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Posts Tagged ‘Wired Magazine’

A lot of things still matter in this world – touch and relationships and real conversation and discomfort.  Technology is designed toward convenience.  It’s designed to make things easier, to make life a bit more comfortable.  But we need discomfort.  We need discomfort in order to grow.
    —    Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Quoted by:  Justin Parham
In his interview article:  “Matrix Revolutionary
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  Dec. 2021
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On This Day In:
2022 A Clear View Of #45
2021 Not Here, Not Again
Will The Senate Convict An Insurrectionist?
2020 Senate Perfidy
2019 Contributing To Congress
Yellow Signs Of Spring
2018 But Take Heart
Poetic Marker
2017 The Few, The Many, The Most
2016 To My Brother
2015 For Junior
A Roman Rome
2014 Hmmm
2013 What’s A Motto With You?
2012 Worthy Companions
2011 Bourne Again
Which Ten Are You In?

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Today was a surprisingly emotion tugging day for me…  I received a notification of subscription renewal for Wired Magazine for just shy of $30 for the year (a monthly issue – hard-copy via “snail-mail”).  This is more than normal (at least in the past) and I just don’t believe I can justify the continued subscription now I’m into my sixth year of retirement.  So, I’ve canceled my subscription…
 
I started reading Wired back in 2000, when I got hired as a web-development manager in San Francisco (just before the “dot-bomb”) at a “dot-com”.  The company I was working at had a whole bookshelf of every back issue of Wired from inception to present (2000).  I started at issue #1 and read them all – cover to cover – during the time I was separated from my family.  After I got current, I purchased my own subscription and have maintained it all of these 20+ years – until today.  So, I am probably one of just a few people who can say they’ve read EVERY issue of almost 30 years of Wired.  Interestingly, (to me anyway), I was the only person at the company who EVER read the magazine.  I asked!  I also asked why we kept the annual subscription if no one read the magazine, and was told:  “We have a handful of subscriptions and we just renew them all each year.”
 
Now, in full disclosure, I have to qualify that I’m “currently” a few months behind in my reading, due to “life issues”, so you will probably see multiple quotes from 2022 issues in the future as I wrap up the outstanding reading.  My future son-in-law is also a hard-copy subscriber, and he’s promised to hold on to and pass along his copies.  Other than that, there’s always the public library…
 
Having cancelled my subscription to Time Magazine last year (June 2022 – after a near 50 year relationship), it feels strange to cut another string from my past primary written information sources.
 
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On This Day In:
2022 You Ought To Be Having Fun
2021 Democrats Talking To Republicans
  Talkin’ To Myself And Feelin’ Old
2020 You Are Not Late (Yet)
2019 Too Difficult To Try
2018 Hold Fast
2017 The Only Real Security
2016 Time Said
2015 If Only Common Sense Were More Common
2014 PTI
2013 What Now, Then?
2012 Big C, Little B
  Duty, Honor, Country
   

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With that said, I don’t advise embracing the irrational or acting against your own interests.  It will not make you happy, nor will it prove a point.  Randomness is a poor substitute for genuine freedom.  Instead, perhaps you should reconsider the unstated premise of your query, which is that your identity is defined by your consumer choices.  Your fear that you’ve become boring might have less to do with your supposedly vanilla taste than the fact that these platforms have conditioned us to see our souls through the lens of formulaic categories that are designed to be legible to advertisers.  It’s all too easy to mistake our character for the bullet points that grace our bios:  our relationship status, our professional affiliations, the posts and memes and threads that we’ve liked, the purchases we’ve made, and the playlists we’ve built.
What remains more difficult to predict are the qualities that make you truly distinct:  your thoughts and beliefs, your personal history, the unspoken nuances of the relationships that have made you who you are, and the unbounded expanse of moral and imaginative possibilities that constitutes your own mind.  Attending to those aspects of yourself is the work of a lifetime — and far from boring.
    —     Meghan O’Gieblyn
From her article:  “Dear Cloud Support:  Am I Stuck In A Groove
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  Dtd:  Dec 2021 / Jan 2022 issue
There is also an online version at:  https://www.wired.com/story/cloud-support-music-apps-predictability/
[But I believe the article may be behind a paywall.  I am a subscriber to the hard-copy magazine.    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 Too Bad Politics And Greed Get In The Way
Little Prayers
2020 Precarious Fools
A Shining City Upon A Hill
2019 How #45’s Father Raised Him For Incompetence
2018 Describing #45 – “The Loser” – As A Successful Businessman
Raking – #PresidentIdiot Proposes Full Employment For California
2017 Federal Deficit, National Debt And Tax Cuts For The 1%
2016 Picky, Picky, Picky
2015 Another Limitation On Religion
2014 Enduring
2013 Tell Me More…
2012 Passing…
2011 Fake It ‘Til You Make It

