Interesting stuff

  1. Are you listening to understand or listening to reply? Listen to this podcast episode.
  2. In 2019, I wrote a post (“Sleepwalking into the Matrix“) about the rise in demand for escape from the crashing climate (and economic decline) meeting a rise in supply from firms offering escape into a matrix-like environment (now known as the “metaverse”). This recent newsletter gives an interesting (scary) update on the firms pushing on the supply side (as well as the emptiness of all the tech promises).
  3. Read: China’s surveillance state is going all out to control its citizens
  4. Listen: This podcast on little Japanese kids running errands gives a lot of insight into the role of urban design and how design for kids is entirely different from design for cars.
  5. Listen: The Booming, Unregulated Marketplace for Abortion Pills [in the US]… should surprise nobody in its existence and everyone in its avoidable dangers. Legalize it!
  6. Listen: Roland Fryer Refuses to Lie to Black America
  7. Watch: I want to grow old in a dementia village like this.
  8. Read: The most damaging farm products? Organic, pasture-fed beef and lamb
  9. Read: How the EU “conjures” emergency money from elsewhere (old wine in new bottles)
  10. Read: A data-journalist reflects on his firing from Faux News (after calling AZ for Biden). One observation: Unable to sell large, diverse audiences to advertisers, news outlets increasingly focus on developing highly habituated users. To cultivate the kind of intense readers, viewers or listeners necessary to make the addiction model profitable, media companies need consumers to have strong feelings. Fear, resentment and anger work wonders. It helps news outlets create deep emotional connections to users not just as users of a product, but as members of the same tribe…. news that is bad for your audience’s ideological in-groups is clickbait kryptonite. In such a competitive marketplace, riling people up against the other side isn’t enough. You’ve also got to create a safe space for consumers to plop down and contentedly contemplate ads for beet-based nutrient powders, reverse mortgages and copper underpants. If you challenge their assumptions or suggest that their avatars in the culture war are wrong or losing, they may leave for competitors who offer more complete protection from harsh realities.

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Author: David Zetland

I'm a political-economist from California who now lives in Amsterdam.

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