Trash and Truths

I read Phoebe Robinson’s (2018) second book Everything’s Trash because it had been promoted by the Chicago Humanities Festival as a fall session.

CHF described Robinson’s comedy as “smart, intimate, provocative, and ‘super honest,” which I suppose it could justify, and this book is Robinson’s second in two years. Nevertheless, I was surprised by how self-indulgent and ultimately irrelevant it seems.

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The Grinches That Could Steal Our Christmas

Holiday sales this season are generally projected to increase by 5 to 5.6 percent, and e-commerce sales with smart phones, online shopping, and others to increase by 17 to 22 percent, to over $1.1 trillion. Many of these purchases will be digital devices, such as smart speakers that will be owned by the end of this holiday season by almost half of US consumers.

These results also promise personal data presents for Facebook, Google, and other corporations in the “data industrial complex,” as described by Apple CEO Tim Cook, to analyze and track. Cook claims that these corporations have weaponized personal data, which are being “carefully assembled, synthesized, traded and sold,” and he calls for data privacy laws based upon minimization, transparency, access, and security.  Continue reading “The Grinches That Could Steal Our Christmas”