Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from December 28, 2020 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.

Mondays 6 - 7pm (EDT) | On WFMU | 91.1, 90.1, 91.9 FM & wfmu.org
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Upcoming events:

Mon. Apr 19th, 6pm - 7pm: Bob Ostertag, musician and author, "Facebooking the Anthropocene in Raja Ampat" (More info...)

Options December 28, 2020: Best of 2020: tech books and video games

Listen to this show: MP3 - 128K |  Pop‑up player!

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Tonight: The best tech books and video games of 2020

See also:

The Video Games That Got Us Through 2020 (NYT, Dec 17, 2020)

Outtro tonight thanks to Duane and The Duane Train from December 16.

PAST EPISODES: techtonic.fm lists recent Techtonic interviews and Little Slice of Tech Pie segments.

PODCAST: Subscribe to the Techtonic podcast

Artist Track Album Comments Images Approx. start time
  Mark discusses the best tech books and video games of 2020.
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options Machinarium Soundtrack   
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  Mark's intro      
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  David Courtwright, "Age of Addiction" excerpt     Techtonic from Feb 3, 2020    0:10:43 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Rana Foroohar, "Don't Be Evil" excerpt     Techtonic from Feb 24, 2020    0:16:32 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Toby Ord, "The Precipice" excerpt     Techtonic from Apr 20, 2020    0:26:45 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Steven Levy, "Facebook: The Inside Story" excerpt     Techtonic from May 25, 2020    0:35:41 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Elaine Kasket, "All the Ghosts in the Machine" excerpt     Techtonic from Aug 17, 2020    0:38:17 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  William Deresiewicz, "The Death of the Artist" excerpt     Techtonic from Nov 2, 2020    0:41:21 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  2020's best video games with DJ Paradox      
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0:44:49 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
JARC  Move On Up   Options   Thanks to the Duane Train, Dec 16 episode 
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0:55:09 (MP3 | Pop‑up)


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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:00pm ultradamno:

Technumerators! Mark! Missed you so much during your break! So much so that I'm pretty sure next scheduled time you're out I expect I'll be taking a rest from the show for a week too!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm Webhamster Henry:

It's Mark's year end review!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm listener james from westwood:

Evening, Mark and all, and heave-ho to two-oh-two-oh!
Avatar 6:02pm northguineahills:

off for food in a bit, will be listening en mi coche!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm Carmichael:

Heya Mark and techs.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm melinda:

hi folks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm -Ken:

Hi everybody
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm Rand al'Thor:

Hello, all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm HyperDose:

I trust the party girls have been locked away for the evening? This is a PG show Ken...
Avatar 6:10pm northguineahills:

wfmu has always been a light R, hard R on the alternative streams ;p
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm -Ken:

Actually I am interviewing one of The Party Girls, right here on Techtonic, on Feb 8th
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Party girls, the hardest working people in show biz.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm HyperDose:

Ah so that's where the donations go, Ken's top secret WFMU artificial intelligence think tank!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Carmichael:

Shoshone Lonstein?
Avatar 6:14pm Bas NL:

Hi Mark! All!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Webhamster Henry:

Don't Miss ..... the Techtonic Girls.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm -Ken:

I dont think either term really nails it - both Limbic Capitalism and Surveillance Capitalism dont quite describe what's going on, imo
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm melinda:

Darn tootin', it's wrong
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm -Ken:

There is a great sendup of Silicon Valley Billionaire idiocy in the new Charlie Brooker 2020 Year end wrapup on Netflix.. called Death to 2020. It also has a hilarious takedown of "karens."
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm ultradamno:

I dare not disagree.
  6:17pm a polished polish lady:

Dance like only the government is watching
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm Mark Hurst:

Hi @Ken, hi everyone, thanks for joining!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm Mark Hurst:

@Ken agreed - we need multiple metaphors to begin to wrap our minds around what's happening. It's a multi-headed hydra... but Zuboff and Courtwright have done a great job in sketching out some of the contours..
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm Stillwell Coney Islander:

Hi Mark, Nancy and Sluggo was my favourite comic book when I was a kid. :-))
  6:19pm ed:

Mark should list the books here on the comments
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:20pm melinda:

I still like my term 'surveillance biscuits' as a replacement for 'cookies', even if it's not the most accurate.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:20pm HyperDose:

*nervously looks at wrist*
  6:20pm Chuck:

Thoroughly enjoying the show! Definitely gonna have to get into some of these books
  6:21pm ed:

Oh wait. I just updated the playlist. Ha!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm Rand al'Thor:

Hold on, I need to update the firmware on my sneakers.
Avatar 6:24pm Bas NL:

Smelly sneakers alert!
  6:24pm Chuck:

Don't bother- they'll still "run" on the older firmware ;)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm Webhamster Henry:

Apple had an iPod connected Nike sneaker in the primordial iPod/iPhone days: www.apple.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm watchpocket:

I like the term "stealth surveillance" - You can't see it, hear it or smell it. Try getting your friends to use Signal Private Messenger. You'll either get a blank stare or an "I've got nothing to hide" or, if your lucky, a "why?"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm Mark Hurst:

@Chuck thanks! These books are all well worth reading.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm Mark Hurst:

