There Is No Goal
Digitally Lit #269 – 11/21/2020
Hey there. Hope you are doing ok. 🙂
This week I worked on the following:
- From The Block Up – Connect with others in a local context, and work to strengthen and nurture local ideals and dreams into reality block by block.
- Hacking Happiness in the Information Age – Our ubiquitous connection to digital spaces has revolutionized our lives, but we are also beginning to see the dark side of these interactions. What we need is a balanced approach for all producers and consumers of digital places, spaces, and tools.
- How to Give Accurate & Critical Feedback – Striving for “radical candor” as you give transparent feedback while caring for others.
- Be Joyful, Loving, & Explosive – Approach the world with a closed mind, and there is no window for joy. Embrace the infinite beyond and let joy surprise you.
- Stop Overscheduling – Are you carving out, or protecting time for creation, inspiration, and recharging your batteries?
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Osho – There Is No Goal
There is nothing outside life that you have to achieve. All achievement is the projection of the ego. The very idea of achievement is ambition. What you achieve does not matter – money, power, knowledge; these are not in any way going to give you life.
In fact, in achieving power, in achieving money, in achieving prestige, in achieving any other ambition, you are losing your life, you are sacrificing your life.
Don’t Blame Social Media. Blame Capitalism.
Paris Marx on the challenges of surveillance capitalism and the existential threat to our societies.
We live in a world that faces a lot of social and economic challenges, but reducing them to Facebook and Google, or data and algorithms, is missing the big picture.
Yet this techno-deterministic narrative vastly inflates the capabilities of data capture and algorithms, and, in so doing, blames a whole range of problems on technology that have their root in more fundamental social and economic conditions of modern society. It is important to understand what effects these technologies are having on us, both personally and collectively, but failing to recognize the longer history of these problems and the broader structures that contribute to them will lead us to solutions that don’t actually get to the root causes.
Is This Where We Are, America?
There is a robust debate on Twitter and other social spaces about the possible cancelation of student load debt.
John Warner provides a good overview of the rationale for this cancelation. Warner points to this thread from Bharat Ramamurti to explain why this is helpful to society and borrowers.
Roxane Gay indicates that the key reason many are opposing load forgiveness is that they want others to suffer.
When Schools Closed, Americans Turned to Their Usual Backup Plan: Mothers
When work and family obligations collide and someone needs to sacrifice at work, it’s much more likely to be the mother than the father, research suggests. It seems that it’s not because men’s jobs are inherently less flexible or more important — but that they treat them as though they are.
Asimov’s Three Laws Helped Shape A.I. and Robotics. We Need Four More.
An interview with Frank Pasquale, author of New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI.
Isaac Asimov’s three laws of robotics are probably the most famous and influential science fictional lines of tech policy ever written. The three laws are as follows:
- A robot must not harm humans, or, via inaction, allow a human to come to harm.
- Robots must obey orders given to them by humans, unless an order would violate the first law.
- Finally, a robot must protect its own existence, as long as doing so would not put it into conflict with the other two laws.
Pasquale says we must push much further, arguing that the old laws should be expanded to include four new ones:
- Digital technologies ought to “complement professionals, not replace them.”
- A.I. and robotic systems “should not counterfeit humanity.”
- A.I. should be prevented from intensifying “zero-sum arms races.”
- Robotic and A.I. systems need to be forced to “indicate the identity of their creators(s), controller(s), and owners(s).”
Why are public thinkers flocking to Substack?
Substack is an online platform that provides publishing, payment, analytics, and design infrastructure to support subscription newsletters.
A slew of famous media defectors who jumped onto the platform recently raises the question of whether Substack can address media’s woes.
There are questions about whether this new publishing system is an opportunity to create a more equitable media system, or is it merely replicating the flaws of the old one.
This newsletter that you’re reading started in Mailchimp. I’ve been slowly pulling away from Mailchimp and archiving issues on a website. I’ll soon migrate away from Mailchimp and use MailPoet to handle the whole process.
I spent some time looking at Substack, but ultimately decided against it for a variety of reasons. I am interested in this new writing space and model. But, it also does remind of the hype around Medium when it first started.
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