You are in charge of your destiny

“A Pepsi commercial on MTV promoting the 1998 MTV music video awards emphasized the fact that the video of the year award would be selected by the viewers through Internet and phone calls live during the show; the commercial dramatized “the power of choice” and reminded us that “you are in charge of your destiny,” equating the ability to vote for an MTV music video award with personal and social power. In such fashion, the interactive spectacle attempts to seduce viewers into playing its game and equates virtual participation with empowerment and destiny.”

Steve Best and Douglas Kellner, Debord, Cybersituations, and the Interactive Spectacle

Hard working children

“All the snapping and posting of photos, liking, commenting, linking, and clicking is happening without any compensation for this sweat. No wonder Zukerberg’s personal net worth is 34 billion. Youtube is saturated with videos of young people — many in their teens — testing out their skills at contributing to the world, offering tutorials in bow-tie tying, make-up tips, computer application reviews, movie reviews and many, many software tutorials focused on anything from Final Cut Pro to InDesign — high end and complicated applications, which they’ve clearly mastered. The beneficiaries of all of this generous labour are not only those whose lives are made slightly more easy, but, even more so, the companies who create the products that these kids are all helping us to use. The demand on Adobe from customers struggling to sort out Final Cut is much less because of the unpaid labour of young people.”

Darren O’Donnell, Hard Working Children

Turn off the options, and turn up the intimacy

“Although designers continue to dream of “transparency” – technologies that just do their job without making their presence felt – both creators and audiences actually like technologies with “personality.” A personality is something with which you can have a relationship. Which is why people return to pencils, violins, and the same three guitar chords.”

Brian Eno, The Revenge of the Intuitive

Making process visible

“I saw scores as a way of describing all such processes in all the arts, of marking process visible and thereby designing with process through scores. I saw scores also as a way of communicating these processes over time and space to other people in other places at other moments and as a vehicle to allow many people into the act of creation together, allowing for participation, feedback and communication.”

Lawrence Halprin, The RSVP Cycles

Conditions of closely choreographed banality

“Let’s step back for a moment—or rather, float upward a bit, and imagine a bird’s-eye view of this society, one in which harried workers are sent to and fro by way of commands conveyed to them through personal computing devices. They don’t know why they are doing these things, nor what sort of calculus informs all their data-charged activity. But still they follow the commands, which come with the computer’s imprimatur of mathematical precision and authority. They move between tasks with all the attention and care of worker bees; accomplishing the job without hesitation is all that matters. They live and work in conditions of closely choreographed banality.”

Jacob Silverman, The Crowdsourcing Scam

Such final and general DoomsDays

“In this great Celestial Creation, the Catastrophy of a World, such as ours, or even the total Dissolution of a System of Worlds, may possibly be no more to the great Author of Nature, than the most common Accident in Life with us, and in all Probability such final and general DoomsDays may be as frequent there, as even Birth-Days or Mortality with us upon this Earth.”

Thomas Wright, An Original Theory Or New Hypothesis of the Universe

The light of consciousness

“It’s funny. Not everyone loves humanity. Either explicitly or implicitly, some people seem to think that humans are a blight on the Earth’s surface. They say things like, ‘Nature is so wonderful; things are always better in the countryside where there are no people around.’ They imply that humanity and civilisation are less good than their absence. But I’m not in that school . . . I think we have a duty to maintain the light of consciousness, to make sure it continues into the future.”

Elon Musk, Aeon Magazine