Doc Searls

Here’s hoping our Age of Ageism is a brief one

Doc Searls

A few days ago a Twitter exchange contained an “OK Boomer” response to one of my tweets. At the time I laughed it off, tweeting back a pointer to Report: Burying, Cremating Baby Boomers To Generate $200 Trillion In GDP , which ran five years ago in The Onion. But it got me thinking that “OK Boomer” might be more—and worse—than a mere meme. Still, I wasn’t moved to say anything, because I had better stuff to do.

At Root an Evanescence

Doc Searls

A Route of Evanescence, With a revolving Wheel –. A Resonance of Emerald. A Rush of Cochineal –. And every Blossom on the Bush. Adjusts it’s tumbled Head –. The Mail from Tunis – probably, An easy Morning’s Ride –. Emily Dickinson. ( via The Poetry Foundation ).

GDPR will pop the adtech bubble

Doc Searls

In The Big Short , investor Michael Burry says “One hallmark of mania is the rapid rise in the incidence and complexity of fraud.” ” (Burry shorted the mania- and fraud-filled subprime mortgage market and made a mint in the process.).

Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica problems are nothing compared to what’s coming for all of online publishing

Doc Searls

Let’s start with Facebook’s Surveillance Machine , by Zeynep Tufekci in last Monday’s New York Times.

Cluetrain at 20

Doc Searls

The Cluetrain Manifesto went online for the world o n March 26, 1999. “People of Earth,” it began. Nothing modest about it. . Chris Locke and David Weinberger both had newsletters with real subscriber bases ( Entropy Gradient Reversals and JOHO , respectively).

About face

Doc Searls

We can know more than we can tell. That one-liner from Michael Polanyi has been waiting half a century for a proper controversy, which it now has with facial recognition.

Toward no longer running naked through the digital world

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We live in two worlds now: the natural one where we have bodies that obey the laws of gravity and space/time, and the virtual one where there is no gravity or distance (though there is time).

What’s wrong with bots is they’re not ours

Doc Searls

In Chatbots were the next big thing: what happened? Justin Lee ( @justinleejw ) nicely unpacks how chatbots were overhyped to begin with and continue to fail their Turing tests , especially since humans in nearly all cases would rather talk to humans than to mechanical substitutes.

Ad blocking passes 2 billion worldwide

Doc Searls

GlobalWebIndex ‘s Global Ad-Blocking Behavior report says 47% of us are blocking ads now. It also says, “As a younger and more engaged audience, ad-blockers also are much more likely to be paying subscribers and consumers. Ad-free premium services are especially attractive.”

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Lost stories

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Wanted: Online Pubs Doing Real (and therefore GDPR-compliant) Advertising

Doc Searls

This is what greets me when I go to the Washington Post site from here in Germany: So you can see it too, wherever you are, here’s the URL I’m redirected to on Chrome , on Firefox , on Safari and on Brave. All look the same except for Brave, which shows a blank page.

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Without aligning incentives, we can’t kill fake news or save journalism

Doc Searls

It’s time to move past the toxic and destructive business called adtech : surveillance-based advertising. Adtech is the Agent Smith of digital advertising: a rogue programmatic approach to digital advertising that rationalizes tracking people like marked animals.

The Spinner’s hack on journalism

Doc Searls

The Spinner* (with the asterisk) is “a service that enables you to subconsciously influence a specific person, by controlling the content on the websites he or she usually visits.” ” Meaning you can hire The Spinner* to hack another person.

On Linux Journal

Doc Searls

I’ve been involved with Linux Journal since before it started publishing in 1994, and have been on its masthead since 1996.

Where journalism fails

Doc Searls

“What’s the story?” ” No question is asked more often by editors in newsrooms than that one. And for good reason: that’s what news is about: stories. I was just 22 when I got my first gig as a journalist, reporting for a daily newspaper in New Jersey.

The real problem is Decoy News (and decoy content of all kinds)—and the platforms can’t fix it

Doc Searls

The term “ fake news ” was a casual phrase until it became clear to news media that a flood of it had been deployed during last year’s presidential election in the U.S.

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Data is the New Love

Doc Searls

Personal data, that is. Because it’s good to give away—but only if you mean it. And it’s bad to take it, even it seems to be there for the taking. I bring this up because a quarter million pages (so far) on the Web say it “data is the new oil.”

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Thoughts at #ID2020

Doc Searls

I’m at the ID2020 ( @ID2020 ) Summit in New York. The theme is “Rising to the Good ID Challenge.” ” My notes here are accumulating at the bottom, not the top.

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Making sense of what happened to Montecito

Doc Searls

Note the date on this map : That was more than a month before huge rains revised to red the colors in the mountains above Montecito. The LA Times also ran a story a week before last, warning about debris flows , which are like mud slides, but with lots of rocks.

Where public radio rocks

Doc Searls

Where does public radio rock—or even rule? And why? To start answering those questions, I looked through Nielsen ‘s radio station ratings , which are on the Radio Online site.

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Please let’s finally kill logins and passwords

Doc Searls

How would you feel if you had been told in the early days of the Web that in the year 2018 you would still need logins and passwords for damned near everything. Your faith in the tech world would be deeply shaken, no?

Geology answers for Montecito and Santa Barbara

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Here’s a cool project: completely revolutionize shopping online

Doc Searls

This was to be my September column for the subscriber edition of Linux Journal, which was terminated last week after 25 years in business. The theme for that month’s issue was to be Cool Projects. The website is still up, however, so now the coolest project for its owner is to save it, so none of that long and valuable history gets 404’d.

