Watched The Social Dilemma (2020) from Netflix
Directed by Jeff Orlowski. With Skyler Gisondo, Kara Hayward, Vincent Kartheiser, Tristan Harris. Explores the dangerous human impact of social networking, with tech experts sounding the alarm on their own creations.
Rating: ★★★★½

Incredibly bleak. Sadly not a lot of discussion (literally until the credits) about how to begin to address the issue.

This does a good job at pointing out some of the problems, but doesn’t really begin to suggest solutions.  (i.e. it covers some of the reasons for Why IndieWeb, but doesn’t get into the ideas of how to escape corporate social media.)

I sort of expected more discussion about how the algorithms are actively radicalizing people toward the fringes. Instead this was suggested in the fictionalized parts. 

I’m not sure that I really enjoyed the fictionalized character “avatars” portions as much, but they will give the more passive viewers specific examples and people to attach the narrative to to help push the points home. I suspect that for most, those portions will prevent the documentary from being as dry and thus help it reach a broader audience.

Vincent Kartheiser was a generally good anthropomorphization of an AI in an interesting piece of type-casting, but at one or two points he actually may have even been sympathetic.

Everyone who is on social media should watch this movie.

Read Bari Weiss Is Leaving the New York Times (vice.com)
The writer and editor has self-expelled from the newspaper, she tells VICE.

Update, 11:22 Eastern: Weiss has posted a letter of resignation addressed to Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger on her website. In it, she denounces the Times for fostering an atmosphere of stifling conformity and accuses her now-former colleagues of bullying: 

Having your own website is a must, particularly when you’ve just left one of the biggest platforms on the planet and still need to have a platform to reach your audience and the world. 
Annotated on July 17, 2020 at 04:27PM

🔖 Reinventing my blog by Brett Kosinski

Read Reinventing my blog by Brett KosinskiBrett Kosinski (The “B” Ark)
Most of what you see from me starts on my blog. Tweets, photos, or articles, I post them on my blog and syndicate. Part 1 on why and how!

Well, in the past, because I constrained myself to only writing long posts, my blog would only show activity when I was feeling motivated to write something longer. And that motivation definitely ebbs and flows.

But now, if I want to just throw up a note or post a quick picture, I can, as easily as I could post a status update to Facebook.

And instead of just posting to my blog and hoping someone sees it, I can make that content visible on social networks like Twitter, which leads to engagements that, again, come back to my blog.

The end result is that my blog, the space I’ve created for myself on the web, is much more dynamic and alive. And that’s pretty darn exciting! 

Annotated on February 26, 2020 at 08:52AM

Read Deprecate Facebook by Courtney Rosenthal (crosenthal.com)

At some point, something changed. First, I no longer find social networks to be the uplifting, positive places they once were. In fact, in 2020, they’re pretty distressing places. The bad content, intrusive advertising, and terrible privacy practices are untenable.

That means the numerator of the cost/benefit ratio has been increasing. At the same time, the denominator has started decreasing. I’m not creating new connections on my social networks as I once was. When I do the math it’s clear that the price of my social network activity in 2020 is too damn high.

Therefore, it’s time for me to deprecate Facebook.

In software engineering, deprecation has a very specific meaning. It means a feature is not being discontinued, but it is being discouraged. It signals that the feature can be expected to be removed at some future time. Most importantly, it says there probably is a better way to do it.

I’m hoping that better way is blogging. I know, I know, the blogosphere is pretty moribund these days. However, I’ve become very interested in the Indie Web movement. I hope that it becomes a usable way to have conversations on the web outside of the silos of social media networks.

I love the engineering framework given here. It’s also a great motivation for why one should go IndieWeb.

Listened to The one thing I wish I'd done when I first started my design career by Craig BurgessCraig Burgess from getdoingthings.com

There's lots of things I wish I would have done when I first started my design career, but this one is a big one. The worst bit? It's taken me 15 years to realise it.

Jamie Tanna Bookmarked: The one thing I wish I’d done when I first started my design career ()

In this 9 minute podcast, Craig Burgess speaks about how he wished he’d got started on his Personal Website and doing more blogging early on in his career. Craig also speaks about the IndieWeb and why everyone should get involved.

Read Feed readers/content aggregators by Dan MacKinlay (danmackinlay.name)
Upon the efficient consumption and summarizing of news from around the world.

Facebook is informative in the same way that thumb sucking is nourishing.

Annotated on February 09, 2020 at 10:28AM

Upon the efficient consumption and summarizing of news from around the world.
Remember? from when we though the internet would provide us timely, pertinent information from around the world?
How do we find internet information in a timely fashion?
I have been told to do this through Twitter or Facebook, but, seriously… no. Those are systems designed to waste time with stupid distractions in order to benefit someone else. Facebook is informative in the same way that thumb sucking is nourishing. Telling me to use someone’s social website to gain information is like telling me to play poker machines to fix my financial troubles. Stop that.

Annotated on February 09, 2020 at 10:40AM

Read Into the Personal-Website-Verse by Matthias Ott (matthiasott.com)

Social media in 2019 is a garbage fire.

What started out as the most promising development in the history of the Web – the participation of users in the creation of content and online dialogue at scale – has turned into a swamp of sensation, lies, hate speech, harassment, and noise.

I read this a year ago when it first came out and appreciated it then. Fun to revisit it with more experienced eyes.
Read Giving up tweeting for one week by Matt MaldreMatt Maldre (Spudart)
I’m thinking about giving up tweeting for one week, and instead write out all my thoughts and reactions on my blog. So far this year, I’ve been having a lot of fun blogging more. In the past decade when I have an idea, I would head to Twitter and blurt it out. Now, writing out …
It’s not a complete silo quit, but it’s a start. Matt’s got some great ideas here about why it’s important and useful to write on your own website. I do think there are some building blocks he could add to his site to improve on some of the downsides or replace bits he thinks he’s missing out on though.

Since he doesn’t support Webmentions yet, I’m manually syndicating my reply to his website in support of his efforts.