Note: All my posts on the ’60s are gathered under “The ’60s,” above. Being a blog, these posts are in reverse order. If you want to read them from the beginning, scroll down. Chapter 1 is at the bottom, chapter 2 above that, etc.

Fox Meets Coyote

Coyote alongside Highway One. I’ve seen him several times. He seems curious about humans. The trickster. I hope people aren’t feeding him.

Fox was the only living man. There was no earth. The water was everywhere.

“What shall I do,” Fox asked himself. He began to sing in order to find out.

“I would like to meet somebody,” he sang to the sky.

Then he met Coyote.

“I thought I was going to meet someone,” Fox said.

“Where are you going?” Coyote asked.

“I been wandering all over trying to find someone.

I was worried there for a while.”

“Well, it’s better for two people to go together … That’s what they always say.”

“Okay. But what will we do?”

“I don’t know.”

“I got it! Let’s try to make the world.”

“And how are we going to do that?” Coyote asked.

“Sing!” said Fox.

–Jaime de Angulo, Indian Tales
(From the first page of Shelter)

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Driftwood Shacks Book Now Available

This is the second edition of this book, doubled in size, and printed on a Heidelberg press. (The first edition was a print-on-demand book done on an inkjet press.)

You can preview parts of the book here: www.shelterpub.com/driftwood-flipbook-sample

Hardcover • 8½” by 8½” • $19.95
160 pages • 176 color photos
ISBN 978-0-936070-80-3

It’s available in bookstores, or on our website here: www.shelterpub.com/building/driftwood

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Zucked – And How!

Check out this new book.

Facebook is turning out to be a horror story.

Go to Amazon here and read the author’s prologue in the “Look Inside.” Please read this if you use Facebook. It’s chilling.

…democracy has been undermined because of design choices and business decisions by Internet platforms that deny responsibility for the consequences of their actions. How the culture of these companies causes employees to be indifferent to the negative side effects of their success. At this writing, there is nothing to prevent more of the same.

It’s giving me second thoughts about using Instagram. Rick Gordon pointed this out to me yesterday:

You may be shocked to find out that once you post on these sites (Facebook, Instagram), that although you still ‘own’ the photograph, you grant the social media sites a license to use your photograph any way they see fit for free AND you grant them the right to let others use your picture as well.

Sheesh! I had no idea. Instagrammers, photographers, check this out: www.shltr.net/zucked

From Tom Bissel’s review in the 1/29/19 edition of the NY Times:

…McNamee saves his most conspicuous outrage for Facebook’s amoral leadership at the hands of not just Zuckerberg but also his chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, whom McNamee recommended Zuck hire before she could take a job at The Washington Post. McNamee describes their grip on the company as “the most centralized decision-making structure I have ever encountered in a large company.” Their power dyad is possible only because Facebook’s “core platform,” as McNamee puts it, is relatively simple: It “consists of a product and a monetization scheme.” Non-tech companies with comparable global reach (Coca-Cola, Exxon) must deal with complex real-world infrastructure issues as well as the needs of a highly diverse work force. Large corporations also typically create interrelated eddies of economic activity, whereas Facebook’s business model is founded upon sucking the economic activity out of otherwise productive workers. Most troubling of all, a company whose product is used by one-third of the planet has only 30,000 employees. In every imaginable sense, Facebook is a Borg-like drain on the world’s economy. It doesn’t make you better and likely makes you worse. Unlike Exxon, it can’t even get you to Albuquerque.…

…McNamee’s book is … a robust and helpful itemization of the ways Facebook could be brought to heel. McNamee clearly believes the company can be made into something more benign, and perhaps even socially beneficial. That may or may not be true, but the damage it has already done is not precisely containable. Considering the high likelihood that Russian activity on Facebook may have tipped the 2016 election to Donald Trump, the damage is already of generational measure.

But here’s the bizarre quirk of the Facebook dystopia, whose sheer perversity would have likely pleased Orwell: It’s all Big and no Brother. Our time and lives are the company’s only currency. Without our continued attention, Facebook quite literally has nothing, and its empire could be brought down with a feather. Now, blow.

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