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[Maurice “Mo”] Pinel dedicated a fair portion of his life to disseminating his ideas, and he left behind artifacts such as his YouTube videos that will forever serve as repositories of his eccentric wisdom.  But there was so much he never managed to articulate, so much teaching he still had left to do.  And because he operated in a field that withered a great deal during his decades of involvement, there is perhaps no one left with his breadth of experience nor his bone-deep sense of bowling’s elemental splendor.
This is what the mercilessness of the pandemic has abruptly robbed from us:  tens of thousands of men and women whose rare and hard-won knowledge can never be replicated.  This is how artisanal skills are forgotten, how dialects vanish, how the stories meant to sustain us ebb away from our collective memory.  And it’s all happening at a pace far faster than we can grieve.
After meditating on all that’s been lost, I could come up with only one fitting way to honor what Mo’s time here meant.  As I write these words, I stand precisely 12 days away from being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.  I plan to celebrate by taking my kids bowling.
    —     Brendan I. Koerner
From his article:  “One Man’s Amazing Journey to the Center of the Bowling Ball
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  July / August 2021
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On This Day In:
2021 I Think They Mean It
An Endless Stream
2020 ITF (365) – Update
Word Up!
My Fear: A Second More Tyrannous Term
2019 Reality And Imperfection
Day 8: One Stone
2018 Pity The Nation (Part 1)
Day 41: Hiccup Or End Of Days?
2017 Sharp-Edged Beauty
2016 Start, Keep, Finish
2015 Lifetime Friends
2014 Acknowledgement
2013 Longevity, Tenacity and Diversity
2012 What Reagan Really Cared About
2011 Seeming Sane (Or Not)

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If you put a computer in front of children and remove all other adult restrictions, they will self-organize around it like bees around a flower.
    —    Sugata Mitra
As quoted by:  Joshua Davis
From his article:  “Free Thinkers
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  November 2013
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On This Day In:
2021 Revolutionary Protest
‘Cause Dreaming Can Make You Mine
2020 Too High For #45
Talkin’ ‘Bout Her
2019 Little Things…
2018 Have Thee Paid Yet?
Day 9: Fingertips
2017 Hopefully, I’m Good Company
2016 Maybe Not Most
2015 Differences That Matter
2014 But Sometimes It Takes A Village
2013 Laughter > Grief
2012 Pioneers
2011 It Is Free

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In 1970 the top three skills required by the Fortune 500 were the three Rs:  reading, writing, and arithmetic.  In 1999 the top three skills in demand were teamwork, problem-solving, and inter-personal skills.  We need schools that are developing these skills.
    —    Linda Darling-Hammond
Professor, Stanford University
Quoted by:  Joshua Davis
From his article:  “Free Thinkers
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  November 2013
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On This Day In:
2021 Dragging
Maverick And Goose?
2020 I’m Just Being Skeptical
Setting My Feet Upon The Road
2019 We’re Eating Faster And Enjoying It Less
2018 Great Views
Day 8: One At A Time
2017 Trump Supporters Will Always Find An Excuse
2016 More Posts
2015 A Last Request
2014 It Matters
2013 And You Are?
2012 Not Too Late
2011 Persistence
2009 Health Care?

