Nothing surprising about attractive person + financial advice getting people interested, but I thought this was interesting from the ‘monetizing stupid’. Do you interact with the world as it is, or as you want it to be?
I focus pretty squarely on the latter, but there’s lots of money to be made from the former…
Everything in me wants to make fun of Altman here (and anyone who reads horoscopes for that matter). I want to say: “Hey, don’t you think it’s a little ridiculous to think that astrology (which is just another name for fake science) has any bearing whatsoever on imaginary digital tokens idolized by virgins!?”
But I won’t say that, because I think she might actually be some sort of accidental genius. Credit to me for showing self-control.
She’s taken 2 things that people go absolutely bat-shit crazy over (astrology & crypto) and smashed them together in bite-sized clips made so that even an ADHD-riddled-crypto-obsessed chimpanzee can digest them.
🍲 Introducing ‘Food Grammar,’ the Unspoken Rules of Every Cuisine — “Grammars can even impose what is considered a food and what isn’t: Horse and rabbit are food for the French but not for the English; insects are food in Mexico but not in Spain. Moreover, just as “Hey, man!” is a friendly greeting for a buddy but maybe not for your boss, foods may not be suitable in all grammatical contexts. “A Frenchman would think it odd to drink white coffee with dinner and an Italian probably would resent being served spaghetti for breakfast,” writes Claude Fischler in “Food, Self and Identity.” By the same token, rice is appropriate for breakfast in Korea but not in Ireland.”
The essence of this article is that food is a reflection of culture, and our views of other cultures can become ossified. A good read.
🌍 Scientists begin building highly accurate digital twin of our planet — “The digital twin of the Earth is intended to be an information system that develops and tests scenarios that show more sustainable development and thus better inform policies. “If you are planning a two-metre high dike in The Netherlands, for example, I can run through the data in my digital twin and check whether the dike will in all likelihood still protect against expected extreme events in 2050,” says Peter Bauer, deputy director for Research at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and co-initiator of Destination Earth. The digital twin will also be used for strategic planning of fresh water and food supplies or wind farms and solar plants.”
This is the kind of thing that simultaneously fills me with hope and fear. On the one hand, such a great idea; on the other, if we get the model wrong, it could make things worse…
🤑 Why an Animated Flying Cat With a Pop-Tart Body Sold for Almost $600,000 — “The sale was a new high point in a fast-growing market for ownership rights to digital art, ephemera and media called NFTs, or “nonfungible tokens.” The buyers are usually not acquiring copyrights, trademarks or even the sole ownership of whatever it is they purchase. They’re buying bragging rights and the knowledge that their copy is the “authentic” one.”
I’ve got a blog post percolating in my mind at the moment about digital reserve currencies, NFTs and deepfakes. There’s something here about an emerging hyper-capitalist dystopia, for sure.
🕸️ A plan to redesign the internet could make apps that no one controls — “Rewinding the internet is not about nostalgia. The dominance of a few companies, and the ad-tech industry that supports them, has distorted the way we communicate—pulling public discourse into a gravity well of hate speech and misinformation—and upended basic norms of privacy. There are few places online beyond the reach of these tech giants, and few apps or services that thrive outside of their ecosystems.”
It is, inevitably, focused on crypto tokens, which provide an economic incentive. If only there was a way to fix things that didn’t seem to be driven by making the inventors obscenely rich?
🤯 Can’t Get You Out of My Head review – Adam Curtis’s ’emotional history’ is dazzling — “Whether you are convinced or not by the working hypothesis, Can’t Get You Out of My Head is a rush. It is vanishingly rare to be confronted by work so dense, so widely searching and ambitious in scope, so intelligent and respectful of the audience’s intelligence, too. It is rare, also, to watch a project over which one person has evidently been given complete creative freedom and control without any sense of self-indulgence creeping in.”
Adam Curtis’ documentary ‘Hypernormalisation’ blew my mind, and I’m already enjoying the first of these six hour-long documentaries.
💸 Why Mastercard is bringing crypto onto its network — “We are preparing right now for the future of crypto and payments, announcing that this year Mastercard will start supporting select cryptocurrencies directly on our network. This is a big change that will require a lot of work. We will be very thoughtful about which assets we support based on our principles for digital currencies, which focus on consumer protections and compliance.”
Companies like Mastercard haven’t got much of a choice here: they have to either get with the program or risk being replaced. Hopefully it will help simplify what is a confusing picture at the moment. I’ve had problems recently withdrawing money from cryptocurrency exchanges to my bank accounts.
👉 Hovering over decline and clicking accept — “There’s so much written about self-care. And much of it starts from a good place but falls apart the moment things get hectic. But this idea of Past You working in service of Future You isn’t a one-off. It’s not a massage you sneak in one Friday morning. The secret hope that 60 minutes of hot rocks will counteract 12 hours a day hunched over a laptop.”
Some good advice in here from the Nightingales, whose book is also worth a read.
👨💻 Praxis and the Indieweb — “If a movement has at its core a significant barrier to entry, then it is always exclusionary. While we’ve already seen that the movement has barriers at ability and personality, it is also true that, as of 2021, there is a significant barrier in terms of monetary resources.”
As I said a year ago in this microcast, I have issues with the IndieWeb and why I’m more of a fan of decentralisation through federation.