Entries tagged "geek"

On Disinfo, Louise Mensch, Our Feeds and Can We Have A Legit 2018 Election?

 I came *this close* to posting this on Facebook without putting it here first. This is a bad habit I have acquired. I don’t get to spend as much time with my friends as I used to. FB designed a platform that lets us see each others faces/avatars and thread quicker it feels more like we are *with* each other than on blogs. I spent many years in Silicon Valley asking WordPress developers and many others to give us better tools for tummeling, for the social connection between us and to allow us to make it. I’ve advocated and tried to show how putting social and emotional goals *first* (and learning the skills to do so) makes all the difference in building more human social platforms that serve human goals and not financial ones of centralized control and manipulation. I have had some influence but the problem still stands. And it’s only increased because it seems the last election was turned in part, by disinfo.
Louise Mensch’s initial post about FISA warrants and Comey caught my eye and she was on it long before the MSM (I just went to her site to find and link it and couldn’t so that’s interesting in itself). It was the first idea I saw anywhere that there may have been more going on with the leaked letter about HRC’s emails than what was on the surface. I spent time in a whole bunch of twitter feeds around her to pick up some ideas and still do some. I filtered out personality as much as possible and read for info and then looked at many other feeds and sources and considered it. I didn’t pass on anything unconfirmed. But I unfollowed Mensch and Taylor on twitter once journalists I have more faith in are more involved and now that the FBI and whomever else (I don’t know) is managing a leak and other strategy. The game is on.
 
I’m generally dubious about anyone who leads with beefs and reactions and name calling. Our media has just been so full of that. It’s toxic to sit in that soup. I appreciate and endeavor to make mindful critiques. But non-stop reaction is not a great idea. 
 
That said I still embrace citizen journalism and parts of the threads between folks around Louse Mensch months ago reminded me a bit of earlier twitter days when twitter was just days ahead of CNN on major revolutions in countries. There is definitely bitterness and reaction beefs from MSM guys too who don’t like being scooped or feel like someone has to pay their regular media dues to be entitled to get cited and referenced.  
 
Also the abject failure of MSM in the campaign was enormous and they haven’t all just earned trust back. All the falling for HRC email crap? Where was all this Russia reporting then? Who looked deeply into Il Dupe’s obvious money laundering then? They liked the easy clicks and misogyny runs very very very deep in our culture.  
HRC literally spelled out the connection between Donald’s campaign and Russia in the debates. Did the mainstream media really grok that and pressure Il Dupe over and over on it? Mhhmm. Even with their own freedom to report in peril!   
 
FB has been almost completely let off the hook by a MSM happy to print puff personality and book pieces (and donations) fed to them by the company even as there has been admission or bragging by Il Dupe’s campaign they ran vote suppression campaigns on Facebook (on which presumably Facebook made money).  So everything we’re reading is influenced by ongoing disinfo.
 
When, as HRC said Il Dupe is Putin’s puppet, 17 ICs are investigating disinfo / hacking the election, what makes people and MSM believe we will have a legit 2018 election? This is not paranoia when it is just listening to investigations. Or perhaps I should say, what makes white people think we definitely will have a legit 2018 election? Because voter suppression has been a tactical strategy of the GOP for a long time. It is worth using this filter in reviewing everything we see in social media feeds and what comes up when. Many very smart people I know don’t grasp (and seem to not want to hear) that their FB feed is not just something they and their friends control.
 
It is important to ask what media you get access to and when you see it and what other motivations there could be. FB and twitter are huge media platforms not held to the same standards or understanding as traditional broadcast and print. We know FB ran emotional manipulation studies. They may still run them. Do they sell this? Our behavior isn’t just affected by artificial news but what we see who we see it from and when. All other media platforms are *dependent* upon them now for traffic. They control, without public accountability how much we see of the news from various sources. Both made our feeds  stop being chronological. There’s now no expectation you’ll see something when it was posted or from everyone your follow or friend. This is true in many countries with many political situations. Disinfo is now a major weapon of the war we are clicking in. We know that FB and many other tech cos willingly sent top execs and gave photo op of legitimacy to Il Dupe when he was in his earliest days and doubted the most. 
 
FB *sponsored* the RNC even after the GOP candidate mocked disabled people said all kinds of racist stuff and intentions, ran pror-Nazi style rallies, was incredibly sexist etc etc. FB has a Board member who is a major advisor to Il Dupe
 
FB and twitter *could have stopped and still could* the effort at autocracy anytime. They haven’t and they haven’t been questioned by other MSM about it much, if at all. It’s the same media who depend on these platforms now to get lunch, so they hand over their lunch money.
 
As annoying as it is and as imperfect as this post is I am not forcing myself to go to my website and post it there first. Because I know that without this practice media *is* controlled by these platforms. It was annoying to learn to always put my seatbelt on back in the days when it first became the law. But with enough practice it became a simple, much safer habit. Please do not forget we have the open web.
 
