July 19, 2022

There Is Nothing for You Here

CyberGunk 05

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Key Research

The Death of the Artist

Kind of a weird book that I disagreed with a lot but pretty much forms the backbone of the episode.

David Graeber – Despair Fatigue

Just David Graeber generally, don’t really remember where specifically sorry.

My life

I’ll love to make my little bits of content, and once or twice in my life I have not lost money doing so.

Research List

Filtered to Creators View all
Title URL Notes Video Relevance
?Article Ad Tech Could Be the Next Internet Bubble https://www.wired.com/story/ad-tech-could-be-the-next-internet-bubble/ Targeted advertising doesn’t work Advertising ★★★
?Article Buying Consumer Data? Tread Carefully. https://hbr.org/2020/05/buying-consumer-data-tread-carefully Consumer data is innaccurate Advertising ★★★
?Article Coors Light Can’t Beam Ads Into Your Brain https://gizmodo.com/no-brands-cant-target-ads-at-your-dreams-1847113888?rev=1623886445493 This story that keeps cropping up about ads in your dreams is so fucking dumb Advertising
?Article Deconstructing the Disinformation War https://mediawell.ssrc.org/expert-reflections/deconstructing-the-disinformation-war/ Exaggerated narratives Advertising
?Article Digital Marketing’s Last Decade Is Digital Marketing’s Lost Decade https://www.forbes.com/sites/augustinefou/2021/05/16/digital-marketings-lost-decadetime-to-think-different-do-different/ Programmatic advertising is a waste Advertising ★★
?Article How AWS and Other Cloud Providers Became the Internet’s Most Powerful Moderators https://onezero.medium.com/how-aws-and-other-cloud-providers-became-the-internets-most-powerful-moderators-9b23a954d68a Amazon is behind the internet Advertising
?Article How to Start Fixing Social Media. https://onezero.medium.com/how-to-start-fixing-social-media-196297eb6b71 What social media could be Advertising ★★
?Article ICO’s final report into Cambridge Analytica invites regulatory questions https://www.ft.com/content/43962679-b1f9-4818-b569-b028a58c8cd2 CA didn’t do anything Advertising ★★★★
?Book In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works & Shapes Our Lives https://www.worldcat.org/title/in-the-plex-how-google-thinks-works-shapes-our-lives/oclc/1244174326&referer=brief_results Background on Google/AdWords Advertising ★★★★
?Article Is Using a Data Broker the Most Secure Marketing Strategy? https://www.cmswire.com/digital-marketing/is-your-data-broker-the-most-secure-marketing-strategy/ Data brokers worse than random chance Advertising ★★★
?Article Labour HQ used Facebook ads to deceive Jeremy Corbyn during election campaign https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/labour-hq-used-facebook-ads-to-deceive-jeremy-corbyn-during-election-campaign-grlx75c27 A use case for targeted advertising Advertising ★★
?Article Large Publishers Buy Incentivized Traffic & Popups Too https://deepsee.io/blog/large-publishers-buy-incentivized-traffic-too On incentivised traffic Advertising
?Article New Zealand’s Stuff newspaper group joins Facebook boycott as ‘experiment’ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/06/new-zealands-stuff-newspaper-group-joins-facebook-boycott-as-experiment Facebook boycott Advertising ★★★
?Article News site Stuff left Facebook. Seven months later, traffic is just fine and trust is higher https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/news/news-site-stuff-left-facebook-seven-months-later-traffic-just-fine-and-trust-higher Programmatic advertising doesn’t do anything Advertising ★★★
?Book Subprime Attention Crisis: Advertising and the Time Bomb at the Heart of the Internet https://www.worldcat.org/title/subprime-attention-crisis-advertising-and-the-time-bomb-at-the-heart-of-the-internet/oclc/1225234235&referer=brief_results Programatic advertising doesn’t work/some fun GFC analogies Advertising ★★★★★
?Article The Big Lie Behind the “Pivot to Video” https://slate.com/technology/2018/10/facebook-online-video-pivot-metrics-false.html On the Pivot to video Advertising ★★★★
?Article The downfall of adtech means the trust economy is here https://techcrunch.com/2020/11/23/the-downfall-of-ad-tech-means-the-trust-economy-is-here/ No-one likes targeted advertising Advertising ★★★★
?Article The Internet That Was (and Still Could Be) https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/06/medium-is-the-message-paradise-paved-internet-architecture/396227/ Internet without perverse incentives Advertising ★★★
?Article The Madness of the Crowd https://logicmag.io/intelligence/the-madness-of-the-crowd/ Systems don’t work for people Advertising ★★
?Article The Web We Lost http://anildash.com/2012/12/13/the_web_we_lost/ Social networks are partly a step backwards Advertising ★★
?Article Unredacted Antitrust Complaint Unsealed: Google Internal Documents Show AMP Pages Brought 40% Less Revenue to Publishers https://wptavern.com/unredacted-antitrust-complaint-unsealed-google-internal-documents-show-amp-pages-brought-40-less-revenue-to-publishers Google pushed amp. It only makes things worse Advertising
?Book What Tech Calls Thinking: An Inquiry Into the Intellectual Bedrock of Silicon Valley https://www.worldcat.org/title/what-tech-calls-thinking-an-inquiry-into-the-intellectual-bedrock-of-silicon-valley/oclc/1136959585&referer=brief_results Misc ramblings Advertising
?Article When Big Brands Stopped Spending On Digital Ads, Nothing Happened. Why? https://www.forbes.com/sites/augustinefou/2021/01/02/when-big-brands-stopped-spending-on-digital-ads-nothing-happened-why/ Huge companys didn’t suffer for turning off programatic ads Advertising ★★★★★
?Paper Why Do People Avoid Advertising On The Internet? https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00913367.2004.10639175 Banner blindness and inneffectual online advertising Advertising ★★★
?Article AI is wrestling with a replication crisis https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/11/12/1011944/artificial-intelligence-replication-crisis-science-big-tech-google-deepmind-facebook-openai/ Replication crisis in AI Algorithms ★★★
?Article AI: Still Just Curve Fitting, Not Finding a Theory of Everything https://mindmatters.ai/2020/12/ai-still-just-curve-fitting-not-finding-a-theory-of-everything/ AI hasn’t moved beyond curve fitting Algorithms ★★★★
?Video Andrej Karpathy – AI for Full-Self Driving at Tesla https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx7BXih7zx8 So much manual work to do Algorithms ★★★★★
?Video Andrej Karpathy: Tesla Autopilot and Multi-Task Learning for Perception and Prediction https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHH47nZ7FZU Talking through self-driving Algorithms ★★★
?Article Artificial Intelligence Isn’t an Arms Race With China, and the United States Shouldn’t Treat It Like One https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/12/11/artificial-intelligence-ai-not-arms-race-china-united-states/ AI hype and narrative Algorithms ★★
