Another Monday, Another Naive Weekly - Curated stories on Technology and Internet Culture.
Every week I enter your inbox. Adding a new unread email to your stream of incoming messages, each single email asking to be opened by you, each single one demanding your time. And while you control when - or if - you open this newsletter, I decide when it reaches your inbox.
Responding to last week’s newsletter, Alice wrote that she regrets she rarely reads my newsletter. It is bittersweet for me to read such a reply. Sweet because I am happy Alice values the newsletter, bitter because I’d prefer not to cultivate any guilt feeling by sharing my thoughts with you.
On average 40-50% of you open the newsletter. It used to bother me that this number was not higher, but now I’ve come to think that it is probably too high. What are the odds that every single week is a good week for you to read what I am writing? You shouldn’t read this newsletter when you are on holiday, too busy at work, hanging out with friends, sick or basically whenever you don’t feel like.
I’ve started to read good old physical books much more again. I truly enjoy being transferred into another world by a capable writer. I’ve also discovered that non-fiction books almost work like a real-world cheat-sheet. In The Sims you would enter your cheat code after pushing Shift+Ctrl+C, in the real world all you have to do is sit down with a cup of coffee and a book on whatever topic where you need more knowledge.
But starting to read frequently again has also been slightly stressing for me. Whenever I’d read one book, there are at least two other books I’d want to read. Like the expansion of the universe, it is a race I’d never be able to win: the list of books I want to read will always grow exponentially faster than the list of books that I can read.
The forest is abundant of trees. Humans are abundant of wisdom. Your inbox is abundant of emails. Please don’t ever feel that you have to read this newsletter. Just click delete or archive when the time doesn’t fit you. And make sure to unsubscribe when you want to. I’ll be writing this newsletter anyway. I’ll be writing because I write to myself, so please never feel any guilt for not reading what I am writing.
The Internet Black Hole
Delivery Trucks Are Slowing Traffic
One-click ordering is extremely convenient. We add to our basket, check-out and within a few days our package arrives to our doorstep. However, as this really good article in The New York Times shows, our cities are not made for the scale of online shopping we see today. And with consequences from prolonged commute times and increased pollution, it seems like a problem worth tackling.
Airbnb Is Ruining Edinburgh
It is not only our online shopping habits that are challenging the livelihood of cities. To the long list of cities having a problem with Airbnb we can now add Edinburgh. Regulation seems to be the only answer.
If we were to take cloud-computing too literally, it was a good reminder when O’Reilly went offline last week following a wildfire in California that caused their servers to break down. The Internet is physical. The Internet is influenced by our climate crisis. See also Kris De Decker’s solar-powered magazine.
Banning Political Ads
On the day when Facebook’s shareholders were gathered, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey decided to announce that Twitter is banning political ads. At first glance this is a welcomed action towards spreading misinformation, but it only took one tweet explaining what is defined as political ads to lose some of my excitement: apparently it is going to be illegal to run ads informing about climate crisis.
In the 30s people worked an average of 40-50 hours per week. To reach the same output as people back then we would need to work only 7-10 hours per week today. This article in aeon hits the spot when it comes to our current obsession with work. See also Existential Comics’ tweet on capitalism.
In Japan one hotel has fired half of its robots after complaints from guests and staff. The robots would wake up guest when they were snoring and similar mistakes. The actions of the robots caused the human staff to work over hours to repair the mistakes - and the broken robots. See also this Op-Ed From the Future on a fully automated Amazon warehouse.
If you ever came across “OK BOOMER”, this article by Taylor Lorenz explains what it means. And if you haven’t come across it yet, I am sure you will.
Gender Neutral Emoji
I’m happy that we now get gender neutral emoji with the release of iOS 13.2. It would’ve been natural to introduce these before the gendered emoji, but OK. I’m also happy with the accessibility focused emoji. The Internet is rather blind for blindness.
This week Aydo continues the conversation around horizons.
“fun fact re horizons. i have been told that part of the reason for an increasing number of people in need of glasses is the problem that we rarely focus on things at a distance anymore. our eyes are these super cool things but we only use them to look at stuff right infront of us, possibly some meters away or whatever. but when was the last time you were squeezing ur eyes to focus on something a couple of hundred of metres away? or more specifically, how regularly are u doing that? every chance i get, i try to focus in on stuff at the horizon. it’s practice for ze muscle.”
Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly - Curated stories on Technology and Internet Culture.
As always a big thanks to the ten Naive Friends who chip in every month or year to support me making time to write this newsletter: Nikolaj, Antal, Søren, Dries, Mikkel, Tina, Aydo, Lukas, Hans & Angela!