Artist and writer Jenny Odell (previously) is justifiably beloved for her pieces and installations that make us consider the economics and meanings of garbage, weird markets, and other 21st century plagues; in her first book, How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, Odell draws on art criticism, indigenous practices, "Deep Listening," anti-capitalist theory, and psychology to make the case that the internal chaos we feel is no accident: it's the result of someone's business-model, and until we reject "productivity" in favor of contemplation and deliberation, it will only get worse.
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In an inevitable development, Giphy, which created a very handy platform for creating GIFs from existing content, is now bringing influencers into their studios to deliberately create original GIFs in hopes of getting some of that seconds-long heat for brands. Read the rest
Facebook -- which accounts for as much as 75% of the traffic to popular websites -- tweaked its algorithm to downrank those same publishers, who had been engaged in an arms-race to dominate Facebook users' feeds through techniques intended to gain high rank in Facebook's secret scoring system. Read the rest
"Undercover Economist" Tim Harford (previously) has a new book out, Messy, which makes a fascinating and compelling case that we are in real danger from the seductive neatness of computers, which put our messes out of sight, where they grow into great catastrophes. Read the rest