Cryptopticon, the notel, sleep justice, mail networks, teenage HAM radio clubs

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

1. Siva Vaidhyanathan introduces an important new concept to think with: the Cryptopticon.


"In Europe, North America, and much of the rest of the world, governments and businesses achieve their ends in almost the opposite way from that of the Panopticon: not through the subjection of the individual to the gaze of a single, centralized authority but through the surveillance of the individual by all (at least in theory, though by many in fact). Not a Panopticon, then, but a Cryptopticon, to use the name I have given to the information ecosystem of massive corporate and state surveillance."

2. It's going to get ever-harder for North Korea to seal itself off from the world's digital explosion.

"That's because the North Korean government hasn't been able to stop the spread of low-cost digital media players smuggled in from China—many of them manufactured almost exclusively for the North Korean black market. Reuters reports that an inexpensive portable DVD and digital video player, dubbed the 'notel' by North Koreans (a portmanteau of notebook and television), is available widely on the North Korean black market for about 300 Chinese yuan—roughly $50. The devices have a small built-in LCD display, can be easily concealed, and can be recharged from a car battery."

3. How sleep became a social justice issue.

"More than ever, working Americans are starved of sleep: Up to 30% of employed adults report routinely sleeping less than six hours a night, representing approximately 40.6 million workers. (The American Academy of Sleep Medicinerecommends that adults get about seven to nine hours of nightly sleep for optimal health, productivity, and alertness.) Short sleepers are also potentially sacrificing their health and safety: Short sleep duration has been linked to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, coronary artery disease, and higher levels of mortality in general."

4. The western reaches of the largest communication network of the 19th century, visualized.

"The U.S. postal system was the nation's largest communications network in the nineteenth century. By the close of the century the U.S. Post had extended its reach into nearly every city, town, and hamlet in the country. No other public institution was so ubiquitous and so central to everyday life; dropping off a letter or checking for mail at the local post office was a ritual shared by millions of Americans from Connecticut to Colorado. This visualization maps the spread of the postal network on its western periphery by charting the opening and closing of more than 14,000 post offices west of the hundredth meridian."


5. This teenage HAM radio club in New Jersey is awesome.

"We've found that 'membership' in a club conveys a sense of 'entitlement' to the 'member.' Many people feel just by paying dues and showing up once in a while, with no other participation beyond that, gives them a say in how the club should function. We don't exist to entertain you. Just to be clear, this is not a Democracy. The terms 'Oligarchy' or 'Benevolent Dictatorship' are probably more accurate. With all of that out of the way, we are always eager for talented people to join us."


On Fusion: So many Facebook users still don't know that an algorithm filters their news feeds.

Today's 1957 American English Usage Tip:

doctrinaire, n. A pedantic theorist; one who applies principle without regard to practical considerations.


The Credits

1. | @kashhill 2. 3. 4. | @lunaimaging 5.


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Oligarchy or Benevolent Dictatorship Are Probably More Accurate