Content about technology

Technology continues to isolate us from each other, both in ways we're fully aware of (checking our phones constantly) and in ways I don't think we appreciate yet. Case in point on the latter — after taking my seat on my flight back home today, I noticed how quickly everyone turns to the seatback monitor and the entertainment options available for the flight. Many people, include the guy sitting next to me, plugged their headphones in before the system was operational. Granted, today's flight is a brief two hours long, which means you've got to start a movie right away if you hope to finish it before landing.

It's sort of sad, though. The chance of striking up an interesting conversation with a seat mate in a plane seems to have dropped considerably lately, thanks to technology.

But, the movie selection is decent. And I did sit behind an older gentlemen that chose to watch Roger Rabbit, which is kind of cool.

I had some quick thoughts while clearing 11" of snow from the driveway that relate directly to Daystream.

In certain areas of technology, it seems ripe to ask the question:

Overall, is the field leveraging user/customer focused advances in technology to benefit users/customers or is it succumbing to a leveraging of *other* advances by a few, powerful corporations at the expense of users/customers?

I think those two points lie on a continuum and are in some level of tension as a field of technology advances. I also think fields get out of whack from time to time and need to correct, pulling back to the other side. Social media seems to be way out of whack right now, skewing heavily toward the "powerful corporations" side of the equation. I don't see those corporations doing anything to correct this. Indeed, they just seem to keep doubling down on the issue, extracting more personal information from their users and using it in new ways to maximize profit.

Daystream has always been about avoiding that. It is, in fact, a founding principle of our technology. I still remember the early conversations with Jonathan all those years ago. He was the first to point out to me that "the algorithm" is awful. Why should it decide what the users see? Shouldn't it be easy for a user to see the content they want to see and know that, in fact, that's what they are seeing? Boom - enter our elimination of the firehose and replacement with date-based accessors. What did Sally post on her last birthday? Well, let's go look. That has always formed the kernel of Daystream and we continue to extend that founding principle as we grow our features.

We'll always skew heavily to the "benefit people" side of the equation.

The trick is figuring out how to make a go at it while doing that. If we can't, we can't. We won't go to the other side just to keep it going, I know that much.