Introducing sterilize-ng [GitHub link] - a URL sterilizer made to work flexibily on the command line. Background The surveillance capitalist economy is built on the relentless tracking of users. Imagine going about town running errands but everywhere you go, someone is quietly following you. When you pop into the grocery, they examine your receipt. They look into the bags to see what you bought. Then they hop in the car with you and keep careful records of where you go, how fast you drive, whom you talk with on the phone.
Listening to Cal Newport interviewed on a recent podcast, something he said resonated. I’m probably paraphrasing, but a key piece of advice was: “Delete any app that makes money off your attention." Seems like really good advice. A smartphone is a collection of tools embedded in a tool. Use it like a tool and not an entertainment device and you’ll be find. For a while, in an effort to pry myself loose from the psychic hold of the smartphone I went back to using some kind of old flip phone.
I have a hypothesis. The wider the scope of your attention to social media and the popular press the more material goods you consume. Having had too many hobbies and pursuits in my own life, I’ve noticed that the more diverse my attention, the more I ended up consuming. Is it that one’s physical environment (how much stuff you buy and surround yourself with) reflects your mental environment? Or is it the other way around?