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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘internet

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Centauri Dreams looks at how the inability to make contact with the long-departed ISEE-3 probe offers hints as to the problems with long-duration spaceflight.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze considers Beta Pictoris’ planets, one paper considering the orbit of Beta Pictoris b and another wondering if the identified planet might in fact be massive dust clouds from planetesimal collisions.
  • The Dragon’s Tales explores the latest in Ukraine.
  • Far Outliers notes the collapse of Japanese forces in Papua New Guinea, from Phillip Bradley’s Hell’s Battlefield (1, 2, 3).
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Alex Harrowell considers the extent to which electronic communications are compromisable.
  • The Planetary Society Blog celebrates Yuri’s Night, an upcoming celebration of spaceflight on the 12th of this month.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders how many Salvadorans were displaced from Honduras after the Soccer War of 1968 and considers certain parallels in ethnic minority politics between French Algeria and Russian Crimea.
  • Strange Maps notes that Portugal’s territory is almost entirely water, a combination of its extensive coastline, associated seas, and dispersed archipelagos.
  • Transit Toronto notes that the stretch of Yonge subway by Eglinton will be closed down this Saturday owing to emergency repairs.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi describes the many ways in which he has sold his books.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Kazakhstan is taking greater care regarding the Russian language after Crimea, and notes pressures in Kyrgyzstan.

    [BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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    • The Buffer blog advises online writers as to how often they should post on different media.
    • Centauri Dreams reacts to the discovery of the ocean under Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
    • The Dragon’s Tales notes a recent paper claiming to set limits on a potential distant planet X and observes archeological data suggesting a 9th century settlement date for a Tongan island.
    • Eastern Approaches comments on the Hungarian election.
    • A Fistful of Euros’ Doug Merrill warns that if Russia does move into eastern Ukraine, terrible choices will be afoot.
    • Geocurrents’ Claire Negiar takes a look at the Caribbean island of St. Martin, divided between French and Dutch halves.
    • Joe. My. God. links to an article examining the use of the drug Truvada to prevent HIV infection and notes that Blondie’s Debbie Harry has come out as bisexual.
    • Language Log’s Victor Mair explains what Chinese might mean when they talk about prayer.
    • Towleroad’s Ari Ezra Waldman comments on Brandon Eich’s resignation.
    • Window on Eurasia notes one Russian commentator’s argument that the Baltic States have been lost to the Russian sphere, another noting a fall in anti-Caucasian sentiment in the media as Ukraine heats up.

    [FORUM] How far will social networking, and the market, penetrate our lives?

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    I’m continuing to meditate on Adam Fish and John Carter McKnight’s Savage Minds essay. Their argument that the penetration of social networking and online life into every area of life will allow every area of life to be charted on the market is plausible to me.

    Is it plausible to you?

    Written by Randy McDonald

    April 5, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    [LINK] “Beyond Surveillance Fridges and Socialized Power Drills: Social Media and the Financialization of Everyday Life”

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    At Savage Minds, Adam Fish and John Carter McKnight have an extended essay arguing–convincingly, I think–that the elaboration of online life and social networking is extending capitalism to altogether new areas of private life.

    As kids growing up in Nancy Reagan’s “just say no” 80s we endured a lot of propaganda regarding drugs. One was the myth of the “gateway drug.” We were told that drugs like marijuana with few medically provable harms were highly dangerous because they were gateways to harder more evil drugs. Gateway drugs are like linkbait, hooks that bring unwitting subjects from a one innocuous practice to one more pernicious.

    Morozov claims that social media is a gateway drug for the financial sector to hook us on a new range of products and services, while increasing its control over our lives. We hear that the dark insides of our mouths, fridges, rubbish bins, and cars will be scrutinized by networked and image-recognizing surveillance cameras. Videos will be algorithmically analyzed producing “data portfolios” which will be automatically used (for a fee) by third parties to adjudicate our credit worthiness, employability, and romantic fitness. As longtime admirers of Morozov’s guts and wit we’ve been pleased to see him begin (finally) to use the name and identify the problem head-on—neoliberal capitalism galvanized by ubiquitously networked humans.