?Video Building the Software 2.0 Stack (Andrej Karpathy) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y57wwucbXR8 Vast majority still 1.0 code Algorithms ★★★
?Article Cars in driver-assist mode hit a third of cyclists, all oncoming cars in tests https://www.theregister.com/2022/05/16/automous_car_ada_system_tests/?s=09 Self-driving tests Algorithms ★★
?Article Deep Learning’s Carbon Emissions Problem https://www.forbes.com/sites/robtoews/2020/06/17/deep-learnings-climate-change-problem/ Ecological cost of Machine Learning Algorithms
?Article Elon Musk Describes the Future of Self-Driving Cars https://gizmodo.com/elon-musk-describes-the-future-of-self-driving-cars-1692076449 Stupid bullshit 2015 Algorithms
?Paper Energy And Policy Considerations For Modern Deep Learning Research https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/AAAI/article/view/7123 The material costs of deep learning Algorithms
?Article Fear itself is the real threat to democracy, not tall tales of Chinese AI https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/06/fear-itself-is-the-real-threat-to-democracy-not-tall-tales-of-chinese-ai AI doomerism is nonsense Algorithms
?Article Here’s Proof Tesla’s FSD Beta 9.0 Street Testing Is a Calamity Waiting to Happen https://www.autoevolution.com/news/here-s-proof-tesla-s-fsd-beta-90-street-testing-is-a-calamity-waiting-to-happen-165597.html General Tesla hate Algorithms
?Paper Hierarchical Text-Conditional Image Generation With Clip Latents https://arxiv.org/abs/2204.06125 Dall-e 2 release paper Algorithms ★★★★
?Article How Tesla Is Bad For The Earth. An electric car is still a car, and… https://indi.ca/how-tesla-is-bad-for-the-earth-31e644540a26 Green growth is the opposite of what’s needed Algorithms
?Article Is California’s electric car revolution bad for the planet? https://www.latimes.com/politics/0000017a-c69a-da5f-affa-dfbbb1050001-123 Electric vehicles aren’t the answer Algorithms
?Article It’s disturbingly easy to trick AI into doing something deadly https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/4/8/18297410/ai-tesla-self-driving-cars-adversarial-machine-learning Adversarial attacks Algorithms ★★★
?Paper Jukebox: A Generative Model For Music https://arxiv.org/abs/2005.00341 JukeBox release paper Algorithms ★★
?Paper Language Models Are Few-Shot Learners https://arxiv.org/abs/2005.14165 GPT-3 release paper Algorithms ★★★★
?Article Lines of Sight https://logicmag.io/commons/lines-of-sight/ Run-down of self-driving tech Algorithms ★★★★
?Paper MIT Advanced Vehicle Technology Study: Large-Scale Naturalistic Driving Study of Driver Behavior and Interaction with Automation https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8751968/ Full self driving is a ways off Algorithms ★★
?Article Notes on the Turing Test https://yeetgenstein.substack.com/p/notes-on-the-turing-test Deep learning sucess vs full intelligence Algorithms ★★★
?Video PyTorch at Tesla – Andrej Karpathy, Tesla https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBklltKXtDE Talking through self-driving Algorithms ★★
?Paper Release Strategies And The Social Impacts Of Language Models https://arxiv.org/abs/1908.09203 GPT-2 release paper Algorithms ★★★★
?Article The Double Exploitation of Deepfake Porn https://thewalrus.ca/the-double-exploitation-of-deepfake-porn/ Everyones freaking out about politics when its really only good for porn Algorithms
?Video The Lighthill Debate (1973) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yReDbeY7ZMU Beginning of the first major AI winter Algorithms ★★★
?Article Waymo is dropping the term ‘self-driving,’ but not everyone in the industry is on board https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/07/waymo-is-dropping-the-term-self-driving-but-not-everyone-in-the-industry-is-on-board/ It’s not “self-driving” Algorithms ★★
?Article What Full Autonomy Means for the Waymo Driver https://spectrum.ieee.org/full-autonomy-waymo-driver Current Waymo tech Algorithms
?Article Why deep learning won’t give us level 5 self-driving cars https://bdtechtalks.com/2020/07/29/self-driving-tesla-car-deep-learning/ Title Algorithms ★★
?Paper Zero-Shot Text-To-Image Generation https://arxiv.org/abs/2102.12092 Dall-e release paper Algorithms ★★★
?Article Amazon Recruited Twitter Army to Defend Company and CEO Jeff Bezos, Leaked Document Reveals https://www.ign.com/articles/amazon-twitter-army-defend-company-ceo-jeff-bezos-leaked-document-reveals Amazon’s in-house astroturfing campaign Astroturfing ★★
?Paper An Examination of the Impact of Astroturfing on Nationalism: A Persuasion Knowledge Perspective https://www.mdpi.com/402650 Actual research into astroturfing Astroturfing ★★★
?Article Bird Box challenge: How Netflix made a few tweets into a global trend https://inews.co.uk/news/bird-box-challenge-netflix-twitter-warning-explained-241879 Faked “Bird Box Challenge” Astroturfing ★★★
?Article Bird Box: How Netflix Harnesses It’s Memeing-ful Relationship with Fans | Research World https://www.researchworld.com/bird-box-how-netflix-harnesses-its-memeing-ful-relationship-with-fans/ Bird Box campaign overview Astroturfing ★★★
?Paper Characterizing Retweet Bots: The Case of Black Market Accounts https://arxiv.org/abs/2112.02366 “Bot checkers” don’t catch retweet bots Astroturfing ★★★★★
?Article Data Against Democracy https://logicmag.io/failure/data-against-democracy/ Platforms warping politics Astroturfing ★★
?Article Elon Musk’s not-so-secret weapon: An army of Twitter bots touting Tesla https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/elon-musk-s-not-so-secret-weapon-an-army-of-twitter-bots-touting-tesla/ Tesla astroturfing Astroturfing ★★
?Paper Ephemeral Astroturfing Attacks: The Case of Fake Twitter Trends https://arxiv.org/abs/1910.07783 How to fake a twitter trend Astroturfing ★★★★★
?Article Facebook Campaign Nets Big Returns For ‘Bird Box’ https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/330557/facebook-campaign-nets-big-returns-for-bird-box.html No trace of official Twitter Bird Box ad spend beyond hashflag Astroturfing ★★★
?Paper Group topic-author model for efficient discovery of latent social astroturfing groups in tourism domain https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s42400-019-0029-8 Actual research into astroturfing Astroturfing ★★★★
?Article How Custom Emojis Crowned Twitter the Hashtag Registrar https://medium.com/@justinogarrity/how-custom-emojis-crowned-twitter-the-hashtag-registrar-43e5fa60c557 History of hashflags Astroturfing ★★
?Article Lil Nas X Was A Popular Twitter User Before ‘Old Town Road’ https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/04/lil-nas-x-was-a-popular-twitter-user-before-old-town-road.html Lil Nas X, the tweetdecker Astroturfing ★★★
?Paper Misleading Repurposing on Twitter https://arxiv.org/abs/2010.10600 Sockpuppets start as real accounts Astroturfing ★★★★
