This week’s Recommended Reading starts with a nice homely about social media addiction; sees the Internet consuming a developing nation and a government fighting back; urges us to negotiate peace with the Internet; laments the Internet’s co-conspiring to commoditize community; and ends with gut-wrenching intimacy from a time without wifi.
You Really Need To Quit Twitter – Funny – and sad – piece by Caitlin Flanegan about what her addiction has stolen from her.
Let The Bullets Fly For A While – Lilian Li writes a fantastic Substack newsletter about tech in China, which is not the same tech that the West has. ‘A key theme that runs through Chinese tech is that as a developing country with under-developed institutions, technology isn’t augmenting existing institutions, but creating them. (…) Didi cleaned up the grey market for black cabs, Meituan and Ele.ma act as de facto restaurant inspectors.’
Eternal October: Bringing Back Tech Optimism, Without The Naivety – The Internet isn’t young anymore, and it’s easy to only see the threats. The pervasive surveillance, the child pornography, the ads, the short-form content, crypto’s energy consumption, the trampled workers’ rights and alienation in a marxist sense. The general godawfulness. But it can still be a beautiful thing, if we’re realistic and mindful about all the ways in which it tends to exacerbate our worst tendencies. I know that sounds cynical. Just read it, you owe it to yourself.
I Miss It All – Teacher and runner Andy Stagg got into an accident. He can’t run while recovering, so instead he starts riding a home trainer. He tries out Peloton, but the service just reminds him of everything he’s lost, maybe forever.
A Woman’s Intimate Record of Wyoming in the Early Twentieth Century – Lora Nichols got a camera in 1899. What she captures on film might surprise you!