Where have I been and what have I been doing? Working on a couple of longer pieces you will see shortly! Apologies for this publishing hiatus. In the meantime: all sorts of links for you.
I’m not just a user of your service, somebody who reads the things that you show to me: I’m one of the reasons you have anything that you can show to anyone at all.
…So this is the problem I see not just with Facebook and OKCupid’s experiments, but with most of the arguments about them. They’re all too quick to accept that users of these sites are readers who’ve agreed to let these sites show them things. They don’t recognize or respect that the users are also the ones who’ve made almost everything that those sites show.
Usually, we think of social media as a forum for exhibitionism. But, inevitably, the extroverted cataloguing of everyday minutiae — meals, workouts, thoughts about politics, books, and music — reaches its own limits; it ends up emphasizing what can’t be shared. Talking so freely about your life helps you to know the weight of those feelings which are too vague, or too spiritual, to express — left unspoken and unexplored, they throw your own private existence into relief. “Sharing” is, in fact, the opposite of what we do: like one of Woolf’s hostesses, we rehearse a limited openness so that we can feel the solidity of our own private selves.
…There is a missing piece in the online mix. And if it existed, and I’m not saying it will, or it can, lots of interesting new software would be possible.
I know people are always tempted to say that these things exist, but the ones that come close are all missing a vital piece or two, or more.
Think of it as a personal nest in the cloud.
It behaves like a disk attached to a desktop computer, but it is virtual, it lives in the cloud.
It’s private, except for a section clearly labeled as public. Much like the Dropbox public folder.
The public space has a name, one for each user. You can use the name assigned to you by the service, something like dave.theservice.com, or you can map a custom domain or sub-domain to it that you purchase or rent.
It’s yours. You pay for it…
Why? “Because,” he said, “at some level, there are only so many photos you’re going to want to share with all your friends.”
…From WhatsApp to Snapchat to bitcoin to Secret and Whisper, privacy is as hot today in the technology industry as “sharing” and “openness” were four years ago. And Facebook intends to capitalize on it — provided it’s not too late.
In the first decades of the 21st century, however, the corporate office has been quickly transformed from a predominantly functional space into a more ornate, individualistic environment, dedicated not so much to work as to promoting personality and social status. The tech industry has reimagined the office as a vehicle for conveying workers’ social and professional prestige. Indeed, the well-designed office has become as much an accessory to a high-end, high-tech lifestyle as a luxury car or a fashionable outfit.
In 2014, an invitation to a tech office is the industry’s version of an invitation to the home of a new friend or business partner. To be invited to the office symbolises trust and hospitality, a desire to share one’s culture and good fortune, so that when one enters the tech company as a visitor, one expects to be entertained, dined, and acculturated in the values and tastes of the company.
Edelstein: Jonathan, this is another example of what I said in a profile of you, that you were like the most brilliant publicist of talent in the world. Every time I see one of your movies, I feel like you’re saying, “Look at these amazing actors! Look at these great musicians!”
Demme: I know that if you remove my enthusiasm, I’m not sure I have a whole lot left to offer! But let me quickly try to sum up this. Part of what’s amazing about acting is that we’re taught as kids that it’s wrong to be dishonest. You must always tell the truth … So now, when you get to acting, the idea is to become an exquisite liar and to make us believe that you’re experiencing what you’re showing us! The people that I work with on our side of the camera, we’re all totally in awe of this amazing cosmic leap required to, in a way, break from the demands of honesty that you’ve been raised with in real life and somehow transfer that honesty to a make-believe situation and just thrill us with it. We’re there to create the safest possible atmosphere, the most nurturing possible atmosphere … You could have all the wonderful shots and cuts and music and what have you, but if it ain’t happening in the performance, it just ain’t happening.