You Are the Product
What this means is that even more than it is in the advertising business, Facebook is in the surveillance business. Facebook, in fact, is the biggest surveillance-based enterprise in the history of mankind. It knows far, far more about you than the most intrusive government has ever known about its citizens. It’s amazing that people haven’t really understood this about the company. I’ve spent time thinking about Facebook, and the thing I keep coming back to is that its users don’t realise what it is the company does. What Facebook does is watch you, and then use what it knows about you and your behaviour to sell ads. I’m not sure there has ever been a more complete disconnect between what a company says it does – ‘connect’, ‘build communities’ – and the commercial reality. Note that the company’s knowledge about its users isn’t used merely to target ads but to shape the flow of news to them. Since there is so much content posted on the site, the algorithms used to filter and direct that content are the thing that determines what you see: people think their news feed is largely to do with their friends and interests, and it sort of is, with the crucial proviso that it is their friends and interests as mediated by the commercial interests of Facebook. Your eyes are directed towards the place where they are most valuable for Facebook.
Markets may be human facsimiles of natural systems, and like the universe itself, they may be authorless and valueless. But the application of Hayek’s Big Idea to every aspect of our lives negates what is most distinctive about us. That is, it assigns what is most human about human beings – our minds and our volition – to algorithms and markets, leaving us to mimic, zombie-like, the shrunken idealisations of economic models. Supersizing Hayek’s idea and radically upgrading the price system into a kind of social omniscience means radically downgrading the importance of our individual capacity to reason – our ability to provide and evaluate justifications for our actions and beliefs.
Pressupor que todos os que acreditam em ideias escrotas são intratáveis e irracionais, e que a única forma de lidar com eles é a repressão, é simplesmente jogá-los no colo da minoria realmente intratável e irracional. HG Wells escreveu que a civilização é uma "corrida entre a educação e a catástrofe (...) porque a verdade é a maior arma de que dispomos". Se os progressistas perderam a paciência e a vontade de educar, por achar que suas verdades são óbvias e de aceitação obrigatória, o outro lado pode acabar parecendo bem mais acolhedor. E aí, ganha a catástrofe.
I was far away, standing in the rain before the sleeping lion of Lucerne, a colossal, noble, stoic lion carved from the rock of a low cliff. The rain fell, obscuring tears. I knew that I would see Sam again somewhere in the landscape of dream, but at that moment I imagined I was back in Kentucky, with the rolling fields and the creek that widens into a small river. I pictured Sam’s books lining the shelves, his boots lined against the wall, beneath the window where he would watch the horses grazing by the wooden fence. I pictured myself sitting at the kitchen table, reaching for that tattooed hand.
When my husband, Fred, died, my father told me that time does not heal all wounds but gives us the tools to endure them. I have found this to be true in the greatest and smallest of matters. Looking to the future, I am certain that the hard rain will not cease falling, and that we will all need to be vigilant. The year is coming to an end; on December 30th, I will perform “Horses” with my band, and my son and daughter, in the city where I was born. And all the things I have seen and experienced and remember will be within me, and the remorse I had felt so heavily will joyfully meld with all other moments. Seventy years of moments, seventy years of being human.
When I think of the music that I love the most — to make a quick and off-the-cuff list, Bach's Mass in B Minor, Schubert's String Quintet, Brahms's Intermezzos Opus 117, Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, Bob Dylan's "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands," Nina Simone singing "Strange Fruit," Radiohead's Kid A, Bjork's Vespertine, John Adams's Nixon in China — I don't have the slightest idea what they may have in common. Some mixture of earthy impulses and intellectual complexity seems important, but I can't quantify it. My definition of great music is music that makes me stop thinking about any other kind.
What he was really leading us to was the one true church of intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness. There was subtlety and elegance in his reasoning, generosity, and the best kind of skepticism: the skepticism that turns back on the author himself.
Não é raro uma lágrima fugaz escorrer pelo rosto quando se a lê, nem deitar o livro no colo e ficar olhando o tempo com um maravilhamento novo. Ler Wislawa é rejuvenescer.
I listened to it religiously when I moved to Los Angeles from New York; the front cover was misleading – it looked like a classic New Age record, and being a later Coltrane release I thought it might be languid and minimal. Nope! Brutal as f. It reaches heights that no other record is capable of; Coltrane's playing is desperate, like he's screaming at the sky.
With much of Riley's more recent music and performances, you need to be ready to be taken into a different way of being when you listen to them, to accept the combination of gentleness, naivety and sense of wonder that radiates through his work.
Borges é generoso aqui quanto a frases antológicas, como a que me marcou em definitivo que diz ser a leitura de Dostoiévski tão memorável como a descoberta do amor e a descoberta do mar (no prólogo a Os Demônios), entre tantas e tantas outras.
Vou lhe dizer uma coisa: Shakespeare teria adorado a televisão. Ele escreveria para a televisão. E não, eu não faço esse tipo de distinção. O que realmente me entristece é que as pequenas livrarias, os teatros de bairro e as lojas de discos estejam fechando. Por outro lado, os museus estão cada vez mais cheios, as multidões lotam as grandes exposições, as salas de concerto estão cheias… Portanto, cuidado, porque esses processos são muito complexos e diversificados para se querer fazer julgamentos generalizantes. O senhor Muhammed Ali era também um fenômeno estético. Como um deus grego. Homero teria entendido perfeitamente Muhammed Ali.
Um arrebatamento cárneo, para Eles nada importa as almas. As almas ficam ali nos escombros, na sujidade secular das paredes, no criptograma pessoal que a atenção em surdina desenhou na poeira do ar e na tecelagem das aranhas.
“Quem é aquele rapaz magro com a voz rouca?” Respondeu: “É de Praga. Publicou uns contos que ninguém entende. Não tem importância”.
It was one of those points in my opinion that was important in our music. A point where we were playing, where we could listen, where we could lose ourselves, to be immersed in sound. A point where the listener could reach meditation, or trance or wherever; it depends on the actual person as they have their own vocabulary for it