?Article Netflix apologizes for using actors to meet press at Canadian launch https://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/netflix-apologizes-for-using-actors-to-meet-press-at-canadian-launch/article4326706/ Netflix doing good old irl astroturfing Astroturfing ★★
?Article Netflix denies spreading ‘Bird Box’ memes with Twitter bots https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/bird-box-memes-fake-netflix/ Bird Box wasn’t astroturfed, but why are all these links dead Astroturfing ★★
?Paper Political Astroturfing on Twitter: How to Coordinate a Disinformation Campaign https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10584609.2019.1661888 Actual research into astroturfing Astroturfing ★★★
?Article Power of Suggestion https://www.chronicle.com/article/power-of-suggestion/ Many priming studies can’t be replicated Astroturfing ★★★
?Book Public Relations and Participatory Culture: Fandom, social media and community engagement https://www.worldcat.org/title/public-relations-and-participatory-culture-fandom-social-media-and-community-engagement/oclc/1127300821&referer=brief_results PR and fandoms Astroturfing ★★★
?Book Social Media and Public Relations: Fake friends and powerful publics https://www.worldcat.org/title/social-media-and-public-relations-fake-friends-and-powerful-publics/oclc/1089492876&referer=brief_results General new media PR textbook Astroturfing ★★★
?Book Strategic Communication, Social Media and Democracy: The Challenge of the Digital Naturals https://www.worldcat.org/title/strategic-communication-social-media-and-democracy-the-challenge-of-the-digital-naturals/oclc/1064560421&referer=brief_results General new media PR textbook Astroturfing ★★★
?Article Survive Reddit And Make An Impact https://wearesocial.com/uk/blog/2019/10/survive-reddit-and-make-an-impact/ How to infiltrate Reddit Astroturfing ★★★★
?Article The Bird Box Effect: How Memes Drive Users to Netflix https://www.theringer.com/movies/2019/1/3/18167278/bird-box-memes-netflix-bots-marketing Bird Box wasn’t astroturfed, but whats all this bot activity Astroturfing ★★
?Paper The disconcerting potential of online disinformation: Persuasive effects of astroturfing comments and three strategies for inoculation against them https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1461444820908530 Actual research into astroturfing Astroturfing ★★★
?Article The lesson of the dust-up over Trump’s fake Twitter followers. https://slate.com/technology/2017/06/the-lesson-of-the-dust-up-over-trumps-fake-twitter-followers.html We only have conjecture but there is manipulation happening Astroturfing ★★
?Article The Stans Who Post So Much, Twitter Thinks They’re Bots — And Shuts Them Down https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/the-stans-who-post-so-much-twitter-thinks-theyre-bots-and-shuts-them-down Stans and “harmless bots, including ones that promoted Netflix shows” Astroturfing
?Paper There’s Nothing Social About Social Priming: Derailing The “Train Wreck” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1047840X.2021.1889312 On “priming” post replication crisis Astroturfing ★★★
?Paper Thinking Taxonomically about Fake Accounts: Classification, False Dichotomies, and the Need for Nuance https://arxiv.org/abs/2006.04959 “Bots” encompasses so much Astroturfing ★★★
?Article TikTok “Deeply Concerned” by Facebook’s Paid Campaign to Promote Negative Coverage of Social App https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/business/digital/tiktok-facebook-meta-targeted-victory-1235122641/ Facebook shady anti-competitive campaign Astroturfing
?Article Weekly Nielsen Streaming Charts – Archive https://www.spoilertv.com/2020/11/weekly-nielsen-streaming-charts-updated.html Viewership numbers Astroturfing ★★★★
?Article Who Really Writes Twitter’s ‘Trending’ Summaries https://onezero.medium.com/who-really-writes-twitters-trending-summaries-89e819255599 On the new team behind the twitter trends Astroturfing ★★★
?Article Automaton https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automaton Automatons! Automation ★★★★
?Article Doctors turn to imperfect AI to spend more quality time with patients https://www.protocol.com/enterprise/doctor-burnout-ai-patient-risk AI causing medical harm Automation ★★★
?Article From Manchester to Barcelona https://logicmag.io/nature/from-manchester-to-barcelona/ Techlash ignores capital Automation ★★★
?Book Greek and Roman Technology: A Sourcebook: Annotated Translations of Greek and Latin Texts and Documents https://www.worldcat.org/title/greek-and-roman-technology-a-sourcebook-annotated-translations-of-greek-and-latin-texts-and-documents/oclc/1243344417&referer=brief_results Ancient technophobia Automation ★★★★★
?Article Hundreds of AI tools have been built to catch covid. None of them helped. https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/07/30/1030329/machine-learning-ai-failed-covid-hospital-diagnosis-pandemic/ AI didn’t help with COVID Automation ★★★
?Article Maelzel’s Chess Player https://www.eapoe.org/works/essays/maelzel.htm Edgar Allen Poe grappling with the Mechanical Turk Automation ★★★★
?Article Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit https://thebaffler.com/salvos/of-flying-cars-and-the-declining-rate-of-profit Technological change has stalled Automation ★★★
?Article Once billed as a revolution in medicine, IBM’s Watson Health is sold off in parts https://www.statnews.com/2022/01/21/ibm-watson-health-sale-equity/ AI failure Automation ★★
?Article Robots: what do they mean for jobs and incomes? https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2018/02/26/robots-what-do-they-mean-for-jobs-and-incomes/ Economic argument against automation discourse Automation ★★
?Book Smart Machines and Service Work: Automation in an Age of Stagnation https://www.worldcat.org/title/smart-machines-and-service-work-automation-in-an-age-of-stagnation/oclc/1266189478&referer=brief_results I didn’t really enjoy this but I think I’ve entirely ripped it off Automation ★★★★★
?Article Tellers, toil and technology https://www.atmmarketplace.com/articles/tellers-technology-and-atms/ ATMs doubled the amount of bank tellers Automation ★★★
?Video Tesla AI Day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0z4FweCy4M Stupid Elon bullshit Automation ★★
?Article The Automation Charade https://logicmag.io/failure/the-automation-charade/ The illusion of automation Automation ★★★★
?Article The Mechanical Chess Player That Unsettled the World https://slate.com/human-interest/2015/08/the-turk-a-chess-playing-robot-was-a-hoax-that-started-an-early-conversation-about-ai.html On the Mechanical Turk Automation ★★
?Article The Modern World Has Finally Become Too Complex for Any of Us to Understand https://onezero.medium.com/the-modern-world-has-finally-become-too-complex-for-any-of-us-to-understand-1a0b46fbc292 Nodes in networks Automation