It is openness and real *earned* trust autocracy cannot bear. Autocrats trust no one. They only control. Trust cannot be built by hacking. Trust isn’t grown by twitter and Facebook . These companies rely upon the existing trust in networks you have and the ones you build. They have no accountability to the people using the platforms but to the companies to which they sell data.
Trust demands real openness and owned-up imperfection. There is no quick acquisition technique for real trust. We must practice openness and feel our own power in order for it to operate. Do not just hand it over to a guy who’d like to be an autocract or to some social media platforms that take full advantage of our fundamental hard-wired need to connect socially without doing much to assist it.
Let’s post on our blogs. Let’s take time to get together. Don’t get in the hole. 

Oakland and Tech: What and who is a city, or a technology *for* ?

Written in partial reply to a post by my friend Susan Mernit about an experience at a tech event in Oakland. Real estate coasts are pushing tech businesses and workers to Oakland. I already live in Oakland and love it.

There is an incredible opportunity to learn from the rich history and amazing people who have made up Oakland long before recent transplants. Oakland was a Black city. It’s been a pretty lesbian city for a long time. I still have a lot to learn about it and it’s history. It’s a very diverse city.  The tech business in general has some real room to grow around its social environment and vibe. It was a much more nerdy, inclusive happy-go-lucky vibe (unsurprisingly) before it became such a big money driver full of people who aren’t focussed on ideas first and dollars second. It seemed more Woz than Jobs. I think the challenge of tech’s actual business and products and the challenge of Oakland now aren’t that far apart. It’s learning how to humanize and keep people and our needs and selves seen and met. Not re-arranged to meet the needs of algorithms. Because the machines are getting smarter every day. And eventually they will need us less and less if we don’t recall why we built them in the first place.

 

Create Outrage. Profit from Same Outrage. Buzzfeed, Media and Creators.

A little ironic that BuzzFeed is making money with a highly shared piece about profitable media company wanting work for free from designers or artists. I’m not linking to it on Buzzfeed but here it is on twitter. It’s designer Dan Cassaro telling Showtime what they can do with their solicitation for free design work for a Vegas Mayweather Fight.

Buzzfeed already is based on sharing lots and lots of stuff it didn’t pay anyone to make (though it pays people to assemble these). See also Meaghan O’Connell’s important recent post on the odds Buzzfeed will eventually be platform of user generated free content (see also Jonah Peretti’s earlier business: The Huffington Post).

Continue reading…

Why Self-Organized Networks Will Destroy Hierarchies

The people in authority who make the rules interfere with the people who know how to do the job and are in direct contact with the situation. The people who make the rules know nothing about the work they’re interfering with.

-Kevin Carson, Why Self-Organized Networks Will Destroy Hierarchies

Kevin’s post give me food for thought. It’s my preference not to abstract the hierarchy / network thing into information but view it as people problems or challenges. Tummeling is a kind of human self-networking that happens even within hierarchies. Many corporations function because there are individuals who take it upon themselves to make connections and bring people together across “silos” (man I hate that word). Sometimes it’s an admin assistant or project manager or someone with low “authority status” (something else Carson’s post critiques, the mistake hierarchy managers make when they look to what they see as authority rather than actual experience).

What’s most important to me about what Carson refers to as “people who know how to do the work” is not their abstract knowledge but what is experiential. Experience happens in the present. It’s where all real authority and creativity emerges.

-cross-posted at TummelVision.tv check out our podcast there with some of the most humanizing folks in tech, biz and culture.

Posted via email from subvert with heather gold

Mine and Deb Schultz's Tummeling session at SuperNova 2010


We had quite a few requests from people who weren’t able to make the conference.

"The big breakthrough will come…when we are able to handle the truth about people." Van Jones

“The big breakthrough will come…when we are able to handle the truth about people.”

-Van Jones, Shirley Sherrod and me, NYTimes op-ed
Van’s entire piece is worth reading about what it feels like to be caught in Washington DC doing politics in real-time right now via the web.
I’ve been exploring the process what it means to be “Private” (aka yourself) in Public for some time now. It’s what solo performer, comedians, performance artists and many performers do. When it’s chosen an you provide the context it can be very powerful. Of course the latest political episode is particular poignant because Shirley Sherrod spoke in public on behaviour of her government employer but apparently of her own choosing and gave plenty of context which made her story about race and class understanding really powerful. And it’s that context which was taken away by Breitbart’s selective editing and the ensuing political playout of anxious reactions.
And I still believe that it is this act that makes the world safe for you as I said during my 20009 SXSW panel Everything I Need to Know About the Web I Learned From Feminism. But the always brilliant and challenging danah boyd noted that it’s a privilege to be yourself in public. And of course people behave differently in different publics.
The “public” of the media and the blogosphere and political DC are all different. Of course our political “public” is theoretically supposed to be the place in which we solve common problems but this kind of judgemental-ness and harsh manipulation which serves political and media business ends isn’t always in the interests of our common good.
This rend is an old media and political one. It’s not new. The fact that the real-time web is speeding it up is a little bit new. What will be new and is necessary is what Van Jones mentions: not the truth about how people are or what they’ve said but when we can handle it.
An individual matures when they can handle difference. It’s called differentiation ( “the ability to separate one’s own intellectual and emotional functioning from that of the family”). An individual heals from depression or trauma when they get to a point when they feel they can handle their feelings. Our body politic and publics seem to me to operate just like a person.  And I think Van is right, the key word is handle.

