Links Roundup: 11/17/17
"Pinocchio Forest Parade" by Amber Ma

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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November 17, 2017

I am on vacation from work until the week after Thanksgiving. And I’m only working one five day week before the end of the year. Hurray for accumulated vacation days!

I’m not planning on doing a whole lot of work on my break. The links post will also be on vacation, but I am planning on getting some work done on an essay that I’m hoping to publish in the next couple of weeks. I also have some personal projects I’m planning on working on, including some painting and cataloging my TBR (remember me when I’m gone). Gotta get all my personal project ducks in a row because I’m pretty sure that the workload I’ve been dealing with the last few months is only the beginning.

I’ll also be taking a break from most social media, with the exception of the Mastodon instance, which is lovely and slow and reminds me of Twitter in the Before Times.

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  1. Heather Rose Jones

    On the Twitter/Facebook/Google have broken the internet topic, (spoiler: I agree) I’ve had a looming sense of dread for a long time based on the principle of “if you aren’t paying for a site, you aren’t the customer, you’re the product.” The internet exploded with the grand radical anarchic principle that content wanted to be free. But there never has been such a thing as a free lunch, and it was always clear that if the bill wasn’t paid up front, it would be paid in a multitude of invisible ways. Internet content could only be “free” for as long as it operated on a small enough scale that individual providers could afford to provide it as a labor of love…and drop out when they burned out. Without an upfront, transparent way for consumers to support content creators–and more than that, with an internet ethic that disparaged content creators for thinking they should be paid–it was inevitable that the monetization would be undertaken by the least scrupulous agents and done in ways that were functionally invisible to the user. There’s an excellent argument that a system of individual upfront payment-for-content would greatly disadvantage marginalized users, but who’s getting slammed hardest by the current anarchic Wild West internet? There were other directions the internet economy could have gone if people had prioritized long-term benefit over short-term profit. But we as a society are very very bad at doing that.

  2. ConFigures

    I loved that CompuServe story, more interesting history than I had known!


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"It's chaos, be kind."
Michelle McNamara