Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from January 15, 2018 Options

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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.

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Options January 15, 2018: Jonathan Taplin, author of "Move Fast and Break Things," on Big Tech undermining democracy

Listen to this show: MP3 - 128K | | Add or read comments



Happy MLK Day. This week on Techtonic, an interview with Jonathan Taplin, author of Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy.



But first...

CES had a blackout. As recent Techtonic guest Steven Levy put it...



Photo from CES below by Taylor Lorenz, shown in her story CES Was Full of Useless Robots and Machines That Don't Work:



Hawaiians had a scare when someone "pushed the wrong button" and sent a statewide message about a (false) nuclear threat. (Not to be confused with other high-profile nuclear threats from a certain Twitter account.)



Poorly designed tech was the culprit. From the Washington Post: "Around 8:05 a.m., the Hawaii emergency employee initiated the internal test, according to a timeline released by the state. From a drop-down menu on a computer program, he saw two options: 'Test missile alert' and 'Missile alert.' He was supposed to choose the former; as much of the world now knows, he chose the latter, an initiation of a real-life missile alert."

As always, let's ask... is technology leading to good outcomes? Who benefits from Big Tech? And in the spirit of MLK Day, what does freedom look like in a tech-infused society?

- - -

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Artist Track Images
  Jonathan Taplin, author of "Move Fast and Break Things," on how Big Tech is undermining democracy.
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options  
  Mark's intro  
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  Interview with Jonathan Taplin  
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  Your comments and calls  
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Postmodern Jukebox and Maiya Sykes  Don't Stop (New Orleans blues cover of Fleetwood Mac)   Options  

Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:01pm northguineahills:

Now, that's a beautiful pic! (I love grays/greys)
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:03pm Uncle Michael:

Good afternoon, Mark...et al.
  Mon. 1/15/18 6:05pm melinda:

Hi Mark and everyone
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 1/15/18 6:09pm WFMU listener WADE:

If you're looking for someone who emulates the best of Dr King, get to know Dr. Barber: www.breachrepairers.org
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:09pm Webhamster Henry:

There were a few stories - VERY FEW - about companies whose products were unaffected by that CES blackout.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:10pm queems:

i thought the hawaii story was a joke when i first heard about it because it was so absurd
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:10pm Webhamster Henry:

I always respond to tech solutions with "But .... the batteries!"
  Mon. 1/15/18 6:10pm melinda:

The power outage issue seems so obvious and yet it isn't to everyone unfortunately.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:11pm Webhamster Henry:

As I said on Facebook: two factor authentication anyone?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:11pm northguineahills:

@queems: Me too, when I found out it was real, and the reactions of everyone, I was horrified.
Avatar Mon. 1/15/18 6:11pm Number Six:

Good Evening, Mark & All.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:13pm Webhamster Henry:

I want to know what the "Test missile alert" option does.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:13pm northguineahills:

Is it just a normal windows interface?, that's already a shitty non-intuitive GUI design. Just banal crap I deal w/ database design and mapping I deal w/ on a daily basis make me throw my face towards my desk.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:14pm chris:

hi, Mark and folks. Re: the missile test texty thingy - the real question is why to have the system at all. there's nowhere to hide from a nuke on HI
  Mon. 1/15/18 6:14pm Sean d:

aliens
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:14pm queems:

@chris start swimming
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:17pm northguineahills:

@chris: or anywhere.... if it came from Russia or China, people in the blast zone are instantly vaporized and the fallout is somewhat limited. From Best Korea....???????
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:19pm Mark Hurst:

Hi everyone! Northguinea - Uncle Michael - Wade - Webhamster Henry - Queems - Melinda - Number Six - and Chris!
  Mon. 1/15/18 6:19pm david from ks:

,,,DJMH ,,, VERY GOOD subject . I always had that thought back in the dark space of My brain that is not filled with aluminum particulates that stop thought conducting.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:20pm Webhamster Henry:

"Don't be evil" -- Google
"I wanna be evil" -- Earth Kitt
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:21pm northguineahills:

@Henry: can I get an Eartha Kitt w/ my earth kit?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:22pm Webhamster Henry:

@ngh She was bundled with my Earth Shoes.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:28pm Mark Hurst:

@David from KS - thanks.
Avatar Mon. 1/15/18 6:30pm Number Six:

And yet YouTube continually flags & demonitises non porn content that their algorithms find objectionable.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:31pm chris:

re: search, don't forget about duck duck go... no tracking search engine duckduckgo.com
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:33pm Krys O.:

But Taplin's Annenberg Lab is funded by Verizon, Microsoft etc. Does he criticize them?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:34pm Krys O.:

thehill.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:34pm northguineahills:

@chris: I've used that extensively for years, although I'll use google for boring nerd (educational) stuff in the vain hope it will help said statistics.
Avatar Mon. 1/15/18 6:36pm Number Six:

@chris: my browser of choice :)
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:36pm Mark Hurst:

Call in at 201-209-9368. What role should tech play in freedom and democracy?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:37pm Webhamster Henry:

My family used to do something called "Power Day Off" where we tried not to use electricity or gas or drive around on Sundays. It's an interesting take on "Sabbath".
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:37pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Zats, missed first half due to a nap situation. Quality time off the internet, you know?
  Mon. 1/15/18 6:38pm hello from Australia:

Love you!!!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:39pm Phil with the phone:

Love you too! Call in at 201-209-9368!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:40pm Webhamster Henry:

MArk: Have you read Clay Shirky's "Here Comes Everybody", which is about how these social tools overpower the usual channels of dissent? You should have him on anyway.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:41pm herb.nyc:

vg interview! if (and when) Google and Facebook and Amazon and... are allowed to have a standing army, then it'll be over.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:42pm herb.nyc:

I've started using DuckDuckGo as well. but really, why a duck? why a no chicken?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:42pm northguineahills:

@Henry: an interesting different diurnal take on the Orthodox Sabbos .

/atheist from a Methodist background.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:42pm northguineahills:

@herb: You should be thing 'goose', not, other poultry/
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:43pm northguineahills:

thinking
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:43pm melinda:

I often use Ecosia: info.ecosia.org...
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:43pm Webhamster Henry:

@ngh We're UUs if we're anything. We kind of stopped when we had to move out of the 19th century house.
Avatar Mon. 1/15/18 6:44pm Hoggable:

Super, chap, super...
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:44pm Webhamster Henry:

Clay's book clearly needs some revisions!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:44pm northguineahills:

danks Melinda!
  Mon. 1/15/18 6:45pm Bea:

Great show, Mark - I learn so much from you and your guests. Thank you!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:45pm chris:

seriously cool app from the aclu to record police (w/ automatic upload of the video) - www.aclu.org...
Avatar Mon. 1/15/18 6:45pm Rudy:

There is also StartPage, which is basically a proxy for Google. You can use it through DuckDuckGo by typing !s with your query !
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:45pm Tommy in Neversink:

I just wish FB rate news services . The problem is too many people think if something is on the internet it's true or that all news services are equal .
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:46pm Tommy in Neversink:

..FB would rate news services
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:48pm Webhamster Henry:

So, is there an estimate of how much state sales tax has been lost by Internet retail practices?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:48pm northguineahills:

*the googles* "That's a nice business you got there, it'd be a shame if something would happen to it".
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:48pm queems:

no internet? DOES NOT COMPUTE
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:49pm Webhamster Henry:

Nice pic of Hackerman, Mark.
Avatar Mon. 1/15/18 6:49pm Rudy:

Ixquick is also an alternative to Google too btw, done by the same people who made StartPage. But DuckDuckGo is the best engine IMO with its system of bangs, allowing you to use it as a hub for other websites (!w redirects your search to Wikipedia, !r to Reddit, etc.)
  Mon. 1/15/18 6:49pm Jim:

Sadly, the analysis of behaviors of modern humans by large corporations is not being used for the benefit of these humans, but as a commerce weapon. The typical human on a smart device doesn’t have a chance to resist this tweaking.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:49pm melinda:

Efficiency isn't everything.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:50pm northguineahills:

Thanks Mark and Jonathan. I'm leaving work after having to criminally have to work on a holiday. (small startup, no choice). ciao-sers y'all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:51pm melinda:

chowsers, ngh!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:51pm northguineahills:

MLK Jr. Day means more to me today, after this year, then any other
Avatar Mon. 1/15/18 6:55pm Number Six:

Don't forget malasjusted ;)
  Mon. 1/15/18 6:55pm Bea:

Mark - when are we going to that movie you mentioned?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:55pm melinda:

Thanks for doing this show, Mark!
  Mon. 1/15/18 6:56pm SeanG:

great show!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 1/15/18 6:56pm coelacanth∅:

Thanks Mark
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 1/15/18 6:56pm kimzilla:

great show Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:57pm Phil with the phone:

Thanks for tuning in, see ya'll again next week!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:57pm Webhamster Henry:

Isn't this Bill Clinton's theme song?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:57pm herb.nyc:

i'll be a jerk - you didn't choose song "no future" by the sex pistols?
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:57pm chris:

Thanks, Mark and Phil.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:57pm queems:

thanks!
  Mon. 1/15/18 6:58pm Gregg:

Another nonconformist here. Listening for 20 years and finally chimed in.
Avatar Mon. 1/15/18 6:58pm Number Six:

Good job, as always Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:58pm Zetti:

...OWS vindicated
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:58pm Webhamster Henry:

Hear ya next week!
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 1/15/18 6:59pm Mark Hurst:

Thanks, all! Let's get ready for a great 2018. Appreciate all of you being on team Techtonic.
  Swag For Life Member Mon. 1/15/18 7:05pm drew:

Software will continue to have bugs like the bad menu configuration in the Hawaii story because nobody sues software companies for that stuff so there is no economic incentive to change the industry. Despite the job titles, we programmers aren't really "engineers" for that same reason. There's a similar lack of pressure for all of the Internet of things as seen in the CES story. So to make the world better, convince more people to sue because of crappy software.
And I don't even know where to begin with the conspiracy theorist's book so I'll just leave it at that.
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