Who’s using whom

The problem is that our New Tools are winning the battle of attention. We’ve gotten to the point where the tools use us as much as we use them. This new reality means we need to re-examine our relationship with our New Tools.

~ Shane Parrish from, https://fs.blog/2016/08/dont-let-technology-tools-use-you/

Also see, Jaron Lanier‘s comments about the Internet in general and social networks in particular. I consider myself fully innoculated against information overload and against my tools using me.

And yet, my mind wanders. I sit down to try to write out a blog post or three, and I find myself doing other things. The majority of my disruptions these days are simply ducking into my various projects and messaging platforms. The problem is that when I do, there’s always something to do. It’s not some inifite scroll that catches my eye, but rather a new message—from one of dozens of ongoing conversations—or something I spot which can be improved.

It’s not enough to simply do only productive things. No rather, I actually do far too many different productive things. A minute here replying to this person, two minutes there improving this little feature, 5 minutes writing a bug report, 10 minutes responding to a product vendor, … where was I? Right, trying to write this blog post.


Desperate to sign anything

They just assumed I must be just like all the other people they represent- hungry and desperate and willing to sign anything.

~ Jason Korman from, https://www.gapingvoid.com/content/uploads/assets/Moveable_Type/archives/000896.html

People sometimes ask, when the Movers Mindset podcast isn’t available in their favorite podcast-player app, why not?

tl;dr: odious clauses in click-wrap contracts.

You should see some of the things! Obviously, there are “hold harmless” clauses obsolving them of any possible responsibility—sure, ok, that’s fine, I am deriving benefit from having our podcast distrbuted through your thing. But some of them want the right to insert ads—not just run ads before or after. Sure, ok, again, you need to pay for your thing; I get that. But insert ads in the middle? Or how about clauses that bind me to defend them in any lawsuit. Not even just related to the content we created—but any lawsuit. Or how about my not being allowed to mention in our advertising that we’re being carried by their thing . . .

i digress

These odious cases have arisen because it’s a lovers’ triangle: The thing/app convinces the users that everything is rosy. The users lean on me because they can’t hear the podcast, and then the thing/app extorts me. Which is all very closely related to Jaron Lanier’s comment about “our society cannot survive, if…” (And that’s a link to the web site where you can always listen to the podcast, for free, because we control our web site.)

Please—you reading right now—please start paying for things. Choose a podcast player app which is not free. That makes you the customer, and enables them to build a great app. Then they don’t have to strong-arm me. Choose a messaging system, choose a source of information, choose everything(!) by being part of a fair trade with another party.

If you find yourself in a position, where you’re thinking, “this is great and free!” please look around and try to figure out who is actually being taken advantage of… it’s clearly not you, but I assure you, it’s someone else.


We need to remake the Internet

I don’t believe our species can survive unless we fix this. We cannot have a society, in which, if two people wish to communicate, the only way that can happen is if it’s financed by a third person who wishes to manipulate them.

~ Jaron Lanier from, https://www.ted.com/talks/jaron_lanier_how_we_need_to_remake_the_internet/up-next

Hear! Hear!

Take control of your use of the Internet — that is to say: Do not let it control you. Choose what apps, sites, etc you use. WHENEVER YOU CAN, PAY FOR SERVICES AND APPS. If something is free, then realize that YOU are product being sold to whomever is paying for the service.