Info

Track Changes

Technology and culture, hosted by the people of Postlight.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
Track Changes
2018
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: March, 2018
Mar 27, 2018

Is the blockchain more than bitcoin? Can the publishing space be taken out of the hands of banks and billionaires? Can local journalists band together to make the change? This week, Paul and Rich sit down with Maria Bustillos to discuss the future of the news on her new blockchain-powered publication, Popula.

Blockchain Fever: This week Paul Ford and Rich Ziade sit down with Maria Bustillos to talk to about Popula— a blockchain based publication on news and culture. We chat about what it means to publish journalism on Civil: Self-Sustaining Journalism, honouring archives, the power behind direct and transparent news, and how Popula is working to address the problems that centralized banks have caused the world. Rich and Paul also try to write a song, titled Blockchain Fever! 

 

5:05 — Paul: “The internet exists because people took a piece of technology and an idea into their heart, and couldn’t leave it alone until it manifested…and I can see that happening with bitcoin.”

5:34 — Maria: “Blockchain technology isn’t the answer, but it’s the paper that you can write the answer on.”

7:55 — Maria: “Journalism has a lot of problems: in its funding model, in its deteriorating archives, in the vulnerability to billionaires who don’t like what we write. …And all these things can be addressed using blockchain technology.”

9:37 —  Maria: “Whenever we publish anything on Popula, a text version of it will be published to the Ethereum blockchain, and it cannot be altered. Ever.”

12:00 —  Maria: “It protects again Peter Thiel, it protects against linkrot, it protects against the degradation of search engines.” 

16:00 —  Paul: “So local journalists are banding together and they are going to publish using these blockchain technologies on Civil. So does this get rid of the quixotic billionaire who funds the news?”

24:54 — Maria: “We know it’s anti-bank, it’s anti-central bank, that it’s anti the dilution of currency. These are significant problems. They’re serious problems. There’s nothing bullshit about this. It’s not about instantaneous wealth, it’s not specifically anti-government either. It’s about addressing the problems that centralized banks have caused the world.”

25:28 — Rich: “So this is a statement. Can you build economies and startups on a statement?”

A full transcript of this episode is available.

LINKS


Track Changes is the weekly technology and culture podcast from Postlight, hosted by Paul Ford and Rich Ziade. Production, show notes and transcripts by EDITAUDIO. Podcast logo and design by Will Denton of Postlight.

 

 

Mar 20, 2018

Can electrical engineers create tangible objects? Do we really need to be writing lines of code in a text-editor to be programming? Is it time for society to redefine what it means to compute? This week, Paul and Rich sit down with Bret Victor to discuss his journey from Electrical Engineer at Caltech, to UI Designer at Apple, to Creator of his ultimate vision, Dynamicland.

The building is a computer; the computer is a building: This week Paul Ford and Rich Ziade sit down with Bret Victor to talk to about Dynamicland — a non-profit that’s inventing a new computational medium, where people work together with real objects in the real world (not alone with virtual objects on screens). We chat about the tech behind Dynamicland, the importance of creating intentional communities, and how a culture of secrecy at Apple inspired a life-long vision of community computing. Bret also shares a surefire way to impress a date — bring them to GuitarCenter and show them your analog modeling synth!


3:58 — Rich: “The bureaucracy got obliterated; all the machinery that usually slows you down was gone. The parents weren’t home!”

13:14 — Bret: “I came in the first day, went ot my desk and there was an iPad sitting on my desk. This was 2007. The iPhone just had been released. The iPad was not a thing at all… and I said ‘what is this?’ and my boss said ‘well we don’t know, Steve wants a tablet’.”

16:03 — Bret: “I was starting to see that my values and Apple’s values were a bit at odds. Apple ultimately wants to enable people to listen to their music, and read their email, and watch videos, and have an entertaining digital experience. I wanted to enable people to understand things more deeply or create amazing things that they couldn’t create before.”

22:08 — Bret: “It’s hard to have the level of motivation to pull off something really huge like that, if you don’t have the right support structures in place.”

