1. “I don’t recall exactly when my phone became such a festival of stress and psychological trauma, but here we are.”
We are reaching a point of no return, when it comes to information collection, if we have not already gone beyond it. Cameras and screens, microphones and speakers. Capture your face and your voice and your friends’ faces and voices and where you are and what’s in your email and where you were when you sent it and… What did you say? Click, here’s an ad. And where did you go? Click, here’s an ad. Who were you with? Here’s an ad. What did you read here’s an ad how do you feel here’s an ad are you lonely here’s an ad are you lonely here’s an ad are you lonely?
2. Can how you use your phone determine your state of mind? There’s an app for that.
Once a patient installs Mindstrong’s app, it monitors things like the way the person types, taps, and scrolls while using other apps. This data is encrypted and analyzed remotely using machine learning, and the results are shared with the patient and the patient’s medical provider.
The seemingly mundane minutiae of how you interact with your phone offers surprisingly important clues to your mental health, according to Mindstrong’s research—revealing, for example, a relapse of depression.
3. As Sears files for bankruptcy there are a lot of reflections on the company’s impact on American life. One that’s stood out is Louis Hyman’s Twitter thread on how radical the Sears catalog was in the era of Jim Crow:
Every time a black southerner went to the local store they were confronted with forced deference to white customers who would be served first…
The stores were not self-service, so the black customers would have to wait. And then would have to ask the proprietor to give them goods (often on credit because…sharecropping). The landlord often owned the store. In every way shopping reinforced hierarchy. Until #Sears…
The catalog undid the power of the storekeeper, and by extension the landlord. Black families could buy without asking permission. Without waiting. Without being watched. With national (cheap) prices!
4. “Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it” – Hannah Arendt