10 stories this week (w/e 25 Jan)

2-min read

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.

⓵ Nixon’s impeachment happened because the media tech of the era — TV — created consensus reality. Social media fosters fragmented realities. We live in an era of shit floods and chaos tornados.
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/1/16/20991816/impeachment-trial-trump-bannon-misinformation

related on 20 Minutes into the Future:
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⓶ K Street was the single biggest acquisition made by Big Tech. And it leads to companies doing vastly despicable things for profit. Like Bezos investing in concentration camps.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/01/22/amazon-facebook-google-lobbying-2019/

⓷ Great story from ProPublica about how Microsoft used its immense lobbying power to neuter the IRS when they came a-knocking.
https://www.propublica.org/article/the-irs-decided-to-get-tough-against-microsoft-microsoft-got-tougher

⓸ Vodafone bails on Libra. Like rats leaving a sinking ship.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51200446

⓹ I grew up in Appalachia. I have family in Kentucky. The digital divide is deliberate class war waged on the poor by big telco. It’s the techie face of income inequality. Fuck the FCC and fuck Ajit Pai for enabling it.
https://www.propublica.org/article/they-were-promised-broadband-and-high-tech-jobs-theyre-still-waiting


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⓺ FYI when you read this piece about Clearview you should keep it mind it was founded by alt-right scumbags.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/18/technology/clearview-privacy-facial-recognition.html

⓻ Facial recognition (and the privacy invading surveillance it serves) fuels discrimination. By design.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/20/opinion/facial-recognition-ban-privacy.html

related on 20 Minutes into the Future:
Google vs. black people: Gorillas in the algorithm
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⓼ Fully automated luxury surveillance. Tech like Amazon’s Ring is creating a nation of Beckies & Karens.
https://www.fastcompany.com/90453305/the-two-faces-of-the-smart-city

Tim Maughn, author of the absolutely brilliant Infinite Detail, writes about the 2020s as imagined by Bruce Sterling, Octavia Butler, and more.
https://onezero.medium.com/how-science-fiction-imagined-the-2020s-f8e98a5bc729

⓾ I know people in the Community Integrity team at Facebook. And while it’s fair to laugh all you want at the irony of that concept, they do do good work. That said, until Zuckerberg and Sandberg pull their head out of their asses and overhaul Facebook’s business model there’s really only so much that team can do to drive real change.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51184323


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Good night and good future,
Daniel


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're not already a subscriber and found this newsletter worth your while then please sign up.


My name is Daniel Harvey and I write 20 Minutes into the Future. I’m a product designer and have 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 me at daniel.harvey@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter @dancharvey.