@watchpocket my guest next week will talk more about that very idea - the vague feeling that you're being watched, all the time.
  6:31pm ed:

Ferrets! Um...anyone a bit concerned that the little mutating buggers are sold nationwide at Petco and other big pet store chains? Eeek!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm HyperDose:

QR code viruses, that's a terrifying thought
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:35pm watchpocket:

@Mark That feeling is no loner an irrational one. And it just reminded me that my webcam (which I keep unplugged when I'm not using it) was plugged-in just now.
  6:35pm P-90:

That probably WAS the “scariest” six minutes, in a year with some scary stuff...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:35pm watchpocket:

Erratum: No *longer*
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm Webhamster Henry:

The COVID-19 genome is on the internet; I stuck it as musical material into my app Enumero.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm tw2sheds:

1984 would have been a different book entirely if Orwell had realized people would stand in line to PAY FOR the cameras and microphones!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm ultradamno:

It would be nice if printer technology improved even a little.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm Webhamster Henry:

It's be nice if the ink didn't cost more than the printer!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm Mark Hurst:

@tw2sheds Orwell tried to warn us. Now it's happening.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm ultradamno:

For sure.
  6:44pm ed:

I bought the Death of the artist after listening to the show. Got about 30 pages into the book and had to put it aside. As an artist I was about to throw myself off a bridge after reading that much of the book.
  6:44pm goes211:

@Webmaster Henry...I think Kodak actually gave away cameras at one point...the money was in the film and developing!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Webhamster Henry:

@goes211 ... also known as the give-away-the-razor-make-em-buy-the-blades strategy.
  6:46pm goes211:

YUP!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm -Ken:

Go DJ Paradox!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Webhamster Henry:

It's be nice if the actual printers also didn't break all the time. And crimp and crunch reams of paper.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm ultradamno:

Ha! I was just thinking of razors as analogous to printer cartridges as items with an inexplicable price markup
  6:48pm ?:

What was the name of the book you mentioned earlier about
limbic? Love your show
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Maybe a show in early 2021 can be about trends for the new year. I'm predicting AI-generated hot takes will become popular.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm Webhamster Henry:

"what the market will bear" -- Epson & HP (and probably others) won't allow you to use 3rd party inks.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm tw2sheds:

1984 was about savvy governments using tech and propaganda, but ours still seem to be clueless.....
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm Folsom:

I think rocket league is free on epic game store
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm -Ken:

That was David Courtwright talking about "Limbic Capitalism." He wrote "The Age of Addiction"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm tw2sheds:

Is there a streaming service set up for/by artists? Why not? I'm sure there's lots of discouraging answers to this....
  6:51pm ?:

Thanks Ken
Avatar 6:51pm Bas NL:

Bought a razor today.. quick calculation.. 30000 youtube streams?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm -Ken:

Bring back "Breakout" - designed by Steve Jobs for Atari, pre-Apple
  6:52pm northguineahills:

I know rocket league. Itt’s fun!
  6:52pm ignatatus666:

Does WFMU have to pay artists or no because they are a not for profit?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm Webhamster Henry:

I'm in RewardMusic, set up buy some artists including Dweezil Zappa. Their idea is to get as much money to the artists as possible. Still, Bandcamp is pretty good, and people know to look there.
  6:53pm Bea:

Among Us instead of recess!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm Webhamster Henry:

I'll just mention that my son has a visual novel game up on Steam that's a big hit in China.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm Luisa24:

Aren't video games highly addictive? Why are they okay in the Techtonic guide to technology but not social media, for instance? Curious.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm -Ken:

Yes WFMU pays artists via the PRO agencies. We spend over $20 grand a year on royalties. We pay ASCAP, BMI, Sesac and Soundexchange for rights and royalties. How much of our payments actually makes its way to artists is anybody's guess.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Rand al'Thor:

I played a bit of Hades. It was okay.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm listener james from westwood:

I played a few boards of the 1993 Doom a few weeks back via the Archive.org emulator. Felt good just to blast sprites for a spell.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm -Ken:

Excellent point Luisa24
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Ike:

@LJfW, sounds good -- got a link?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm listener james from westwood:

BIG MONEY! BIG PRIZES!
  6:55pm ignatatus666:

Thanks Ken
I always wondered about that. What about the independent artists?
Avatar 6:56pm Bas NL:

Games creators are well payed, aren't they? Something works there..
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Rand al'Thor:

Thanks for the show, Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm HyperDose:

Thanks Mark, Ken, and guests. Very informative show!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm listener 126464:

Thanks Mark & DJ Paradox.
  6:58pm P-90:

Better Victory Dance music this time
Avatar 6:59pm Bas NL:

Thanks Mark! I'll be hearing you again in the New Year!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm melinda:

I thought last week's music was fun
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm watchpocket:

Great show, Mark, pulling these strands together. Thanks for all your important work.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm melinda:

thanks Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Webhamster Henry:

See you next year, Mark & Friends!
  7:00pm P-90:

Thanks for another year of Techtonic, Mark.
Happy New Year...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Mark Hurst:

Thanks, everyone! Appreciate you sticking with me this year. Have a happy new year.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm Stillwell Coney Islander:

Thank you Mark!
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