Happy Halloween! I think it’s time to get out your Xmas tree now and begin slow-sous-viding your turkeys for the rest of the holidays. My trip to Oregon was both a delight and a shock with everyone pretending COVID is over. Also, they have this thing where water falls from the sky a lot, and I’m told it can prevent drought. Maybe the Bay Area could use some of this sky water? I’ve soaked up quite a bit while riding bikes, so maybe I brought a bit back with me.
When I lived in Portland, I commuted by bike, but never really did any distance or elevation—this week I did a bit of both. Bringing a bike with me on the plane was a little annoying, but once I landed and built it again, I was all smiles. My main lesson from cycling around is that without a good lock, you’re a bit at the mercy of places that let you bring your bike in, which were ample, but not guaranteed. It was nice being able to meet up with friends, but some of the shopping I needed to do for the gala meant walking or taking transit instead. All in all though, it was a successful and fun experiment.
If you’ve read this newsletter for a while you likely know I stopped tweeting or reading Twitter a couple years ago, and this week with one of the most idiotic people in tech buying the company, I feel even better about that decision. I hope against hope that the terrible world of content moderation destroys this man sooner than later. In the meantime at least, we can cheer as Amazon, Google, and Meta all tank in the markets as ads and constantly choosing ad profits over user experience comes back to bite these monsters.
I’m watching The Peripheral currently, based on an excellent book by William Gibson, and its reminded me again just how unsustainable the very ill-adjusted man-children steering tech’s plans are. Instead of aiming towards solutions to, or avoidance of “the jackpot,” Musk and Zuck seem deadset on capitalizing on a foregone conclusion in the pursuit of 10^58 digital humans in the future. I get it, to a degree: solutions to hunger, disease, housing, transit, and disastrous climate change aren’t fun, or very futuristic feeling. However, to have a future, I think we must think about equitable sharing of resources, particularly between northern nations and the global south. The idea of having a bit less so that other people around my city, state, country, and world are able to also thrive just seems like such a no-brainer. Unless you want to walk around gutted-out cities with bodyguards, or emerge from a bunker to an empty, ravaged world, I just don’t see how you can be rich and enjoy yourself for the the next 10-50 years. At some point, people will realize that billionaires and oligarchs are happy for them to die to increase profitability and there will be a global strike or a number of other actions. Frankly, the fact that millions of people globally have died to COVID and the world largely seems to have shrugged makes me worried it might take even longer for people to fight for a better future, but I hope I’m surprised and organizing starts soon.