The price of convenience is higher than we think

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If you haven’t seen The Social Dilemma, you should. It shows how technology companies have gone from making products and services to selling our data to advertisers, predicting our behavior, encouraging rage, and monopolizing our attention.

The guy behind it, Tristan Harris, has started a nonprofit called the Center for Humane Technology to advocate for fairer media and encourage companies to be less evil:

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They are doing important work, but there is much more to do. My goal is to create a new digital ecosystem for consumers that puts them at the center.

From this:

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To this:

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The Personal Data Locker

I have been writing about this for 20 years. In 2017, I raised $21 million to build it as a blockchain project, but that wave of innovation was hurt badly by regulators. The personal data locker gives you control over all your data. It puts things in the right…

Here are the contrails of my web wanderings. If it’s here, it’s a “must read” or “must watch” …

Surprise! Swordfish are doing rather well.

Stop using Google to search for health advice! Use these evidence-based databases instead.

The amazing START terrorist database — free data to help us cross the river of myths about terrorism.

Hire me to speak at your next event:

A quick math quiz — try it!

More evidence against obstetricians in normal childbirth — study.

How to safely defuse someone who is wrong — article.

The full Debunking Handbook — PDF.

The AirBar turns your laptop screen into a tablet:

Just in case you still haven’t heard: drinking cow’s milk does you no good — NY Times…

Each month I publish the contrails of my Internet research journey. Here is another installment. Read, view, and learn …

Why you should hire people who have rebounded from failure, rather than been continuously successful — excellent piece by @idonethis

Ingredients in food, like sugar, found not addictive — study

Tim Minchin’s wonderful graduation speech hits many agility points on the mark.

How Northeastern University gamed the rankings machine and profited handsomely. Always remember that rankings are made up and as legitimate as palmistry.

Lego bricks, which originally copied another company’s product, took many years to eventually find their current form, and included several chance occurences. They were not the result of a single bright idea, but rather years of evolution and accidents.


David Siegel

Provocateur, professional heretic, slayer of myths, speaker of truthiness to powerfulness, and defender of the Oxford comma.

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