?Article The Smart, the Stupid, and the Catastrophically Scary: An Interview with an Anonymous Data Scientist https://logicmag.io/intelligence/interview-with-an-anonymous-data-scientist/ AI hype vs reality Automation ★★★★★
?Article Uber’s algorithm and the mirage of the marketplace. https://slate.com/technology/2015/07/ubers-algorithm-and-the-mirage-of-the-marketplace.html Uber designed to maximise worker exploitation Automation ★★
?Article Why algorithms beat experts (even in shipping) https://splash247.com/why-algorithms-beat-experts-even-in-shipping/ Math has use cases Automation
?Article Despair Fatigue https://thebaffler.com/salvos/despair-fatigue-david-graeber Art, welfare, future Creators ★★★★★
?Article Don’t be a creator if you can’t do it for free https://marker.medium.com/if-you-cant-afford-to-do-it-for-free-don-t-be-a-creator-569488f3ef72 There’s no money in creating Creators ★★★★
?Article Ed Sheeran’s Vinyls https://dadadrummer.substack.com/p/ed-sheerans-vinyls Big artists stifling others Creators ★★
?Article HBO Max Might Have Outsmarted the Streaming Wars https://www.wired.com/story/hbo-max-outsmart-streaming-wars/ HBO burning millions to make a dent Creators ★★
?Article Hollywood is quietly using AI to help decide which movies to make https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/28/18637135/hollywood-ai-film-decision-script-analysis-data-machine-learning AI for script reading and casting and stuff Creators ★★★
?Article How Can We Pay for Creativity in the Digital Age? https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/09/14/how-can-we-pay-for-creativity-in-the-digital-age Money in art Creators ★★★★★
?Article Is Spotify’s Model Wiping Out Music’s Middle Class? https://www.theringer.com/tech/2019/1/16/18184314/spotify-music-streaming-service-royalty-payout-model No money in streaming Creators ★★★★
?Article Jobless, Selling Nudes Online and Still Struggling https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/13/business/onlyfans-pandemic-users.html Coronavirus and OnlyFans Creators ★★
?Article Netflix loses subscribers for first time in 10 years. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/19/business/netflix-earnings-q1.html How could this happen Creators ★★★
?Article Netflix will consider buybacks as it returns to positive cash flow after 2021 https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/19/netflix-says-cash-flow-positive-after-2021-no-more-external-financing.html Whoops Creators ★★★
?Article Netflix’s subscriber growth has slowed dramatically. Blame competition and the pandemic https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2021-07-20/netflixs-subscriber-growth-has-slowed-dramatically Oh dear Creators ★★★
?Article No One Makes A Living On Patreon https://theoutline.com/post/2571/no-one-makes-a-living-on-patreon No One Makes A Living On Patreon Creators ★★★★
?Article Tears in Rain https://dadadrummer.substack.com/p/tears-in-rain Spotify fraud Creators ★★★★
?Article The creator economy is failing to spread the wealth https://www.axios.com/2021/10/11/creator-economy-revenue-content?utm_campaign=organic&utm_medium=socialshare&utm_source=twitter Title Creators ★★★
?Article The Data Journalism That Wasn’t http://futureofmusic.org/blog/2015/08/21/data-journalism-wasnt Some weird internet beef and also a good overview of the money in streaming Creators
?Article The Death Of Subculture part 3: The role of poverty and social class https://gravityglobal.com/news/the-death-of-subculture-part-3/ The working class has been priced out of art Creators ★★★
?Book The Death of the Artist https://www.worldcat.org/title/death-of-the-artist-how-creators-are-struggling-to-survive-in-the-age-of-billionaires-and-big-tech/oclc/1246727096&referer=brief_results Easier to create, harder to make money, a social issue Creators ★★★★★
?Article The Economics of OnlyFans https://xsrus.com/the-economics-of-onlyfans Losing money from creating Creators ★★★
?Article The Gig Economy is failing, enter the hustle economy https://onezero.medium.com/the-gig-economy-is-failing-say-hello-to-the-hustle-economy-13ae3aa91954 Work is increasingly atomised Creators ★★
?Article The Year Sex Work Came Home https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/10/style/camsoda-onlyfans-streaming-sex-coronavirus.html Coronavirus and OnlyFans Creators
?Article ‘Stan Twitter, do you know this song’ is the unifying meme we need right now https://www.polygon.com/2018/8/22/17768546/stan-twitter-do-you-remember-this-song-meme Nostalgia of stan twitter Nostalgia ★★
?Article “I’m Not Interested in Cinema”: Adam Curtis on Bitter Lake https://filmmakermagazine.com/93080-im-not-interested-in-cinema-adam-curtis-on-bitter-lake/ Conflating our current moment with Brezhnevian stagnation Nostalgia ★★★★
?Article Boris Johnson: The Brezhnev Years https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/boris-johnson-the-brezhnev-years/ Conflating our current moment with Brezhnevian stagnation Nostalgia ★★★★
?Article Chapter 1: The Politics of Kpop http://www.moonrok.com/history-k-pop-chapter-1-politics-k-pop/ The start of K-pop Nostalgia ★★
?Article Chapter 10: The Downside of the Debut http://www.moonrok.com/history-k-pop-chapter-10-downside-debut/ Exploitation Nostalgia
?Article Chapter 6: How the Internet Almost Killed Kpop, and How Idol Advertising and Acting Saved It http://www.moonrok.com/history-k-pop-chapter-6-how-internet-almost-killed-k-pop-and-how-idol-advertising-and/ K-pop and internet marketing Nostalgia ★★★
?Article Covid and fictitious capital https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2021/01/25/covid-and-fictitious-capital/ Markets decoupled from reality Nostalgia ★★
?Book Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More https://www.worldcat.org/title/everything-was-forever-until-it-was-no-more-the-last-soviet-generation/oclc/941080827&referer=brief_results Anthropological study of the mood of pre-dissolution Soviet Russia Nostalgia ★★★★★
?Book Ghosts of My Life https://www.worldcat.org/title/ghosts-of-my-life-writings-on-depression-hauntology-and-lost-futures/oclc/936416159&referer=brief_results misc hauntology ramblings Nostalgia
?Article How K-pop became a global phenomenon https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/2/16/16915672/what-is-kpop-history-explained On K-pop production and reception Nostalgia ★★
?Article Op-Ed: How the streaming wars are changing what you watch https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-07-18/netflix-amazon-hulu-streaming-competition-hollywood-content Streamers monopolising Nostalgia ★★★
?Book Protocol https://www.worldcat.org/title/protocol-how-control-exists-after-decentralization/oclc/982668932&referer=brief_results The Net exerts power Nostalgia
?Book The Circle of the Snake: Nostalgia and Utopia in the Age of Big Tech https://www.worldcat.org/title/circle-of-the-snake-nostalgia-and-utopia-in-the-age-of-big-tech/oclc/1140683049&referer=brief_results Prediction feedback loops Nostalgia ★★★★★
