Wait a Minute
Another Sunday, Another Naive Weekly - Observations From The Internet Wilderness.
There is no such thing as a perfect piece of writing. Yet, I have really enjoyed getting lost in Murakami’s universe over the past year. It is ten years ago I had my first Murakami wave. I remembered the cats, the parallel worlds and the adventures, but I didn’t remember the wait.
In music the role of the pause is significant. The breaks between the beats brings the tune alive. In Murakami’s novels, the pause is a wait. Whether in bars or apartments, the main characters are forced to wait for circumstances outside of their control to collide for their life to evolve.
To me the sound of the Internet is still that of my mom’s 56k modem. The initial call and the relief when the Internet returned the call, announcing that soon I would be online. All done in tunes I learned to decipher. A moment of stillness before I’d be connected.
Today there is no wait. Hitting airplane mode, I need to do an effort to not be connected. The internet is instant gratification. If anything takes me longer than a yawn, I’m probably already out. There is no stillness and silence. No patience for world’s to collide.
Internet Black Hole
Let’s All Read More Fiction
The Atlantic is continuously publishing some of the greatest reporting on the Internet. Now they have announced that they’ll start to publish more fiction, because they see contemplative reading as a minor act of rebellion in the age we live in. I applaud and encourage you to explore Birdie, the fiction short they published together with the announcement. It is about the deepest secrets we keep from each other.
Facial Recognition (Important!)
Last weekend The New York Times broke a story about Clearview, a startup that has illegally build a database of three billion photos of people, using it to assist law-enforcement to recognize suspects in a matter of seconds. The dubious mission is backed by Peter Thiel (I want to write about rich people being afraid of other people) and as Buzzfeed later uncovered, Clearview seems to be exaggerating their client list and product quality. It is scary to imagine a future where we are recognized real-time by anyone with only a photo of us. Therefore I was happy to read that EU considers a 5-year ban on facial recognition in public areas until we know how to regulate the technology. Meanwhile I became worried when I learned that London’s police are starting a three year experiment using facial recognition. Matt Burgees covers why it is bad.
What I Learned Trying To Copyright My Own Feet
I did not know about the Internet’s foot fetish until I read this story of Hussein Kesvani trying to copyright his own feet. Apparently people earn money from posting pictures of their (and others) feet on Reddit and Instagram. The story has everything, so go read it and order some deepfake feet on ThisFootDoesNotExit.com. (See latest edition of Garbage Day for foot-memes)
Google’s Ads Look Like Search Results
This week Google implemented a redesign to how the search results appear on the browser. The Internet quickly complained that it was almost impossible to distinguish organic results from ads in the new design. The backfire made Google announce that it is backtracking its design changes, but I doubt for how long we’ll be able to see the difference in our search results. In the end, money talks. So we better prepare ourselves for Teleshopping Searching.
Chris Helzer wrote a practical guide book to recognize roadside wildflowers from the comfort of your car. On the photo you see the Black-eyed Susan. I could not think of a better project to include in this section. You can download the book for free on his blog.
Offscreen - Issue 22
I’m breaking pattern by including a magazine this week, but I want to provide a shout-out to the latest edition of Offscreen. It is an independent magazine covering the human side of technology. I really enjoyed the interview with Superflux co-founder Anab Jain, and in case you haven’t heard of Superflux I recommend reading about their future homes project in Dezeen. Originally it was Søren who made me aware of the editor, Kai Brach, by pointing me to his must-read weekly newsletter.
Haruki Murakami - Pinball 1973
The second novel written by Murakami. No big drama in this novel, instead we follow the life of a pinball obsessed young man and the existential considerations of his friend, the Rat.
Callie has announced that she reads my newsletter with delay. I love that. I do feel that it is the minority of emails that are fortunate enough to have a second life. Last week she replied to my New Year’s resolution email with thoughts of her own. Without further delay, here is what she wrote:
“I have been going to the same grocery store every day / week for 2 years now and the people there know me so well that one time they took me to the store of stores (their supplier) to get pumpkins for my birthday party and often they let me leave with a small item or two, allowing me to pay next time. They give me advice on their favorite products and I get to celebrate in their marriages and birthdays.
Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly - Observations From The Internet Wilderness.
Last week this newsletter was sent to 280 subscribers, among whom 12 are kind enough to chip in every month/year to support me making time to write this newsletter: Nikolaj, Antal, Søren, Dries, Mikkel, Tina, Aydo, Lukas, Hans, Csongor, Ida Marie & Angela!
Photograph by Ana Santl.