suggested reads for May 26, 2019

One out of every 11,600 people in San Francisco is a billionaire

Statistics like that throw into sharp relief the challenge for Silicon Valley and its leaders in 2019: They are stereotyped, and perhaps not unfairly, as out of touch with the people whose lives they affect around the world. If you’re a billionaire who dines with other billionaires, skis with other billionaires, and raises your family alongside other billionaires, then maybe your work decisions are based on a narrow understanding of the world outside of San Francisco.

Vox, 9 May 2019

I do find that many products coming from USA are too much connected with a certain kind of culture, ignoring peoples’ needs in their aseptic form; ie. a apparel covers the need of body protection, while many “apps” – but I should say business models like Uber of that of food delivery — covers needs for a certain model of economics that only with time spreads elsewhere generating nightmares.

Nightmares like really poor people running all over the city I live in, for Glovo or other firms, with stolen bikes, dirty food bags and without any form of ‘social care’ for their being workers.

suggested reads for May 5, 2019

The machine stops

Much of this, remarkably, was envisaged by E. M. Forster in his 1909 story “The Machine Stops,” in which he imagined a future where people live underground in isolated cells, never seeing one another and communicating only by audio and visual devices. In this world, original thought and direct observation are discouraged—“Beware of first-hand ideas!” people are told. Humanity has been overtaken by “the Machine,” which provides all comforts and meets all needs—except the need for human contact. One young man, Kuno, pleads with his mother via a Skype-like technology, “I want to see you not through the Machine. . . . I want to speak to you not through the wearisome Machine.”
He says to his mother, who is absorbed in her hectic, meaningless life, “We have lost the sense of space. . . . We have lost a part of ourselves. . . . Cannot you see . . . that it is we that are dying, and that down here the only thing that really lives is the Machine?”
This is how I feel increasingly often about our bewitched, besotted society, too.

Oliver Sacks, the New Yorker 

What the self-help gurus and their critics reveal about our times.

“In a consumerist society, we are not meant to buy one pair of jeans and then be satisfied,” Cederström and Spicer write, and the same, they think, is true of self-improvement. We are being sold on the need to upgrade all parts of ourselves, all at once, including parts that we did not previously know needed upgrading. (This may explain Yoni eggs, stone vaginal inserts that purport to strengthen women’s pelvic-floor muscles and take away “negative energy.” Gwyneth Paltrow’s Web site, Goop, offers them in both jade and rose quartz.) There is a great deal of money to be made by those who diagnose and treat our fears of inadequacy; Cederström and Spicer estimate that the self-improvement industry takes in ten billion dollars a year.
Alexandra Schwartz

Almost one year later, someone pointed me to Improving Ourselves to Death. Well worth a read, my friend…

suggested reads for October 7, 2018