?Book The End of Forgetting: Growing Up with Social Media https://www.worldcat.org/title/end-of-forgetting-growing-up-with-social-media/oclc/1109928854&referer=brief_results You can’t escape your past Nostalgia ★★★
?Book The End of the End of History https://www.worldcat.org/title/end-of-the-end-of-history-politics-in-the-twenty-first-century/oclc/1252422521&referer=brief_results misc end of history ramblings Nostalgia
?Article The stock market is detached from economic reality. A reckoning is coming. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/stock-market-unemployment-disconnect/2020/09/09/087374ca-f306-11ea-bc45-e5d48ab44b9f_story.html Markets propped up by bullshit Nostalgia
?Article Twenty Years Ago, ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ Changed the Future of Hollywood https://www.theringer.com/movies/2021/12/17/22840267/lord-of-the-rings-harry-potter-anniversaries-fandom-ip-hollywood Post-00’s nostalgic blockbusters Nostalgia ★★★
?Paper A Review Of The Data Broker Industry: Collection, Use, And Sale Of Consumer Data For Marketing Purposes http://educationnewyork.com/files/rockefeller_databroker.pdf 2013 US Senate investigation into data brokers Surveillance ★★
?Article Austerity is an Algorithm https://logicmag.io/justice/austerity-is-an-algorithm/ Australian failure to automate social services Surveillance ★★
?Paper Behind the One-Way Mirror: A Deep Dive Into the Technology of Corporate Surveillance https://www.cag.edu.tr/uploads/site/lecturer-files/behind-the-one-way-mirror-a-deep-dive-into-the-technology-of-corporate-surveillance-electronic-frontier-foundation-dCqr.pdf Data collection overview Surveillance ★★
?Article BUGGER https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/entries/3662a707-0af9-3149-963f-47bea720b460 Spies aren’t good at their jobs Surveillance ★★★
?Article Catching Or Creating Terrorists? https://www.brandeis.edu/investigate/government-corporate-wrong-doing/catching-or-creating-terrorists.html Manufactured terror Surveillance ★★★
?Article Classroom Management: Simon Sinek, ClassDojo, and the Nostalgia Industry https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/classroom-management-simon-sinek-classdojo-and-the-nostalgia-industry/ Surveillance deployed against schoolkids Surveillance
?Article Data Broker Errors https://www.brennanlaw.com/practice-areas/identity-theft/data-broker-errors/ Data brokers fucking up Surveillance ★★★
?Article Data Brokers Are a Threat to Democracy https://www.wired.com/story/opinion-data-brokers-are-a-threat-to-democracy/ Innacurrate data used evilly Surveillance ★★★
?Article Data Relations https://logicmag.io/distribution/data-relations/ Data production as work and stuff like that Surveillance
?Paper Estimating The Prevalence Of Entrapment In Post-9/11 Terrorism Cases https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/jclc105&section=24 More sympathetic towards counterterrorism Surveillance ★★
?Article How The Lapd And Palantir Use Data To Justify Racist Policing https://theintercept.com/2021/01/30/lapd-palantir-data-driven-policing/ Tech won’t help policing Surveillance ★★★
?Article Inside the Whale: An Interview with an Anonymous Amazonian https://logicmag.io/commons/inside-the-whale-an-interview-with-an-anonymous-amazonian/ Amazon relationships with law/Corporate perspective Surveillance ★★★
?Article Logistics Workers of the World: A Conversation with Agnieszka Mróz of Amazon Workers International https://logicmag.io/care/logistics-workers-of-the-world-a-conversation-with-agnieszka-mroz-of-amazon/ How Amazon workers are surveilled/Worker perspective Surveillance ★★★
?Article Only 1 percent of “terrorists” caught by the FBI are real https://www.salon.com/2013/07/10/only_1_percent_of_terrorists_caught_by_fbi_are_real_partner/ Manufactured terror Surveillance ★★★
?Book Predict and Surveil https://www.worldcat.org/title/predict-and-surveil-data-discretion-and-the-future-of-policing/oclc/1239321544&referer=brief_results LAPD data use Surveillance ★★★
?Paper Radicalization Theory: An Imminent Threat https://scholar.colorado.edu/concern/undergraduate_honors_theses/9k41zd97f Counterterrorism is harmful busywork Surveillance ★★★
?Article Ring gave LAPD officers free cameras, pushed product promos https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story/2021-06-17/ring-influencer-marketing-los-angeles-police-department Amazon <3 the police Surveillance ★★
?Article Safe or Just Surveilled?: Tawana Petty on the Fight Against Facial Recognition Surveillance https://logicmag.io/security/safe-or-just-surveilled-tawana-petty-on-facial-recognition/ Increasing use of facial recogntion Surveillance ★★★
?Paper Separate And Unequal: The Law Of “Domestic” And “International” Terrorism https://search.informit.org/doi/abs/10.3316/agispt.20190828016173 Counterterrorism is harmful busywork Surveillance ★★★
?Paper Social Media Privacy: A Dozen Myths And Facts https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Delivery.cfm?abstractid=2298891 Weird privacy hot takes Surveillance ★★★★
?Article The data brokers quietly buying and selling your personal information https://www.fastcompany.com/90310803/here-are-the-data-brokers-quietly-buying-and-selling-your-personal-information Overview of data brokers Surveillance ★★★★
?Article The Data Is Ours! https://logicmag.io/scale/the-data-is-ours/ Data vibes overview Surveillance ★★
?Article The Informants https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/fbi-terrorist-informants/ FBI entrapment Surveillance ★★★
?Article The Popular Family Safety App Life360 Is Selling Precise Location Data on Its Tens of Millions of Users https://themarkup.org/privacy/2021/12/06/the-popular-family-safety-app-life360-is-selling-precise-location-data-on-its-tens-of-millions-of-user Underhanded data trading Surveillance ★★
?Article The secret police: Cops built a shadowy surveillance machine in Minnesota after George Floyd’s murder https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/03/03/1046676/police-surveillance-minnesota-george-floyd/ Recent expansion of surv. tech Surveillance ★★★
?Article Woke AI Won’t Save Us https://logicmag.io/bodies/woke-ai-wont-save-us/ This stuff doesnt work. Why keep going Surveillance ★★★★
?Book Automation and the Future of Work https://www.worldcat.org/title/automation-and-the-future-of-work/oclc/1316769061&referer=brief_results Stagnant economy vs automation hype Automation ★★★
?Book Platform Capitalism https://www.worldcat.org/title/platform-capitalism/oclc/1236075764&referer=brief_results Platforms amassing monopoly power Creators ★★★
?Paper This Person (Probably) Exists. Identity Membership Attacks Against GAN Generated Faces https://arxiv.org/abs/2107.06018 Algorithms just show us copies of the past Algorithms ★★★
?Paper Predictive Inequity in Object Detection https://arxiv.org/abs/1902.11097 Object detection racial bias Algorithms ★★

