This Is An Intervention
When We Have to Disconnect to Connect We Might Want to Switch On Airplane Mode.
Another Monday, Another Naive Weekly - Curated stories on Technology and Internet Culture.
Today marks one year where I have sent this newsletter every single week. It blows my mind. Next to sleeping, showering and eating there are very few activities I do every single week of the year. Therefore, I am extremely proud to be including writing to my list of exclusive weekly activities.
Back when the days were getting longer I was reading about permaculture. It was part fascination, part searching for answers to living in a less extractive, more holistic way that got me started reading about the interwoven systems of nature. As with any good search, it was not the treasure at the end of the rainbow that I took with me, rather a new language to observe myself.
Observation is key in permaculture. In one book about transforming your garden into a permaculture garden, the author emphasized the importance of closely observing the garden for a whole year before making any permanent interventions. Only when you have seen the life of the garden evolve through all of the four seasons you could claim to have reached the minimum bar of knowledge to start interfering with the natural system. Any interventions made before going through the full cycle is seen as premature, ignorant and dangerous, as you are likely to harm the complex balance of nature unfolded throughout the entire year.
Looking through my past year of writing this newsletter it is hard for me to ignore my growing skepsis of technology. Today I am constantly connected to the Internet and answering emails is one of those very few activities I do weekly. Wherever I go, people can reach me. Whatever the watch says, people can reach me.
It is convenient to scan my boarding pas, coordinate arrival time with my host and reply to the email I didn’t get to, but it has never in my life been more difficult to take an evening off, enjoy the weekend or leave work behind while being on holiday.
I’m slowly starting to interfere with this status quo. Technology promised us liberation from bureaucracies and outdated norms, but today I need to switch on the airplane mode to take control of my thoughts. I’m not sure if the answer is as simple as reversing the airplane mode, but the goal seems simple: to realign my mind and body with the time and space where I find myself in.
Thank you for reading. I’ll aim for another year!
The Internet Black Hole
How Silicon Valley Broke the Economy
Usually I’d never share a book review, but Adrian Chen’s review of Margaret O'Mara's "The Code” is more than a review: it manages to tell the strength of Mara’s historical description of how Silicon Valley rose to power and doesn’t shy away from highlighting what is missing. Impressive.
Reasons Not To Use Facebook
Rather impressive list of reasons not to use Facebook, or as Richard Stallman would say: reasons not to be used by Facebook.
What to Do With a Day Off
Thanks to Sarper who shared this article with me I got to learn that people only send 40% emails on holiday Mondays compared with regular Mondays. The article also offers a few tips on to fight this trend.
Four Eras of Digital Media
This week Instagram hosted an event in New York City about what’s next on the platform. Kerry Flynn did a pretty good thread with the main insights. The observation by an old, white, male media scholar on the phases of digital media caught my eyes. From browsing we went to search, social and now entering the age of direct.
Taylor Lorenz just switched employee from The Atlantic to the New York Times. Still covering Internet culture she didn’t need much more than one week at NYT before one of her stories made it to the front page. Read it to learn about how high-school students and teachers are welcoming TikTok in the midst of a general tech backlash.
What Does PewDiePie Believe?
I appreciate the effort by Kevin Roose in this long feature article about PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg), his world view and the surrounding controversies. Read it to understand the meaning of bro-fists and oopsies, and then tell me what you think about Felix.
While Felix is stuff for the New York Times, Ryan is an 8-year old kid with an YouTube channel where he reviews toys. This week Ryan announced to his 22M subscribers that he is changing the name from Ryan ToysReview to Ryan’s World. This is our world…
Emily made my day when she wrote a reply to last week’s introduction. I can’t agree more with her conclusion, here’s to more nature trips!
I had this conversation with R last year when we were talking on Templehofer Feld. The reason I love it there so much is because I can see for a really long way, and that's why I am so mesmerised by the ocean. I could sit for hours gazing out at the horizon watching the waves rise and fall. I try to force myself to take screen breaks to stare at the sky or trees, but in the city it's not always "worth" doing (ie, your view is very uninspired). Here's to more nature trips!
Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly - Curated stories on Technology and Internet Culture.
Am I the only one feeling mercury retrograde approaching?
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!