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And yet the dominant model of public education is still fundamentally rooted in the industrial revolution that spawned it, when workplaces valued punctuality, regularity, attention, and silence above all else.
We don’t openly profess those values nowadays, but our educational system — which routinely tests kids on their ability to recall information and demonstrate mastery of a narrow  set of skills — doubles down on the view that students are material to be processed, programmed, and quality-tested.
    —    Joshua Davis
From his article:  “Free Thinkers
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  November 2013
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On This Day In:
2021 And Due To Be More Fluid
Still Reading Between The Lines
2020 A Humbling Learning Process
They Are All Good
2019 Another Thought On #45’s Poor Education
2018 As Long As You Survive Each Experience
WordPress to Facebook Test…
Day 7: Oh, Yeah!
2017 A Good Habit
2016 The Minds Of Trumpism
2015 Expressing Nonsense
2014 A Real Fight
2013 Unravelling
2012 I Resolve
2011 Practice, Practice, Practice
2009 Phoenix Trip (July ’09)

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The central contention of physics has it that the building blocks of the universe will endure even if, or even when, the humans who tally them, and the planet we live on, all die.  To see into the deathless universe is to try to see nothing so flamboyant as [William] Wordsworth’s favorite daffodils and walnut groves, but to peer into the coldest spaces, the black holes and the fractional electric charge of theoretical subatomic particles.  These entities have no blood flow, of course, but also no DNA;  they’re not susceptible to pandemics, however virulent, or the dividends and ravages of carbon.  They don’t live, so they don’t die.  To model the universe as precisely as possible is to try to see the one thing that even the strictest atheist agrees is everlasting — to try to achieve, in a lab, an intimation of immortality.
Back to the living world that’s under our feet.  [Carlo] Rovelli is right to caution against the potential delusions of those who are greedy for eurekas.  But, as a fellow physicist with a radical streak, he is also sympathetic to their ambitions, a drive to “learn something unexpected about the fundamental laws of nature.”  To Rovelli, whose latest book describes quantum mechanics as an almost psychedelic experience, a truly radical discovery entails the observation of phenomena that fall outside three existing frameworks in physics:  quantum theory, the Standard Model of particle physics, and general relativity.  Only by blowing up one of those frameworks can one achieve the kind of immortality that scientists get, the glory of someone like Einstein or Heisenberg.
But to keep looking, as Rovelli has, as Fermilab has with this study on the muon’s magnetism, is also to apprehend hints.  To follow hints.  In that way, the physicist’s work and the poet’s are the same.  And if Wordsworth is right, immortality can be found, of all places, in the hint — the staggering proposition by nature itself that, in spite of all the dying around us, something of all we love might be imperishable, might still flicker or shine or wobble when the rest of our world is gone.
    —     Virginia Heffernan
From her article:  “Muonstruck
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  June 2021
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On This Day In:
2021 Keep Growing
I Keep Looking
2020 I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Plans
One Earth
2019 Beautiful Rules
2018 Skepticism
2017 WWGD?
2016 Growing Greatness
2015 When It Is Darkest
2014 Knowledge And Doubt
2013 Three Thoughts
2012 Gentle Reader
2011 Leave The Light On For Me Anyway

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One does whatever one can for oneness that is greater than self.
    —     R. A. Lafferty
Quoted by:  Jason Kehe
From his article:  “A Gigantical Tale Of Laffervescent Genius
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  June 2021
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On This Day In:
2021
Take To The Sky
2020 Heroes Die Too
Front Update
Still More Hope Than Fact
2019 The Ones Worth Remembering, Anyway
Boot Edge Edge (My New T)
2018 To Reach The Next Threshold
2017 Streaking Tales
2016 Singular Reality
2015 He Says It’s Hard To Get There From Here
2014 Question From A Founding Father
2013 Make Heroes
2012 See And Hold
2011 Am Not, Are So