Audio Draft

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Shooting Script


A light clicks on, spotlighting CALEB — who looks pathetically lost.

Then, a voice:


Welcome, Caleb. I hope you like making your inane little content for the tech platforms. For the hope of a piece of a crumb of eventual creative freedom…

Caleb starts to realise something… More lights click on behind him.

He looks — directly into camera. What was darkness is now a NORMAL YOUTUBE SETUP. He goes to speak–


“YouTuber” and “Influencer” are now the top, dream careers… Do you remember this? Bit of news? People were absolutely livid about it: “Kids these days just want to get viral off TikToks. When I was a boy all we ever wanted was to work in an obviously unnecessary temporary office job.” Anyway it’s not even really true, that “fact” came from a survey that Lego did of some particularly annoying children.

Anyway. I think that stuff gets people going because a lot of people have some sort of creative, social-media-based, side-hustle, that they would love to metabolise into an income source.

And the tech companies agree, they say “Now is a better time than ever for creators. Anyone can create, everyone has the tools, anyone can build a fanbase of thousands, you don’t need a label or a studio, a publisher, a distributor, the old gatekeepers are gone. You can do it yourself.”

Which is all true, the only bit they fail to mention is that there is no alternative and you cannot make a living doing it.

Even to the biggest musicians in the world streaming royalties are a joke, they’re forced into barely breaking even on tours. Bonafide authors are selling better than ever before, at a loss. I’ve yet to claim the $2 of ad revenue that I’ve built up here. You cannot make a living from creating.

