M&M's, 'Wokeness', Facial Recognition, and Other Stories of the Week.
The Present Age weekly recap: January 27, 2023
Welcome to the weekly recap. In this post, I’ll be linking to my work from the week, sharing some stories from others I thought were interesting, and providing a few casual thoughts on [gestures at everything]. If you’d like to receive this weekly email ONLY, please go to your account page and under “Email notifications” uncheck every box except “TPA Weekly Recap.” If you don’t want to receive the weekly recap, leave all boxes except “TPA Weekly Recap” checked.
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My writing from this week
These next few weeks might be just a tiny bit sparse on the writing front from me (sorry, but I’ll still try to get 2-3 pieces plus the weekly recap newsletter out) as I’m dealing with some medical stuff (nothing to worry about!). Thanks for understanding!
🍬 Right-Wing Rage About 'Wokeness' at Candy Company Known for Using Child Labor Gets Results!: In this piece, I wrote about how the right manufactured outrage over the M&M’s “spokescandies” and got Mars, Inc., to acknowledge their weirdness. [TPA, 1/23/23]
💩 The Word of the Week: 'Enshittification': This piece looks at something Cory Doctorow recently wrote (which you’ll find linked below in my recommendations) about the lifecycle of online platforms ranging from Amazon to TikTok. [TPA, 1/26/23]
What I enjoyed reading this week:
💻 TikTok’s Enshittification: This is a great piece by Cory Doctorow about the life cycles of online platforms. From Amazon to Facebook; from Twitter to TikTok — Doctorow walks readers through a now-familiar pattern that ropes users and business partners alike, over and over and over… [Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow, 1/21/23]
🐦 The third-party apps Twitter just killed made the site what it is today: As you may know, Twitter pulled the rug out from under third-party developers last week when it unceremoniously cut off access to the platform’s API, rendering their apps useless. Writing at The Verge, Mitchell Clark has a smart look at the role developers of apps like Twitterific, Tweetie, TweetDeck (which was eventually purchased by Twitter), and Tweetbot played in shaping everything ranging from how people use Twitter to how Twitter looks. [The Verge, 1/22/23]
📹 She was denied entry to a Rockettes show — then the facial recognition debate ignited: For NPR, Manuela López Restrepo expanded on a December New York Times report about the use of facial recognition software in public spaces. From police departments to roller rinks, facial recognition technology is identifying (and misidentifying) people. Proponents of the tech are trying to market it as something that can increase “safety,” but Fight the Future director Evan Greer argues in the piece, the technology “has such an enormous potential for harm to our basic human rights, [and] to people’s safety.” [NPR, 1/21/23]
🍼 Pronatalism: Elon Musk's fakest public alarm: Over at his The Future, Now and Then Substack,has a really good piece about the eugenics-curious world of pronatalism, a worldview that is often accompanied by claims that humanity is on the brink of population collapse. This is the flip side to movements worried about overpopulation. [The Future, Now and Then, 1/23/23]
Hope the medical stuff goes smoothly!