Censorship – yes or no?

Is it censorship if I’m editing my own hosts file to block websites such as Facebook, Buzzfeed, Upworthy etc.?

I love staying in touch with all my friends, but these sites are really big time sinkholes. There needs to be a better technology to run our social interaction. One that isn’t based on sucking in more and more clicks. But one that is based on true interpersonal value (experiences, recommendations, empathy).


Internet, media, marketing and honesty

Over the past 15 years of using the internet, one of the memes that always comes up is that of “connecting people” and that of getting to the bottom of things, the “spreading of knowledge”.

My experience is a different one: it used to be this way. I remember when researching about my canoo trip in northern Canada, I found lots of really useful pages of people who had done these trips before or who lived in the area and took pleasure in informing. This sort of research has pretty much disappeared from my life, because it’s almost impossible to find valuable information. SEO and bland content farming created a worthless web of information (pardon the pun).

Going hand in hand with this is the delusion of democratizing relationships because you can now directly “connect with your fans”. As this latest story on Mashable about George Takei’s ghostwriter shows, it’s the same as it used to be: the audience is falling for manufactured publicity from professional media creators, only now it’s even harder to recognize and the audience is actively helping to promote it.

I’m sorry, but this doesn’t strike me as a free thinking society but more of a blatant display of how sheepish humans can be and how important it is to be alert and observant.

Jaron Lanier – Interview

Please read the whole interview, but this really sums up what’s going on in the media business and how the “everything must be open” fetish is turning into a destructive force, because it puts the ideology before the people:

What really turned me around wasn’t thought or theory, though – it was practice. I had been part of the recording industry – I was signed to Polygram and so on. At that time, I knew people who had middle-class jobs in the industry – studio musicians and what not – and after the decline of the music business we found that we were having to have constant fundraisers to help somebody afford some operation or deal with some other adverse circumstance.

It became clear to me that we had actually destroyed lives and I don’t want to become like Stalin and say that to make an omelette you have to break some eggs. You don’t want to get into a situation where you think that the ideology is more important than people. If you see that it’s not working for people you don’t say: “Oh, well, those are just the people who don’t get it, those are the ones who get left behind, those are the expendable ones, they don’t matter.” I think you have to say: “No, it’s the ideology that needs to be improved. It’s not working well enough.” So it was really that experience that turned me around.

Tim Berners-Lee Calls For More financial support of the culture business – Techcrunch

This is from an interview with Tim Berners-Lee

Turning to the economic argument, Berners-Lee conceded there is a problem with current online business models — especially when it comes to finding ways to pay musicians. The web should be “about spreading culture, music and getting payment back to musicians”, he said. ” We’ve got to find new ways of doing that.”

via HTML Pioneer Tim Berners-Lee Calls For More Online Innovation To Break Down Cultural Barriers And Build New Business Models | TechCrunch.