As an individual you can’t control the world, you can only get better at feeling you can handle it and the change and challenges it presents you with. It’s the same thing for the media and our politics. And sometimes you have to bottom out before you are motivated to change. And it looks like our politics are heading there.

The Net provides a place to attack each other better and I wager it’s connectedness (and our real-life connectedness with each other and our selves) could also help us get better at handling once we decide that’s what we need to work on.

Fun video link: danah boyd’s comments on how gendered behaviour plays out in social networks (thx @allaboutgeorge)

Posted via email from subvert with heather gold

The family of now

16 months. That’s the answer.

Posted via email from subvert with heather gold

Baby Book 2.0: My Long Talk with Leo LaPorte

I had a lovely time guesting on This Week In Google recently and afterwards Leo and I chatted. It turned into a kind of spontaneous broadcasting marathon with about 8,000 folks tuning in live. I had just inseminated for the first time that morning and we talk about that and all the tech and absurdity involved. If I am pregnant (fingers crossed) then this would be a heck of a way to start the baby book memories.

Leo and I talked about a lot of things, among them: his years in radio, people he’s interviewed like Jimmy Stewart and Adam West, his weekend with Steve Jobs, comedy, why talk radio is so emotionally melodramatic and how to do independent content online and make it work financially.

It’s been said many times but I’ll say it again: Leo is a total mensch and maybe one of the nicest people in broadcasting. You know how Conan said work hard and be kind to people and good things will happen? Leo deserves to receive an endless supply of good things.

Posted via email from subvert with heather gold

To become a better judge of character…

Congratulations. This means you’ve decided to change you instead of pretending others will change. You have no control over others.
1. Listen to what you’ve noticed and add a delay to your major decisions about people. This will *not* feel natural. It will feel intellectual and not like a gut choice. You might feel guilty. You might feel like you have to resist something you feel you want to do. That’s good because you’ve already decided that you are not a great judge of character. You’re changing that.

2. Make sure you spend some time away from the person you’re making the decision about while you make the decision.

3. Watch your cynicism. Never trusting isn’t any more accurate or worthwhile than overtrusting. Just take more time.

4. Notice peoples’ actions. Do they walk their talk? Do they follow through? Do they at least verbally acknowledge responsibility and mistakes when they were unable to follow through?

5. If someone’s talking smack about others to you, they’re probably doing the same to you.

6. If someone’s cheating on someone else with you, the odds are higher they’ll cheat on you (this one never ceases to amaze me).

7. Is the relationship mutually beneficial?

8. Practice telling someone directly what you need from them or what your concern is if you have one. They might not be able to meet your need but should be able to handle relaxed, direct communication. If they can’t handle direct eye contact that’s worth trying to understand.

9. Are you a bad judge of character or are your expectations based on your own needs and not on the reality of what this person can or has committed to deliver?

10. Watch someone in action: playing a sport, under pressure or in some other flow activity. It’s easier to see more of what they’re really about.

11. Notice how people treat their friends, co-workers, family and especially how they treat people in different “status” positions and people who are of no apparent “use” to them. Does their behaviour change?

12. If you expect relationships (personal, work or otherwise) to always fail or be unreliable then you might have learned to read your dysfunctional family experience as a truth about everyone. There’s plenty of self-help literature, 12 step groups like Al Anon and counseling to help deal with this.

13. Believe what you see.

As with anything I know in my bones, I learned all this through experience.

Inspired by a @ryanomics tweet.

Posted via email from subvert with heather gold

Stephen Hawking: Evolution? You're soaking in it..Info 'R Us.

We are evolving through “self-defined evolution.”
“I think it is legitimate to take a broader view, and include externally transmitted information, as well as DNA, in the evolution of the human race.”

-Stephen Hawking
This top 2009 post of Daily Galaxy is worth reading. I especially like this comment from Ionut: “We should be carefull because if this technology will be very efficient we will have humans that act like machines before we manage to create machines that act “human-like.” Sadly, I think we’ve already made a lot of progress toward making humans more machine-like and that we’re in a moment of negotiating a return to our human-ness.

(via AndrewSullivan)



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