Favoriting Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from February 5, 2018 Favoriting

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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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Mon. Apr 10th, 6pm - 7pm: Ken guest hosts Techtonic

Favoriting February 5, 2018: Christopher Potter, author of "Earth Gazers," on tech and our image of humanity

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Techtonic meetup THIS SATURDAY! Sign up for WFMU Movie Night at Monty Hall this Saturday, Feb 10 - doors at 7pm, show at 7:30pm. We'll be watching The Road Movie, a full-length documentary made from Russian dashcam videos.



This evening on Techtonic: Christopher Potter, author of The Earth Gazers: On Seeing Ourselves, discussing how technology can help us understand who we are. The American space program produced the first images of earth from space, leading to a new awareness about our relationship to the environment - and each other - and igniting an early interest in watching human activity from space.

At the same time, it is possible to know too much. Today's digital tech seems to give us images and data of everything, regardless of whether it's helpful or harmful. A good example is the latest dust-up from Strava, the app that maps your jogging route...



Above, a map generated by the mobile app Strava, showing the jogging routes of its users.

This Guardian piece quotes Strava's response: "We are committed to helping people better understand our settings to give them control over what they share." In other words: check your settings.

But first...

Recent tech news:

An amusing piece in Wired, by Robbie Gonzalez, argued that tech addiction might not even exist. There's just no "direct evidence." Uhh... OK, Wired. Last week's show quoted Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff arguing that addictive tech needs to be regulated like cigarettes... we've also heard from Sean Parker, founding president of Facebook, decrying the addictive tech he helped create - "God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains" - and YCombinator's Sam Altman, who wrote - what was it? Oh yes:



I look forward to Wired's followup article reporting on how Sam Altman, Sean Parker, Marc Benioff, and dozens of researchers are all totally wrong! Tech addiction just doesn't exist! (One past Techtonic guest would certainly agree: Nir Eyal, author of "Hooked," said as much in my interview with him.)

Meantime, the New York Times reports that health experts are pleading with Facebook to please turn off Messenger Kids, the new kid-oriented Facebook app trying to hook users while they're young. Turn it off? I'm sure Mark Zuckerberg will get right on that.

Finally, a great list of non-Google, non-Facebook alternative apps & sites for all your online needs, aka "How to Live Without Google." Written by Gabriel Weinberg, founder and CEO of Duck Duck Go (and last week's guest on Techtonic).

Put down the screen.
Avoid Google and Facebook.
And see you Saturday for our movie night meetup here at WFMU's Monty Hall.

- - -

Subscribe to the Techtonic podcast to catch up on past episodes.

Artist Track Images Approx. start time
  Christopher Potter, author, "The Earth Gazers," on humanity's relationship with technology.
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Favoriting    
  Mark's intro  
Favoriting
0:01:25 (Pop-up)
  Interview with Christopher Potter, author of "The Earth Gazers"  
Favoriting
0:16:17 (Pop-up)
  Your calls and comments  
Favoriting
0:33:07 (Pop-up)


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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm
listener james from westwood:

Evening, Mark and all!
  6:03pm
melinda:

Howdy Techtons
Avatar 6:03pm
Number Six:

Good Evening, Mark & All!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm
Webhamster Henry:

The motto of addiction:
I can stop any time I want to.I just don't want to.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm
Michael 98145:

I don't have a drinking problem - i get all i want.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm
northguineahills:

Culinary geography, two of my loves together!
Avatar 6:05pm
geezerette:

Hiya,Mark! and Melinda's famous Techtons!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm
northguineahills:

Hey, I helped develop Nike's app that tracked your routes to compare them to your friends (back then, it was just Nike +). That was a fun (but exhausting), job.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm
ultradamno:

Digits, gotta have 'em. One, Two, Three, Four. FOUR DIGITS MUHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm
Michael 98145:

( eye in the sky : www.washingtonpost.com... )
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm
Webhamster Henry:

My name is Webhamster Henry and I'm a computer addict. It WAY predates the internet.
Avatar 🤖 6:09pm
Bas NL:

Not addicted.. but the Montyhall gig.. will that be streamed live?
Avatar 6:11pm
βrian:

For those who need it, here's a library-friendly link to find Earth Gazers.

www.worldcat.org...
  6:13pm
Listener Robert:

ALL addiction is a belief system.
Avatar 6:13pm
TDK60:

1st time posting here. Hi Mark! Does this mean those young adults walking down the street, looking at their electro-gizmos, expecting you to jump out of their way, aren't addicted? You mean they're merely being annoying?!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm
ultradamno:

And the template for that cigarette industry response was laid out during the fight over lead in gasoline.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:14pm
Phil with the phone:

@Bas NL Are you asking about the movie night this Saturday? That will most likely not be streamed unless some bozo puts it on fb live.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:14pm
chris:

its probably a semantic argument, really. the term 'addiction' is perhaps a bit, er, loaded. however, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, its probably a duck, even if you call it a dog.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:15pm
chris:

oh, and hi, Mark and folks.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm
Michael 98145:

technology jones
Avatar 6:16pm
TDK60:

