Every single mainstream tech site (Engadget, Ars Technica, TechCrunch etc) is more about consumerism than helping to improve the lot of humanity through technology. No wonder our relationship with tech is very disposable, things need to change.

@LibertyPaulM it’s been a long time since the “Tech industry” has been about technology.

@jjg @LibertyPaulM I find New Scientist is good for reading about general scientific/technological things without such a consumerist spin. Probably just as big a problem is the generalised lack of progress in technologies not related to consumerism, surveillance, militarism, etc.

@jjg @LibertyPaulM I mean, has it ever really? I wrote this recent post about planned obsolescence:

..and I claim that tech people from the 90s wouldn't accept $300 stuff that lasted two years. But then I watch 8-bit guy videos and realize even back then, manufactures were pushing new units every two years. I mean the C64 was still built to last longer than modern stuff, but there was a C128 around the corner to sink more money into. 💶 💵 ⌨️

@djsumdog @LibertyPaulM I think you have to go further back.

Silicon Valley was named after transistors, not chips :)

@LibertyPaulM It was different in the early days of The Verge under Joshua Topolsky’s leadership. Love this guy, his new publication The Outline is even more culture-focused.

technology, consumerism Show more

technology, consumerism Show more

@LibertyPaulM is that why they're overflowing with ads and trackers?

@LibertyPaulM @Digitalcourage True. Unfortunately, improving the lot of humanity through technology also strictly requires making technology accessible and easily available to a wide range of humanity. That's what made platforms such as Google or Facebook popular in the first place, and we still don't have a better (easier, more sustainbly operated) answer to that. 😕

Accessibility for all kinds of people is really important. I've often thought that I wouldn't really recommend the tools I use to many others (Emacs, pandoc) because they'd probably end up frustrated. But what do we recommend then?

@mmin I'm honestly not sure. I see a load of people these days, specialists even in technical fields (such as data science, analytics, artificial intelligence, ...) and even some FLOSS projects increasingly relying upon tools such as Slack, Google Docs, ... because they spend their time on things that seem more "forward" rather than bothering about trying to re-build services that are available in a quality they will never be able to reach by themselves anyway. 😐

@mmin Actually, vaguely related yet not completely "off", this is something that just floated into my mailbox and seems to me to nail it in some ways:

A load of certain aspects of #FLOSS is by and for developers. Not users or "domain experts" in any other domain. 😮


Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Most people want to get stuff done with minimum fiddling around with tools. In the FLOSS world, in contrast, many people like to fiddle around with tools to keep learning more. I'm somewhere in the middle, I'm not a programmer but I like to often test new tools.

Things like Zotero and Mastodon are nice examples that free software can be usable, and I would actually recommend them to colleagues.

@LibertyPaulM I've been trying to find an alternative news site that hits on that and I can't really find it. Occasionally Motherboard has good articles about the social impact of technology.

@LibertyPaulM I do follow one socio-technological academic named Zeynep Tufekci on birdsite who is brilliant. On The Media focuses on media and social impact, and often "media" ends up including communications technologies.

@LibertyPaulM I used to read MacUser in the mid/late '80s; they were actually pretty good back then, until the early '90s when they suddenly ballooned to the size of a small phone book, and at least half ot it was ads.

That's why I don't consume this kind of Websites because they offer no beneficial information for me anymore. 🙄


This is so true! These editorials should help us use our technology better. Not just tell us how to spend our money!

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