I’m not bitter, I’m not saying “where’s my money.” I think it’s a larger issue, and I think it applies to everyone, because at the very least you have to consume this shit. So actually, it’s very big of me. Er– It’s not that anyone making anything should be compensated for it, obviously if you’re making garbage that no-one ever wants to see, you can’t expect a return on that.

And to get good at making stuff, you really have to devote yourself to it. It takes training and time, and you don’t get paid for that, so you’re gonna have to live kinda poorly. And then actually making something good takes more time, more time than you’d think. I’ve been working on this series on and off since last year and it’s borderline.

But y’know. We’ve had those filters for about a century and they kind of work. The only problem now is that you never become viable. You train up, you make good shit. You can make content that’s valuable to hundreds of thousands of people and still not make a living.

What you can make a living from, is branding. If you have enough social capital to sell merch or crowdfund or endorse a product or act as a draw for what’s left of traditional media. You can make money doing that. And if you’re impossibly lucky, you can support yourself. But your work is still worthless.

Because content has been devalued.

The tech industry’s built on this dominance business model: They make a platform, scoop up users, then make sure they’re the only platform available for those users, by intentionally operating at a loss and driving competition into the ground, hemorrhaging money for as long as possible, buying up the competition, and therefore, be the only option left standing — And they’ve won.

Now the streaming business model is a subset of the dominance business model that is particularly popular in tech right now. We don’t have a ton of time to get into this, it’s a pretty big topic to cover, but basically: The goal for the tech companies is not to make money. It’s to dominate a space, hemorrhaging money and scooping up all the users until they’re the last man standing.

Then, the theory goes, they lower their costs, jack up the prices, and because the users have nowhere else to go they’ll make super-profits. These people are fucking morons. 

So Spotify loses $2.5 million every day, Netflix raised $16 billion in debt. And this isn’t quite as problem-free as you might imagine. As I’ve mentioned before, it puts them in the business of creating a technical and cultural stagnation. And here, it devalues content.

Like, Spotify deliberately set their subscription prices unjustifiably low, in a bid to kill all competition. Now. All of those subscriptions go into a pool, and then Spotify pays royalties out of that, divided up by the percentage each artist got out of the total monthly streams, and then the labels pay the artists their percentage of that percentage. Which obviously, ends up being jack shit… Directly decreasing the value of music.

But it’s not all roses. Spotify’s filled with fraud, you can list a fake song, and then get a botnet of dummy accounts to stream it. And at scale that’s a low-risk way of generating money. Or even actual musicians will make generic ambient music, under different names, to get onto the Spotify cafe playlists, which gets more streams and revenue than their actual work. And Spotify ignores all this, because it makes their numbers look better. But because the revenue is pooled and then paid out, it’s eating away at the percentage that artists are getting.

And they were able to get away with this by saying to the labels, “If you don’t let us do this, everyone will just steal your music. So, we’ll give you a few cents, plus a centralised promotional platform.” And instead of negotiating for music to have value, the labels accepted this, and made deals for favourable playlist placement, promotional space, and chart listings.

And these deals are obviously very unfair, especially to indie artists, who don’t benefit from them at all, and are often actively fucked over by them. 

A recent one was– Drake’s last album was ad-free. Which, because of the way royalties are paid out, means every non-Drake artist paid for that album. A fraction of a fraction of a cent each. Like the plot of Office Space, or Superman III… Unless he wasn’t getting paid from it, and also somehow calculated and supplemented the missing ad revenue, but since that’s not possible, and mentioning that would have made him look really good, I think we have to assume he didn’t.

But the idea is, yes this system is exploitative now, but eventually it’ll level out. At some point, they’ll have to turn a profit. So the content will slow down, and their prices will go up. And, in spite of that, subscriptions will keep rising… Which is a charming idea. 

Netflix has just started trying to do that, and for the first time ever, they’re losing subscribers

[But… The first time Netflix turned a profit was at the start of Coronavirus, when they had to completely stop production. And now they’re spending less, producing less, they’re saying after this year they’ll stop borrowing. But here’s a crazy coincidence: they’re experiencing unprecedented decline in their subscriber gain.]

Instead of “eventually levelling out,” what really happens is these companies tank an industry and then die out.

They’ve been throwing money at the wall to try and ruin all competition. But what’s actually happened is their competition has changed. They’re now competing against loss-leaders for companies that are much bigger. Companies that don’t care if they lose money on streaming, because it’s promotion for their brand. Netflix or Spotify aren’t going to beat Amazon or Apple. They’ve just driven culture into the ground for no fucking reason at all.

Not that everything’s bad now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that movies used to be better. I want to be clear on that, mostly for optics reasons, because that is what I believe– But just… The general trend is towards the narrowing parameters of commercialism.

“But Caleb, surely there’s all these independent content creators now. I’m watching this on YouTube and this is the best thing I’ve ever seen.” Oh thanks, that’s such a great point, let me address that…

Since I’ve been doing these videos, people want to know: how much do I make? Which is interesting. People don’t normally ask you that about most jobs. But I think ‘YouTuber’ is seen as attainable, easy money. Right now you’re thinking “I could do this” and you’re right about that. But this is worth fuck all.

Online advertising is measured in “cost per mille,” which is short for cost per thousand. And it’s all over the place depending on what you’re doing, this will be worth maybe $3 USD, because not a lot of advertising is gonna go nicely with this. But if I were doing like, crypto investment advice, it’d be worth maybe $10-11, because demographically the people who watch that kind of thing are fucking rubes.

But the all-time average is $5. $5 for 1000 views. Cool. That’s $5000 for a million, or some bits of a cent per person. Then half of that goes to YouTube or Amazon for streamers, which isn’t so bad, as long as you’re getting hundreds of thousands of views every week and you never stop and you never get copyright claimed, and you never get demonetized, and no-one’s heard of uBlock Origin… You’re potentially sitting above the poverty line. You still haven’t reached a minimum wage, but it’s good to have goals.

You have to get viewing figures comparable to actual entire network TV show to make enough money for 1 person. If I were getting a million views a month on this channel, I’d be lucky to get more than $10,000 a year in ad revenue.

