Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
“I should have followed Ni Kuang’s process for doing work. Get paid first, deliver on time but absolutely no rewrites. That’s your business. Genius.” —@ActivateLearn
“Freelancing is a tightrope act of sharing and protecting your wares.” —@White_Owly
“The beauty of science hugely outranks the charms of superstition. Nature is miraculous enough.” —Christopher Hitchens via @Hitch_Slapping
“Question authority. No idea is true just because someone says so. Test ideas by the evidence gained from observation and experiment! If a favorite idea fails a well-designed test, it’s wrong!” —Richard Feynman via @ProfFeynmam
“Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time,” the pair wrote. The accelerating changes they predicted included the “electronic frontier” of the Internet, Prozac, YouTube, cloning, home-schooling, the self-induced paralysis of too many choices, instant celebrities “swiftly fabricated and ruthlessly destroyed,” and the end of blue-collar “second-wave” manufacturing, to be replaced by a “third wave” of knowledge workers. Not bad for 1970.
“Social networking between influencers makes it easy for audience members to be incrementally exposed to, and come to trust, ever more extremist political positions,” writes Lewis, who outlines how YouTube incentivizes their behavior. Lewis illustrates common techniques that these far-right influencers use to make money as they cultivate alternative social identities and use production value to increase their appeal as countercultural social underdogs. The report offers a data visualization of this network to show how connected influencers act as a conduit for viewership.
“The complexity of meta-modernity thus matches the complexity of globalization and the technological development that allows financial markets to collapse around the globe simultaneously while we sit, each in our corner of the world, and watch the same cat videos on YouTube while longing for national identity. Meta-modernity allows us to enjoy all aspects of the previous stages whenever appropriate:”