For the first time ever, I’m tempted to get a PlayStation!
I frequently look up things on my iPhone or iPad. If I then decide to drive there, it’s easiest to send the location to the Tesla for the in-car navigation instead of looking it up all over again when I get in the car.
It’s done, simply:
From the location in Apple Maps, touch the “Share” icon
Select the Tesla app to share with your in-car navigation…
You will get a brief “Sending” status while the destination is sent to the Tesla app, and then on to the car…
And then a status indicating that the destination was successfully sent to the car!
it’s a little thing, but quite nice.
Now if Tesla could just do better support for music libraries, and Apple CarPlay, and …
There is a lot of really great stuff in Apple’s new macOS release, Catalina (macOS 10.15).
But there is also a lot changed that can cause problems.
I strongly recommend you wait until the first major update (likely macOS 10.15.1) before upgrading to macOS Catalina.
If you do decide to upgrade to Catalina, be sure to take all the usual extra precautions, especially to make a full image backup of your main boot drive. Right now, my recommendation is Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) which has a new version available that works with Catalina. (SuperDuper, my other long-time favorite, has not yet (as of this writing on October 8th, 2019) released a version that works with Catalina.)
The makers of CCC have written a great blog post, which also explains a bit about what is changed in Catalina that makes it complicated to support and why having a fully bootable backup is essential for safety. (tl;dr – it’s the only way to go BACK to Mojave.)
I always recommend maintaining a fully bootable backup that’s updated on a regular basis, but before this Catalina upgrade, it really is absolutely essential.
For a full review of macOS Catalina, check out MacStories:
at the inclusion camp event hosted by Fenixia Foundation at Punta de Gloria Resort, there was a traditional Philippine feast for the volunteers, staff, and families…
… and after:
Social media has reshaped our culture, and this has convinced us that it is fundamentally appealing. Strip away its most manipulative elements, though, and we may find that it’s less rewarding than it seems.
"Just a reminder that every Facebook privacy scandal you’ve heard about for the past seven years — Cambridge Analytica, passwords stored in plain text, that thing where they were demanding email account passwords, using two-factor phone numbers for user account lookup, the private data sent to Facebook by developers using the company’s SDK, and so on; I could do this all day — was committed while the company was already promising the FTC to not violate users’ privacy."
Excellent quote from David Brooks, speaking with Ezra Klein, on the lies we are told about meaning in life.
Today I’m in San Francisco at The Internet Archive, where they are hosting a “Grand Re-opening of the Public Domain.”
The main stage program is being live-streamed on the YouTube Channel of the Internet Archive:
In this time of uncertainty, confusion, and division, it’s wonderful to be celebrating creativity and history here today.
Until a few years ago, the tech world, and especially the computer systems and software industries, were full of imagination and inspiration. A computer was a ‘bicycle for the mind’ 1, and the internet a ‘town square for the global village’ 2.
Now, instead, we have growth at any cost and an advertising-driven business model that invades our lives and manipulates us to click again for that next dopamine rush.
It doesn’t have to be this way. I’m hoping, and even betting, that this is a aberration, a temporary derailing of our progress.
Technology itself is not the answer. As always, all progress will come from talented and creative people. But to turn this around takes the right kinds of values, and development of a different kind of vision for a technological future.
Look Where You Want to Go
I’m a skier, and even though my arthritic right knee doesn’t let me take on the mountain like I used to, skiing is still deep inside me. When I was first learning about mindfulness and meditation, I recognized the peaceful focus described by Jon Kabat Zinn and Alan Watts in my solo tracks on steep slopes through the trees. It’s “the zone,” but not in the constrained and restricted mode that sports often evoke, but in an open, free, and spacious awareness. Skiing the trees is different from running gates for time. The perfection is creative. The pathfinding is artistry. It’s a dance.
