When the men with guns can’t tell the dif­fer­ence between you and your social secu­ri­ty num­ber, the mech­a­nisms of pow­er have lost vital crit­i­cal think­ing. The IC has become out of touch with lived experience.

A Day of Speak­ing Truth to Pow­er — Notes from a Strange World — Medium

See­ing like a state. The ques­tion is if the IC can ever be in touch, or that what is required are coun­ter­bal­ances to their pow­er over people.

New York­ers first have to stop delud­ing them­selves into believ­ing that today’s hyper-gen­tri­fi­ca­tion is the same old thing. We all have to stop say­ing, “New York always changes, so this is nor­mal.” This is not nor­mal. This is state spon­sored, cor­po­rate dri­ven, tur­bo charged, far flung, and impos­si­ble to stop in its cur­rent form.

Jeremiah’s Van­ish­ing New York: On Spike Lee & Hyper-Gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, the Mon­ster That Ate New York

Gen­tri­fi­ca­tion; super-gen­tri­fi­ca­tion; hyper-gen­tri­fi­ca­tion. Once the thing accel­er­ates beyond a cer­tain point it becomes an alto­geth­er dif­fer­ent beast.

We can con­tin­ue in today’s mode of treat­ing dis­con­nec­tion as a way to recharge and regain pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, or we can view it as a way to sab­o­tage the addic­tion tac­tics of the accel­er­a­tion-dis­trac­tion com­plex that is Sil­i­con Val­ley. The for­mer approach is reac­tionary but the lat­ter can lead to eman­ci­pa­tion, espe­cial­ly if such acts of refusal give rise to gen­uine social move­ments that will make prob­lems of time and atten­tion part of their polit­i­cal agendas—and not just the sub­ject of hand-wring­ing by the Davos-based spir­i­tu­al­i­ty brigades.

Technology’s Mind­ful­ness Rack­et | New Republic

Play is only play when it is in ser­vice of itself.

Nguyen want­ed to make games for peo­ple like him­self: busy, har­ried, always on the move. “I pic­tured how peo­ple play,” he says, as he taps his iPhone and reach­es his oth­er hand in the air. “One hand hold­ing the train strap.” He’d make a game for them.

The Flight of the Bird­man: Flap­py Bird Cre­ator Dong Nguyen Speaks Out | Cul­ture News | Rolling Stone

A sub­tle detail of inter­ac­tion that is missed by many who look at a game in itself and don’t take the con­text of play in consideration.

And the very idea of games crit­i­cism risks balka­niz­ing games writ­ing from oth­er writ­ing, sev­er­ing it from the rivers and fields that would sus­tain it. Games crit­i­cism is sub­sis­tence crit­i­cism. There’s not enough land to till in games alone. Nor in lit­er­a­ture alone, nor in toast­ers alone. God save us from a future of games crit­ics, gnaw­ing on scraps like the zom­bies that fes­ter in our objects of study.

What games need? | Crit­i­cal Proximity

Bogost on games crit­i­cism at Crit­i­cal Dis­tance clear­ly artic­u­lates why I enjoy cer­tain crit­i­cism more than oth­ers. I pre­fer the kind that is aware of not just the field it is work­ing in.

It’s time to wake up to the fact that you’re just anoth­er avatar in some­one else’s MMO. Worse. From where they stand, all-pow­er­ful Big Data ana­lysts that they are, you look an awful lot like a bot.

Mus­ings on the Ocu­lus sale » Raph’s Website

Koster has some provoca­tive things to say about the Ocu­lus sale to Face­book. Not many peo­ple can see past the “ren­der­ing” and “immer­sion” aspects of VR.

Demo: Mak­ing a Deci­sion with the Loomio pro­to­type (by Loomio)

Appar­ent­ly, some of the inter­ac­tions in this group deci­sion mak­ing plat­form were inspired by the con­ven­tions that emerged from Occu­py. Which I find inter­est­ing. I’d like to think this can work well, pro­vid­ed all peo­ple involved are invest­ed in a good out­come for the group.

For all its suc­cess, the Lon­don Review of Books strug­gles to make mon­ey. It owes its con­tin­ued exis­tence to the gen­eros­i­ty of Wilmers her­self, who reg­u­lar­ly siphons in cash from a fam­i­ly trust fund. […] The fam­i­ly mon­ey means the LRB nev­er has to wor­ry about pay­ing back its loans – in Jan­u­ary 2010, the mag­a­zine was esti­mat­ed to be £27m in debt to the trust. And yet it still man­ages to pay its writ­ers at a base-rate of 30p a word (ris­ing by a con­sid­er­able mar­gin if the arti­cle is longer than aver­age). […] Is it sus­tain­able, I ask the LRB’s pub­lish­er, Nicholas Spice? He looks vague­ly shocked at the sug­ges­tion. “Oh no, it’s not sus­tain­able in finan­cial terms,” he says. Spice has a pleas­ant­ly straight­for­ward man­ner and a faint­ly mil­i­tary demeanour. He is the kind of man you sus­pect would be inca­pable of telling a lie, even though some­times he prob­a­bly should. “It los­es a lot of mon­ey,” he con­tin­ues cheer­ful­ly. “The most impor­tant thing is that it has always had very gen­er­ous sup­port from its share­hold­ers. And we’ve had the same share­hold­ers since 1980, which is very unusu­al – I should think unprece­dent­ed – for a lit­er­ary pub­li­ca­tion or arts organ­i­sa­tion. The great thing is that we have been able to invest in cre­at­ing a mar­ket for a very good edi­to­r­i­al product.”

Is the LRB the best mag­a­zine in the world? | Books | The Observer

Once again, an exam­ple of how the mar­ket will not always pro­vide. I for one am thank­ful peo­ple are will­ing to “waste” mon­ey on a pub­li­ca­tion like the LRB.

Rumor Mon­ger was con­ceived as an exper­i­ment in dis­trib­uted, light-weight com­mu­ni­ca­tion, what today we would call peer-to-peer instant mes­sag­ing with broad­cast. The pro­gram sat in the back­ground, con­tin­u­al­ly exchang­ing mes­sages with oth­er machines. The user could, at any time, bring it to the front and enter a new mes­sage, which would then be dis­trib­uted to every oth­er instance of the pro­gram with­in the com­pa­ny-wide local area net­work. As an after­thought, I added the option to send mes­sages anony­mous­ly. This was done sort of on prin­ci­ple, more than because I thought any­one would actu­al­ly use it. The test pop­u­la­tion was Apple Com­put­er employ­ees. To my sur­prise, Rumor Mon­ger rapid­ly became very pop­u­lar with­in the com­pa­ny. And even more to my sur­prise, 99% of all mes­sages sent were sent anony­mous­ly. This changed it from an exper­i­ment in tech­nol­o­gy into an exper­i­ment in sociology.

Meme Motes — Har­ry Chesley’s Weblog: Rumor Monger

I would have loved to be part of this experiment.