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📕Something to read
- Dragon’s Teeth: A short read how ‘high tech’ weaponry can be defeated by simple brute-force defenses.
📺Something to Watch
This is a video about ‘liquid smoke’. A flavoring agent to make your food smell like it is smoked over wood. It is concentrated smoke particles. However, the controversy behind this product reveals a lot about how people perceive authenticity.
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🗣Some Quotes and Notes
I came across this foreword by Neil Postman, for his own book recently. Postman seems to be moving forward with Marshall Macluhan’s media theories, applying it to society as a whole. His use of contrasting ideas in two seminal 20th century dystopian novels intrigues me. Added the book to my list.
Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.
Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.— Neil Postman, Foreword to Amusing Ourselves to Death
Incidentally, I also came across this piece by Ezra Klein. Klein references Postman’s book a lot through out. This passage applies the same media theory to identity and the self.
There is no stable, unchanging self. People are capable of cruelty and altruism, farsightedness and myopia. We are who we are, in this moment, in this context, mediated in these ways. It is an abdication of responsibility for technologists to pretend that the technologies they make have no say in who we become. Where he sees an X-ray, I see a mold.— Ezra Klein, …Medium is the message
Social contact can be a double-edged sword for introverts. This profile on night owls posits that the human need for it might not be the same for everyone.
But in trying to draw connections between people and cultures—to describe what we all share, despite our myriad differences—researchers may be papering over variation in even these most elemental traits. Some social needs are probably universal up to a certain age; babies need connection to their caregivers, to have eye contact and touch and warmth. But for adults, needs may be less definitive. “I think there are some people so unusually low in that need that for them it basically doesn’t exist,” DeYoung, the University of Minnesota psychologist, told me. “We should take seriously the possibility that there are people who really don’t need social connection.”— Faith Hill, The Nocturnals
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