe even on a stage with greater variety at next year’s Techfestival?

Highlights from the Internet Black Hole

  • Removing Like Buttons - Following experiments at Instagram, now Facebook is also trying out hiding the like counts. I know this is also a high priority at Twitter, so I am expecting it to be mainstream by 2020. Ideally, I’d love to see the platforms remove the like feature completely, but I think there is one major hurdle for this to happen: how should the data team teach the algorithms what content to promote if we removed the signals

  • Wait But Why - The Internet went crazy when Tim Urban announced a new series of blog posts. Tim has previously covered everything from Elon Musk to Generation Y, but despite promising to publish every sometimes, his website has been rather silent for a long time.

  • Fire and Light - … is the title of the first chapter in his series. The series is about humans and society and to me the first chapter peaked towards the end when our primitive mind is caught in self-caused smoke, resulting in the higher mind being blocked in doing its job. Yes, this will make sense if you take time to read the article.

  • Emoji WTF - Apparently unicode is implemented badly on certain platforms resulting in some terrible situations. For example, if you want to delete an emoji of a female runner, you’d first have to delete her race and then her gender before you can delete her.

  • Army of Scooters - I know it is easy to hate on the electric scooters, but can we all just take a moment and appreciate this army of teens cruising by the traffic jam in San Jose on their scooters.

Naive Weekly

Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly - Curated stories on Technology and Internet Culture.

As a kid I would change my favorite number every single year. When I was four, my favourite number would be four, when I was five, it would be five. This continued until I turned nine, from then on, nine has always been my favourite number.

This week the ninth person decided to become a paying subscriber. It is obviously crazy and I still don’t get why anyone would pay for receiving my weekly scribbles. Regardless of me not understanding, it makes me super happy every single time.

Therefore please welcome another curator and festival organizer: Lukas. For close to five years, Lukas build up one of Europe’s leadings conferences for creatives. Not long ago we had the opportunity to spend a week together in Tokyo, and I am excited to be spending more time with him in the future. If you are free next Saturday, you can meet Lukas (and me) on a farm 1.5hrs outside of Copenhagen.

And as always a big thanks to the (now!) nine Naive Friends who chip in every month or year to support me making time to write this newsletter: NikolajAntal, SørenDriesMikkelTina, Aydo, LukasAngela!