Land Without Winter
And Hands Without Gloves.
Another Monday, Another Naive Weekly - Curated stories on Technology and Internet Culture.
Today it is winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. During the past months the daylight has steadily decreased, reaching the lowest point of 7hrs 1min in Copenhagen. That is one hour shorter than the average workday.
For weeks I have been jealous of the animals clever enough to hibernate. It seems unnatural that society runs identically as in the summer. For the bare minimum the work-week could follow the rhythm of the sun, increasing and decreasing as the Earth’s poles tilt away from the sun.
In my heart we didn’t really experience fall in Denmark this year. The weather seemingly went from summer to winter with only short glimpses of lukewarm, windy days where leaves in many colours would take over the paths, making walking slippery and creating work for the maintenance workers.
Fortunately I experienced the flavours of fall in Japan. On Teshima we were handpicking figs, khaki and mandarins from sidewalk trees, and in Kyoto we went to the outskirts of the city following a path along a twisting river in a forest all green, yellow, red and brown. Our minds blown.
It is romantic to see a forest decay, but it hurts to have our house plants die. This winter we have already said goodbye to four plants who struggled with the lack of sun and the dry radiator air. Leaving behind nothing but warm memories and empty pots.
Birth and death is the inevitably rule of the year and life itself. Plants die, becomes soil and turn into birth place for new offsprings. The year end so a new can begin. Everything ends, so everything can begin.
In the world of technology it sometimes feel like it is perpetual spring. With no economic model for anything but sales and growth, companies release new phones, earbuds and scooters to the cycle of the year. But unlike organic materials, lithium batteries have no natural decay.
I remain sceptical if anyone but a selected few gets to enjoy technology’s promised fruits of exponential growth. But I do know that a world where we bury our video games in the desert, stack our scooters in landfills and let our phones burn in West Africa is nothing but absurd.
Technology is the land without winter. It is compost without decomposting. It is growth without decay. It is memory without forgetfulness.
The Internet Black Hole
Dangerous Kids Products Sold on Amazon
… and surprise, surprise, one of the world’s richest companies fail to take responsibility. The problem uncovered in this CNN piece is that it is easy for third parties to sell fake products on Amazon with little, to no consequences. It reminded me of Josh Pieters who sold microwaved food on Deliveroo.
Facebook Refuses To Share With Governments
Governments are trying to get Facebook to create a backdoor into its encryption services (like WhatsApp). Since Facebook is busy rebranding itself as privacy focused, Facebook is refusing to let governments have a peek. It is not that governments should be trusted by default, but it is worth an extra thought to consider the power of Facebook in going against the will of the world’s largest political powers.
Decade of Adtech
The chart above is an overview of marketing technology companies. Click on it to see how the same landscape looked like at the beginning of this century. It is mindblowing — and sad. Our every move is being surveilled in order to earn money.
Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy
This is the single most shared link ever on the Twitter list I use to gather stories for this newsletter. In beautiful animations you see the movements of everything from Secret Service agents to the advisor of a US senator. The animations is made trough a large location dataset obtained by two journalists. Read their story and protect yourself.
Happy Holidays everyone. Please enjoy the time with your family. Take photos of those that make your eyes teary and heart beat. I’ll take (at least) one of Ana who shared this link with me and whom I forgot to thank for lending the main photo last week (and this week).
Haruki Murakami - South of the Border, West of the Sun
I’m still playing catch-up with Haruki’s authorship. This week I got to enjoy one of his earliest novels. The story follows the romantic life of a guy from his teens to his late thirties. He is no saint, yet ordinary.
Emily is back this week with reflections on last week’s introduction about our rating culture :
“I feel the same (surprise surprise!). I hate it when I am away and the person I'm with checks the Google ratings of the surrounding restaurants to see where we should go. My preferred method is to follow my instincts: to walk and look through windows until I find something I like the look of - that would be the decor, the atmosphere, the people, the location... because this is what stays in your memory, and it is what turns the function of sustaining your body with food and liquid into an experience.”
Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly - Curated stories on Technology and Internet Culture.
This newsletter has 277 subscribers, among whom 11 are kind enough to chip in every month or year to support me making time to write this newsletter: Nikolaj, Antal, Søren, Dries, Mikkel, Tina, Aydo, Lukas, Hans, Ida Marie & Angela!