10 stories this week (w/e 14 Dec)

Hello from 20 Minutes into the Future. Welcome to our weekend complement to the normal weekly commentary. Below you’ll find 10 links to stories that also take a critical look at how technology is shaping our lives today.

Do let me know if you’d like to see this become a weekly addendum. Thanks!

To my readers in the UK. You’re stronger than they think you are. Do not let the bastards grind you down.


  1. If someone gifts you with IoT device this holiday season then do yourself a favour and just bin it.
    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/3a88k5/how-hackers-are-breaking-into-ring-cameras


  2. The Conservative party lied in 88% of their most promoted ads. The Lib Dems lied in hundreds. Labour lied in zero ads. The Tories won by a landslide. Take note America. Zuckerberg’s pro-propaganda ad policy has to change. And it has to change now.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-50726500


  3. Your media literacy training for the week: another thing that helped tip the election? UK news push alerts skewed negative on Labour and positive for Tories.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/12/uk-news-push-alerts-negative-labour-positive-tories


  4. Professor Scott Galloway has had enough of Jack Dorsey’s bullshit.
    https://www.profgalloway.com/twtr-enough-already


  5. I take great umbrage at the “now” in the headline. Still this is still a good rundown on the Fox News threat. It is transforming the US from a functional democracy to an authoritarian cult.
    https://www.wired.com/story/fox-news-is-now-a-threat-to-national-security/


  6. A fantastic profile on William Gibson. If you haven’t already read it then you really should. Nice long read.
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/12/16/how-william-gibson-keeps-his-science-fiction-real


  7. Content moderation is the most important role in online communities. It deserves combat pay, proper psychological care, and respect. Facebook continues to devalue the job. And still largely outsources it. Appalling.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/09/facebook-moderator-worst-of-humanity-valued


  8. In the closing days of the general election a scandal broke out that threatened to damage the Tory lead. In response their sock puppets and troll armies manufactured a fake news response. They’ve very much learned from the Russian playbook.
    https://bylinetimes.com/2019/12/10/trolls-sock-puppets-and-useful-idiots-an-anatomy-of-an-election-disinformation-campaign/


  9. Great podcast from CJR with Carole Cadwalladr. In it she talks about how the media is failing to tell the story of social media disinformation. In my opinion that might be true of many journalists but not her -- she’s doing the best work on the topic.
    https://www.cjr.org/podcast/podcast-cadwalladr-disinformation-brexit-trump-2020.php


  10. Parties on the Right in every Western Democracy are resorting to propaganda to stay in power. We need to better understand the political strategies behind it, the tactics being used, and how we can fight back. This is a talk I gave awhile back about 21st century propaganda.


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20 Minutes into the Future is a critical look at how technology is shaping our lives today. And what actions we can take for a better tomorrow. If you you're not already a subscriber and found this newsletter worth your while then please sign up.


Daniel Harvey writes 20 Minutes into The Future. He is a product designer and has written for Fast Company, Huffington Post, The Drum, & more. If you're pissed about the current state of tech and want to see us do better then you’ve found a kindred spirit.

You can email him at daniel.harvey@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @dancharvey.