Douglas Rushkoff: \’I’m thinking it may be good to be off social media altogether\’ | Technology | The Guardian [...]

I’m less frustrated by people’s blindness to the problem than I am to their blindness to the solutions – by how easy it is to develop local currencies, to use alternative websites, to do simple investments in their communities rather than in far-flung mining companies. People don’t realise how much power they have. And that’s partly because the real world has been dwarfed by this digital simulacra which seems much more important than our reality but it’s not – it needs to be in service of our reality. (Source)

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This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit [...]

Many of the biggest problems we face in this moment as a society result from decisions being made by the hidden creators of our digital world — the designers, developers, and editors that create and curate the media we consume.

These decisions are not made with malice. They are made behind analytics dashboards, split-testing panels, and walls of code that have turned you into a predictable asset — a user that can be mined for attention.
They do this by focusing on one over-simplified metric, one that supports advertising as its primary source of revenue. This metric is called engagement, and emphasizing it — above all else — has subtly and steadily changed the way we look at the news, our politics, and each other. (Source)

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Petrified Forest | Lapham’s Quarterly [...]

Fear itself these days is America’s top-selling consumer product, available 24-7 as mobile app with color-coded pop-ups in all shades of the paranoid rainbow. Ready to hand at the touch of a screen, the turn of a phrase, the nudge of a tweet. (Source)

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