But it’s not like Google are particularly scamming creators there, online advertising is just genuinely that worthless.

And one of the content creators affected by this, had a bit of his parents’ money, so he decided to solve the exploitation of creators in the online media landscape, by combining social media with a payment processor.

Patreon, where your audience pays you directly by subscription. And they take a more sensible cut, usually around 14-30%.

Of course the problem with Patreon is it adds work. In addition to whatever you’re trying to fund, you now have to make side-content. And the general trend is that setting up a Patreon marks a move from doing something on the side, to making it work as a full time thing.

Now, out of all the creators earning on that platform, less than 1% make a livable wage. And that’s not including people not earning on the platform… The vast majority who make $0. They’re generally absent from all statistics, because maybe they just fully set up their account as a joke or something.

But Patreon itself is doing well, they’re currently valued at $4 billion. And pandemic unemployment greatly increased their creator base, as people ran out of options. And they’ve done a good job of marketing themselves: “Look at these 5 people who are successful! (darkly) But don’t look at the 99% who fail out of it…”

But across the board in new media, you will not profit unless you super-profit. And to be in with a shot you have to be producing content full-time. YouTube basically requires a video a day, Twitch streaming is every day. You don’t need to make something good, you need to make something now. You have to make massive amounts of low-effort content constantly, or you’re not in with a shot.

Or, you could make this which is of no value to anyone and has no financial future.

But it’s typical for this full-time, losing money, throwing content into the void, to go on for years before you see any return. A successful Kickstarter requires at least 3 years of full-time brand-building up front. The only hope for a fully independent artist on Spotify is that somehow, you have a statistically impossible viral hit. 

And who can even afford to attempt that. It’s like quitting your job to become a full-time lottery ticket purchaser, only riskier.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not insanely bitter — am I? Oh, no yeah hang on– yeah I am. I am insanely bitter.

But the tech platforms aren’t the only option, there’s still traditional media. Dying traditional media. Where it’s standard to do multiple unpaid internships. The basic logic there is it’s easier to turn a profit if they use slave labour.

People who don’t have a mass of generational wealth find these internships exploitative and difficult, they’re often unable to support themselves through it so they have to leave the creative industries entirely. Those who do last, often don’t see it pay off with any meaningful connections, creative freedom, or careers.

Conversely, people who do have a bunch of money going in find these internships to be empowering creative opportunities which pay off big-time.

And this is the root of it I think. The marketplace has been destroyed by unregulated tech companies, and growing inequality destroyed the workforce. You can’t make money from making stuff, so you have to have the money to throw it away. 

Which means no one can afford to create. While the richest kids in the world become New York improv comics. Imagine the shame of that. Bred for power and the best you can do is not even a doing a joke.

We’ve forgotten that creativity has value. Genuine, measurable, long-term, economic value, and something more… We’ve let the tech platforms become the alternative to the arts. So now, instead of actual art made by professional artists, you get kind-of okay content made by your kind-of friends.

Now part of that is the literal public funding slipping away, and consolidating around existing large companies, instead of kickstarting a new generation.

If you’re an American and your watching this going “he’s a fucking idiot this is the stupidest socialist wank I’ve ever heard.” Don’t worry, I’m not saying that public funding is the solution.

But, it’s been done and it has its place. The BBC, NZ on air, Soviet cinema, all notably made really good stuff that you just couldn’t make in the market. Sure, what gets made is arbitrarily picked by people in power, but it at least allows the creation of things that wouldn’t be commercially viable.

Here in New Zealand there does seem to be widespread support for increasing arts funding, I think largely because our culture is increasingly dominated by the United States and the Americans are a disgusting, shameful, people. 

It wasn’t always this way, we used to import most of our culture from the U.K. The British were a bit of a cultural juggernaut in the 60’s. Partly because of their generous arts funding, but also their generous welfare state.

Essentially every British band you can name started out on welfare. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, through to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, UB-40’s named after the unemployment form. Because artists need time and training to get good, and time to make stuff, and they just need to sort of subsist for a while.

Then over time, they stopped funding their arts and humanities, until, by the late 90’s, it’s gone. And you can see it happen in the transition from bands to solo acts. Big-budget movies to low-budget. And in a win for everybody[?], experimental theatre to stand-up comedy. But basically artists were still able to support themselves, but their content had to have lower overheads.

Then, at the start of the noughties they drastically changed their welfare system, from supporting people out of work, to pushing people into work. Now, this system has proven to be more expensive, they never see the same long-term returns on it, and it just barely juices the unemployment statistics by forcing people into temporary work and encouraging suicide. But it is the widely accepted system now. Across the world. As we follow in the footsteps of the Americans who, as I’ve mentioned, are a disgusting, vile people. Er–

But at the same time as doing this, they wanted to repeat the past. They wanted their pop culture boom back. So at the same time as cutting welfare, they increased arts funding, and widened the parameters of creative work to include everything from software development to advertising.

Now shockingly, that didn’t work. It didn’t lead to a mass resurgence of their pop culture. What it did was create a world-class marketing industry fueled by interns. Who would’ve thought. Giving rich kids start-up funding doesn’t create good art.

So they didn’t get The Beatles 2 because the next John Lennon was too busy bagging someone’s groceries. For no reason. You can bag your own groceries. 

So yes, we live in a world where anyone can download FL studio, cameras are cheaper than ever, you can build a fanbase of thousands from your bedroom. But for a creative to make a living, it’s less attainable than ever. If you want to do anything creative, it’s whoever can sustain the losses for the longest wins.

[and that breeds stagnation]

[Don’t get me wrong, I’m not insanely bitter — am I? Oh, no yeah hang on– yeah I am. I am insanely bitter.]

Maybe it’s controversial but I think everyone deserves a roof over their head, and food. Whether they’re working on something worthless, just of no value to anyone, or making art. 

[And this is barely about content creators anymore, but if you want a better world, it starts with a more equitable society. So, if you could get to work on that… ]

The floor falls away — Caleb drops into the abyss.