Archives for February 2014

America: Where Nobody Knows Your Name

Every once in a while, you experience one of those sublime moments when an advertisement pulls back the curtain just enough for you to see what the marketers are really trying to sell you. Usually, they’re smart and try to convince you that when you buy a new smartphone you are really buying coolness, innovation, […]

Conscience of a Machine

Gary Marcus has predicted that within the next two to three decades we would enter an era “in which it will no longer be optional for machines to have ethical systems.” Marcus invites us to imagine the following driverless car scenario: “Your car is speeding along a bridge at fifty miles per hour when errant school […]

Reading List: Reading and Death, Is WhatsApp Kosher?

If you’ve been wondering what the ultra-orthodox Jewish community thinks about WhatsApp or what advice Google is passing along to Google Glass owners on how not to be creepy, this week’s reading list is just for you. The UNICEF Tap Project UNICEF’s Tap Project is raising money for clean water and discouraging smart phone use […]

Informing Ourselves to Death

Neil Postman appears on The Open Mind on December 8, 1990 to discuss the problem of information glut with host Richard Heffner. And, for those of you who prefer the word to the image (transcription courtesy of The Open Mind): I’m Richard Heffner, your host on THE OPEN MIND…and every once in a while I feel […]

Reading List: Thinkfluence, E-books, and How God Turned into Money

Does social media really help us socialize, or are they really more about attention grabbing and thinkfluence? We’ve got some insights on the social media trends of 2014, an excellent longform examination of the digital publishing world and what we gain and what experiences we still miss from our e-books, an interview with Giorgio Agamben […]

Digital Mindshifting: Integrating Our Minds with Digital Technology

In this TEDx presentation, Derrick de Kerchkove invites us on an epistemological adventure to consider the ‘mindshift’ taking place as we become more and more comfortable integrating our lives with digital technology. De Kerchkove is a professor of Sociology at the University Federico II in Naples and the former director of the McLuhan Program in […]

The Seduction of Transparency

Transparency will make us all moral. Soon we will have the technical means necessary to make all the important acts in our lives traceable. Our power to spot and confront cheating and illegality of all stripes expands constantly. So our attention turns to ethical questions. Given our growing awareness that everything we do is being […]

Reading List: Facebook’s Paper and Other Updates

If you missed it on your Facebook feed this past week, Facebook turned ten and released a new app, Paper. Unlike real paper you can’t write on it, burn it, or make compost with it, but there has been a lot of ink shed surrounding its release. The best piece I’ve read so far about […]

The Ballad of Marshall McLuhan

This might be the most fun introduction to Marshall McLuhan you’ll find. The song: The Ballad of Marshall McLuhan The band: The Vestibules The album: Radio Free Vestibule Lyrics Once upon a time there was a town A town where chaos reigned. Lawlessness was everywhere And there was no cohesive theory existing which properly explained […]

Reading List: Mass Mobs, Internet Inequality, and Big Ads

This week check out how much time you’ve wasted on Facebook, how not to get massively hacked, and read about the ‘likability’ of different sized internet ads. And if you missed it last week, be sure to check out Brett Robinson’s piece on what Apple is really selling: poetry, beauty, romance and meaning. Touching is […]

Support Second Nature

If you find value in the work we do at Second Nature, please consider making a modest donation. Every donation, no matter how small, is a huge encouragement to us in our work.