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futuribile / curating futures - Issue #6

Aloha! Welcome to your favourite newsletter, on a mission to get it over with technocentrism and buil
June 1 · Issue #6 · View online
futuribile / curating futures
Welcome to your favourite newsletter, on a mission to get it over with technocentrism and build instead a culture of innovation careful of social impact and focused on meaningfulness.
Last week our mailboxes were hit by a last minute rush to GDPR compliance, and it is legitimate to wonder whether this will really change something in practice (the NY Mag is fairly optimistic). The most standing actions in the aftermath of GDPR are the complaints filed against Google, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp by the Austrian activist Max Schrems. The main argument is that these companies are acting illegally by forcing users to accept intrusive terms of service or lose access. May the force be with him.
Europe, we should hurry defining what is a common good in the sphere of Internet access. The next Internet connectivity golden rush is indeed taking place into space and it is led by US privates. SpaceX has been recently authorised by US telecom regulators to launch the first batch of 4000+ low-orbit satellites to provide Internet to weakly covered areas.  A Californian startup has performed the first-known unauthorized launch of a commercial satellite in American history. And Facebook is teaming up with Qualcomm to work on high-speed wireless internet. EU, watch out for space. 
On a lighter early-‘00-Internet-kid note, I have collected the best GDPR fun links for you:
1. The GDPR Hall of Shame: #fail.
2. “Do you know a specialist on GDPR?” “Yes.” “Can you give me his e-mail address?” “No” and other amazing puns and jokes here.
3. “Who are you”, “What’s my age again?”, “Who do you love?”, “Forget me”, “Erase/Replace” are among the titles in this I Love GDPR music compilation. There are several on Spotify.
4. On the 23th May, GDPR was bigger than Beyoncé in Google Search. All the single ladies, put a ring on it.
Enjoy this issue.

Blockchain ta mère
From Japan to Brussels, a tormented love: Fujitsu opens a blockchain innovation center in the heart of Europe because of “geographical, political, technological and linguistic advantages”.  The company also provides the system that allowed the UK to copy unlawfully data of European citizens from the Schengen Information System (SIS), an EU-run database used by police. Hope blockchain will enable more transparency.
Three takeaways from the NYC Blockchain Week: Finance is broken, so let’s fix it; Collaboration (and interoperability) is the future; Regulators are our friends. From the same event, 6 women in blockchain to watch.
Why build a new Society on a blockchain? A tentative answer.
Reading list
Society’s operating system needs an upgrade. Some World Economics Forum ideas for a human-centric Fourth Industrial Revolution. 
The open source movement is coming together under the Post-Meritocracy Manifesto. It argues that the notion of merit can’t be measured, pursued on equal terms by every individual, nor ever be distributed fairly. A pledge for diversity and social responsibility.
A woman’s trip to the sex robots factory:
“Henry, if we’re being cruel, is essentially a high-quality dildo attached to a fancy mannequin with a Bluetooth speaker in his head. But the gulf between what we imagine and what’s possible makes sex robots the perfect vehicle for pondering our sexual and technological future. (….) But if, for now, all sex robots are more or less novelties, they’re also a window into our desires. Building a robot for the purpose of sex means defining what sex means to us”.

In the US, Amazon is selling its face recognition system, called Rekognition, to law enforcement.  In a letter to its CEO Bezos, the American Civil Liberties Union states:
Amazon offers a “person tracking” feature that it says “makes investigation and monitoring of individuals easy and accurate” for “surveillance applications.” Amazon says Rekognition can be used to identify “all faces in group photos, crowded events, and public places such as airports” —at a time when Americans are joining public protests at unprecedented levels. Amazon also encourages the use of Rekognition to monitor “people of interest,” raising the possibility that those labeled suspicious by governments— such as undocumented immigrants or Black activists— will be targeted for Rekognition surveillance.
The RSA has just published a report titled “Artificial Intelligence: real public engagement” surveying citizens’ awareness about automated decisions in the UK (spoiler: very low) and calling for citizens to help determine under what conditions, if any, the use of automated decision systems is appropriate.
Digital social innovators: less tech gadgets, more systemic change. Inspiring analog and feminist case studies for alternative care and health from the past:
we believe that they have a lot to offer to the DSI movement precisely because they articulate a different concept of care not as a free service, but as a process that weaves new social relationships, creating knowledge, skills and tools and rethinking the meaning of key ideas such as health and body, self-determination and trust, normality and competence.
Thrilling times ahead for fans of logic and physics. The Western notions of causality and human rationality are under siege. Judea Pearl, a pioneering figure in artificial intelligence, said in a recent interview that to build truly intelligent machines we must teach them cause and effect. Meanwhile, recent tests in quantum computing are strongly questioning the very notion of cause and effect. 
In Europe, men write 41% of the news , compared to just 23% written by women, while almost half of all the pictures (43%) that were published were just of men, compared to just 15% featuring only women. The inequalities reported by the European Journalism Observatory are striking.
Web archeology: a 1996 beginners’ guide to the Internet by the Wall Street Journal.  “So far, many entrepreneurs lament, the only way to make a small fortune on the Internet has been to start with a large one.” ❤️

We are witnessing the transfer of responsibility for public goods and services from democratic institutions to the wealthy, to be administered by an executive class. The Guardian on the dangers of philanthrocapitalism

Saving Jack: creating a machine learning model on the Titanic dataset.
Why social media is a bummer: Jaron Lanier doing Jaron Lanier.

BTW, I use your data only for the purpose of delivering this newsletter and yes, I equipped myself with a privacy policy.
Thanks for reading, go spread the word!
Marta Arniani
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