    In making this argument, Morozov brings together two academic terms and says that they are co-constituting: mediatization and financialization. Mediatization claims that social practices are increasingly linked to media performance. We do it for the camera. Presidential elections, of course, are a key example of mediatization, in which every utterance, campaign stop, handshake, and tweet is delicately engineered towards manipulating the 24-hour news cycle. Mediatization assumes a new level of embeddedness in encounters with persistent, searchable, archivable, user-generated social media, a process we call social mediatization. The “social” qualifies the “mediatization” by identifying a new phase in which information is not broadcast from corporations or politicians to a passive audience, but generated and shared constantly among people, businesses, and governments.

    Financialization works much like social mediatization: both identify the ways that foreign logics (financial or mediated) find their way into once-private and domestic spheres. Classic examples of financialization include online banking at home, stock investing as a hobby, and other forms of money management which were once “work” but are now billed as necessary and mature forms of personal responsibility and risk management for the middle classes.

    Basically, late capitalism. The authors end their article by sharing Evgeny Morozov’s vision of an “all too likely future of trying to level up our gamified toothbrushes to lower our dental insurance premiums.”

    Written by Randy McDonald

    April 5, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    [BLOG] Some Saturday links

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    • At Antipope, Charlie Stross wonders why we need to work so long when productivity and per capita wealth have skyrocketed.
    • At the Broadside Blog, Caitlin Kelly describes a week in her life as a writer.
    • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that ancient Population III stars could, in theory, have rocky planets.
    • The Dragon’s Tales warns that the Japanese economy is about to tank.
    • Joe. My. God. notes that young conservative Ben Shapiro is now boycotting Mozilla after Brandon Eich’s departure.
    • Savage Minds has an essay by anthropologist Elizabeth Chin suggesting that Lamilly, a new anatomically-correct doll, won’t take off because issues with beauty are much more deeply embedded in the culture than the designers believe.
    • The Signal examines the proliferation of E-mail storage formats.
    • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Jonathan Adler doesn’t like the pressure applied to Brandon Eich.
    • Window on Eurasia has two posts warning that Crimea’s annexation to Russia will destabilize the Russian Federation, one arguing that ethnic minorities and their republics will be put in a state of flux, the other arguing that Russian nationalists will be upset by the concession of so many rights to Crimean Tatars.

    [BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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    • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly makes a case about the benefits of radical honesty.
    • At the Buffer, Belle Beth Cooper describes how she has streamlined her writing style.
    • The Dragon’s Tales notes that China’s space station isn’t doing much.
    • Eastern Approaches observes the continuing popularity of Polish populist Lech Kaczynski.
    • The Financial Times‘ The World blog notes the vulnerable popularity of UKIP’s Nigel Farage.
    • Geocurrents’ Asya Perelstvaig comments on the entry of Jewish businessman Vadim Rabinovich into the Ukrainian presidential contest.
    • Joe. My. God. is unconvinced by the suggestion that marriage equality means the end of gay bars.
    • Lawyers, Guns and Money’s Erik Loomis speculates about the responsibility of American consumers for air pollution in exporting Asia.
    • At the Planetary Society Blog, Constantine Tsang describes evidence for volcanism on Venus.
    • Savage Minds interviews one Laura Forlano on the intersections between anthropology and design.
    • Towleroad mourns the death of godfather of house music Frankie Knuckles.

    [LINK] Some Monday links

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    • Crooked Timber’s Henry Farrell is skeptical of Josh Marshall’s new journalism site featuring paid advertisements from Big Pharma.
    • The Dragon’s Tales’ Will Baird provides another update about Ukrainian events.
    • Joe. My. God. notes that World Vision Canada, unlike its American counterpart, is legally required not to discriminate against non-heterosexuals.
    • Language Hat links to a study on the formerly Russophone Alaskan community of Ninilchik.
    • Language Log suggests that handwriting is a dying art in East Asia, too.
    • Marginal Revolution links to a book on maritime conflicts in the South China Sea.
    • The Signal features a guest post from two librarians working for the Library of Congress explaining how they do their work.
    • Savage Minds explains the myth of the sexy librarian.
    • Torontoist has two photos memorializing recently-closed stores, one from the World’s Biggest Bookstore and the other from Sears in the Eaton Centre.