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What I’m suggesting is that there’s a self-fulfilling element to conversations about automation.  It’s not so much that machines are relieving us of activities that are intrinsically rote and mechanical;  it’s more that a skill comes to seem rote and mechanical when a machine learns to do it.  An ability only begins to appear “worthless,” as you put it, when it can be executed by highly profitable technologies.  At the moment, our talents and aptitudes are being made obsolete at such a rate that many people, like you, are uneasy about where this trajectory might end.
We consumers are not asked to vote or weigh in on the new devices, features, and apps that will inevitably shape our lives.  It’s completely reasonable to worry that you might look up at some point and find yourself at a historical destination that you never consciously chose.
All of which is to say, you’re right to pause and question this technology.  Given how quick we are to adapt to and assimilate novel forms of automation, it’s doubly important to consider whether a given skill is something you’re willing to relinquish.  In that spirit, I’m going to avoid prescribing anything concrete (what is advice but one more automated solution?) and instead encourage you to continue thinking about what you are prepared to give up.  Are there certain boundaries that you’re not willing to cross?  Or is your humanity just a moving target, its definition staked on whatever remains after the rest has been offloaded onto devices?  The willingness to think through these questions, consider their consequences, and commit to a course of — literal — action is itself virtuous and worthwhile.  It’s one thing, at least for the time being, that we alone can do.
    —   Meghan O’Gieblyn
From her “advice” column:  “Dear Cloud Support: My Car Is Making Me Feel Useless!
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  May 2021
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On This Day In:
2021 Seeking Happiness
Check Your Watch
2020 Expectation For The Near Future
2019 Indian Myth
Did He Even Have The Courage To Ask?
2018 Nothing
2017 Approval First
2016 In Search Of Words
Day 2 – Blending
2015 At What Price?
2014 Intricate And Subtle Order
2013 Attention To Detail
2012 Aequanimitas!
2011 Consider This

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If we’re going to live together, the [tech] giants and me, I’d like to ask them something.  Humbly. If you’re a product manager working on a feed or search interface inside of a giant tech company, you have access to hundreds of billions of hours of human attention.  Could you help your users spend one hour a year learning about what’s coming for the world, climate-wise, with a small dose of civics to go with it?
Because, if you did, that would be 2 or 3 billion hours of shared experience.  Two to 3 billion hours of people learning how important it is that we come together calmly.  And that is a beautiful canvas of time upon which to paint a future.  It would be one hell of a product.  We’re counting on you.
We have no choice.  You won.
Billions of us need help making millions, billions of decisions.  Decisions about whether to upgrade HVAC systems, or how to fuel our shipping, or what to plant in the backyard.  Sometimes it feels like the paradigm has inverted.  Technology was the mold growing across human systems.  Software was eating the world.  Now it feels like humans are the mold growing on technology.
I said that there’s no next big thing.  But deep in my soft, uncynical heart, where I keep my most embarrassing predictions, I do know what it is.  The next big thing is us.  Just plain old people.  Humans using language.  Humans accepting limits.  I can’t help you turn it into Q4 results.  I don’t know how to invest in it, nor who should run the conference series.  Nor could I tell you who should host the podcast.
I just know that it’s got to be our turn.  I love technology, but this is faith.
    —     Paul Ford
From his article:  “The Great Unbundling
Appearing in:  Wired Magzine;  dtd:  May 2021
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On This Day In:
2021 If You’re A Lucky 11 Year Old
Just Got To Be
Masked Countdown And Gratitude
2020 Democratic Aspiration
2019 Soul Before Will
2018 Small Things
2017 Clear And Warm To Me
2016 Ripple
2015 Amazing Or Full Of Wonder?
2014 Are You Confused?
2013 But The Odds Are Against It
2012 Far Better Off With Books
2011 Timid And Fainthearted

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The key to discoveries is to look at those places where there is still a paradox.  It’s like the tip of an iceberg.  If there is a point of dissatisfaction, take a closer look at it.  You are likely to find a treasure trove underneath.
    —    Erdal Arikan
Quoted by:  Steven Levy
From the article:  “The Man Who Conquered Noise
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine
Dtd:  Dec. 2020
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On This Day In:
2022 Looking For Treasure Troves
2021 True Originality
There Must Be Peace And Understanding
2020 #45: Lies And Hate-Speech Are Not Moral Leadership
2019 Be Brave
2018 What Else Matters?
2017 Slow Go
2016 A Tiny Ripple Of Hope
2015 Liberating Books
2014 Discover God
2013 Without Witness
2012 Nutritarian

