Public safety protects the public—a collectivity worth shielding. It is a shared effort that begets a shared benefit. Some technological innovations, such as automobiles with lane-departure warnings or automatic emergency braking, help owners of the equipment along with those who surround them. But tech in the sense of Silicon Valley Big Tech has subtly rewritten our conception of the public. The industry has undoubtedly improved people’s individual, private lives—that’s the business model. But it has not necessarily benefited their communal ones. The vision of the future that firms such as Uber, Amazon, and Facebook have grown rich selling is a decidedly individualist one: Get a ride just for you, wherever you are, via Uber. Receive almost any product tomorrow, without leaving home, from Amazon. Hear from only the people and groups you choose on Facebook. Technology products can improve health and safety, but largely at the personal level: carrying a cellphone for emergencies, or wearing a fitness tracker to motivate regular exercise. Solving one’s own problems can de-escalate interest in solving communal ones. This libertarian individualism also grips the big-tech companies themselves, which pursue their private aspirations no matter the public cost.
Went to see Joker last night. It is a derivative, unpleasant movie that thinks it has a lot more to say than it actually does.
Woohoo! First time over five miles since early May.
How Technology Sabotaged Public Safety – The Atlantic:
Phineas remains fascinated by my typewriters.
For everyone following current events and asking “What happened to Rudy Giuliani?” I have news for you: He has always been like this.
PRO TIP: For enhanced productivity, have compressors and jackhammering right outside the office window.
While I am glad that people go to the effort of sharing requests for and donating to all the various ad hoc fundraisers for classroom supplies and whatnot, I wish that more of this energy were directed to the local school committees, school boards, and municipal governments whose funding decisions necessitate these fundraisers.
Vermont is nice.