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

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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. In our shift to a digital future, we need alternatives to Big Tech. Homepage: techtonic.fm

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

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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   Favoriting  
  Mark's intro  
  Interview with Jonathan Taplin  
  Your comments and calls  
Postmodern Jukebox and Maiya Sykes  Don't Stop (New Orleans blues cover of Fleetwood Mac)   Favoriting  

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Listener comments!

Avatar 6:01pm

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

Good afternoon, Mark...et al.

Hi Mark and everyone
Avatar Swag For Life Member 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 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 6:10pm

i thought the hawaii story was a joke when i first heard about it because it was so absurd
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:10pm
Webhamster Henry:

I always respond to tech solutions with "But .... the batteries!"

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

As I said on Facebook: two factor authentication anyone?
Avatar 6:11pm

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

Good Evening, Mark & All.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:13pm
Webhamster Henry:

I want to know what the "Test missile alert" option does.
Avatar 6:13pm

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 6:14pm

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
Sean d:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm

@chris start swimming
Avatar 6:17pm

@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 6:19pm
Mark Hurst:

Hi everyone! Northguinea - Uncle Michael - Wade - Webhamster Henry - Queems - Melinda - Number Six - and Chris!
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 6:20pm
Webhamster Henry:

"Don't be evil" -- Google
"I wanna be evil" -- Earth Kitt
Avatar 6:21pm

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

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

@David from KS - thanks.
Avatar 6:30pm
Number Six:

And yet YouTube continually flags & demonitises non porn content that their algorithms find objectionable.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:31pm

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

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

Avatar 6:34pm

@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 6:36pm
Number Six:

@chris: my browser of choice :)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:36pm
Mark Hurst:

Call in at 201-209-9368. What role should tech play in freedom and democracy?
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 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 6:37pm
Ken From Hyde Park:

Zats, missed first half due to a nap situation. Quality time off the internet, you know?
hello from Australia:

Love you!!!!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:39pm
Phil with the phone:

Love you too! Call in at 201-209-9368!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 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 🤖 6:41pm

vg interview! if (and when) Google and Facebook and Amazon and... are allowed to have a standing army, then it'll be over.
Avatar 🤖 6:42pm

I've started using DuckDuckGo as well. but really, why a duck? why a no chicken?
Avatar 6:42pm

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

/atheist from a Methodist background.
Avatar 6:42pm

@herb: You should be thing 'goose', not, other poultry/
Avatar 6:43pm

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm

I often use Ecosia: info.ecosia.org...
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 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 6:44pm

Super, chap, super...
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:44pm
Webhamster Henry:

Clay's book clearly needs some revisions!
Avatar 6:44pm

danks Melinda!

Great show, Mark - I learn so much from you and your guests. Thank you!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:45pm

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

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 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 6:46pm
Tommy in Neversink:

..FB would rate news services
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:48pm
Webhamster Henry:

So, is there an estimate of how much state sales tax has been lost by Internet retail practices?
Avatar 6:48pm

*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 6:48pm

no internet? DOES NOT COMPUTE
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:49pm
Webhamster Henry:

Nice pic of Hackerman, Mark.
Avatar 6:49pm

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.)

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 6:49pm

Efficiency isn't everything.
Avatar 6:50pm

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 6:51pm

chowsers, ngh!
Avatar 6:51pm

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

Don't forget malasjusted ;)

Mark - when are we going to that movie you mentioned?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm

Thanks for doing this show, Mark!

great show!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm

Thanks Mark
Avatar 6:56pm

great show Mark!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:57pm
Phil with the phone:

Thanks for tuning in, see ya'll again next week!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:57pm
Webhamster Henry:

Isn't this Bill Clinton's theme song?
Avatar 🤖 6:57pm

i'll be a jerk - you didn't choose song "no future" by the sex pistols?
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:57pm

Thanks, Mark and Phil.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm


Another nonconformist here. Listening for 20 years and finally chimed in.
Avatar 6:58pm
Number Six:

Good job, as always Mark!

...OWS vindicated
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:58pm
Webhamster Henry:

Hear ya next week!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 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 7:05pm

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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