→ The Windows of Our Isolation

Since the coronavirus started spreading, our little computer and phone cameras have become the windows of our isolation, looking into other people’s lives, catching glimpses of pets, children, and spouses in the background of video calls. I find these moments deeply humanizing; reminders that we’re not perfect work machines, just people trying to do the best we can. Our hair is messy, our faces poorly framed and lit. Sometimes we leave the mic on when we go to the bathroom.

Through this tiny lens we see the ambient background of life: people working in kitchens, bedrooms or spare rooms, the hoarded detritus of life piled behind them.

Interesting article on the sudden predominance of Zoom in all of our lives. It makes some strong points about the dangers of the product itself, but also why it works the way it does, the tradeoffs we are willing to accept for the sake of convenience, and what I think are the fundamental shortcomings of all our collective characters, in that we cannot have anything good without some seeking to exploit or weaponize it.

Technology is made stupid by the constant necessity of having to guard against and outthink the bad agents.

Also, Zoom, a product known to have egregious security holes, that behaves like a virus and points a camera and mic into your home, was developed by a team of contractors from China.

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