A third truth is that we have a generation in crisis and in desperate need of the best of what science and evidence-based solutions can offer. Unfortunately, our time is being spent telling stories that are unsupported by research and that do little to support young people who need, and deserve, more.

The experts agree that kids need to be cared for better. The experts also agree that people like Haidt are grifters who do not contribute anything into that direction.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-024-00902-2

Threads works functionally but as a product it’s very bad. As this article mentions being on Threads is a slow-motion exercise in going insane. Threads actively disables many things that make microblogging work and for the rest of the experience there’s very little thought that went into it other than “let’s make a text-based Instagram and see what happens”.

Threads makes Mastodon feel engaging (and that’s saying something).

https://maxread.substack.com/p/threads-is-the-gas-leak-social-network

I would be the last to ever watch anything by Lex Fridman, but TikTok has been feeding me clips from his interview with Bassem Youssef and I can’t help but be impressed. Fridman does a decent job interviewing but of course the conversation is carried by Youssef, who is nothing short of a treasure.

I found a new German podcast crush in Hart Unfair which is my favorite format: three people (Anna Dushime, Yelda Türkmen and Ari Christmann) rambling through one another but in a way that’s funny, intelligent and diverse. It’s a shame that they publish so irregularly that I can’t tell if the podcast is dead or not.

One of the hosts dropped a casual Hasan Piker reference (in a conversation about pop culture and leftist politics) and… I didn’t even know there were Germans who know who that is.

https://www.instagram.com/hartunfair/

The comments online around the Apple Vision Pro have been pretty deranged in a stupid kind of way. Lots of people jumped to the foregone conclusion that Apple released a failure or that it “wasn’t going to be a success”. Most of that seemed to have been motivated by clout chasing.

I don’t think that really matters that much other than serving to have the person making the comment show their ass for the entire world to see.

I feel that Apple Vision Pro is a deeply interesting and conflicted technology which is also the conclusion that Cortex reaches here. You’ll notice that Grey and Myke actually used the device and they are fairly knowledgeable about apps and ways of working/playing.

I got to take one home for a weekend and I can testify similarly except for missing out on a bunch of features. Because it’s only out in the US, I could not access a paid App Store or get an Apple Arcade subscription. That means I could only get the free vision apps out there which are incredibly lacklustre.

What everybody seems to have done is to take whatever IP they had lying around, wrap it into a VisionOS starter project and throw it onto the App Store. That will probably be the modus operandi for a while going forward. If you look at the absolute dregs on the App Store and now realise that making a good VisionOS app is probably at least 10x as difficult as making a good iOS app, then things are not looking good.

The only really compelling experience was the Encounter Dinosaurs app which is genuinely disconcerting and scary. But because of its very high production values, it’s also only a couple of minutes long.

Most compelling is using the Vision Pro to consume media. Watching movies in Disney+ is a fantastic experience if the device wasn’t so uncomfortable to use. Being able to watch sporting events on a massive screen with sidecar screens and 3D views of the course/track seems like it would also be excellent. It would be even more interesting if we would see a proliferation of 360 cameras to be able to place yourself in a Formula1 car or on a sports pitch. The amount of embodiment it yields, seems like it could go a long way to make remote meetings feel more real.

I agree with this review that this device is a devkit. I’ll wait for the real deal.

Listened to the latest episode of the German eGovernment podcast with the Minister for Digital for Bavaria. That is the state here that’s seemingly the farthest along when it comes to digitalisation and it now has the following ambitious plans:

  • to have internet reception everywhere
  • to remove fax traffic inside the state government by 2026

And then I switched it off because I don’t think anything good could come after that.

https://egovernment-podcast.com/egov165-100-tage-digitalminister/

Learned in this podcast episode about class justice in Germany something rather remarkable.

Germany has a system of income dependent fines called Tagessätze. These are meant to make punishments more equitable by making people who make more money pay more.

It turns out (and I’m sure very few people are aware of this) that courts do not get access to tax records to determine the fine base. They take a guess at the income and most of the time, they guess too low.

The most vocal people in progressive/critical technology don’t have kids (for various reasons) and as such also have zero empathy for the real problems people deal with.

Not everybody has infinite time to deal with broken government institutions or solder all their stuff together from scratch or waste countless hours debugging some free software device.

Or maybe even worse: Lots of men in tech have kids and a stay at home wife who frees them up to engage in every kind of side-project and hobby.