    [BLOG] Some Monday Crimea links

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    • Eastern Approaches follows the story of Crimean Tatars who are now refugees in western Ukraine.
    • At the Financial Times‘ The World blog, John Reed examines the unlikely media star who is Crimean attorney-general Natalia Poklonskaya.
    • A Fistful of Euros’ David Weman notes the United Nations vote against the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
    • Geocurrents has a series of posts on Ukraine and its area: one on the Moldovan region of Transnistria, a possible western anchor for Russia; one on Transcarpathia, a Ruthene-populated enclave in western Ukraine not quite Ukrainian; one on Ukraine’s energy reserves.
    • At Lawyers, Guns and Money, Robert Farley notes the Russian takeover of the Ukrainian Black Sea fleet ships based in Crimea.
    • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Eugene Volokh points out the many, many ways in which Kosovo does not compare to Crimea.
    • Window on Eurasia has a veritable brace of posts. Crimeans aren’t taking up Russian passports with much enthusiasm, it seems, while the financial costs of annexation will be significant indeed. A Russian war in southeastern Ukraine would be a difficult war to fight, while post-Soviet space has already been destabilized (1, 2). Will South Ossetia be next to be annexed? (Northern California is not so likely.) Meanwhile, Turkish support for Turkic peoples can be destabilizing.
    • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little takes a social science approach to the Russian annexation. What does it mean for the international system’s future? Will there be more annexations?

    [BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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    • 3 Quarks Daily’s Omar Ali warns that ongoing violence against Shia in Pakistan threatens to destroy the country and destabilize the whole region.
    • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly writes about her week-long vacation in Nicaragua.
    • blogTO shares vintage photos of Spadina Avenue.
    • Centauri Dreams’ notes that the surface of Titan’s Ligeia Mare is apparently completely still.
    • The Dragon’s Gaze links to different papers, one suggesting that terrestrial planets orbiting red dwarfs are less likely to enter runaway ice ages, another further examining the concept of superhabitable worlds.
    • Eastern Approaches takes a look at the continuing progress made by Poland’s modernizing agricultural sector.
    • Geocurrents examines the geopolitical complexities of Ukraine and its relationship with Russia.
    • The New APPS Blog notes research suggesting that Internet trolls actually are problematic people in real life.
    • The Transit Toronto Blog notes that a vintage streetcar will be giving free rides on Kingston Road on Saturday the 29th of this month.
    • Torontoist provides an overview of the concept of co-op housing.
    • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that, whatever else it was, the Russian conquest of Crimea was at least almost bloodless.
    • Window on Eurasia warns of unrest among the Tatars of Tatarstan.

    [BLOG] Some Wednesday links

    • The Burgh Diaspora’s Jim Russell observes the fine scale of globalization’s movements, which connect nations not so much as they do neighbourhoods.
    • The Dragon’s Gaze revisits the Kepler-9 system and notes the disintegrating sub-Mercury planet that is KIC 12557548b.
    • The Dragon’s Tales notes that waves have been detected on Titan’s Punga Mare.
    • Eastern Approaches takes a look at Slovakian politics.
    • Far Outliers revisits the massive volcanic eruption that hit the Melanesian island of New Britain circa 600 CE.
    • The Numerati’s Stephen Baker wonders if his new novel The Boost is anti-Chinese simply by describing a hegemonic China not acting differently from the United States. (I must read the book.)
    • Strange Maps notes a Turkish exclave in Syria–a tomb of an ancient Turkish hero–that might bring Turkey into the Syrian civil war.
    • Towleroad notes a study suggesting that crystal meth use accelerates the progress of HIV/AIDS in users.
    • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Eugene Volokh notes the death of a Ukrainian soldier on a base stormed by Russian soldiers in Crimea.
    • Window on Eurasia notes the fears of many Crimean Tatars of Russian rule.
    • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell shares his eclectic list of recommended blogs.
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