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 Paper is first up below. We’ve also got a look at the social media business model, a review of Randi Zuckerberg’s Dot Complicated, and a comparison of 1984 and Brave New World from our friend Arthur Hunt. Oh, and Facebook is read daily more than the Bible, but you probably knew that already.

Facebook Paper Ad

Greetings from the Rubbish Patch –

“The world of Paper is an anachronism. It’s a screenless world created to sell you a thing made for the screen. It’s the past resurrected in order to convince you that something entirely common today is actually a portal to the future. Anyone touching a shiny, bright screen is going to look futuristic when they’re ensconced in a world furnished with stuff from Grandmother’s attic. This is a manipulation. If we want the world of Her, let’s actually go build it. Let’s figure out how to build technology that can be productively used without having to stare at it all the time. Let’s figure out how to do that in a way that doesn’t continue to hand over our privacy and free will to corporations that clearly still haven’t figured out how to get out of the advertising game. Let’s figure out how to break the attention barrier and return to a sense of technological progress that is measured by how useful things are, not how good they are at catching us in digital traps where we waste our lives clicking things. But let’s not delude ourselves that we’re just an app-install away from a frictionless and clean world of invisible technology.”

The One Thing Everybody Got Wrong About Twitter – The Atlantic

“The old critique of social media companies like Facebook and Twitter (and Snapchat and WhatsApp) went like this: Adding users is easy, but where’s the money? The new concern about social media companies is the opposite: Fine, you’re making money, but where are the users?”

Controlling Factors: Two Surefire Paths for Losing Your Freedoms – Salvo

“The worlds of Orwell and Huxley are fictitious, but at the time of their publication, both novels were reasonable speculations by gifted men based on conditions already existing in the twentieth century. The passing of two more generations has not removed these conditions; rather, it has only made them more acute. Societies today find their freedom ever more imperiled by such challenges as having to live with weapons of mass destruction, historical dementia, the collapse of the traditional family unit, irrationality, a loss of the Christian ethos, the surrender of the culture to the god of technology, and the concentration of power in the hands of a few.”

Randi Zuckerberg Thinks We Should Untangle Our Wired Lives – The Last Psychiatrist

“The false dichotomy of “the balance” starts even earlier with reversing the direction of the vector of plugged/unplugged. “You need to unplug” assumes the default is plugged, but the vast majority of our response to the blinking blue light is a volitional search for anything else but now. It’s worth recalling that the phrase, “you need to unplug” came from The Matrix, and the phrase was important because it had an ironic second meaning: not “you need to stop drawing from the Matrix” but “you need to stop feeding it at the expense of your life.”

Go Figure: Facebook Read Daily More Than Bible – Associated Press

“Facebook’s numbers are epic. More Americans check Facebook daily than read the Bible and it has more monthly users worldwide than most continents have people.”

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About the Contributor

Benjamin Robertson

Benjamin Robertson
Benjamin Robertson is a founding editor at Second Nature. He has worked in advertising for the Chicago Tribune and Gannett, and now is a web developer at Mediacurrent. He studied Communications and Media Studies under Dr. Read Schuchardt at Wheaton College in Illinois. He has presented papers on Marshall McLuhan, media ecology, and Christianity at the Media Ecology Association, National Communication Association, and the McLuhan's Philosophy of Media Centennial Conference in Brussels. He lives with his wife, Ruth, in Greenville, SC. His personal website is

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