A miracle of flight

Doc Searls

That was the view to the south over center of Greenland a few hours ago: a late afternoon aurora over a blue dusk. I departed London about four hours before taking this shot, and am writing this in Santa Barbara.

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Fake ad sources on Facebook

Doc Searls

Nearly all the ads I see on Facebook are ones like these two, next to Mark Zuckerberg’s latest post : Besides being false and misleading clickbait, they are not from espn.com. They’re from [link] , and bait for a topic switch:to pitching a diet supplement called Alpha Fuel.

Dear @WashingtonPost

Doc Searls

This is wrong: Because I’m not blocking ads. I’m blocking tracking. In fact I welcome ads—especially ones that sponsor The Washington Post and other fine publishers. I’ll also be glad to subscribe to the Post once it stops trying to track me off their site. Same goes for The New York Times , The Wall Street Journal and other papers I value and to which I no longer subscribe.

New York lights

Doc Searls

I had a bunch of errands to run today, but also a lot of calls. And, when I finally got up from my desk around 4pm with plans to head out in the car, I found five inches of snow already on the apartment deck. Another five would come after that. So driving was clearly a bad idea.

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A dark review for United’s Boeing 787

Doc Searls

I’ve been wanting to fly on the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” ever since I missed a chance to go on an inaugural junket aboard one before Boeing began delivery to the airlines. But three days ago I finally got my chance, aboard United Flight 935 from London to Los Angeles.

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How True Advertising Can Save Journalism From Drowning in a Sea of Content

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Journalism is in a world of hurt because it has been marginalized by a new business model that requires maximizing “content” instead. That model is calle d adtech. We can see adtech’s effects in The New York Times ’ In New Jersey, Only a Few Media Watchdogs Are Left , by David Chen.

Let’s get some things straight about publishing and advertising

Doc Searls

[Because it’s too @#$% hard to edit a long piece in WordPress (especially when one’s vision has not fully recovered from recent surgery), the latest edits of this are over here in Medium. Thanks.].

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The problem for people isn’t advertising, and the problem for advertising isn’t blocking. The problem for both is tracking.

Doc Searls

In Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking , @JuliaAngwin and @ProPublica unpack what the subhead says well enough: “Google is the latest tech company to drop the longstanding wall between anonymous online ad tracking and user’s names.”

Coming up on 21 years of Cluetrain

Doc Searls

I posted this Cluetrain retrospective at doc.blog last year. I’m putting it here now because it’s timely again. Dig: 1) The original site and book are online in full at [link] and [link]. 2) The 10th anniversary edition has new chapters by the four original authors, plus additional ones by JP Rangaswami , Dan Gillmor and Jake McKee. 3) David Weinberger and I posted an addendum to Cluetrain in 2015 called New Clues: [link].

Search 100

All hail the Houston Rockets—especially next year

Doc Searls

I thought the Rockets were great in last night’s game—and say that as a Warriors fan. (I I even had season tickets back in the Run TMC era, when tickets were still affordable).

Still no serious coverage of pirate radio

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Here’s what I wrote about pirate radio in New York , back in 2013. I hoped to bait major media attention with that. Got zip. Then I wrote this in 2015 (when I also took the screen shot, above, of a local pirate’s ID on my kitchen radio).

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Separating advertising’s wheat and chaff

Doc Searls

Advertising used to be simple. You knew what it was, and where it came from. Whether it was an ad you heard on the radio, saw in a magazine or spotted on a billboard, you knew it came straight from the advertiser through that medium.

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On cryptocurrencies, blockchain and all that

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Take a look at this chart : CryptoCurrency Market Capitalizations. As Neo said , Whoa. To help me get my head fully around all that’s going on behind that surge, or mania, or whatever it is, I’ve composed a lexicon-in-process that I’m publishing here so I can find it again.

How the personal data extraction industry ends

Doc Searls

Who Owns the Internet? What Big Tech’s Monopoly Powers Mean for our Culture is Elizabeth Kolbert ‘s review in The New Yorker of several books, one of which I’ve read: Jonathan Taplin ’s Move Fast and Break Things—How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy.

The Great Trivializer

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Last night I watched The Great Hack a second time. It’s a great documentary, maybe even a classic. (A A classic in literature, I learned on this Radio Open Source podcast , is a work that “can only be re-read.” ” If that’s so, then perhaps a classic movie is one that can only be re-watched.*).

On Amazon, New York, New Jersey and urban planning

Doc Searls

In a press release , Amazon explained why it backed out of its plan to open a new headquarters in New York City: For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term.

Some new ways to look at infrastructure

Doc Searls

Nothing challenges our understanding of infrastructure better than a crisis, and we have a big one now in Houston. We do with every giant storm, of course. New York is still recovering from Sandy and New Orleans from Katrina.

For privacy we need tech more than policy

Doc Searls

Nature and the Internet both came without privacy. The difference is that we’ve invented privacy tech in the natural world, starting with clothing and shelter, and we haven’t yet done the same in the digital world.

Getting past broken cookie notices

Doc Searls

Go to the Alan Turing Institute. If it’s a first time for you, a popover will appear: Among the many important things the Turing Institute is doing for us right now is highlighting with that notice exactly what’s wrong with the cookie system for remembering choices, and lack of them, for each of us using the Web.

Remembering Bob Kauffman

Doc Searls

When the Los Angeles Clippers open their first game at home this season, I want them to pause and celebrate their first franchise player: Bob Kauffman , the team’s all-star center for its first three seasons, when they were the Buffalo Braves. Bob died on July 27 at age 69.

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