Ah yes, the wonderful NYC subway. Everyone too hypnotized by their gizmos to let an elderly or disabled person have a seat!
Avatar 🤖 6:17pm
Bas NL:

@Phil But i am far,far away and online! ;) (Hi Mark and all!)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm
Mark Hurst:

Hi, all! Thanks for joining this evening!
  6:20pm
Listener Robert:

Then Chris, what is the "duck" that constitutes "addiction"?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm
Mark Hurst:

@ngh, would love to hear more about your work on Nike+ - I remember when that launched - very cool that you helped develop that.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:21pm
chris:

ornithology, i believe. i'm the recovering child of a bird watcher. ;-)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm
Mark Hurst:

@Michael, good pointer to the WaPo article on the Mayan site.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm
Mark Hurst:

@Bas - no, unfortunately, we don't have online streaming distrib rights for the movie. C'mon, fly over to NYC for the weekend!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:23pm
Ken From Hyde Park:

Good evening Mark and tech-nots.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm
Mark Hurst:

@βrian, thanks for the worldcat link - go, libraries!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm
Mark Hurst:

@TDK60, who said addiction and being annoying are mutually exclusive ;)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm
Mark Hurst:

Hi Chris! Hi KenfHP!
  6:24pm
Leo:

hey.. duckduckgo spreads the word via FB and Tw? what's up with that??
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm
Mark Hurst:

@ultradamno, good point re leaded gas - I don't know that story, should read up.
Avatar 🤖 6:26pm
Bas NL:

@Mark Now that's a provocative thought.. :D
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm
Webhamster Henry:

When Landsat was new, the images coming back, processed in pseudo color from various IR and visible bands, were astounding!
  6:29pm
JakeGould:

Sad to hear about Charles Lindbergh being an anti-Semite. Kinda amazing how many great thinkers are also jerks.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:30pm
Ken From Hyde Park:

In case the station is granted a temporary liquor license on Saturday night, there should be a contest for the best recipe for a Gin and Tech-tonic.
  6:31pm
JakeGould:

“We must limit to a reasonable amount the [insert race/religion/group here] influence... Whenever the [insert race/religion/group here] percentage of total population becomes too high, a reaction seems to invariably occur. It is too bad because a few [insert race/religion/group here] of the right type are, I believe, an asset to any country.”
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:31pm
Mark Hurst:

@Jake - yes, he was a deeply flawed person. Potter's book also talks about the secret families Lindbergh maintained in Switzerland - a fact that only came to light after his death. And yet he pulled off some heroic acts. Philip Roth's "The Plot Against America" also reflects on Lindbergh's legacy.
  6:32pm
JakeGould:

Anyway, my use of tech has only been bettered by my iPhone. Really frees me to not be at home as much. Different strokes for different folks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm
Webhamster Henry:

People also often talk about the "tech fix", which is what I'd call faith-based science.
  6:34pm
JakeGould:

@MarkHurst: Thanks for the backstory. I’ve actually been personally researching U.S. immigration laws. Never really went that deep. Pretty amazing how crappy this country has consistently been to Catholics, Asians, Italians and Irish.

Anyway, science and rational though solves most… Unless the human aspect is ejected.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:34pm
Ken From Hyde Park:

During the game last night, there was a commercial for Scientology ... creepy.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:35pm
Webhamster Henry:

There's a book that's about 40 years out of date by now, but it was called the Encyclopedia of Ignorance, where people from various scientific disciplines talk about the unsolved problems and controversies in their fields.
  6:36pm
JakeGould:

@Ken: I find it creepy that drunk folks in Philly destroyed their own property to celebrate a sports game win. And few say much… But a bunch of women march? ZOMFG! What the heck is that!!!

Anyway, I would like to be an Earth gazer one day.
Avatar 6:36pm
TDK60:

I submit we might look at tech sociologically, psychologically, politically, spiritually. That's why this show has promise
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm
Webhamster Henry:

www.worldcat.org...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm
ultradamno:

www.youtube.com...
  6:38pm
JakeGould:

@TDK60: Well, we as a society needs to realize that—for example—the “Russian hacking” of U.S. elections is not like some digital Watergate. But rather good old fashioned propaganda accelerated by social media and global level of communication.
Avatar 6:40pm
βrian:

We could be TechTicks. Or perhaps Techtonites — like saltpeter for Superman.
Avatar 6:42pm
geezerette:

I still like Tech-Tones.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm
ultradamno:

Addictonics
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm
Michael 98145:

yes, gz'ette !
Avatar 6:42pm
TDK60:

I'm old enough to remember that first photo of Earth. It *was* a "whoa" moment.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:43pm
Phil with the phone:

I'm already printing "plates" on the t shirts
  6:43pm
Listener Robert:

Any time "addiction" is defined, its defining characteristics are nonexistent. If it's NOT defined, then whatever's said about it is bull shit. It's a word that doesn't deserve to exist. It obscures the subject under discussion.
Avatar 6:44pm
geezerette:

Hey Michael! :)

ultra-D, good one!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm
Folsom:

I like earthrise and the blue marble pics
  6:45pm
JakeGould:

“I’m a Celeron in a Pentium World”
Avatar 6:45pm
TDK60:

Robert -- what about the term habituated?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm
Webhamster Henry:

If in fact "www.psychologytoday.com... the opposite of addition is connection" -- is social media isolating or connecting? That is is it addiction or the cure to addiction .. or BOTH?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm
northguineahills:

you have no idea how long I was looking at heat maps from data, and using them for presentations.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm
Webhamster Henry:

Addiction that is. The opposite of addition is probably subtraction.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm
Michael 98145:

:)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm
melinda:

That must have been amazing to see the Earth photo when it first came out. I remember the PBS show Big Blue Marble very fondly though.
Avatar 🤖 6:47pm
Bas NL:

Then again.. how does one keep a military base secret?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm
northguineahills:

(from runners and our employees who volunteered to use our prototype app)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm
Webhamster Henry:

HIPAA has rules for data aggregation, to make sure that you can't get to a small number of data points and correlate them to real people.The same should apply to Strava and other aggregated data.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm
Michael 98145:

it was, @melinda.

too bad it changed nothing at all :(
  6:48pm
JakeGould:

@WebhamsterHenry: I think there was a study about Vietnam veteran heroin addicts. The conclusion was the reason there wasn’t a plague of addicts after the war in the 1970s was because human connection when they got back home replaced their addictive needs. Makes sense if you think about it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm
Michael 98145:

we still have goofs trying to prove the earth is flat
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm
Webhamster Henry:

@Melinda I have the LP of Big Blue Marble songs. Some are quite passable 70s folk rock!
Avatar 6:49pm
βrian:

Looking to the adults might help. The EU, that is.
  6:50pm
JakeGould:

Looking to elders… Now there is a societal thing!!!
Avatar 6:50pm
βrian:

@JakeGould: But what about Sam Stone?
  6:50pm
JakeGould:

Just tax and rich and put more women in charge and this world would be better.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:50pm
chris:

the real action is joining the Society for Humane Internet Technology (the SHIT)
  6:51pm
JakeGould:

Sam Stone might have just been anti-social.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm
melinda:

@Henry that sounds cool.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm
Michael 98145:

it we had stopped with 300 baud we wouldn't have these problems
Avatar 6:52pm
βrian:

Heh, there are values and then there is [bizspeak] "value."
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm
Carmichael:

WTF is Sam Stone?
Avatar 6:53pm
βrian:

@JG: But he ended up in a flag-draped casket on a local hero's hill!
Avatar 6:54pm
Fredericks:

Sam Stone is a character in a John Prine song, Carmichael
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm
Webhamster Henry:

@melinda I think I got it at the WFMU Record Fair! (yeah, I'm one of the guys on the floor looking for kids' records).
Avatar 6:55pm
geezerette:

This is such a necessary program.
Avatar 6:55pm
βrian:

Sam Stone:
www.youtube.com...
  6:55pm
Rob:

Lewis Mumford's "Technics and Civilization talks about the same ideas, written in mid 1930s.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm
melinda:

@geeze agreed!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm
Michael 98145:

heh, okay, let's stop with 19.2K
Avatar 6:57pm
TDK60:

Mumford is great, so is Murray Bookchin.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm
Folsom:

back in the day the university vax terminals had 9600 and 2400 baud, the 2400 sucked
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm
Webhamster Henry:

300 baud? We used tin cans. The Silent 700 terminal I used to work on had a high speed button that went to 110 baud!
upload.wikimedia.org...
Avatar 6:58pm
geezerette:

"Things to Come", great 30's film with Raymond Massey.
About these questions.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm
Webhamster Henry:

Botnik will be in the house!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm
Michael 98145:

i know where you can find a model 33 teletype :)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm
melinda:

thanks Mark!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:59pm
Phil with the phone:

Thanks for tuning in all!

...I'll just...leave this here. montyhall.ticketfly.com...
Avatar 🤖 6:59pm
Bas NL:

Thanks Mark!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:59pm
chris:

thanks, Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm
Michael 98145:

great, thoughtful show
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm
Webhamster Henry:

@Michael98145 Unless it's a KSR33 (with the paper tape punch/reader) I don't want it!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 7:00pm
Ken From Hyde Park:

I hope the movie doesn't scare me so badly that I'm afraid to drive home!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm
Webhamster Henry:

@Ken From Hyde Park We should get it to play at the Hyde Park Drive in! Rt 9 needs it!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm
Michael 98145:

mylar tape was the best
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 7:01pm
Ken From Hyde Park:

@WH - Agreed!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:02pm
Michael 98145:

( that cow gif is disturbing :)
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