The Internet is Just a Prototype More marvellous links

A reading list to stimulate thoughts about the (digitised) world you might want to live in.

Having launched my email discussion group The Internet is Just a Prototype, I have begun collating my ‘interesting links’ each week. Here’s another collection for you to enjoy.

If you would like to participate and get future updates, you can pay to get in as a patron of my work. It’s not cheap because you’re not cheap, I hope! I am only offering a limited number of paying places; everyone else is invite only.



Google wants to monitor your mental health. You should welcome it into your mind — The Telegraph

“Yes, we now live in a world where your phone might observe you to help assess your mental health. If you don’t find that prospect disturbing, you’re either fantastically trusting of companies and governments or you haven’t thought about it enough.”

It’s Grindr’s Turn In The Barrel As America Finally Decides To Care About Consumer Privacy — Techdirt

“It’s understandable that Grindr doesn’t want to be lumped in with Cambridge Analytica, and it’s obvious that there’s a vast chasm between sharing some data with ad optimization partners and using unauthorized data to disrupt elections. Still, companies like Grindr are lucky that this come to Jesus moment in consumer privacy didn’t arrive years ago.”

Human First Tech

“Our vision is catalyze building a human web with emerging identity technologies. To do so successfully it is critical we move beyond one of the mottos of Silicon Valley, “Move Fast Break Things” (they broke democracy and bulldozed key aspects of social systems that are good for human communities).”

Of note… “We need to design with awareness of threat models that take into account known bad actor behavior that inevitably emerges rather then be “surprised” when it surfaces.” – focus on making bad experiences rare, and catastrophic ones go away!

Liminal Leadership — Kosmos Journal

“I am interested in a kind of mutually alert care and attention to the wellbeing of all people and ecological systems. This kind of leadership cannot be found in individuals; rather, it is found between them. It cannot be found in organizations, nations, religions, or institutions; rather, it is found between them. I have called it Liminal Leadership to highlight these relational characteristics.”

Humanity vs. Technology – The Race Between Intelligence and Consciousness — Wake Up World

“Living in an organic body means that you are part of creation and spiritual evolution; an ancient spiritual tradition called this Purusha and Prakriti, Sanskrit words meaning spirit in matter, where the spark of divine spirit moves into dense physical matter and enlivens it. The spark of the infinite creation is in all organic life where it can evolve throughout many life-forms and incarnations back to its source.” — Seems like we’re still figuring out the relationship between consciousness and the physical world…

Mark Passio – De-Mystifying The Occult – Part 1 of 3 — YouTube

Learn how power differentials are sustained by hidden (esoteric) scientific knowledge, and how traditional shamanic cultures saw education of the young as primarily an ethical endeavour (and would enforce this rather brutally). A lecture about history, not mystical woo.

Truth-Tellers’ Dilemma, Part 1 — News With Views

“Visceral threats to job, income, career, are how de facto coercion is exercised in present-day digital capitalism — a brand of dictatorship without a visible dictator because the coercion is systemic, a manifestation of what the late political philosopher Sheldon Wolin (1922 – 2015) called inverted totalitarianism in which economics trumps politics, everything and everyone is commodified, our lives are encircled by consumerism and theater, and elections become farces because so-called liberal democracy has become a façade.”

The Decenternet

“The Decenternet (a.k.a. d-net) is an alternative P2P permanent hyperspeed neutral decentralized internet infrastructure platform solution unbound by politics and oppression. Once d-net is out, it can’t be stopped from spreading. It is cheaper, much faster, proliferates net neutrality, protects your privacy and removes the influence of corrupt intermediaries without having to ask for permission from any central organization.”

Regenerative (R)evolution: reclaiming humanity’s oneness with nature — Insurge Intelligence

“Many of the pioneers of the regenerative design (r)evolution are permaculture designers. Applying permaculture principles, ethics and attitudes to the redesign of the human presence on Earth offers effective strategies for the transition towards diverse regenerative cultures every-where.”

Don’t Fix Facebook. Replace It. — New York Times

“If we have learned anything over the last decade, it is that advertising and data-collection models are incompatible with a trustworthy social media network. The conflicts are too formidable, the pressure to amass data and promise everything to advertisers is too strong for even the well-intentioned to resist.”

The Moral Decoding of 9-11: Beyond the U.S. Criminal State [PDF] — Journal of 9/11 Studies

This section, tangential to the title, caught my eye as it introduced the handy term “life-blind”… “This first principle itself is, in fact, built into formal economics, decision and game theory, and strategic science, as I explain step by step in “Behind Global System Collapse: The Life-Blind Structure of Economic Rationality.” It is axiomatic but unexamined, life-blindly absolutist but not recognised as morally problematic. To make a long story short, competitive self-maximization in the market is assumed to produce “the best of possible worlds” by mathematical proof. “Pareto efficiency” is believed to demonstrate this by private money exchanges between self-maximizing atoms a priori stripped of all life properties, relations, society, conditions of choice, and all natural and civil life support systems. Pareto himself recognised outside this formula what has since been covered up. Not only is the formula consistent with most having remaining impoverished by the “optimum” of “no-one worse off”, what none who cite “Pareto efficiency” as a standard academic mantra ever acknowledge or even recognise. Pareto himself is in no doubt of the implication.”

Mongoose: to Replace Twitter? — Public Intelligence Blog

“The world is rising up against #GoogleGestapo. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the early targets for replacement but Amazon, Google, MeetUp, and Wikipedia are all on the priority target list.”

Marxist perspectives of crime — SlideShare

The old question: what of (poor or unethical) choices can be attributed to the individual vs context? So what might this mean for “ethical” AI etc?

AI Is Giving Brands Eerily Human Voices — Fast Co.Design

“The technology, as it stands right now, is remarkable. On Voicery’s website, you can take a quiz that asks you determine which voices are human and which are machine. There are very slight giveaways; my results showed that I couldn’t tell the difference between Voicery’s AI and a human speaking a third of the time.” — I scored 67%.

Introducing Pet Insight Project

“You’ll get the new Whistle FIT, a state-of-the-art device that captures your dog’s activity, calorie burn, mileage and more. Monitor your dog’s behavior through Whistle’s mobile app, building healthier habits as you contribute research data.”

Animals don’t raise the same consent and privacy issues as humans, so are the frontier for “hyperwellbeing” (as well as hypowellbeing…).

Gnostic Politics – Part III — Rogue Money

“In conclusion, what we have drawn together in this series of three blogs is the probability that the visionary seeds of mankind’s human hybrid future have been planted by powerful secret societies who may front as “Christian” but are really evangelizing ideas that reach back to Plato’s Greece and beyond.” — Well, it’s a perspective… who knows! (The gnostics, I suppose…)


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