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When asked how we will know when the internet is becoming conscious, [Christof] Koch [Ph.D] replied that the surest sign will be when “it displays independent behavior.”  It’s hard to imagine what exactly this might look like.  But considering that this process will also involve the waning of human consciousness, you might look inward, at the state of your own psyche.
The early stages of this process will likely be subtle.  You might feel a bit scattered, your attention pulled in multiple directions, such that you begin to suspect that the philosophers are right, that the unified self is an illusion.  You may occasionally succumb to the delusion that everyone you know sounds the same, as though their individual minds, filtered through the familiar syntax of tweets and memes, have fused into a single voice.  You might find yourself engaging in behaviors that are not in your self-interest, mechanically following the dictate to share and spread personal information, even though you know the real beneficiary is not you or your friends, but the system itself.
The great merging, when it comes, might feel — and I confess I find this most probable — like nothing at all.  There will be no explosion, no heavenly trumpet, just that strange peace that is known to overcome tourists standing in Times Square, or walking the Las Vegas strip, a surrender to overstimulation that is not unlike the numbness that sets in after hours of scrolling and clicking.  In such moments, the noise is so total it becomes indistinguishable from silence, and even there, amidst the crowd, it is possible to experience a holy solitude, as though you are standing all alone, in the center of a great cathedral.
From an article written by:  Meghan O’Gieblyn
The article:  “Is the Internet Conscious? If It were, How Would We Know?
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine
Dtd:  Dec 2020
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On This Day In:
2022 Just That Strange Peace
2021 Have Republicans Figured Out Biden Won Yet?
Sleepin’ On Your Doorstep
2020 Careful About Myth Telling
2019 My Irish Diet
Fighting With Oneself
2018 Feeling Both
2017 Just Start
2016 Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall
2015 Restraint At The Inn
2014 To Not Discovering
2013 I Have Less To Say
2012 Not The Best Prediction I’ve Ever Read

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When asked how we will know when the internet is becoming conscious, (Christof) Koch replied that the surest sign will be when “it displays independent behavior.”  It’s hard to imagine what exactly this might look like.  But considering that this process will also involve the waning of human consciousness, you might look inward, at the state of your own psyche.
The early stages of this process will likely be subtle.  You might feel a bit scattered, your attention pulled in multiple directions, such that you begin to suspect that the philosophers are right, that the unified self is an illusion.  You may occasionally succumb to the delusion that everyone you know sounds the same, as though their individual minds, filtered through the familiar syntax of tweets and memes, have fused into a single voice.  You might find yourself engaging in behaviors that are not in your self-interest, mechanically following the dictate to share and spread personal information, even though you know the real beneficiary is not you or your friends, but the system itself.
The great merging, when it comes, might feel — and I confess I find this most probable — like nothing at all.  There will be no explosion, no heavenly trumpet, just that strange peace that is known to overcome tourists standing in Times Square, or walking the Las Vegas strip, a surrender to over-stimulation that is not unlike the numbness that sets in after hours of scrolling and clicking.  In such moments, the noise is so total it becomes indistinguishable from silence, and even there, amidst the crowd, it is possible to experience a holy solitude, as though you are standing all alone, in the center of a great cathedral.
    —     Meghan O’Gieblyn
From the article:  “Is The Internet Conscious?
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  Dec 2020
The article also appears online at:  https://www.wired.com/story/is-the-internet-conscious-if-it-were-how-would-we-know/
(I don’t guarantee the printed article matches the online version    —    kmab)
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On This Day In:
2021 Likely To Be Subtle
My Temp’s Pretty High
Scratching A Persistent Itch
2020 A Word Of Assurance They Are Not Alone
Is #45 Still Crying?
2019 It’s Obvious
2018 Passed Too Swiftly
2017 On Our Wall (Part 1)
2016 Or The Ripples From A Good Life
2015 Titles And Reputations
2014 Unfolding
2013 Again
2012 Needs
Damned
2011 Potter & Prejudice
Blink, Blink

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“I sort of have this joke theory,” Brooks says, “that consciousness is put there by God, so that he has this very quick interface to find out what we’re thinking about.”
    —     Rodney Brooks
Quoted by:  Virginia Heffernan
In her article:  “Clean Conscience
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  Nov 2020
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On This Day In:
2021 Hold That Thought
Got Love?
2020 Everyone I’ve Ever Met
A Secret Chord
2019 A Big “IF”
2018 Silence Presence
2017 Feeling Small Standing In Front Of My Shelves
2016 Show Willing
2015 If He Only Knew…
2014 Dared To Love
2013 Strong Kung-Fu
2012 Two Tribes
2011 Made Any Assumptions Lately?

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