22:08 — Bret: “We want to create a medium that works for all people. So growing our community, we’ve been pretty deliberate about reaching out to people who aren’t on Twitter and who aren’t traditionally advantaged by technology.”

LINKS


Track Changes is the weekly technology and culture podcast from Postlight, hosted by Paul Ford and Rich Ziade. Production, show notes and transcripts by EDITAUDIO. Podcast logo and design by Will Denton of Postlight.

Mar 13, 2018

Has the entry-level to the internet become too high? Has the purpose of the web shifted from a software platform to an information delivery tool? Have we lost site of what the internet really is? This week, Paul and Rich sit down to discuss the levels of abstraction we’ve created to make the web easier, and the problems it has created.

The website as we know it is gone: This week Paul Ford and Rich Ziade sit down to talk to about the expansion and simultaneous shrinking of the web. We talk about creating abstractions to make the web more accessible (like Google Docs) and the ways that has also limited our ability to understand what the web is. Paul takes over Can I Tell You, and Rich provides words of comfort — no one gives a shit about your life!

 

4:11 — Paul: “on one hand you have someone saying the web is about giving people access to publishing, giving people the ability to publish and communicate outward … and on the other hand someone is saying, you’re asking us to move backwards in time”

5:55 — Rich: “The story arc of the web to where we are today… isn’t even the web. It’s just this wild network of protocols that have been appropriated by a few companies.”

7:33 — Rich: “It’s over. The notion of having to do the heavy-lifting is gone. Everything is shrinkwrapped.”

8:26 — Paul: “A designer does better if they actually understand the stack underneath”

11:06 — Rich: “There is a generational thing… that they view the web as a software platform and not an information delivery platform.”

12:09 — Rich: “I think the term ‘website’ and what it represents, is gone.”

13:28 — Rich: “the infrastructure of the world, the things people use day to day, the way that people access information… the web is still actually flawless and unmatched for accessing that information.”

14:54 — Paul: “you’re always playing catch-up and then there’s all this new stuff… it’s hard to get it done.”

15:58 — Rich: “The web originally had the organizational characteristics of a library — this notion of stuff in rows and columns. Google abstracted away any notion or implication of organization… the notion of a page, the webpage, was obligerated.”

19:53— Rich: “Technology should give you abstractions that give you more power.” 

22:05 — Rich: “We’re getting dumber, it’s getting smarter. It got smarter because we got smarter.”

Mar 6, 2018

Are your photos scattered across multiple platforms? Can you access them anymore? Are you locked into platforms you barely enjoy? On this week’s episode, Paul and Rich sit down to discuss the impossibility of getting all your files in one place.

Photo by Martin 

We’re locked in: This week Paul Ford and Rich Ziade sit down to talk to about a major problem with giant platforms — getting locked into them. We talk about having our documents scattered across multiple platforms, the impossibility of possessing your photos, and becoming trapped by a giant platform without realizing it. Rich also pitches an app that’s based on the hugs he didnt get from his father!

 

4:11 —Rich: “I want all my shit in one place… and it turns out, it’s hard.”

5:55— Paul: “Apple didn’t do anything particularly nefarious. We entered into a relationship without thinking about how that relationship was going to end. Which we all do; as humans, we’re optimistic creatures. So you get into Apple and you think it’s going to work forever … and then you’re caught, you’re locked in.” 

6:30 — Paul: “The more lock-in [technology companies get], the better they’re doing. The more their stock prices go up, the more people like and respect them.”

11:23— Paul: “It strikes me as sort of hilarious because everyone in Silicon Valley is like ‘disrupt, disrupt, disrupt’, but there is nine levels of middle men here, all owned by one or two companies. And you can’t wedge in there.” 

18:54 — Paul: “These big platform companies love to lock you in. It’s absolutely in their best intrest.”

22:37 — Rich: “Google’s doing it right. Lock-in is scary. Own your shit.”

LINKS

Track Changes is the weekly technology and culture podcast from Postlight, hosted by Paul Ford and Rich Ziade. Production, show notes and transcripts by EDITAUDIO. Podcast logo and design by Will Denton of Postlight.

 

 

1