One thing you don’t do when skiing through the trees is look at the trees. You look at the gaps between the trees — you look where you want to go, not at what you want to avoid. You look beyond the immediate gap in front of you. You see, all at once, all the shapes and possibilities down the whole mountain. You don’t take a direct route, but choose creatively for fun; for variety and for expression.
For years now, the world of Silicon Valley has been dominated by a focus on growth, which brings with it an implied strategy of free products supported by advertising, driving problematic tactics to maximize engagement. Engagement. That’s the term of art for what might also be called click addiction.
Google’s unofficial motto, “Don’t be Evil” always struck me as lacking. They are saying, “Don’t hit the tree.” There is an opportunity they have to refine that to focus on building something good, rather than avoiding something bad. There’s no creative energy developed from “don’t hit the tree.”
Google’s official mission statement is better: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” But I’d be more impressed if it answered a human question of “why.” But even here they fall down. Look at YouTube, a place where the rabbit hole of video after video will take one to darker and more outrageous places. Maybe if they had some more human focus on improving the world, they would find some way to surface better material on YouTube. Maybe.
Who do You Choose to Be?
When Tim Cook says that “he wouldn’t be in this situation,” he a referring to Facebook but also commenting on this whole ecosystem. Facebook, of course, has well-documented problems as their targeted advertising tools have be used by bad actors to foment division and crank up the rage. But it’s not that different elsewhere. A whole industry exists to glean information about us from our every interaction and then drop targeted advertising in front of us wherever we go online. All of this creates problems for vulnerable individuals and groups to be sure, but also for society as a whole. Tim Cook wouldn’t be in this situation because the business he runs, Apple, doesn’t operate to maximize engagement or even to monopolize a market. The business strategy you choose has consequences.
The key, I think, is to build and generate capability in people. Help them to better do work that’s important. Or at least help them to more easily do the neccessary work so that they can focus more of their energy on the important stuff. Help people be creative. Help people build a community. Help people collaborate. Help people understand and solve difficult problems.
For Facebook, for Twitter, for Google and their subsidiary YouTube, and probably for Uber and others, this may be the only way for them to survive long-term. This may seem a silly thing to say when these are among the top companies in the world. But each of these companies thrive when people use them, and one barrier to people using them is the trust gap that’s developing.
Outrage and division can only work as an engagement driver for so long, before people tire of it and withdraw. I’m already advising friends and family to improve their online experience by blocking purveyors of outrage and by turning off notifications for all but the most necessary updates. But these simple steps of self-defense may not be enough.
I propose that the only way for these companies to fix this trust gap is to refocus on serving the needs of people and communities. For some it may already be too late.
But I also think that just as some of the most creative and useful advances on the internet came out of the years following the collapse of the first Internet Bubble, frustration with today’s algorithmic advertising wasteland and its outrage-driven engagement algorithms is generating fascinating work on privacy and security and new tools and new models for communities and advocacy. In these, if not in the big tech companies, I find some optimism.
I think of this as my personal theme for 2019: Speak Up.
It applies to so many things, including writing more here and on the Square Peg Foundation website.
But it also applies in daily life. In work life. In personal connections with friends and family. In public interactions with strangers and neighbors.
By speaking up we also learn. Especially when writing. Because writing makes you consider not just your words, but your ideas, and how they fit together. But also in public speaking, because it’s another format where you are trying to get across ideas clearly, and striving for that clarity also refines your ideas.
All of us let too much slide. We don’t say enough — don’t do enough. We can step in and take a stand, lend a hand, or even just ask a question that illuminates a problem. We can provide relief to someone bearing a burden, or simply let a person know that they are heard. Sometimes all we need to do is hold space for someone as they grieve, or as they vent their frustration.
We can also do much through our own behavior. People, especially kids, learn from our example. They see and understand, more than we credit. But part of the behavior that we should model is to speak up, with kindness, more often.
Speak Up isn’t about talking. Sometimes it’s about listening. Sometimes it’s about doing. It’s always about striving to be better.