Notes on technology


Your life is not a performance. Your decisions are not events. Your personality is not a brand. Your friends are not an audience. Your ideas are not currency. Your experiences are not content.


Portlandia: Social Bankruptcy

Key & Peele: Text Message Confusion

Neil Postman’s 6 Questions to Ask of New Technology (+ 2 More)

Jury Duty

Ideas that’ve influenced my understanding of technology.

Trick Mirror “As a medium, the internet is defined by a built-in performance incentive. In real life, you can walk around living life and be visible to other people. But you can’t just walk around and be visible on the internet — for anyone to see you, you have to act. You have to communicate in order to maintain an internet presence. And, because the internet’s central platforms are built around personal profiles, it can seem — first at a mechanical level, and later on as an encoded instinct — like the main purpose of this communication is to make yourself look good.”

“What’s amazing is that… ad hoc experiments in digital architecture have shaped so much of our political discourse. Our world would be different if Anonymous hadn’t been the default username on 4chan, or if every social media platform didn’t center on the personal profile, or if YouTube algorithms didn’t show viewers increasingly extreme content to retain their attention, or if hashtags and retweets simply didn’t exist. It’s because of the hashtag, the retweet, and the profile that solidarity on the internet gets inextricably tangled up with visibility, identity, and self-promotion.”

The Last Tango Fiasco “gray doesn’t show up that well on the internet.”

How Facebook Is Killing Comedy “Facebook flattens everything out and makes it the same.… [It’s] the great de-contextualizer.” #digitalperson

Living for the Moment in the Age of Memory Abundance | Michael Sacasas “Give me a few precious photographs, a few minutes of grainy film and I will treasure them and hold them dear. Give me several terabytes of images and films and I will care not at all.”

The One Thing You Can Actually Do to Fight Surveillance “You’ve got two options when you find out you’re [being watched], and only two: one is hide and the other is perform.”

Updated July 2, 2020.