The death of writing – if James Joyce were alive today he’d be working for Google

Malinowski may have urged his craft’s practitioners to Write Everything Down – but now, it is all written down already. There’s hardly an instant of our lives that isn’t documented.

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The death of writing – if James Joyce were alive today he’d be working for Google

This leads him to write of a fatal “double bind” afflicting anthropology: the very “purity” it craves is no more than a state in which all frames of comprehension, of interpretation or analysis, are lacking; once these frames are brought to bear, the mystery that drew the anthropologist towards his subject evaporates. Meeting a tribe that doesn’t know what writing is, and seeing the tribe’s chief borrow his pen and scribble on a sheet in order to dupe his subjects into thinking that he is versed in this activity, Lévi-Strauss realises that his own writing is itself no more than a form of duping – not just of readers but of himself too, carrying meaning to the point of ambiguity again and again in a bid to generate the very type of mystery on which it thrives.

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Frank Chimero

Matt Lumpkin "If you’ve ever designed a responsive website, this is the source of all your sadness. This is the fount of your tears, the wellspring of your suffering. If you believe in the afterlife, this is the circle of hell where they light the soles of your feet on fire." 14 mins · Like

Matt Lumpkin "Same response as the bear on the bicycle: all glee, until things go haywire, and you realize it is coming right for you." 13 mins · Like

Matt Lumpkin "The answers offered are typically technological solutions. Algorithms. Automation. Tiny programs and sets of rules to filter out what bursts from the internet’s flue hole. While well intentioned (maybe), these answers only become extra points of control and influence." 5 mins · Like

Matt Lumpkin "To create convenience—particularly the automated convenience technology trades in—someone else must make our choices for us." 3 mins · Like

Matt Lumpkin "Up to a point, swapping autonomy for ease is a pretty good trade: who wants to run the math on their accounting books or call the restaurant to place a delivery order? But if taken too far, convenience becomes a Trojan Horse. We cede too much control and become dependent on something we can no longer steer. Platforms that promised to bring convenience to a process or intimacy to a relationship now wedge themselves into the transaction as new middlemen. Then, we’re left to trust in the benevolence of those who have the power to mold our dependencies. Citing a lot of the concerns I mentioned earlier, those people are less responsible and compassionate than we had hoped. In pursuit of convenience, we have opened the door to unscrupulous influence." 2 mins · Like

Matt Lumpkin "As for me? I won’t ask for peace, quiet, ease, magic or any other token that technology can’t provide—I’ve abandoned those empty promises. My wish is simple: I desire a technology of grace, one that lives well within its role.

How will we know that we’re there? I suppose we’ll look at what we’ve built, notice how the edges have dropped away, and actually be pleased it looks like it could go on forever."

“We want democracy, but we don’t have the theory or skill to do it” | Grist

The other thing that’s sort of contributing to it too is this romance of the internet. This idea that now we have these new networked technologies that allow us to have open movements of individuals organizing without organization, because we can just communicate with each other. It’s fueling the fire of this tendency to unite without any formal connection, or even strategy. There’s a lot of power in that, in the sense that you can get people to come out into the street and have a spectacle that is amplified through your social media and ideas can go viral or fundraising campaigns like the Rolling Jubilee can kick off online.

But it still doesn’t address how you capture the attention you’ve gotten and get people who’ve come out for one demonstration to come again or do the hard work of talking to their neighbors or their colleagues. I think the technological aspects are part of it, too.

Tufte, 2001 Ch. 1